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.
For the past year, our development team has been focused on the new User Account, Virtual Office Website (VOW) and Sold Listing Search functionality.
We are happy to say that the first phase – User Accounts – is now available on all Katana websites!
That means regardless of your real estate board, people browsing your website will be prompted to register a free account if they wish to save searches and get daily email alerts on them. This gives them extra control and it gives you a higher quality lead. Read all about it new further down the page.
Update on VOW & Sold Search
Launching user account functionality was by far the largest hurdle we had to get through and it lays the foundation for everything else to come but before we dive in, we owe you an apology.
We were so excited about all this new functionality that we underestimated the amount of work involved to implement it. We prematurely announced that it was coming soon months ago, and we let you down. The past few months we’ve been working hard to catch up and it’s required completely re-engineering our listing database, re-structuring our development team, upgrading our hosting architecture and generally tuning up our dev strategy.
With all of this in place and User Account functionality under our belt, we are ready to give you another update. Here’s the game plan:
The next step will be the introduction of VOW (Virtual Office Website) functionality, starting with our Greater Vancouver (REBGV), Fraser Valley (FVREB) and Chilliwack (CADREB) website customers on Katana. Once enabled, people browsing your website will be prompted to register for a free VOW account to save searches, get daily email alerts as well as having access to more listings and the ability to view additional listing information (such as room sizes).
The good news is that the user-account functionality we just launched was the bulk of the work required to get VOW working, and we’ve already made great progress beyond that, so we’re approaching the finish line.
The launch after that will be Sold Listing Searches, which require VOW functionality to work. Once enabled, it will mean people browsing your website (and signed into their VOW account) will be able to search for historical sold listings!
We’ll also be starting with our Vancouver (REBGV), Fraser Valley (FVREB) and Chilliwack (CADREB) website customers on Katana, and looking to expand to other boards in the future if/when that becomes an option. A large portion of the development on this functionality is also done so we hope to have that available soon after VOW is released. The great news is that we are making this available right on your own website, not a third-party site! Did we mention there’s no additional cost for it?
This password protected account functionality also lays the foundation for us to build more innovative lead-capture, lead-tracking, and reporting features in the future! Stay tuned for further updates.
User Account Functionality
People browsing your website can now register for a free account to save their MLS® searches, subscribe to email alerts, manage their email alert subscriptions and more!
Potential home buyers can log into your website at any time to view and manage their searches easily.
And of course you’ll get a high-quality lead anytime someone registers for an account on your website or saves a search!
Our team has already enabled this for all existing sites. Previously saved searches will continue to work on your website, and when someone with old saved searches tries to save a new search (or signs up for an account) our system will automatically import their old saved searches. Neat!
📌Note: User accounts is available on Katana websites only, so if you’re one of the very few customers still using our old themes make sure to upgrade your website for free! VOW and sold listing search will also be available on Katana only.
What Else We Launched Recently💡
While our primary focus has been User Account/VOW/Sold Search functionality, our dev team has launched a number of other amazing features and updates. Check them out below:
Search by MLS® Number
Now available by popular demand! Visitors of your RealtyNinja website can search for a specific listing by using it’s MLS® #. Read our help doc on how to search by MLS® number here.
📌Note: Searching by MLS® # is available on Katana websites only, so if you’re using our old themes make sure to upgrade your website for free if you haven’t already!
New Customer Referral Rewards Program
Now you’re in control of how much your RealtyNinja website subscription costs. Introducing RealtyNinja Referral Rewards, the program where you save 10% off your monthly or annual payments for every friend that you refer to RealtyNinja.
Refer 10 friends to RealtyNinja and your website subscription becomes 100% free!
After launching your RealtyNinja website live, a “Rewards” widget will appear in the ACCOUNT tab in your website’s back-end. By visiting the Rewards widget, you can share RealtyNinja with your friends and colleagues. Oh ya, and every friend you refer to us ALSO gets 10% off their subscription.
Read the Referral Rewards page on our website to find out how you can start using the Referral Rewards program to reduce your website costs today.
📌Note: The RealtyNinja Referral Rewards program is only available on Katana websites, so if you’re using our old themes make sure to upgrade your website for free if you haven’t already!
Landing Page Mode
Did you know that you can turn any page on your RealtyNinja site into a landing page? Landing Page Mode effectively hides your main website navigation. By doing so, users won’t get distracted by your menu and can focus on your call-to-actions on any given page, which can dramatically increase your conversion rates on targeted campaigns.
In order to enable the new landing page mode, you would simply add the text “?landing=1“ to the end of the URL on ANY page of your RealtyNinja website. For instance, if you want to view the page www.yoursite.com/search in landing page mode, then just type www.yoursite.com/search?landing=1 into the browser instead – that’s it!
Give it a try right now on your RealtyNinja site with help from this handy Landing Page help doc.
If you haven’t checked out the Dojo post “Why Landing Pages Are a REALTORS® BFF & How To Use Them Properly” now would be a good time!
📌Note: Landing Page Mode is only available on Katana websites, so if you’re using our old themes make sure to upgrade your website for free if you haven’t already.
New Semi-Custom Theme: Zeitaku
Miss that new-website-smell? Our Design Ninjas have got you covered – they just released an incredibly crisp, clean and sexy new Semi-Custom theme called Zeitaku.
Want to see Zeitaku in action? You can get a live demo of our all new Semi-Custom theme here.
📌Note: The new Semi-Custom theme Zeitaku is only available on Katana websites, so if you’re using our old themes make sure to upgrade your website for free if you haven’t already.
Image Size & Delivery Optimizations (great for SEO!)
A couple important tidbits about websites: images make up the bulk of a website, and website speed is quite important to your SEO efforts. That’s why our development team has been hard at work on ways to optimize the SIZE and DELIVERY of the images you use on your RealtyNinja website.
We use a CDN (content delivery network) to serve your website’s images to your visitors. The CDN will store your websites images on various Edge Servers all around the world, and will load the images from the server closest in proximity to a visitor of your website. This speeds up the delivery (and load time) of your images, enhancing the visitor experience as well as the SEO ranking.
We’ve also spent a lot of time finding new ways to crunch down image sizes so that they are very small and very quick to load before sending them out through the CDN. The small file sizes don’t affect the image quality, but they do affect your page load times for the better. We are going to be improving on this even more in the coming months.
New Support Live Chat & Revamped Documentation
Our Support Ninjas have spent the whole year working on an important project – revamping all of our customer support documentation. It has been a daunting process, reviewing and updating hundreds of help docs. While it was a massive task, it was also of major importance.
Please take some time to browse through our revamped customer support documentation for answers to many common questions about RealtyNinja.
You can visit our support docs at https://support.realtyninja.com. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Please get in touch with us and we’ll update our docs.
This year we also upgraded our own live chat option for customer support. At RealtyNinja we’ve been using Helpscout to communicate with our customers via email, and manage our support documentation library for years. When Helpscout released their new Live Chat app, Beacon, it was a no-brainer for us to switch platforms.
Try going to RealtyNinja.com or logging into your website’s back-end then starting a chat conversation with our team using the little blue “Get in Touch” icon on the bottom right corner of the screen.
Walkscore On All Listings & Buildings
We’ve added a handy Walkscore widget on all listing and building detail pages, just underneath the map (on the right side).
New Marketplace Additions & Freebie Downloads
We’ve updated the RealtyNinja Marketplace with lots of new companies that are providing exclusive deals to RealtyNinja customers. They include:
- Uptake Creative
- Figura Design
- Kampot Pepper Welcoming Gift
- PROtect App
- Keep it Simple Social Media Facebook for Business E-Course
- Achieve Online
- ..and More!
We’ve also added a few more free real estate marketing resources to our website, make sure to check them out! They include an SEO Resource Bundle for REALTORS® and Instagram Posts & Quotes for REALTORS®.
Other Recently Launched Updates
Other than what’s mentioned above, the Ninjas have been secretly fixing and improving a lot of stuff in the shadows. Here are a few notable items:
- Updated official area and sub-area mapping for MLS® data in Vancouver
- Under-the-hood performance enhancements & database optimizations to make things faster (in preparation for VOW/sold data)
- Enhanced version of your listing appearing in MLS® search results (if you’ve enhanced it)
- Photos can now be bulk-imported for Paragon sold listing exports – please contact us if you’d like us to re-import your historical sales from Paragon (with photos) and place them on your website
- 100+ minor bug fixes and tweaks!
More Features & Updates Coming Soon
Our development roadmap is packed full of goodness and we’re constantly working on new innovative features and tweaks. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and regularly check The Dojo for updates.
Customer Spotlight: Kindra Sowden 💡
Have you ever seen a real estate website quite like Kindra’s?
Our Design Ninjas are proud and excited to share this beauty with you all. Check out Kindra Sowden’s new RealtyNinja website at www.kindrasowden.com. Kindra was a delight to work with, communicating her vision clearly with our design team throughout the process. The result? A Fully Custom RealtyNinja website that makes you go “Damn… this is a real estate website?!”
Here’s what Kindra had to say about her Fully Custom RealtyNinja Website:
“I ❤️ my new website! Thank you for bringing my vision to life – it’s so refreshing to work with a company who understood the direction I wanted to go and brought it to life! Thanks @realtyninja 👏🏻”
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 new deals, promotions and resources we’ve created for customers lately:
💰 BROKERAGE DEAL
If you’re a brokerage with 10 agents or more, we want to give you a free website. We also want to give your agents 15% off their website subscriptions. If you know a broker who might be interested, let them know about the RealtyNinja Brokerage Deal and to get in touch.
🔥 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. Contact us for more info.
💻 DEMO WEBINAR
Considering a RealtyNinja website? Every Tuesday at 10:00 am PST, I will personally 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.
Did you know that we provide our customers with a sweet assortment of deals and discounts from 3rd party companies that REALTORS® love? Browse deals and claim your favourites in the Marketplace.
That’s all for now! Stay tuned for lots more awesomeness.