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Realtors and RSS
Realtors Employing RSS Feeds to Sell
By S. Housley
Daily more and more realtors are turning
to RSS as a tool to market homes for sale. The growing
RSS phenomenon in the realty market makes perfect sense.
Unlike email RSS feeds have a 100% delivery rate. In
addition the costs involved in creating and managing
an RSS feed are insignificant when compared to the print
advertising Realtors spend on each week. Imagine the
amount spent each week to promote various properties
in circulars and weekly newspapers, compared to the
costs associated with updating and managing an RSS feed.
How it Works:
1. Create Specific Feeds.
Create RSS feeds of homes for sale in a specific
town or zip code. Another consideration is to create
an RSS feed based on the home cost or create a feed
of scheduled Open Houses in a specific region. RSS feeds
can be created manually using a text editor. A step
by step guide is available at http://www.make-rss-feeds.com
or software specifically for RSS feed creation can be
The realtor publishing the RSS feed controls
what information is syndicated in the RSS feed, so ultimately
it is the realtor's decision as to whether to include
teaser copy or full articles. Generally most Realtors
use copy similar to those in print ads to attract the
Once you have constructed an RSS feed, you will need
to transfer the feed to your server. This can be done
using a standard FTP client (if it is not built into
the feed creation software). The feed is usually placed
in the domain's root directory like this: http://www.mydomain.com/nameoffeed.xml
or a subdirectory like this http://www.mydomain.com/rss/nameoffeed.xml.
2. Promote the Feed.
Once you have an RSS feed you will need to promote
the feed on the realty company website, submit the feed
to the numerous RSS feed directories and tell customers
about the availability of the RSS feeds.
In order to signal to website visitors that an RSS feed
containing content related to the website is available,
include a colorful graphic on the website. Realtors
can customize RSS feed buttons by selecting the text
on the button and the color scheme of the button. Once
the color and text is entered, a custom graphic is instantly
created. Webmasters can easily match the style of the
RSS button to a website's theme.
Create custom RSS buttons - http://www.feedforall.com/public/rss-graphic-tool.htm
Many website visitors who have RSS readers/aggregators
installed will automatically detect an RSS feed on the
website if you add a small portion of text to the header
field of your web page. Use the following format to
assist RSS readers in auto-detecting the location of
the RSS feed.
[link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS"
Replace the brackets  with less than
and greater then symbols <> and replace http://www.yourdomain.com/rss.xml
with the URL to the RSS feed.
In order to increase exposure of a realty RSS feed,
Realtors should submit the feeds to RSS search engines
and directories. This can be done manually. Just as
you would submit the URL of a website or web page to
a search engine, or you can use software to automate
the process. There is a large list of RSS directories
. If you prefer to automate the submission process,
consider evaluating RSS Submit available from: http://www.dummysoftware.com/rsssubmit.html
3. Update the Feed.
Update the RSS feed(s) daily or weekly by adding
a new feed item, as new properties are made available.
Repost feed items for any properties that have experienced
a price change.
4. RSS Feed Tips.
In order to maximize the benefit of marketing using
RSS be sure to include the realty company phone number
or link to the website in the description of the feed,
so that any prospective buyers will call the appropriate
office to receive additional details, or schedule a
viewing. Include images of the home in the RSS feed's
description, so that the property will attract the viewer
visually. Highlight different homes each week or emphasize
different property features each time a property is
listed. It is also suggested that Realtors communicate
success stories by letting prospective buyers know when
homes are under-contract but still on the market, or
communicate when properties are sold and no longer available.
The realty market will benefit from RSS
as a technology as it is a natural fit for the Real
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for
a wireless text messaging software company.
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