RSS: You’ve heard of it and seen the icon (that little orange broadcasting symbol to the right), but are you using it for your real estate business? RSS is a form of website syndication that shares content from a blog or webpage with other websites as a way of marketing the site. When a visitor clicks on that icon, they subscribe to the website’s feed – meaning they will receive all new updates from the site, whether they visit it or not.
RSS is syndication for written content. Similar to what Point2 listing syndication does for your listing data, RSS does for your written content… pushes it out into the world to boost your exposure and increase your online marketing.
What is RSS?
RSS is essentially a data feed that collects and shares frequently published web content – like blogs, news headlines and wikis – with online users, not altogether unlike the data feed used to share your listings with syndication partner sites. In fact, RSS is commonly referred to as Really Simple Syndication.
Why do you NEED it?
RSS lets you and the rest of the internet-browsing public keep up with your favorite websites easily, in the format of your choosing. Stay updated on new posts from your favorite online places using an RSS feed reader to subscribe to the feeds of your choice. The reader will check your subscribed feeds for new work, download it and present you with all of that content in an easy, one-stop interface. Instead of visiting every site independently, you get to see everything you’re interested in, all in one place!
More importantly from an agent’s perspective, you can use an RSS feed in combination with your website to collect and display relevant real estate and neighborhood news – it basically ‘feeds’ your website with fresh content from your choice of sites constantly and automatically.
On the other side of the give and take, having a readily available RSS feed for your real estate website gives your site visitors and prospects another means of keeping in touch with you. If they follow your RSS feed, they will be able to stay abreast of your real estate news without having to remember to manually visit your site. So be sure to publish some good content that inspires people to subscribe to your RSS feed.
How do you get an RSS feed for your blog or website?
It’s much easier than it sounds. Most modern blog platforms and websites, including Point2 Agent, have some form of RSS functionality built right in. Point2 Agent Professional and Elite members can add an RSS feed module to add fresh, up-to-the-minute content to their websites without making manual updates.
If you want to make your own RSS feed that will let others see and syndicate, say, your blog posts about the local real estate market, here’s a simple(ish) guide to making one from scratch.
What about Google Reader?
So you’ve heard the buzz, have you? It’s true, Google Reader is a lot of people’s favorite RSS reader but it’s retiring on July 1st. That gives you just a few weeks to find your preferred feed reader to stay in the loop. Probably the most popular alternative that has bubbled up is Feedly, followed by The Older Reader and NewsBlur. You could also try installing an app, like one by Readability, on your smartphone or tablet to get your news on the go.
Have you implemented some form of RSS feed on your Point2 Agent site or blog? If not, are you thinking of giving it a try?