These days, many people’s phones double as their computers. In fact, half of surveyed home buyers used a mobile or tablet website or app to search for houses in 2015, according to a National Association of Realtors study. As mobile devices continue to overtake the sale and usage of desktop computers and as younger generations become homeowners, this percentage will only grow.
Recognizing the need for mobile-friendly websites, Help-U-Sell Real Estate has created responsive sites for its brokers. The new sites’ features can make searching for houses easier.
* Brokers’ pre-determined customized search results, such as “Waterfront Properties” or “Homes in [specified zip code]”
* Filters that enable users to narrow down listings by square footage, school district, subdivision, and many other factors
* Refining of property search with a draw tool that allows users to look at listings in a discrete area
The new design is also more user-friendly in other ways, including streamlined content with more video and less text, and a new automated free home valuation tool that enables users to get instant reports on the estimated values of specified houses.
The sites are being rolled out on an individual basis. Franchisees can customize the site to fit their markets and preferences. Two examples of the new site design are Help-U-Sell Columbia Basin and Help-U-Sell Advance Realty. Franchisees can change the background image and choose what content to display on the homepage, as well as create new or alter existing landing pages.
If you are a franchisee who wants to make the switch to the new template, contact us so that we can start the process.
Based on franchisees’ requests, we have created two new widgets that can be placed on any webpage, either on the Help-U-Sell Real Estate broker website or on a third-party site.
The testimonials widget displays the reviews that have been entered in the Office Management System. The widget can be vertical or horizontal, and its size can be adjusted as needed. Brokers can enter text or video testimonials into OMS.
The seller savings calculator widget enables a homeowner to enter his house’s value and find out approximately how much he could save by listing with the broker’s office in comparison to a traditional, percentage-based brokerage.
Both widgets would work well on landing pages that have contact forms, enabling brokers to generate leads.
The widgets will be ready to use next week. If you are a Help-U-Sell Real Estate broker and want help creating a widget or a landing page with one of these widgets, contact us at support.
Help-U-Sell Real Estate’s corporate website has a new look and feel, and new functionality. The site is responsive, meaning it adjusts itself depending on the device being used. The main impetus for the changeover is the shift in how people are accessing the Internet. As laptop and desktop computer sales continue to decrease, and mobile devices’ popularity is on the rise, it is imperative that websites adjust. In addition, Google has just begun boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.
One of the ways the site is more mobile-friendly is its streamlined menu, which is now easily accessed with the tap of a finger.
Because many people’s preferred way to receive information is now visual, videos appear on the homepage to explain the benefits of choosing Help-U-Sell Real Estate to sell or buy property. The homepage features four videos that focus on different client types or needs.
The site uses technology to determine a user’s location and help him or her find the nearest franchise office. The background image on the homepage also changes based on the user’s location. The image of the homepage (above) depicts a skyline in Florida, where the company’s headquarters are located.
The other major upgrade is the search functionality. Users can now search for properties in a specific neighborhood, on a particular street, or near a place. Once they are redirected to a local Help-U-Sell Real Estate office’s search results page, users can further home in on where they want to live by drawing a border on the map or by selecting criteria such as certain schools, subdivisions, and neighborhood amenities (like on a golf course).
The local office websites will be converted to the responsive design later this year.
Our new tablet-friendly corporate website is continuing to develop. We have added functionality to the site, which will replace the current www.helpusell.com for desktop computers and tablets in the coming months.
When visitors come to the corporate site, they will be able to find the nearest office without leaving the homepage and, if there are multiple results, choose one of the offices as their favorite office. When the visitor returns to the site from the same computer or tablet, the office will be saved as the default. The system will use geolocation to determine the closest offices. Visitors can also perform a search by entering in a zip code of the city where they want to find an office.
We are also refining the search results for property searches. This is the only aspect of the new corporate site redesign that will impact the broker sites.
The design and filters are still in progress, but the functionality is mostly in place now on our development site.
Searchers will be able to zoom in on a specific area by clicking on the “heat index” spots indicated with a number, by moving the map to a particular area, or by drawing boundaries on the map either with the mouse or a finger.
Mousing over or tapping on a pin on the map will bring up a small popup box with a thumbnail photo and a few basic details about the property. Clicking on or double-tapping the pin will bring up a larger popup box with a larger photo, more details, and a link to the property details page.
We will share more updates on the new site as it develops. If you are a broker and have suggestions for the site’s design or functionality, please share those with us so that we can consider how we might add them to the site.
Help-U-Sell Real Estate brokers can show off their offices’ achievements, including how much they saved their seller clients, with a new widget. The widget displays as a table and can also contain data on other key performance indicators, such as total number of listings sold, days on market, and percentage of listings sold by MLS agents and sold in-house.
The widget will show the closing date, address, sale prices, days on market, and seller savings for each property an office sold. The data are pulled from the reported transactions in the Office Management System dating back to 2009. Offices can manually enter transactions that took place prior to that year. All data fields are optional, so offices can select to display the ones that most effectively reflect the offices’ success and abilities.
Because it is a widget, it automatically updates and it can be placed on any web page that an office can access from the back-end. So, a broker can embed the code on his blog, a third-party website, or on any page on his Help-U-Sell site.
Brokers can access the new widget in OMS by clicking Website Widgets on the “Setup” tab. On the Website Widgets page, select Sold and Save Widget from the drop-down menu. All customization, from resizing to choosing what is displayed, happens here. Once everything is set up the way you want it, copy the code in the box and place it on the page where you want the widget to appear.