Sales FAQ: That "Ownership" Thing…

We’ve received a few questions recently from potential clients asking about the “ownership” of a Virtual Results website. The concern is that they will be tied to a hosting provider and fall prey to monthly fees for eternity. Luckily, and purposely, that’s not the case with Virtual Results. We want clients that WANT to be on our platform..not clients tied to monthly contracts or held hostage by inaccessibility to their data.

Here is a layout of the “ownership” of your website so everyone is 100% clear (the answers vary slightly between a full custom and a predesigned):

  1. The Domain Name: You own
  2. Content: You own all the content you put into the site
  3. The design: Full custom: You own. Predesigned: We own.
  4. The WordPress instance: Full custom: You own. Predesigned: We own.

In terms of SEO, your domain and your content are your long term assets. Whether you have a full custom or a predesigned, you never have to worry about losing either one of those. As you likely know, WordPress.org is an open source platform. If you ever want to move to another host from one of our predesigned sites, you can export/import your content using standard WordPress functionality and be on your way. Sure, you will have to pay someone for a new design, but the reason we can offer our predesigns at such affordable rates is because there is shared maintenance and design between sites. If you are 100% committed to “owning” your design and the actual underlying WordPress instance, you’ll need to go with a full custom.

Keep in mind that, in order for your website to convert traffic to leads, it needs to have an IDX and other conversion tools. 60-70% of consumers that end up on an agent/broker site are looking for listings. If you don’t give them that functionality? They will bounce and never come back. Regardless of what website provider you work with or even if you build your site yourself (check the ROI before undertaking that), you will have a monthly hosting bill. We know the sum of the parts of our monthly packages purchased separately will be more expensive than buying them as a package from us — and in the process, you get access to our expertise. We think that’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Want to discuss further? Give us a call. 888-99-RESULTS

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Client Q&A: Resolving 404s and Pagination on Landing Pages

We pride ourselves on constantly making our product better. Inevitably, there are a few bumps in the road during the process of making that happen. Over the past two days, some of our predesigned clients have noticed 404 errors for some of their pages and for that myself and the rest of the VR team apologize.

When you are writing hundreds or thousands of lines of code every week like we do, you have to ensure each and every line play nicely with each other. The origin of this 404 issue was example of an internal conflict within our code. As soon as this conflict was uncovered we went back to try and resolve the matter. As a result we’ve done some work over the past few days to improve the pagination on our landing pages for communities, listings, testimonials, videos, and associates to ensure that landing pages work correctly regardless of whether there are 3 items or 60. As current clients know, all of our predesigned websites that work include custom post types for each of those components of your website.

That said, we know have great code and the issue is working correctly — but some of you may still be seeing 404 errors on your individual community pages.

Steps to resolve the 404 and pagination issue (it’s not hard, but there are a few steps):

1. Delete the following “pages”: listings, testimonials, videos, associates, and videos. This can be done by navigating to your pages list, hovering over those pages, and clicking “Trash” on each one of them.

Picture 1
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2. Navigate to your custom menu, and make the following changes:

  • Delete communities – replace with a custom link with a link URL of “/communities/” and text “Communities”
  • Delete testimonials – replace with a custom link with a link URL of “/testimonials/” and text “Testimonials”
  • Delete listings – replace with a custom link with a link URL of “/listings/” and text “Listings”

If you’ve added videos or associates pages to the menu (we don’t put them in as a default when setting up), you need to replace those with custom links in the menu as well.

Menus 2039 Lori Bee 2014 WordPress
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3. Navigate to your permalinks section of your settings, and click “save changes” (I would not recommend changing the permalink structure, but you can if you wish)

Permalink Settings 2039 Housing Market San Diego | Real Estate in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Fallbrook|| 2014 WordPress
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Note that we’ve also updated our documentation in our help center to reflect this.

If you need help resolving this issue, shoot us an email at support@virtualresults.net or post a note in the Geek Estate forum (you need to be logged in to Geek Estate to access that link) and we’ll take care of it for you.

"That's Why I Have You Guys"

I exchanged emails with a client of ours a week or so ago that ended with a reply of “That’s Why I Have You Guys”.

The email thread started with a request to tweak the home page by adding an additional graphic to the sidebar. It may come as a surprise, but it wasn’t because I completed his request in a timely fashion — I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t complete the initial request at all.

I know for a fact most website vendors would have just completed the request without a second thought (and probably taken awhile to do so). But we care too much about our clients to let them make preventable mistakes. Blindly abiding by the client request would not have helped increase conversion or traffic on our clients’ site — so we strongly advised our client not to do it. And they listened..as a result, they didn’t add unneeded complexity to their home page that would have decreased their conversion.

Internet marketing is not rocket science; there are tried and tested methods of turning online traffic into real, tangible business. Knowing what to do is great, but knowing what not to do is equally as valuable.

Our business is conversion. Traffic. SEO. Online marketing as a whole.

Yours is selling real estate.

Mix them together? You have a winner. Virtual Results helps you do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t…

Want to join our network? Get in touch with us.

How to Add Drop Downs to Your Navigation Menu

For those who aren’t extremely familiar with the WordPress menu system, I wanted to detail how to add drop down options to your primary navigation menu on your predesigned website that works.

I chose to use Ric and Pamela Dizon (who serve the La Palma community with LaPalmaHomeFinder411.com) as an example because Ric has already put drop downs in place on his own.

Step 1: Navigate to Menus portion of your dashboard underneath Appearance.

Dashboard 2039 Ric & Pamela Dizon 2014 WordPress
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Step 2: Add the new menu pages or custom links you want to your “MainNav” menu.

Menus 2039 Ric & Pamela Dizon 2014 WordPress
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Step 3: Indent the options you want to be drop downs by clicking & holding one of the grey bars and dragging it in underneath its intended parent navigation option.

Dock
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Step 4: Click “Save Menu”

Menus 2039 Ric & Pamela Dizon 2014 WordPress
Uploaded with Skitch!

Once example use for drop down menus is to place separate links for your actives and solds underneath your “listings” navigation button. If you wish to link to a page with JUST your actives, or JUST your solds, the following URL structures will work:

  • solds – http://yourdomain.com/listings/sold/
  • actives – http://yourdomain.com/listings/sold/

Hope this helps clarify the issue of how to use your navigation menu. If not, leave your questions in the comments.