Archive for March, 2011

Google Adds own ‘Like’ button in Foray into Social Search

Google is adding its take on the “like” button — which it is calling the “plus-one” — in its latest bid to make search more social, as well as combat the growing dominance of Facebook.

Starting this afternoon, Google will allow users to vote plus-one on search results they find useful, and to share that preference with their connections in Gchat, Gmail, Google Reader, Buzz and, soon, Twitter. Users will see both the total number of plus-one votes, as well as the names and photos of their contacts who have stated a preference.

It’s the most aggressive foray into social search to date and the first time Google has added a direct social signal into search results. Over time, Google will integrate the plus-one into the search algorithm itself so human votes will have an impact search ranking.

“When someone recommends something, that’s a pretty good indicator of quality,” said Matt Cutts, Google’s principle engineer for search. “We are strongly looking at using this in our rankings.”

Google is also adding the ability to vote plus-one on search ads. Internal tests have shown that plus-one votes increase clicks; Google won’t charge for the functionality, but expects better ads to return more plus-ones and, in turn, more clicks. Higher click-through rates can improve quality scores, meaning marketers with better ads could pay less for a given keyword or position.

“We will provide reporting in AdWords for plus-ones,” said ads group product manager Christian Oestlien. “Our belief is that advertisers will see increased performance from ads with personalized annotations.”

The changes are some of the biggest to the visual architecture of search, the classic list of blue links, as well as its functional underpinnings. Plus-one buttons and social connections are going to join a search-results page getting more and more complicated with both real-time and local-search results, in addition to search ads that have also added functionality.

Traditionally, inbound links have been the strongest indicator of relevance and component of page rank. Last year, Google added Twitter updates to also add results that are more recent. Adding the plus-one will add another social component.

“Injecting a social layer into the algorithmic search is key to relevance,” said Dave Karnstedt, CEO of Efficient Frontier. “Do a search on ‘DVD player’ today now you will see 35,000 results in less than 3 milliseconds. It’s meaningless, but if you can sort through those by people who have given a social signal and those rise to the top, I think that can only enhance the user experience.”

But the biggest move here may not be about search at all, but about taking another swing at the social networking business — and at Facebook itself. The first time users clicks on a plus-one button, they will be prompted to create a Google profile, as well as be given the opportunity to adjust privacy settings.

Microsoft’s Bing integrated Facebook “likes” into search results late last year but not into its actual algorithm, meaning a “like” has no affect on search rankings. Google has no immediate plans to add Facebook connections to the system, partly because they don’t have the right to do so. “It would depend on whether that data were available,” Mr. Cutts said.

“Its important for Google to bring in social influence into search results to prevent the social web from becoming a parallel universe,” said Bryan Wiener, CEO of 360i, a unit of Dentsu. “I do think they need to have the Facebook ‘likes’ in there because you’re going to have two webs, the social web and the open web.”

In addition, Google will allow publishers to add the plus-one button, so users can vote on content outside of search, and ultimately improve the ranking of that content in organic search results. Google has by far the largest publisher network, including websites that use DoubleClick for ad serving or Google’s ad exchange, so penetration of the plus-one will be immediate and comprehensive.

The question is whether Google can keep bad actors from gaming the plus-one system for fun or for profit. Google, to its credit, has a lot of experience filtering out attempts to game its algorithms. “The worst case is you just ignore them,” Mr. Cutts said, adding that more complexity makes that more difficult. “If you give somebody five signals — and give them five more — it can actually get harder for spammers.”

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Ten Reasons Why Real Estate Professionals will benefit from Social Media | RealtyGo_blog

Doesn’t the image depict the way real estate is headed in our near future, if not already a necessity for most Agents to survive today when working with tech savvy clients, banks and/or any third party entities requiring analytics or reporting tools to reveal consumer patterns, as well to prove a real estates agents prior success in this tough market.

There are lots and lots of Real Estate Professionals that still aren’t quite convinced though when it comes to Social Media especially when it applies to them. It could even be as simple as the “Fear of the Unknown”. Its easier to dismiss new practices and stick to old traditions, but what if you could keep your traditions of real people networking in your community, which is still a very valuable trait to have, and update your online presence with out doing anything different then your use to. Would you take advantage of it. RealtyGo offers agents, brokers, real estate professionals, Vacation home owners and for sale by owner the ability to offer potential buyers, renters, investors and new customers easy engagement tools using modern day technology. Your Smartphone is a good example, place RealtyGo’s QR Codes anywhere you want to offer consumers information about your real estate listing(s) (flyer box, rider sign, real estate signs, print ads, digital ad space, like craigslist, zillow, Realtor.com) and allow the end user to choose their method of contacting you. This doesn’t mean you have to take you phone number off your signage or change anything your currently doing, RealtyGo  just makes it easier for you to interact and communicate, update, showoff, edit and promote your real estate listings and business using Mobile phones and the World Wide Web. Don’t think for a moment that by not offering consumers the means to get immediate information that you are some how helping your business, end users can google anything and find all the information they like about any real estate listing by searching online. It may be better for you and your clients if you show consumers information you want them to see at first look,like updated photos, remodels that have been done, positive information, because if you leave it up to the end user to go searching out in the wild wild west, we call the internet for information on your real estate, they may find old, non relevant information, old pictures, a previous owner or lister and even get distracted along the way and forget about your real estate listing all together. Make it easy for potential buyers to get immediate information and communicate with you, auto schedule appointments and leave notes about your property, which they can later review and use as a point of reference when making a decision to move forward.

Ten Reasons Why Real Estate Professionals will benefit from Social Media:

  1. Brand Exposure (Facebook 500+ million users, Twitter 300+ million users, Linkedin 80+ million users etc)
  2. Your Competition is already there and has a following that you have to catch up to!
  3. This is how your potential clients find information about Real Estate (buying, selling etc)
  4. There are conversations being had about your Brand and Industry that you NEED to respond to!
  5. Gives consumers and other professionals a better idea of WHO they are dealing with – Transparency!
  6. You will benefit from the Community style flow of information and find out things you otherwise wouldn’t have, enabling you to update your business model. I mean lets face it, every great company has to eventually make changes to keep up with new trends, especially since were in a Global market these days, buyers from outside the U.S. daily.
  7. You will be an Industry Leader – Not Follower!  Early adopters of dynamic practices are winning big!
  8. You will find NEW ways to conduct and streamline your business!  Growing a client base and professional Network, not only traditionally within your immediate community, but also abroad through the world wide web.
  9. You can call yourself the “Neighborhood Expert” and your profiles,articles and new methodology will support that claim!
  10. Technology and Business Models are evolving and so must you!  Lastly everyone else is doing it and you don’t want to be the one guy or gal NOT doing it!

RealtyGo makes it easy to use, apply, utalize and share your mobile real estate listings and business with advanced technology like QR Codes, SMS/MMS Text messaging, GPS and more.

RealtyGo – Your Real Estate Listings Best Friend!

Global Real Estate Market

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Real Estate Professionals and everyone promoting real estate, if you have a sub par website, and your sending new clients to it….

Real Estate Professionals and anyone promoting real estate, if you have a sub par website, and your sending new customers to it to get to know more about you; Not the best plan in our highly evolving technological world. Take Apple for example. What did they do, they made technology cool, fun and easy to use. RealtyGo offers you a Mobile presence while using all the benefits of the internet for SEO (search engine optimization) within large engines like Google,YouTube,Yahoo and Bing. Get you listings mobile, be able to quickly forward your listing or real estate investment to potential investors, buyers, sellers and other real estate professional by using RealtyGo. We do all the heavy lifting, continuously update, modify and introduce new technology behind the scenes while you get to enjoy easy to use services and a friendly UI-user interface. Consumers will also notice how efficient your real estate business is, while selecting their preferred channel of communication when contacting you about your real estate promotion, listing and/or business. Stop up to where the Pro’s are; Professional grade real estate using RealtyGo, QR Codes,GPS, SMS/MMS Text message Mobile gateway technology, auto scheduling/appointments and more!

RealtyGo -Mobile Communication that Accelerates your Business!

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10 important documents you need to prepare, when buying or selling a home | RealtyGo_blog

Home buyers and -sellers alike often burst with anticipatory irritation at the mere thought of  paperwork their expected to complete in order to satisfy a transaction, above and beyond the basic loan application, contract, disclosures and closing docs. These little nuisances start way in advance; it’s as though, before they even start visiting open houses, buyers begin to visualize – and dread – spending hours upon hours searching through records and old files, seeking forgotten and/or boxed up documents.

The experience of obtaining a home loan is usually dreaded by most, – there are oodles of hoops through which to jump and, occasionally, the loan underwriter requests something sort of bizarre. But more commonly, there’s a pretty finite universe of documents you’ll really need to scrounge up to get your home bought – or sold. however their is a lighter side, since half the home buyers in the nation last year were first time home buyers they haven’t yet experienced such document digging or hustle and bustle of getting all their proper paper work together. So here is a few things to keep you, as their Agent/Broker on your feet, and your clients prepared for getting their desired real estate transaction closed.

  1. ID (e.g., driver’s license, state-issued ID, passport).  Who must produce it?  Buyers and sellers.  Why?  Lender wants to know that you are who you say you are, buyers, and the title insurance company wants to make sure, sellers, that you actually have the right to sell the home.  Funny enough, this commonly goes unrequested until you get to the closing table, when the notary requests to see it before signing, but some mortgage brokers and even some real estate brokers and agents may ask to see it earlier on.
  2. Paycheck Stubs.  Who must produce them?  Any buyer financing their purchase with a mortgage.  Sellers, usually only will need to in the case of a short sale.  Why? Buyers’ purchase price ranges are determined, in part, by their income. And short sellers have to prove an economic hardship.
  3. Two months’ bank account statements. Who must produce them?  Buyers getting financing; sellers selling short. Why? Buyers’ lenders now require proof of regular income and proof that the down payment money is your own.  Short sellers?  It’s all about the hardship.
  4. Two years’ W-2 forms or tax returns. Who must produce them?  Mortgage-seeking buyers and short selling sellers. Why? Banks want to see a stable, long-term income. They also limit you to claiming as income the amount of which you pay taxes (attn: all business owners!). And in short sales, again, they want documentation of every single facet of your finances.
  5. Updated everything! Who must produce it? Buyer/mortgage applicants. Why? Because things change, and because the time period between the first loan application and closing can be many months – even years! – in today’s market. During the time between contract and closing it’s not at all unusual for underwriters to demand buyers produce updated mortgage statements, checks stubs, and such – and its quite common for them to call your office the day before closing to request a last minute verification of employment! So advise your constituents not to go out and apply for that furniture loan new line of credit, in celebration of their new home, until after all the papers have been signed, sealed and delivered and title has handed over the keys.
  6. Quitclaim deed. Who must produce it?  Married buyers purchasing homes they plan to own as separate property.  Married sellers selling homes that they own separately, or joint owners selling their interests separately.  Why? With the Quitclaim Deed, the other spouse or owner signs any and all interests they even might have had in the property over to the selling owner, making it possible for the title insurer to guarantee clean, undisputed title will be transferred at the time of sale.
  7. Divorce decree.  Who must produce it? Buyers and sellers who need to document their solo status or the property-splitting terms of their divorce. Why? Again, to ensure that the seller has the right to sell.  Recently single buyers might need to prove that they shouldn’t be held accountable for their ex’s separate debts or credit report dings.
  8. Gift letters.  Who must produce them? Buyers using gift money toward their down payment. Why? The bank wants to be sure the gift came from a relative, and is their own money to give.  They also want the relative to confirm in writing that it’s a gift, not a loan – a loan would need to be factored into your debt to income ratio, which generally affects your interest rate.
  9. Compliance certificates. Who must produce them? Usually sellers, but sometimes buyers, by contract. Why? Some local governments require various condition requirements be met before the property is transferred, like some cities which require a sewer line be video scoped and repaired, cities which require a checklist of items to be met before a certificate of occupancy will be issued (usually relevant to brand new and  older homes, the latter of which are often subject to lead paint concerns) and energy conservation ordinances which require low-flow toilets and shower heads to be installed. Ask a real estate professional for advice about which, if any, such ordinances apply in your area.
  10. Mortgage statements. Who must produce them?  Any seller with a mortgage. Why? the escrow holder or title company will need to use them to order payoff demands from any mortgage holder who has to get paid before the property’s title can be transferred.

By no means is this an exhaustive list.  Agents: what documents do you see buyers and sellers struggle to produce during their home buying transactions? If we have left out some common documents that you have been seeing lately, please jot down a few words below to let others know. Thanks for Reading.

RealtyGo – Your Real Estate Listings Best Friend!

 

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QR Code – YouTube Video Contest. Send us your favorite video, showing off your RealtyGo QR code/TAG being used in your real estate business..

Free QR Code_MobileURL_Micro-Mobile-Website for life from RealtyGo. We are giving away 100 free QR Codes and all the services to 100 lucky winners!

QR Code_YouTube Video contest from RealtyGo. Send us your favorite YouYube video/link URL showing how you or your company uses QR Codes for your real estate listings/business. Win a Free QR Code_MobileURL_Micro-Mobile-Website for LIfe. RealtyGo is giving away 100 Free QR Codes including all the services, SEO, technology, micro website, auto scheduler and more to each winner.  Send us your YouTube Video and we will post it on our RealtyGo YouTube page, asking others to vote for the top 100 videos. The top 100 videos with the most votes at the end of the contest will receive one free QR Code for life.

Please be creative and have fun with the videos. Your Videos will run on our YouTube Channel offering free advertising for your and your real estate business. Please have some type of real estate related business video in order to be considered for the contest. Please also use a RealtyGo QR Code / MobileURL in your video. There is no purchase necessary, visit at Twitter and choose ‘ follow’ us for your free 45 day trial using RealtyGo and the most unique and dynamic QR Code system available. Once you follow us on Twitter you will receive an Auto direct message thanking you for following, with a link and the free 45 day trial. Please remember there is no purchase necessary and you will not be charged. Good luck and we look forward to seeing your QR Real Estate Videos.

Please email your questions and/or Video link to info@realtygo.co

RealtyGo – Your Real Estate Listings Best Friend!

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QR Code Voting | Celebrity | Big Head Competition for the most tech savvy fans..

 

QR Codes_Celebrities_Voting.. 

Big Head contest with celebrities_QR Codes_voting

 

Interesting type of creative marketing, so we thought we would share!

With a snap of a camera, smart phone users can now give their favorite celebrity a big head, thanks to JumpScan, an all-in-one, custom QR code generator. The Big Head Project, an effort to showcase QR technology, features the top Twitter celebrities based on the number of followers, including Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah, Justin Bieber, Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga, President Obama, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift.

Any web-enabled smart phone with a QR reader can scan the QR code under their favorite celebrity to cast a vote. Each vote inflates the head and scores a point. The celebrity with the most votes will have the most tech-savvy fans and win the coveted “Big Head” award.

They should consider putting howard stern in the mix, im sure he would receive a lot of votes..?

The idea behind the contest is demonstrate the physical-to-virtual capability of QR codes. “They work great for creating interaction between the offline and online worlds,” according to JumpScan co-founder Mike McKearin. “We’re seeing them used for everything from instant mobile purchasing, movie information and streaming video to real estate signage and scavenger hunts.” Get your free QR Code Contact at Scantac.com and start promoting your Scantac

QR (quick response) codes originated in Japan in the mid 90s and surged in popularity in the U.S. with the recent increase in smart phones, such as the Apple iPhone and Google’s Droid, as well as the move to high speed 3G and 4G networks on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

“We’re seeing a tremendous interest from brands and marketers looking to capture, connect and interact with consumers on the go,” states Phil Davis, fellow JumpScan co-founder. QR codes have shown up in Best Buy, Target and other large retailers beginning last year, familiarizing a growing number of shoppers to the curious looking black and white boxes. “Once more people are using smart phones with QR scanners, the ease of scanning codes will simplify the process, making it more intuitive,” Davis predicts.

“We’ll be making an announcement in the next couple of weeks about which celeb has the most smart phone fans,” Davis continues. “I know the President is a big Blackberry fan, but I wouldn’t count out Ellen’s base.” If she wins, we’ll even have her do a victory dance.”

 

QR Codes Give Twitter Celebrities a Big Head.

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Best Buy gets in the “mood” with QR Codes…

Best Buy’s use of QR Codes has become a benchmark for other retailers and their latest experiment is no exception. Posters (image below) have gone up at Best Buy Headquarters to test the viability of mood sampling. The relevant QR Code when scanned inputs a single value ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and a running total of […] The strange thing about this add is the thumbs up is on the left, if you right handed, which a majority of people are, its seems natural to want to scan the QR code on the right, which i will admit i almost did by accident. Enjoy!

This month Best Buy added QR codes to the fact tags in all their U.S. retail stores, making them the first national retailer in the US to embrace their shopper’s desire to use mobile devices during their shopping trips. This is the latest in a series of savvy moves by the retail giant to pioneer the integration of social networks and mobile marketing with their brick- and-mortar retail experience.  According to an InsightExpress study, 82% of consumers already use mobile phones during their shopping trips, so it’s critical that retailers understand and embrace this new shopping behavior.

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