Product Updates is a regular Dojo announcement that keeps you in the loop with everything new at RealtyNinja by highlighting our most recent product improvements. Here’s a summary of everything we've released lately.
There’s an old Japanese proverb that says “beginning is easy, continuing is hard”.
It goes without saying that the past 18 months have been unique in the world of real estate (and the world at large) but if there’s one philosophy that has worked well for us at RealtyNinja, it’s that we show up and improve things a little bit each day, regardless of what’s happening around us.
Since launching RealtyNinja over 10 years ago, we’ve slowly built up our business and real estate website platform to where it is today. Our work is never done, but we believe this iterative approach makes solving big, complex problems much easier and amounts to surprising results over time.
Today we’d love to share with you a few of the things that we’ve launched since our last Product Updates post in November 2020, as well as highlight a couple awesome customers and remind you about the great resources available to help you grow your real estate business. So grab a coffee and let’s get into it!
Recent focus on Real Estate Teams, Offices & Brokerages
In the early days of RealtyNinja we would give in-person presentations (remember those?) at real estate offices all over Vancouver. Word-of-mouth and building relationships with agents during Monday morning meetings was basically our only form of marketing for many years.
This close interaction with agents shaped the early development roadmap of RealtyNinja. On one hand it was great because it allowed us to listen to our customers and iterated quickly based on their feedback, but it also steered us towards building functionality aimed at individual agents rather than larger teams, offices and brokerages, which have their own unique set of website requirements.
Over the past few months we’ve put an emphasis on developing some of those missing pieces (more on this later) and are also offering:
Free website subscriptions for qualifying Canadian real estate brokerages, and 15% off subscriptions to all agents that are in those offices.
While our competition charges a heavy premium for brokerage websites (and adding multiple agents to your site) we’re going the complete opposite route and making them free for qualifying brokerages. We firmly believe that if we can make a great impression on real estate offices then we’ll naturally attract more agents in those offices.
Do us a favour and load up your brokerage website in a new tab. Take a good look at it and if it doesn’t make you say wow like Owen Wilson, send this link https://get.realtyninja.com/brokerage-deal to your managing broker and tell them to take advantage of this crazy deal before we come to our senses.
Not convinced? Check out these awesome RE/MAX websites our team created recently:
Now that you’re thoroughly impressed, let’s dive into a few of the new brokerage/office/team features we’ve launched recently:
🔥 Show the listing agents contact information on a listing and send them a copy of leads generated from their own listings.
Find this under “settings > site contact info” in the backend of your RealtyNinja website.
🔥 The ability to set an MLS® search widget to only show listings from a specific office
This is in the widget options for any MLS® search widget on your site. Great for brokerage websites with multiple offices as it allows you to have multiple MLS® search widgets that are each filtered to a different office.
🔥 Headshot image sizing and resolution improved on the agents widget
Photos of your team are now optimized for retina displays and automatically load the correct version of the image depending on the user’s device and screen size.
🔥 Categorize agents into custom groups
You can now create custom agent groups and set agent widgets to only display members from a particular group. This is once again great for brokerages that have multiple offices. As a bonus, you can now show multiple agent widgets on the same page which opens up all sorts of design possibilities.
You can also set an agent to “inactive” if they’re on temporary leave, so that you can quickly add them back when they return.
🔥 Drag-and-drop to sort agents
Easily organize the agents on your team by dragging and dropping their order in the backend of your website. You’re no longer stuck to just alphabetical ordering.
Other notable features & updates💡
Use the links below to jump to a specific update to read more – OR – keep scrolling to learn about everything else!
- DDF® improvements and roadmap
- Lead email bounce reminders
- Better Open Graph support for sharing links on social media
- Option to not pre-select areas on MLS® search widgets
- Set default sorting on listings widgets
- Additional text formatting buttons when editing listings and buildings
- Performance enhancements, small features, security patches, bug fixes and other behind-the-scenes stuff
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) has announced that they’re committed to improving the technology behind DDF®. This is great news for agents that are using DDF® to power the MLS® functionality of their RealtyNinja website.
We’ve spent a bit of time rewiring parts of our DDF® integration with CREA, and are looking forward to major improvements in the coming months. One of the small improvements you may have noticed is that the CREA disclaimer and required logos are less intrusive now.
You will also notice that we’ve reduced the number of bogus subareas as well as integrated the newly released geocoding data from CREA so your listings are mapped more accurately.
Stay tuned for more updates on the DDF® improvement front.
Leads are often the lifeblood of many real estate agents and ensuring lead emails are delivered is key. A disruption can cause your lead emails to bounce and you may not even be aware of it in some cases, that’s why we’ve installed a monitoring system to check for lead emails that were sent to you but bounced back (undelivered) so that we can inform you about it as soon as you log into your website.
You know when you share a listing, page or blog post from your website to Facebook or Twitter and it shows a little preview? We made that better. We used to leave a lot of the legwork up to the social media platform to determine what to display and it would often lead to the wrong image or something wonky happening. We now give very specific instructions on what to show when you share on social media. It’s even smart and shares the right elements depending on if it’s a listing, a blog post or a regular page. Cool!
If you’ve restricted your MLS® search to a particular set of areas, and made it so people cannot search outside of those areas, then you can now set a new option that will make it so that areas are not pre-selected on page load (holy confusing sentence batman!). It’s a small feature but we had a lot of requests for it. Find it under the widget options on any MLS® search widget.
Up until recently, the order of listings in the “listings widget” (not the mls search widget) was dependent on the order you set in the backend of your website (by dragging listings up and down in the list). Now however, you can override that order on a specific widget with this new setting.
This is great for people that have a ton of listings showing in their listings widget and don’t want to manually reorder them all. For example you could sort your sold listings by price with just one setting, as opposed to by the sold date which is the default order in the backend.
The new option is on all of your listing widgets (in widget options).
We’ve added a few handy formatting buttons to the text editor when you’re editing listing and building descriptions in the backend of your site.
🛠️ Performance enhancements, small features, security patches, bug fixes and other behind-the-scenes stuff
There’s a lot that happens under the hood of your RealtyNinja site, and to keep the engines running smoothly our team is constantly tinkering. Here are just a few of the items we’ve launched recently that generally make things better and pave the way for big new features and more exciting innovation in the future.
- Comprehensive development testing suite – we did a massive deep dive into our quality assurance systems and processes to make sure nothing breaks (or as little as possible…) when we add new features and launch updates to the platform
- Major reductions in file sizes and load time for listing detail pages on DDF®, Edmonton and Viva sites
- New option to display actual email address in header/quick contact widget instead of word “email”
- Upgraded Bootstrap version – the front-end website framework we use on our Katana sites got upgraded to a newer version
- Made all listing photo galleries load optimized/resized thumbnails
- Better Matterport embed automatic resizing
- Added lot size and strata fee on RAE sites
- Faster Google Fonts with Preconnect
- Font Awesome cleanup
- Removed URL from default META title tag
- Increased media library paging
- Hide editor controls on mouse-out to reduce accidental clicks
- 🐜 Bug fix for sold listings on VOW-enabled sites: MLS® search price slider was using list price instead of sold price
- 🐜 Bug fix: Manual image resizing aspect ratio issues
- 🐜 Bug fix: Better filtering of HTML on manual listing descriptions
- 🐜 Bug fix: Duplicate favicon request on sites that didn’t have one set
- 🐜 Bug fix: Blog post editor removing custom link classes
- 🐜 Bug fix: Image gallery thumbnails loading on multiple lines (if more than 38 photos)
- 🐜 Bug fix: Quote editor styling issues
- 🐜 Dozens of other bug and performance fixes.
New Marketplace Additions & Free Downloads
We’ve updated the RealtyNinja Marketplace with lots of new companies that are providing exclusive deals to RealtyNinja customers. They include:
- Lucid Visuals – 15% Off Your First Video
- HoodQ – 30% Off Monthly Or Yearly Subscriptions
- RankMyAgent – 10% Off Individual Premium Plans
- Agent Tech Mastery – $500 Off Membership Program
- Fierce Media – 10% Off Social Media Management Package
If you’re a RealtyNinja customer, you can claim any of these deals (and way more) by visiting the RealtyNinja Marketplace.
More Features & Updates Coming Soon
Our development roadmap for the second half of 2021 is packed full of goodies, including things our amazing customers have requested. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and regularly check The Dojo for updates.
Customer Spotlight: Marco Pontillo 💡
Marco is an experienced Real Estate professional, born and raised in the heart of North Vancouver. Along with a colourful personality, Marco is known for his extensive local market knowledge, attention to detail, and unmatched devotion to clients.
Check out his fully-custom design at https://www.marcopontillo.com.
Looking for some design inspiration? Check out some really great examples of customized RealtyNinja sites then get in touch with us to start the design process!
Before You Go 💡
We don’t want to be just any website company, our goal is to be the #1 real estate website platform in Canada. That’s why we’re always coming up with new ways to help agents and brokers.
Here are some other deals, promotions, and resources we’ve created for customers:
🎓 NEW AGENT PROMOTION
Are you an agent who was newly licensed sometime in the last 6 months? Then we have one heck of a deal for you. It’s expensive getting started in real estate, so we’re giving new agents 25% off our annual fee and website customizations for the first 365 days that they are a RealtyNinja customer.
💻 DEMO WEBINAR
Considering a RealtyNinja website? Every Tuesday at 10:00 am PST, we give webinar registrants a complete look at RealtyNinja from sign-up to launch, in our weekly Demo Webinar. Register for the next one on Tuesday at the link above.
🤑 MAKE YOUR WEBSITE FREE
Give a friend 10% off their website, and receive 10% off for yourself. Refer 10 friends and your site becomes free!
That’s all for now, Ninjas! Thanks for being part of our awesome Ninja family. Stay tuned for lots more awesomeness and please get in touch if you have any questions.