It's Time To Lead By Getting Out Of The Way

by Jeff Turner on December 3, 2009

At Real Estate Shows, we’ve tried very hard to be as invisible as possible.

It runs counter to the way our competition does things. We’ve always known that. They seem to go out of their way to make sure your content is used to help promote their services. If their services were offered up for free, we could understand that. But most are not. So we don’t understand.

We don’t plaster our logo on the Real Estate Shows player. We don’t force a “created using…” message into each Show you create. And we don’t use the SEO features of our Shows to make sure Google finds us, we put your information into the title and description that Google sees when crawling each Show on our site. We know this has benefited our customers.

We feel strongly that we need to be even more invisible and get out of the way of the real estate transaction to the greatest extent possible. When consumers search on sites like Trulia, Zillow or Realtor.com, if they click on a link to ANY virtual tour, they’re taken to the site owned by the real estate virtual tour company, not to a site owned by the real estate agent.  It’s one more step the consumer must take to find you. The quest for information should lead directly to you. Right now, that is a very crooked path.

How are we going to change that?

We’re going to make a few changes that will not impact how easy it is to create a Show. What we hear more often than anything else is how much our clients like the ease of creating a Show. We have squashed numerous upgrades over the past year because we could not implement them without making the system harder to use. So, none of the changes listed below will impact how easy it is to use Real Estate Shows.

  1. A smarter embedded player.
    You can “embed” any of our Shows directly into any page on your blog or website. Because our logo is not on the Shows, it will appear as if that content is yours. But click on any link on the left side of the Show and you are taken to the Real Estate Shows servers to view things like “more photos” or “related shows.” This creates the chance for your customer to stray away from your site. Our new embedded player will NEVER require your customers to leave your site. They will never know we exist.
  2. Intelligent Links
    If you embed your Show into a page on your blog or website, we’re going to give you the opportunity to point our Show link to that page. We’re going to begin using the shorter reshows.com as a way to create a more intelligent link directly to your site. In addition, when you syndicate from our site out to Trulia or Zillow or any other site we syndicate to, when the consumer clicks on the new intelligent link, they will be taken directly to YOUR site, not to ours. Again, the consumer will never know we exist and another step in their path to find your site will have been removed.
  3. Intelligent Mobile Sensing
    Mobile is the future of the web. More and more people are accessing internet content from their phones. We’re going to make it easier for them to see your content and easier for your to get them there. A new option will be added to generate mobile optimized versions of your Show for every handset. And we think we can pass that functionality onto your blog post when you embed our shows as well.
  4. New ways to use Real Estate Shows
    Today, every show must start with the classic Real Estate Show set to music. But we see many of our clients forced to use other services when they want to just embed photos for a more traditional slide show or when they want to present a video they’ve created. When completed, you will be able to decide how you want to use Real Estate Shows. This will make Real Estate Shows more versatile, and give you more ways to keep visitors on your site.

The bulk of these changes will be ready by January 19, 2010. Some will be rolled out before that time. The consumer doesn’t need to see us. They need to see you. We’re hoping to stand out by becoming more invisible, and to lead by getting out of the way.

We’re excited about the possibilities and look forward to sharing more details.

Jeff Turner, President of RealEstateShows.com

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