Description: is managed by Don Reedy, an agent with Real Living Lifestyles who covers Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista and Fallbrook.

Testimonial: What do you get when you introduce a great idea to a very good real estate agent? The answer depends, of course, on whether the real estate agent is wise enough to put the great idea to work in his or her practice. That’s what happened to me recently when after years of blogging and internet experience I found myself pretty darn happy with myself, and not so very pleased with the results I was obtaining. Results, by the way, means how many clients actually give me good contact information, want to be informed by the data I’m providing, and love the speed and accuracy of the information I’m giving them. Results equal ROI….the most important reason to invest either time or money in a way of doing business.

The people at Virtual Results are a no nonsense group of experts aptly named because at the core of their business is the idea that SEO, blogging, social media and technology bells and whistles aren’t worth much if they aren’t producing results…real quantifiable results. And so when I decided to switch my marketing over to Virtual Results I committed myself to swallowing my ego and switching to a system that had my bottom line as its top priority.

And the results aren’t really “virtual.” They’re real. Not only are people finding me, reading me, and being informed by me, but most importantly my Virtual Results site gives them what they’re looking for. A well reasoned SEO approach provides my potential clients with every reason to stay on my site, linger a bit longer to educate themselves, and ultimately to register and put their trust in my experience and expertise. Like they say on the Golf Channel….”these guys are good.”

What is Posterous and How is It Useful to a Real Estate Agent?

As some of you may know, we sell custom posterous skins as part of our social media branding packages. We’ve been asked several times recently what Posterous is, and why it’s useful to a real estate agent — so we wanted to cover that topic here so we have a nice concise blog post to send future agents or brokers who ask us.

Q: What is Posterous?

A: Posterous is a blogging platform on the surface, but in my opinion, it’s more of a syndication platform than a blog since it’s best feature is updating your various social media accounts from a familiar interface that you already understand — your email inbox. For example, you can take a photo from your iPhone, attach it to an email and send it to, and that will instantly post the photo to both your Twitter and Facebook accounts with a link back to your posterous blog.

Q: How is It Useful to Real Estate Agents?

A: Two reasons: ease of use and conversion. First, Posterous simplifies social media by enabling you to control the posting process from your inbox – no apps required. Second, Posterous can help with conversion. Websites are great at conversion, but attracting traffic is hard. Social media is just the opposite — it’s easy to drive traffic via social media, but conversion is hard. A custom posterous skin aims to bridge that gap by bringing your social media traffic to a place that contains conversion tools. Two example skins are Ines’ Miamism posterous skin and the Doug Heddings’ TrueGotham skin. You’ll notice that the posterous skins look just like their respective websites with all the appropriate calls to action to convert traffic to leads. So whenever someone sees a photo, status update, link, etc on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, or any other social media channel and clicks through to the source – they land on a page WITH conversion tools built in.

If you want to learn and implement a cohesive social media strategy that can be executed primarily from your Smart phone using Posterous, please head over to Jim’s other company, YouReachMedia, and ask them about the services they offer.

Questions? Leave them in the comments.

Adding School Data via to Your Predesigned Website that Works

We all know school information is one of the critical pieces of information that buyers are researching during the home buying process, so it’s only natural to have relevant school information accessible directly from your real estate website.

Want to add school information to the community pages of your Predesigned Website that Works? It’s simple to pull in school data from using the Local Market Explorer plugin (one of the available plugins on our platform).

Here’s how:

  • Request that we activate the Local Market Explorer plugin on your site (by submitting a request in the Work Requests portion of the Geek Estate forum)
  • Navigate to the editor of one of your community pages, or any page of post you want to insert school data into
  • Click the Local Market Explorer icon in your visual editor (screenshot)
  • Configure the module correctly by entering module you want (schools) and city and state (or ZIP) that you want to pull into the current page (screenshot)
  • Click INSERT

The finished result will look something like this (from Kurt Maier’s Del Mar page):

How Quickly Will a New Domain Name Rank?

When it comes to search engine optimization, domain name age is certainly one of the factors that goes into how well a website ranks. If you have a domain that’s been around for a decade, it’ll be much easier to get that website ranking for your keyword than it would be with a domain name that was recently registered and has never had an actual website with content on it. We recently received a question from a client with one of our amazing predesigns mentioning the fact that they have been blogging actively for awhile, but their site is still no where near the first page of Google’s rankings. The domain name for this specific client was brand new as of about a month ago.

First of all, talking about “Google rankings” by itself is extremely vague and is useless for the most part, as ranking highly for “Seattle real estate” is a totally different scenario than ranking well for an obscure keyword such as “small teapot with flower cover made in Madison, WI”.

Unfortunately, as with most things in the SEO world, there is no simple answer as to how long it will take a domain name to rank highly. It depends on how competitive a keyword you are targeting, and how many links you end up building back to your domain. There are thousands upon thousands too many variables at play to give a blanket response that fits every scenario.

So, I think it’s clear there’s no magic pill to bypass the Google sandbox (damn, I know). Your best bet is to keep pumping out great content, and build a bunch of backlinks back to your domain (ideally with great anchor text). If you really want to speed up the process of ranking highly for your keyword, we recommend paying an expert to evaluate the difficulty, cost and to develop a strategic plan rather than just shooting in the dark and hoping a bunch of content takes you to the top of the search engines for your desired keywords.

I hope this helps a little bit at least…

Sales FAQ: Future Website Updates & Changes – How Does that Work?

How do future website updates and changes work on the predesigned websites that work platform?

This is one question we’ve been asked by several agents/brokers over the last week so I wanted to address it here (remember, every question you get asked more than 3 times should be a blog post).

First of all, “updates” and “changes” are two very different things. Part of what you get with your monthly hosting plan is instant access to the improvements we make on the platform – which we’ll call “updates”. When we add new home page design options, page layouts, plugins, and onsite SEO – you have instant access to those new features.

“Changes” to your website are a little different. The short answer to the how do changes work question is “it depends”. I know, not exactly the simple answer you wanted – but website changes can range anywhere from editing a single word on a single page (easy) to changing the entire design layout to support a new search box (not easy). Some changes you can do yourself, others we’ll have to do, and some cannot be done at all on the predesigned platform. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common changes and which category they fall under:

Changes Done by You:

  • Adding or removing content – posts, pages, communities, associates, listings, etc
  • Editing content already published on the site
  • Changing the widgets on your sidebar (but remember – if a widget will not help traffic or conversion, don’t add it)
  • Changing site settings from your WordPress dashboard
  • Adding Google Analytics tracking
  • Verification of Google Apps

Changes Done by Us (free):

  • Activating one of our approved plugins
  • Adding the embed code for a script widget such as Market Snapshot or Market Mapper to a page or sidebar widget
  • Flipping the switch to show “featured communities” instead of your blog on the bottom of the home page. If you’re wondering what the featured communities home page component looks like, you can take a look at Marianne Whyte’s website.

Changes Done by Us (paid):

  • Redesigning the header

Changes not possible on the Predesigned Platform:

  • Editing CSS/PHP code
  • Placing special scripts on your home page
  • Changing the layout of your site outside of the framework available (such as changing from 1 to 2 sidebars, the size of the header, etc)
  • Changing the search criteria included on our custom search boxes
  • Adding meta tags to the home page to verify external services (with exception of Google Apps verification)

Hope that helps explain this topic. If you have specifics not covered here, leave a comment please. And if you have other questions about our Predesigned Websites that Work, let us know.

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