On the road again – Union Street Media’s Seacoast Tour

Our beautiful summer weather has translated into a great Fall, too, although in Vermont we’re not foolish enough to think that Winter will be similarly dry and sunny. In any case, the sunshine and changing leaves have made for some great drives to Portsmouth and Providence where we’ve enjoyed seeing some of our current clients and meeting new folks at the 2012 Annual NHAR Convention and MAR Conference and Tradeshow.

MAR Recap:

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® Conference was a great opportunity for us to showcase the recent updates to our mobile platform and plans for our new detail and list views. When the new detail and list view layout is launched within the next few weeks you can expect to see a product that’s been designed and developed to offer users a variety of routes for exploring their search results and more easily locating the properties that interest them. Our clients who’ve previewed the new design, layout, and functionality at recent conferences were duly impressed and this newest upgrade is sure to be popular with our clients and their site users!

Next Stop:

Next week we’ll have representatives at two conferences – the VAR Conference & Expo in Burlington, VT and the MAR Annual Convention & Tradeshow in Rockport, ME. If you’re a Maine or Vermont REALTOR® make sure to stop by our booth for a preview of “Defender,” review of our most recent upgrades, features, and tools, and to be entered for our giveaways. Giveaways at the last two shows have included a free mobile site and copies of Jack Cotton‘s Selling Luxury Homes. We’re also offering a discount on new Premium sites to conference attendees! Fall’s just started and it already feels like Christmas.

Maine Conference Highlights:

In light of our update to a new, listings-centric mobile platform this June, we’re particularly interested in Chelsea Locke and Eric Flynn’s presentation, Mobile Agents Today, on Wednesday morning. This class looks like an interesting introduction to a variety of mobile-specific applications and programs for REALTORS to access on-the-go. This focus on “apps” as relevant to real estate sites and their users has been reflected at nearly every conference and trade show we’ve attended this year. A few key points to keep in mind:

  • A mobile site with Union Street Media is not an “app.” When we build a mobile version of your site, we include a bit of code within the site that allows it to identify mobile visitors from traditional visitors. Therefore, any visitor coming to your site, is automatically presented with the mobile version instead of the full site.
  • Mobile visitors are unlikely to read a lot of content – can you read page of text on that tiny screen while standing in the checkout line at the market? Real estate sites should provide mobile visitors with a quick and efficient way to search for listings and contact an agent or office for more information.
  • Google recently re-tweeted this statistic which we’re sure will see another increase in coming months – “10% of all conversions have a mobile element to them which is 180% increase over 1 year.”

VAR’s Blueprint for the Future:

Located right in our backyard, the VAR convention is always a highlight for us since we get to connect with all of our local, and often most long-term clients.  As usual, we’re excited to see many of our clients up at the podium to accept various REALTOR® of the year awards, and we relish the opportunity to kick back on the Northern Lights boat cruise of Lake Champlain.  But, there are also some great sessions that we hope to sit in on.  We also hope that those of you who are attending will stop by to tell us what you’re taking away from the presentations.  It’s no surprise that we’re most interested in Craig Grant’s two sessions covering “How to Run a Consumer-Friendly Website” and “Become a Social Media Superstar!” and will look forward to throwing ideas around with Craig.  As at every other conference this fall, we’ll be manning our booth and would be happy to set aside time to talk with any of you to go over your priorities and the advancements we continue to make in our system.

Special thanks to the following clients who stopped by our booth in Providence: Mike Ballow of Ballow & Hutchinson Realty Group, Colleen Kilfoil and Janice Stickles of ACapeHouse.com Real Estate, Deb Schilling of Re/Max Classic, Anne Mayhew of Sandpiper Rentals, and Bert Beaulieu of Northrup Associates Realtors.