The first step in your home search process is setting yourself up on RandRealty.com, the premier real estate website in our region. In this section, you’ll find out about all the features on the site and learn how to register so that you can get email alerts for your saved searches and properties.
The Rand organization has always been one of the leading technology companies in real estate, recognized throughout the industry as a cutting-edge pioneer committed to providing our agents and clients with the best tools possible. The centerpiece of our dedication to technological innovation is randrealty.com, our award-winning website providing the best real estate search and property display features available in the industry.
The randrealty.com site has long been at the leading edge of the regional real estate industry. We were the first company to provide full multiple listing inventory, the first to add multiple pictures, the first to provide mapping and address information, the first to adopt blogging and social media integration. We are constantly innovating the site, adding new features and capabilities designed to provided our clients with the best experience possible.
Today, randrealty.com gives you access to every property for sale through all the multiple listing systems in the region, with powerful, intuitive and easy search features. We also provide access to innumerable resources that you might need during your home search, including market data, school reports, and even design and decorating videos and articles from Better Homes and Gardens.
Here are some of the feature highlights of randrealty.com:
•All the listings. Randrealty.com is one of the few places you can go to get listings of the entire regional area, so you don’t have to look in different places if your search takes you across a county or state border.
•Powerful search tools. You can do quick searches right from the home page, or do an advanced search to pinpoint the types of homes you are looking for, including multiple area searches with simple check boxes (not those “hold down the CTRL-key while you….”-type systems).
•Open house listings. Open house listings are updated every week if you want to narrow your search just to homes available for public viewing that weekend.
•Community Insight. If you want to research the local area, you can find comprehensive demographic reports and school information for all our communities and school districts. And you should also check out Community Heartbeat, our lifestyle blog for our local communities, featuring local attractions, village and town profiles, and picture tours.
Ultimately, our goal is to make randrealty. com your bookmarked site for anything you need to know about local real estate, not only during your home search but after you close. Indeed, the site gets almost two million yearly visitors, about 100 times the number of people who buy a home in our region every year, which means that most of the visitors to our site aren’t even in the market to buy a home.
Property Detail Page
Once you’re done your searches on randrealty.com, you’ll notice the elegant, intuitive design of the property detail pages, which provide all the information available from the multiple listing system, and even more information for the many listings with our company. In addition, we have integrated a number resources into the site to give you features like mapping, demographic information, market data, and school information.
Here are some of the highlight features of the property detail pages:
•Up to 50 high-resolution photos. We display all the photos provided by the MLS in the highest resolution possible, with up to 50 photos available for our own listings.
•Full property descriptions. Unlike some sites, we do not have a maximum character count for our property descriptions, so you won’t miss out on a particularly lengthy home profile.
•Property addresses and mapping. Every listing has the property address and all Google map features, so you can see where the home is, toggle to a satellite view of the property on Google Earth, and get driving directions. The satellite views are particularly helpful for getting a sense of the property line and dimensions.
•The Toolbox. Every local area has its own “toolbox,” which is a collection of school reports, demographic information, and a community tour from the Community Heartbeat blog, so you can do in-depth research of that individual property.
•Sharing and printing options. You can share any property via email, or on any of a myriad of social media sites. You can also print an informational flyer if you want to get a copy of the property for your files.
•Saving options. You can save the property to your “favorites ” list to track it and register for email alerts on it.
Most importantly, randrealty.com provides you with all the information we can get from the local multiple listing system. We don’t prioritize our own listings, manipulate search results, or penalize other brokers by limiting the information we’ll provide on their listings, because that would not be a good service to you – the user of the site. We want you to feel comfortable relying on the information on randrealty.com as the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate property information available on properties for sale in your area.
Using National Real Estate Sites
We truly believe that randrealty.com is the single best real estate website for doing home searches in our local region. If you want proof, just do some searches on randrealty.com, and then check the results, and the information displayed on the property detail pages, against any of our competitors – even the national sites.
Indeed, many of our clients come to us after using national real estate sites like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com. Those are great websites, and we partner with them to display our listings, but they can’t compare to the sheer number of listings , the depth of informational detail on those listings, and the accuracy of randrealty.com. After all , the most important feature for any real estate website is timely, comprehensive, complete, and accurate data of the homes for sale, and none of the national sites have or display the amount of property information that we do:
•They don’t have all the listings. Brokers can (and often do) opt out of providing their listings to national sites, so those sites don’t have all the listings that are available on randrealty.com.
•They don’t provide all the listing information. Those sites make money by charging brokers to “upgrade” their listings with full displays of all the pictures and listing information. Some brokers don’t pay, so the sites often present a minimal number of pictures or truncated information.
•They are often inaccurate. The MLS inventories of properties for sale are huge and complex databases, and data errors are unavoidable. We look out for these errors and fix them when we find them, but the national sites have to monitor hundreds of MLS systems and can’t possibly keep the same level of attention that we can.
•Their search results are often misleading. Most of the sites, again based on their business models, manipulate search results to put certain properties higher in the results, which can often cause you to miss homes that might be more relevant to your query – but which did not pay to get a priority placement. All search results on randrealty .com display by default in price order from high to low.
The bottom line is that you’ll find more listings, with greater and more accurate information, on rand realty.com. With all that said , though, we certainly work with many clients who use both our site and one or more of the national sites, so you should do your research on whatever site works best for you.
Using the Site
•Saved Properties. You can save any property you’re viewing on the site by clicking the “Save Listing” link right underneath the photographs. That property will be saved to “My Homepage”, and you’ll get an email alert when any information on that property changes (e.g., price changes, new photos, etc.).
•Saved Searches. You can set up a saved search anytime you use the “Search” function on the site. Just be sure to check off the box labeled “Save this “Search” before you hit the “Search” button. Saved searches are great for two reasons: first, because they allow you to run a search right from your “My Homepage” without having to re-enter the criteria every time; and second, because those searches will generate email alerts to you anytime there’s a change to a property responsive to the search.
•Email Alerts. Whenever you get a “hit” on a saved search, or whenever information on a saved property changes, you’ll get an email alert at the email address you registered with. Make sure to add the “@randrealty.com” email domain to your “safe senders” list on your email account, to avoid having the emails mislabeled as spam. Also, it’s a good idea to set up a “smart folder” on your email account to segregate your randrealty.com email, so that you can find it easily and it doesn’t clutter up your inbox.