Changes to Search on the New Corporate Site

Based on input from our franchisees and to streamline the search process for site visitors, we have made a couple of changes to the new corporate site’s search imagery and functionality.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate's Corporate Website Search
Based on input from franchisees, we have changed the image of the person from a man to a woman.

Instead of the man who previously appeared in the search area on the homepage, a woman is now pointing to the search bar. The man remains on the internal pages of the corporate site.

We have also streamlined the search process so that visitors who search for homes go directly to franchisees’  websites to view results. If a visitor searches in a city that more than one Help-U-Sell office serves, the system will direct the visitor to the office that has garnered the least number of leads from the corporate site. This “counter” method will keep track of which office’s site last received a lead and will evenly distribute leads, as opposed to the random, round-robin method currently in use. Visitors will land on search results pages on broker websites that Help-U-Sell built. Franchisees that are using a web solution from a third party will still get leads, but visitors will be taken to the franchise’s home page. The reason being that we cannot control the data that is delivered from a third-party source.

Someone who searches for single-family homes in Tucson from the new corporate site and is directed to Southeast Rita Ranch Realty’s site will see the map view of single-family homes in Tucson on Southeast Rita Ranch Realty’s site, as pictured below.

Help-U-Sell Southeast Rita Ranch Realty search results
Visitors who search for Tucson homes will be taken to the map view on Help-U-Sell broker sites.

The visitor will no longer have to click through from the list of Help-U-Sell listings. Below is the current search results that a visitor who searches for Tucson homes sees.

Help-U-Sell Search Results
The current Help-U-Sell site's search results page looks like this and requires visitors to click to get to a franchisee's site.

We think the new search method will make getting leads easier and will fairly distribute them. If you have any questions about this change or any suggestions about the new website, please let us know.

New Help-U-Sell Corporate Site Updates

Thank you to our franchisees who have offered feedback on the new corporate site, which will launch very soon. We have made updates since our last Connect blog post about the site and are continuing to refine and adjust elements based on your input.

The biggest change is to the search function. We heard from you that you wanted it to be more prominent and easier for people to understand how to use. Our solution has made the search bar itself more visible by giving it a bolder border. We’ve also made it more intuitive to use by adding “Click here to Search for Homes” in the overlay of the search bar and incorporating the “Search Homes” button into the bar. A tutorial video with voiceover by James Dingman is in production and will offer a more detailed explanation of how to make the most out of the innovative search functionality. We have also included the Office Locator at the top of the homepage to facilitate users searching for their local offices.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate Homepage Search
The new Help-U-Sell Real Estate search function is easier to use and more prominent.

In an informal poll at the end of this week’s Tech Time Tuesday, most franchisees wanted the new search function on their broker sites. By popular request, we are looking into replacing the guy pointing at the search bar with a different person or a couple.

The broker sites will also have the option of adding a smaller version of the carousel scroller at the bottom of the homepage above the footer. See the rough mock-up below for an idea of the layout.

Help-U-Sell Real Estate broker website
This is a mock-up of the carousel scroller on a Help-U-Sell Real Estate broker website.

Some of your site’s pages have been refreshed in the past week or two, including the home evaluation page and the press page. We are continuing to make improvements. Let us know what you would like to see on the corporate site and your broker site, in terms of additional modifications, and we will take those into consideration.

California Event Next Week

Where will you be next Wednesday, May 23? Our own Ron McCoy and James Dingman will be attending Agent Reboot Orange County, a one-day, tech-oriented event produced by Inman News, and they would love for you to join them.

“In real estate, survival depends on doing large numbers of transactions with fewer people,” says Dingman, Help-U-Sell Real Estate’s Chief Development Officer. “Smart brokers use technology to become more efficient, freeing up time that used to be spent on marketing and administrative tasks, for more important things like making new contacts and putting more transactions together. I know of no better place to get an understanding of the tech tools available and how they function in a real estate operation than Agent Reboot.”

During the fast-paced day, presentations will last no more than 20 minutes and will cover topics ranging from video marketing to generating business on Facebook to nurturing your clients. Inman News’ Chris Smith and Katie Lance will be among the speakers, along with experts like Zillow’s Industry Outreach Manager Brad Andersohn.

Agent Reboot Orange County will take place at the Hyatt Regency Irvine, and it runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If you’re in the area, we encourage you to attend with us. The registration fee is only $49 if you book online. Go to the official site to sign up.

If you’re not based in Southern California, there are other Agent Reboot events scheduled from now through the fall, with stops in Portland, Ore.; Phoenix; Denver; South Florida; and Honolulu, to name a few. You can see the full list of locations on the Agent Reboot site.

Top Producers for April 2012

Spring has sprung strong top-two showings and a five-way tie for third place on our April top producers list.  Way to go, everyone!

1) Last month’s third-place finisher, Help-U-Sell Detwiler Realty moved to the top in April by closing 11 sides (and Karen’s branch office closed another four sides for the month).

2) Help-U-Sell Direct Savings Real Estate, out of Waynesboro, Va., first made the top three back in January and is back this month with eight closed sides.

3) Help-U-Sell Galleria Realty, in Tucson, Ariz., closed five sides to finish in a five-way tie.

3) Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties had another solid month of closings.

3) Help-U-Sell Prestige Properties, located in Chino Hills, Calif., returns to our top three.

3) Alabama’s Help-U-Sell Quad Cities is back on the list for the second time in 2012.

3) Help-U-Sell Santa Maria makes an appearance two months in a row.

[Figures as of May 1, 2012.]