Friday, November 24, 2006

Shaking things up

This blog has been quiet lately. My excuses? We were down in New Orleans for the NAR expo from the 10 - 13. What a milk run by the way! Because of flight cancellations, delays, missed connections - this was my flight down:
Saskatoon -> Toronto -> Baltimore -> Houston -> New Orleans!

Coming back was only slightly less of a fiasco:
New Orleans -> St. Louis -> Chicago -> Toronto -> Saskatoon!

Anyway, I took a couple of slow days to catch up when we came back. What was our take away from the Expo? Well I can say that there are a lot of companies out there doing some great things in this space. This was the first major tradeshow that Point2 erected a booth. It was so good getting out of the office and speaking with many of our members face to face. I thnk we learned a lot and we receive a ton of valuable feedback.

Brendan giving a chat at the Point2 booth

With so many service providers in this vertical, it's easy to be lost in the noise. There were so many people at the show walking around looking for 'the thing', not know what that thing was. One of the biggest challenges we have at Point2 is communicating what we are, what we provide. Sometimes we try to simplify our message so much just to get people to sign up for free, try us, and then discuver all the things that lie under the hood. Other times we tell a more detailed complete story so we can better communicate to brokerages looking for the total package. But all of the time, we want to be 'the thing'.

This last week we've been planning our next 6 months to year for Point2. I can't talk about our decisions at this point, but I can say that I'm pumped for our release at the beginning of January! With a mere 100,000 members in 84 countries, we're all feeling at Point2 that we need to find the next gear and kick it up a notch.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Spotlight Ads Live!

Ok, some of you may have noticed that the Point2 Blogs went live yesterday. Well just a few minutes ago, we lit up spotlight advertising. When you manage or just add a new listing, the syndication page will show you a list of all the sites you can syndicate your listing to for free. Now, you will also see options in the right hand side spotlight add column for enhanced placement.
The 2 partners currently offering spotlight ads are Point2 Homes and Google. You will also see our newest partner, the New York Times where you can showcase your listing for $125 - all from 1 dashboard! Here's a screen shot


Monday, November 06, 2006

Major Change Underway with Feeds

Some of you may have noticed a change in our feeds now. We've started our migration with the latest release so all professional and premium members will have their listing feeds link back to their own Point2 Agent website. That is, when you add a listing and syndicate it to our partners such as Google Base, Yahoo Classifieds, Trulia, Oodle etc, the listing link will no longer point to Point2Homes, but rather your own website.

In the next little while, members with a large number of listings should see a significant increase in traffic to their website. Our latest release improved the statistics we have for each listing and we'll be able to show how many click or views you recieved from most of our partners.



Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Sneak Peak

I can't contain myself. In the next couple of days, we are going to release the biggest single release we've ever pushed. I'm excited, i'm nervous and I really just can't wait to get feedback from our members. I'm going to go out on a limb here post some screen shot of just a couple upcoming improvements.

So the first change you'll notice to the syndication screen is that we will have 1 new partner. I won't say who yet. But the major change is the new look and the introduction of spotlight ads. For this release we'll have a couple of partners participating where you can enhance the placement of your listings.

The next screen shot below is of the advanced reporting for syndication. We've heard from our members that there is nothing as frustrating as syndicating your listing, but not knowing where to find it. So we've developed an API that a couple of partners will be using for this release to a few things. First, here is the screen shot:

Publishing reports are available now so you can see what real estate search sites you have syndicated you listings to, if they have been successfully uploaded, and view them through the url they are published on. If there was an error successfully uploading your listing, an error report will indicate the reason. We will have a couple of partners using this API when we release. Results and feedback will hopefully help bring the rest of our partners on board.

The last screen is of our Listings2Go functionality. It provides some code for you to drop on another website you own and display your Point2 listings. The display settings are completely configurable. The real benefit is that it allows you to have more than 1 website, but keep all your listing stats, prospects and publishing reports in 1 control pannel.