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Realtors Employ RSS Feeds to Sell Homes

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 used.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 home-buyers attention.

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" href="http://www.yourdomain.com/rss.xml"]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 at http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm . 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 Estate industry.


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 NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.