Web Application Allows Home Buyers to Determine ‘Walkability’ of Property Listings

October 31, 2007

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As reported on BuzzBuzzHome blog (weird name, great blog!), a new study shows that higher levels of ‘walkability’ are directly linked to higher home values.

The report, “Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities,” looked at 94,000 real-estate transactions in 15 markets across the U.S.

The report was commissioned by a group called CEO’s for Cities and uses the Walkscore web service that we have integrated within all of our UniqueHomeSites.

WalkScore allows you to view the ‘walkability’ of any known location, drawing in community points of interest from Google‘s vast directory of local stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. to calculate a walking distance score.

You can even interact with Walkscore to improve the walkability of your listings.

To improve your listings’ Walk Score, you can easily add and delete amenities yourself.

1. From the local amenities link on your UniqueHomeSite click on the “bigger map” link in the top right corner of the Walkscore box.

2. On the right, above the list of amenities is a link titled “missing something“. Click on this and follow the instructions to add the missing amenity to Google maps.

For any point of interest, you only have to add it once. It will be available for all your future listings for that neighbourhood. 

Its a great way to provide potential homebuyers with valuable information and perhaps fetch a higher price for your listings!


Sellers of Real Estate in Canada Examine Alternative Listing Websites

October 27, 2007

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With the evolution of the Internet and a growing number of free listing websites available, sellers of real estate in Canada are presented with an opportunity to expose their properties to an ever-expanding Internet audience.

Real estate agents in Canada currently have exclusive access to posting their listings on a national mls (www.mls.ca), which is a cooperative system for the 82,000+ members of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), working through Canada’s 99 real estate boards and 11 provincial/territorial associations.

Canada’s national MLS is great for home buyers as it is a one-stop, comprehensive listing of all properties currently listed by real estate agents across the country.

However, many homebuyers are looking at alternative real estate listing websites to search for property, particularly with a growing number of private sellers in the market.

We have compiled a list of websites, where you can manually post your property for sale on the Internet – completely free of charge.

Simply click on the links below to get started.

If any of our readers have other Canadian-friendly listing sites, we’d love to hear from you.

http://base.google.com

http://lycos.canada.oodle.com/post/

http://www.edgeio.com/el-edit

www.usedcanada.com

www.livedeal.ca

www.kijiji.ca

www.craigslist.org


Calgary Real Estate Board gets virtual with ‘Web Open House’ Program

October 22, 2007

camera.jpgThe Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) has partnered up with a third-party video supplier to provide its members easy access to the production of video open houses with a program called ‘Web Open House’.

“Streaming live video is new technology and we want to be on the cutting edge,” says Bruce Klippenstein, Manager and Editor for CREB Publications. “We want to be a leader in helping Realtors market their clients’ property.”  

The benefits of this partnership, which sets it apart from other independant virtual tour providers, is that agents can bill the video tours directly to their CREB accounts, so they don’t have to worry about putting it on a credit card.

Working with a trusted third-party video producer allows the board to control the quality of the videos. It also helps streamline the process of posting ‘virtual tour’ links on the web and their public-access MLS. 

The advantage for the consumer, of course, is that they can view property listings from the comfort of their own homes, without having to schedule a viewing to tour the home.

At Base 10 Web Solutions, we are interested in hearing from web and photography service providers from across Canada, who would like to become approved vendors for our UniqueHomeSites product.


‘Mr. Internet’ Launches Online Dominance Program™ for Real Estate Agents

October 17, 2007

32mqqm99gs.jpgMichael Russer (aka Mr. Internet), an Internet speaker, trainer, author, and consultant to the real estate industry, has just introduced a self-directed, video-based training program specifically designed to teach real Realtors how to effectively communicate with the online consumer.

Details on the program, entitled ‘Online Dominance’, can be found by visiting www.OnlineDominance.com.

Mr. Russer reports that current members of the program have reported radically positive results in their ability to attract and retain new customers on the Internet.

“This is the first practical, fully scalable solution that truly facilitates understanding online consumers, and shows agents and brokers how to generate leads and consistently convert them to closes,” says Russer of his Online Dominance program. “Empowering Realtors to utilize these simple but effective resources will not only prove to be valuable to their business, but provide a great benefit to their customers as well.”

Mr. Russer, a long-time proponent of the benefits of single property websites, also authors a monthly article on the U.S. National Association of Realtors website – www.realtors.org , which is very much worth checking out for tips on Internet marketing for real estate agents.

He will also be a keynote speaker the upcoming Royal LePage 2007 National Brokers’ Conference in Bermuda.

Michael’s Bio:

Michael J. Russer is an internationally recognized speaker, author and strategic consultant about business transformation and the Internet for the real estate industry. He is the father of “Virtual Outsourcing” for the real estate industry, and named one of 25 most influential people in real estate. He is also the exclusive Internet columnist for REALTOR Magazine, author of the groundbreaking Intel White Paper “CONNECTED 2001 – The Transformation Of The Residential Real Estate Industry”, and strategic advisor to NAR, ARELLO and major real estate franchises.


Forbes Magazine Examines Canada’s Luxury Home Market

October 16, 2007

7_1015home.jpgAn article posted on the Forbes Magazine website yesterday discusses the strong home sales activity that continues to take place in Canada, particularly among high-end properties.

The article quotes the Canadian Real Eestate Association (CREA), which forecasts total home sale transactions this year to rise by 8.1%. According to CREA numbers, the national average sales price has increased from $276,646 in July 2006 to $311,495 in July 2007, a whopping 13% percent.

The article goes on to explain that higher-end properties are selling fast due to an influx of international buyers and local executives putting down roots. However, sellers of multi-million dollar homes can expect their property to stay on the market for over a year, as these types of buyers are few and far between.

Houses in the multimillion-dollar range are becoming much more common in Canada, and buyers are jumping on coveted properties and high-end developments before they’re even built. But that is not to say Canadians aren’t still afflicted with sticker shock.

Lisa Williams, a broker with Century 21-Royal Victoria Realty, has had a $15 million Canadian oceanfront property on the market for over 10 months. “Very high-end homes can certainly take more than a year to sell, and sometimes properties don’t sell,” she says. “We have a couple of properties on the high end that have been on the market for a number of years.”

The Forbes article is worth a look as it posts some impressive pictures of the 10 most expensive homes on the market today in Canada.

Property sellers in Canada should note that single property websites from UniqueHomeSites.com are a great way to market luxury homes for sale on the Internet.


Real Estate Agents use Video to Market Property Listings

October 13, 2007

pic_youtubelogo_123x63.gifWith streaming video now becoming the norm on the Web, some real estate agents are reaching out to an ever-growing population of Internet buyers by posting video of their property listings on free web services, such as YouTube.com and Google Video.

The advantage of posting property videos on such websites is that it exposes the listing to hundreds of thousands of Internet surfers.

From a homebuyers perspective, video also offers the ultimate ‘virtual tour’ experience.

With the UniqueHomeSites.com, real estate agents in Canada can now seamlessly integrate property videos posted on YouTube.com directly into a single property website!

A quick scan of YouTube for real estate in Canada reveals some great examples of agents who are currently using video to market their listings.

As you will see, some agents do their own video production, while others employ a professional videographer.

One of the more interesting approaches comes from the Thomas and Sally Cook team of Re/Max Hallmark Realty in Toronto, where they actually interview the homeseller, who discusses the unique characteristics of the home, as well as the neighbourhood amenities. (see video below)

Either way, these are the types of agents who will succeed in capturing the attention of the growing number of Intenet-savvy buyers.

Red Door Realty – Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Bagogloo Team – Re/Max Nova, Halifax, Nova Scotia 

Bob Blake Royal Lepage Team Realty, Ottawa, Ontario

Thomas and Sally Cook Team Hallmark Re/Max, Toronto, Ontario


Using Photography to Effectively Market Real Estate

October 10, 2007

800px-photographer.jpgLarry Lohrman of photographyforrealestate.net has just announced the release of the first edition of his new E-book – Photography For Real Estate.

This E-book distills concepts and information from more than 300 posts over the two years he has been operating his blog – Photography For Real Estate.

Click here to download the table of contents and Introduction

Written for Realtors that shoot their own photos, real estate assistants and Professional real estate photographers. You will find everything you need to get started and be successful shooting real estate marketing photos:

  • How to choose a camera for real estate photography
  • The basics of interior lighting
  • How to fix common problems with a Photoshop Elements and Lightroom
  • Guidelines for shooting exteriors
  • Guidelines for shooting interiors
  • How to create and use virtual tours effectively
  • A detail description of the 10 Essentials of Real Estate Photography with examples
  • Analysis of current trends in real estate photography

We’re not sure if he mentions it or not in the book, but UniqueHomeSites.com offers a turn-key, single property website solution for real estate photographers looking to establish a virtual tour service in their area.

Using our growing website template library, photographers can upload still photos, panoramic photos, and link Google and YouTube video to create a professionally-designed website dedicated to a single property – all with a few mouse clicks.