Real estate is one of the most active and evolving fields in terms of developing an online presence. The creation and development of new Internet technologies have made it possible and more profitable for brokers, agents, and developers to move from the streets into the Web. However, the niche of online real estate business is pushed forward by the young and talented programmers and web developers rather than sellers, as they are the ones that continue to come up with new innovative and helpful instruments.
So, how do you stay relevant in the field? The answer is simple – if you’re not as proficient in programming and you don’t have enough time and resources to develop your own instruments, you should use the ones that are provided by other companies. There are dozens of different widgets and plugins you can build into your real estate website. Here are some of the best of them you should definitely consider using.
1. StreetAdvisor Pro
StreetAdvisor is basically a social network for people looking for apartments and professional reviewers that help such people. StreetAdvisor Pro is a paid service, thanks to which you can add information about streets and neighborhoods to your website, which is a great way to start a discussion with your clients. Furthermore, it provides a great amount of information about the activity your users have with its great Measurement Dashboard.
2. Yelp Reviews
Yelp is now one of the most famous user reviews hosting website. Thousands of people leave their commentary on every subject imaginable. Of course, real estate is among these subjects. So, if you want to reference an opinion and a score that actually matters to a lot of people, consider adding a Yelp widget. It’s free but limited to displaying three reviews at a time.
3. Responsive Mortgage Calculator
This plug-in is a helpful tool for your clients that are trying to weigh in all the pros and cons of every option you offer, including the mortgage payment. This information is not usually disclosed right away, which is why it would be a friendly gesture to add such an instrument to your website. Furthermore, there are a lot of options you can manage to make it just perfect for you.
4. Street View
Street View is a feature that Google Maps has implemented a long time ago and continues to improve to this day. It is very helpful for people to see the place they’re going to buy or rent with their own eyes without actually having to go there. There is an easy way to embed Street View API into your website, and it’s free (unless the number of requests surpasses 25,000).
5. Walk Score
This service is somewhat similar to Google Maps, but its main standout feature is commute time calculation. It shows all the most notable places in the neighborhood you’re considering to live in and you can choose any of them to determine the time you’d spend getting to it. It even displays the score for the street that marks the availability of different types of transport, from public transportation to bike lanes.
6. Zillow’s GetDemographics API
Zillow is a massive real estate website with lots of information about different neighborhoods in different cities. There is a way for you to get an access to all this data through their API. However, you’re not going to be able to store it and it does not provide any kind of maps. The number of calls per day is also limited to a 1,000.
7. Zillow’s Reviews API
Another tool from the same company, this API is important not only for your customers but for your service overall. Firstly, it’s a fast way for anyone to leave an important feedback. Secondly, it’s a great marketing tool, as online reviews are one of the most influential sources of information for buyers right now.
ReadyChat is a great way to connect with your clients. It’s fast, convenient and is used by real estate agents all over the world. What’s more important is that it’s specifically made to be used by you – it offers a plethora of information about the behavior of your customers, and it’s meant to convert simple visitors into leads you can almost immediately close.
This instrument links your website with another very important marketing tool – social media, namely Instagram. It has all the functionality you might need – with the help of SnapWidget you can display posts from a specific user with a specific hashtag right on your website. Not only is it the best way to transfer photos from your account to your website, it also serves as a great way to motivate users to check out your social media.
RebelMouse is another widget that focuses on social media. However, it is much less specific and more customizable. It basically allows you to pick the most suitable posts from different web services, like Facebook and Twitter, and make a composition out of them. This way you can showcase great user experience your real clients get from working with – and it’s the best type of advertisement.
This tool is basically an alternative option for pictures hosting websites, like Flickr or Imgur. It’s a great way to show off the beautiful view or interesting places in the area, close to the estate you’re trying to sell. The photos you share are geotagged, which makes them more trustworthy to your users. Furthermore, it’s free for you to use unless you receive more than 100,000 inquiries.
12. INRIX Drive Time
This API is somewhat similar to the already mentioned Walk Score in that its main focus is the calculation of the commute time. However, it is somewhat more advanced, as your customers can use it to filter out the choices they have based on the time it takes to get there. Anyhow, this improvement comes literally at a price – the API is not free of charge.
As it’s obvious from the name of this widget, it provides a wide range of information about schools in the area your users might be interested in. It is definitely not meant for all groups of customers, but for a lot of them, the information about the proximity and the rating of the schools in a neighborhood is important for a big choice they about to make.
Unlike a lot of other widgets, mentioned above, this technology will allow you to create a personalized visualization of the estate you work with without having to pay for it every month. Most of the other instruments with similar functions are ready-to-use iframes. Webcase Studio allows you to design your own images. Furthermore, you won’t do it from scratch, which makes this project much less costly than hiring some sort of an expert.
Overall, there are dozens of different tools that might help you to expand your business. Not only do they make your job easier, they also provide much more information for your customers. And the field continues to evolve, so try to stay in the loop and be first to implement all the innovative tools you can.