There are so many websites now where you can search for real estate and each one has their own quirks, foibles, specialties and value to people looking to find a home. It seems that each week another one pops up. You can search these sites by geographic area, price, size, room count and much more. You can see pictures, videos, school scores, vital statistics on the homes and contact the real estate agent who has it listed. You can arrange for showings, get more information and map the home’s location.
All of this is great, but how does the information get to these web sites? The sad truth is that for most of the listings, it’s done by an automatic feed from the local Multiple Listing Service. That feed often does not contain enough information for a prospective buyer to be able to truly understand what they are viewing. Of course, the real estate agent can often “enhance” the listing with additional pictures and more detailed information, but given the sheer volume of real estate web sites to enhance, the process is so time consuming that it simply does not get done all of the time.
Enter a cool web application called Postlets. Postlets is a FREE tool that allows a homeowner selling their own home, or a real estate agent with the listing, to create a free account. Then the user adds information about the property by clicking check boxes and filling in forms to create a very good looking “advertisement”.
The free version will also accept up to 6 JPG photos. There is the ability to “upgrade” to the “Plus” version which removes the ads that support the free version, add up to 18 photos, video and more for US$5.
Once you have created your Postlet, it is syndicated to over eleven real estate listing search sites including Zillow, Trulia and Google Base to name a few. The Postlet has a 60 day life and can be renewed if the listing doesn’t sell.
Finally, the site also creates the HTML that you will need to accomplish a Craigslist posting and will deliver you directly to the Craigslist website so that you can create an ad on Craigslist by pasting the HTML into the appropriate form.
Postlets are also available for those of you trying to sell a car.
Here is how to get started. Go to the signup page, fill in the form and click on Create Account.
After you have created your account you will be able to start your first Postlet by filling in the first of six screens.
The next screen allows you to start filling in information about the property. You can choose from residential, commercial, vacation properties and rental properties, as property types.
The third screen allows you to check off boxes to show all of the different property features, a quick and easy process.
The next screen is where you can upload up to 6 photos for the free version, and up to 18 photos with the “Plus” version.
No web publishing is ever complete until you get a chance to review your work. You can edit any of the entries that you have made and when you are happy with what you have, you can hit the “Continue” button at the bottom of the page to queue up the Postlet for submission to the various websites it serves.
Here is the fruit of our labors! This is an ad destined for Craigslist made with Postlets. The final screen gives you the code to embed in Craigslist (You have to do this yourself for Craigslist due to their terms of service) but the ad is automatically submitted to the sites that you choose.
The price is right (either free or no more than $5), the service is great, and the seller gets their home exposed professionally on many websites. If you are a real estate agent or home seller, what’s not to like? Plus if you are a home hunter, you will find that ads created by Postlets offer a lot more information to you than is usually available.
What websites and advertising services have you used in the past to sell your property? Let us know in the comments.
(By) Jerry Kidd is a California Real Estate Broker, blogger, educator and author of Realty Tech Bytes.