Top 10 Web Site Tools (Widgets) Every Real Estate Agent Should Have!

Most people come to your website to find information about buying or selling a home. Just admit it, your photo and great website graphics won’t do much unless you have useful content and tools. Plain and simple, they visit your site to find information. The top priority of your web page should be to present important real estate information to your visitors. Your website needs to have tools described below so your visitors won’t leave your web page and look for more information somewhere else. These tools are commonly called as widgets. Widgets are simple HTML codes that you can insert in your web page to place customized functional tools on your website.

  • Easy to use MLS search tool (for Buyers) to find MLS listings. You can frame your broker’s MLS search screens for an easy solution or you can do a full custom IDX implementation which looks much nicer and professional.
  • Contact me tool (for Buyer/Sellers) placed on every page so they won’t need to search around. This should be more than a page that just shows your phone and email. You need to have an option for them to fill out a contact form (make email and/or phone a required field). If visitors do not have access to their email while browsing your site, this form will still let them contact you by filling out their own contact info.
  • Mortgage monthly payment calculator (for Buyers). In order to figure out if they can afford a house people need to know the monthly payment amounts for a particular home. Make sure people can type the house price and property tax amount to see their monthly payments. You can find this and many other free tools on WidgetBox.com
  • Personal Blog site (for Buyers/Sellers). This is where you post information about yourself and the local real estate market. Blogs are a great way to publish information. If you keep putting interesting content on your blogs about your target local area, people will keep coming back. Search engines also favor blog sites and they index them quite frequently.
  • School information (for Buyers). A lot of the buyers will be searching for area schools before they decide to buy a house. Don’t let them go to other websites for this information. Make sure you have an online tool that they can specify their target location and see all the schools nearby along with the school reviews and data.
  • Local News (for Buyers/Sellers) is another piece of information most people are interested in. You can place live news tools on your web page that will display current news about any subject. If you have quality news about your target area, people will find your site interesting and keep coming back.
  • Things to Do in your target area (for Buyers/Sellers). Events, entertainment reviews and “Things To Do” is commonly searched subjects in any area. Showing your visitors all the things they can do in your local area will differentiate you from other real estate agents sites. Restaurant reviews also give them useful information about dining establishments in your area.
  • How much is my home worth? (for Sellers) This is the number one question that all sellers ask to themselves. You need to have an online comparison tool to give them an idea of how much their home might be worth. This way they don’t need to browse away from your site to get this information. You have to indicate that this tool is just a ballpark estimate and that they need to contact you to get an accurate estimate. This can be done by a widget or an API tool from zillow.com. The API tools are programming codes to access data from Zillow.com in order to display information on your web page in a very customized fashion. You can see an example of an API implementation on my own “What is your home worth?” page. Just enter an address to see the outcome.
  • Current Mortgage Rates tool (for Buyers/Sellers). This is a good one to have on your site so that users can keep track of the mortgage rates. Many buyers would be watching these rates to pick the perfect time to buy a house and you should not give them any reason to go to any other website. You can get one from mortgageloan.com/widgets/
  • Mortgage Tax Savings calculator (for Buyers). This is a hard to find tool and not many realtor sites have it but luckily you can find a free one at WidgetBox.com as well. The first thing that people learn about buying a house is that they will save money on their taxes but no one will tell them how much. This tool will let your customers see how much they will save on their taxes by purchasing a particular house.

These are the most important tools that any agent should have on their websites. Remember, you need people to keep coming back to your site. You have to have useful information on your website that people want to see. You also need the above tools so consumers have everything they might need located in one website. Your website should be the only place to go for any real estate inquiry.

Keep in Touch With the HTC Explorer Using the People Widget

Keep in touch with the HTC Explorer using the People widget that comes as part of the Sense user experience implemented through the power of the Android operating system respectively. The lightweight and compact handset which features a full touch display measuring 3.2 inches offers many features such as this widget for social networking and communicating with friends.

This is one of many widgets that can be downloaded from the Android Market and added to your handset. Widgets, are like mini applications, which can be placed on your home screen, any or all of the seven provided by this phone that is. Some widgets include messages, emails and the weather, while this widget lets you instantly communicate with contacts from a single tap of the touch display. This feature is also present on other handsets such as the HTC Rhyme.

Through this respective function on the Explorer, you can call, send a text message or email a favourite contact who appear automatically within the widget. If someone is not there, tap the plus sign onscreen to add a new contact to your favourites. Once you have set your favourite contact, you can finger tap their photo on the widget to set a default action. This is the action which will be performed when you select them using People. You can choose from viewing, calling any one of their numbers saved, sending a text message or emailing any of multiple email addresses input. Additionally, the feature offers a group icon which enables you to select multiple favourite contacts and message all of them, in just a few taps of your finger.

If you have a lot of favourites within the widget, you can drag it to the edit space which will allow you to rearrange which of your contacts appear first, so you can make sure the people you contact the most are always the fastest for you to get in touch with. As well as all of this, you can also add multiple copies of this feature, and set multiple groups on each of your home screens, maximising how you communicate.

With impressive features such as this along with the other social networking integration and functionality through its hardware such as the 3 megapixel main camera, the HTC Explorer is a great asset to carry around with you. Features such as this along with the many full applications enable you to do much more and faster from wherever you are.

Free Home Business: Is It Possible To Find A Legitimate Home Based Business That Is Free To Start?

“Home Based Business” will pull millions of hits in an internet search. There are thousands of companies with millions of distributors looking for customers and distributors of their own.

Home business opportunities universally promise substantial income and display the elevated lifestyles of their top achievers to prove the point. Most of these presentations are exciting and inspiring as example after example of ‘ordinary people’ making it big raise our belief that we too can find financial freedom.

The challenge for opportunity seekers comes when they learn it will cost them tens of dollars to thousands of dollars to get started in a work from home business opportunity. Many begin looking for an opportunity seeking one where they can start for free.

Some companies pay their distributors to recruit new prospects and some don’t, but you can universally expect to be asked to pay for the privilege of joining their company.

Is it possible to find a legitimate home based business that is free to start? Probably not, unless you plan on bending the rules a bit.

Here are my suggestions to starting a home business without paying for the privilege:

Do Your Homework

Whether you are approached by a particular company or you are searching for an opportunity you should do your homework. Avoid the forums and reviews by individuals. The sad truth is that most people at too lazy to get out of their own way and too proud to take coaching so they fail. When they tank, they look for someone to blame which usually ends up being the company or their mentor.

Instead, look at the business press. Is the company well established, growing (especially in mature markets) and innovating? It is common for a new company to post impressive growth numbers when it first starts, or opens new markets. The true indicator is how much the company is growing in mature markets, places where they have been for years.

One of the sweetest allures of the network marketing industry, which makes up the overwhelming majority of home based business opportunities, is “Getting In On The Ground Level” which is synonymous with investing your time, effort and resources into a company that is unproven. Like any business, most companies never make it past the five-year mark. Look for a company with some time, about five years, under its belt.

Building a business is hard work. Choose a solid company to invest your time and energy with.

Once you have chosen your company, done your homework, and are ready to get started, you’ll need a sponsor.

How To Get Sponsored For Free

Years ago I wanted a job with a paper company as a sales rep calling on printers for their needs. I had no real experience in this area, but I knew I could do it. My background was in printing plus I could see that these guys made good money and I wanted in.

The company I interviewed with was luke-warm about hiring me. They had a formula for new hires and I didn’t fit their program. I decided to go all out and I made them an offer: If they would hire me and put me on the street I’d work on straight commission. That way I wouldn’t cost them anything.

We finally came to an agreement and I had a great 20-year career. I made lots of money for them and for myself. It was a win-win.

When you decide to start your home business, you are going to need to pitch yourself in a similar way if you want to work around the several hundred dollars it will probably cost you to start with a legitimate company. You need to create that win-win to get them thinking outside the box.

Every distributor wants new customers and distributors. That’s how the business grows and you become one of those people in the videos living the good life. Prospecting is where you will spend most of your time in your business as well as most of your money. When you factor in time, advertising cost and other resources you will be spending a hefty sum for each new person who becomes a customer or joins your business.

Since you are going to have to do it any way, why not start prospecting before you join the business?

If you’ve decided that you want to join ‘Widgets International’ and you have found John Doe, a Widgets International Independent Distributor, then instead of telling him you’ll pay his $250 sign-up fee (hypothetical…varies by opportunity) tell him you’ll put him in front of 10 of your acquaintances for him to make a Widget Demonstration.

All you ask is that the first $250 he clears from any sales go toward your sign-up fee to become a Widgets International Independent Distributor yourself, and that those customers you brought to the presentation will be yours as a distributor.

If you don’t crack the nut in the first go around, meaning you don’t sell enough to cover your distributorship, you simply repeat the process until you do.

How You Sell The Idea: It’s A True Win-Win For Everyone

Your up-line distributor gets to present to a group of people he did not have to spend time or money to assemble. He potentially gets a new, motivated distributor (you) and even if you flame out he now has the people you brought to the table as prospects who he can stay in contact with and convert to customers.

You get a distributorship without writing a check or swiping your card. You even have some new customers and a repeatable model you can use to bring other people to your new business.