brixwork

Home/Tag: brixwork
How Brixwork 4.5 Brings You More Traffic With Faster MLS® Sync2021-02-23T22:20:20+00:00

brixwork real estate version 4.5 real estate realtor websites faster placeholder

How Brixwork 4.5 Brings You More Traffic

In August we tested version 4.5 of the Brixwork Real Estate Website platform. It enabled more frequent MLS® syncs in most of the boards we cover (excludes any real estate board data supplied by CREA DDF). This has been launched in September 2019, and we are excited to share the details behind it!

. . .

How Does This Help Our MLS® Reciprocity Subscribers?

New content loaded frequently means your website is more up to date. This results in Google™ increasing the crawl frequency of your website. Ultimately this leads to your website showing up on more search results, at higher rank positions, for street/address/neighbourhood searches!

More Relevant Google Traffic leads to More high-quality Leads!

The Brixwork platform always allowed our Realtors® to live-query any listings by MLS # to quickly feature their own listings within minutes of it going live. The rest of the listings were synced 3~4 times a day. This has been improved to almost every hour during the day & early evening (12+ syncs per day).

Other Upgrades For Even Better Performance

Further optimizations have been made throughout the system for even better performance faster load-times, and better listing photo sync.

  • Photo storage and timestamping improved for all MLS® regions – smarter storage, faster load times, reduced bandwidth!

  • Smarter global cache systems mean listings & photos load even faster than before, especially for repeat customers!

  • Improved the sync mechanism to reduce bandwidth & delays by over 9x for every MLS® region.

  • Increased default photo size for TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board) listings.

  • Optimized file storage mechanisms & sizes to reduce overflow storage (cost savings passed onto you – our monthly fees have increased only once in 3+ years so far).

  • MLS® Sync logging mechanism improved to handle the increased load and allow easier troubleshooting in case there are issues.

  • WordPress core version 5.2.3 has just been released, and websites with Blogs will be automatically upgraded (if not done already).

Always Be Better Than Yesterday

This is one of the mottos we live by, and the ongoing investment of time and resources by our team is our way of living up to our words while delivering better value to all of our loyal (and newly onboarding) clients.

The degree of expansion & improvements could not be possible without the great infrastructure that Amazon Web Services provides us! We are proud to be on the best cloud in the world, enabling us to work faster than ever to deliver better performance to our real estate professionals.

 

Jeff Kee & The Development Team

Create an online presence built to impress. Let us be part of your team.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Quick MLS® Search On Dashboard For Easy Sharing2017-11-03T00:19:48+00:00

    The Brixwork website back-end now allows Realtors® to perform quick MLS® searches using simple yet important criteria, quickly feature or share the listings by direct URL, or Facebook/Twitter.

     

    Key Benefits:

    • Show properties on your own website, with your own branding, rather than through a generic MLS® platform that is standard.

    • The visitors can browse your site further for more properties and other pages.

    • More exposure of your brand to clients mean more brand recognition.

    • Quickly share listings on Social Media

    Version 4.04 Released With New Features & Bug Fixes2015-02-20T23:39:12+00:00

    This morning Brixwork Real Estate Marketing Inc. version 4.04 was released with numerous new bug fixes and some new features.

    4.04 Release Notes (February 20th, 2015)

    • When featuring MLS® listings, the screen would freeze after processing. This has been resolved.
    • Menu labels on the new navigation system glitch fixed (only applicable to sites set up after February 2015)
    • Maps within the Homes & Buildings sections no longer affected by mouse scroll or screen swipe.
    • You can choose whether the street direction come before or after the street name. In Vancouver, “W 4th Avenue” is common, whereas in Calgary “3rd Street SW” is more common. This default can be set on a site-wide basis, and can be set on each individual property so it can be overridden on a case-by-case as well.
    • Instagram feed has been updated as per slight security changes on the Instagram servers which was blocking our API calls.

     

    Future Development Plans Coming Up

    The Brixwork system is a forever evolving platform. We don’t charge a subscription fee just out of formality – the funds our clients pay goes towards betterment of the system as a whole for the benefit of all our clients against their competition outside.

    • Dashboard to include more insights, potentially directly integrating Google Analytics into the page.
    • Duplicate building module detection mechanism.
    • MLS Search forms updated with slide-out or in mechanisms.
    • More (yes, even more) upgrades pertaining to URL controls for SEO purposes.
    • LinkedIN share buttons made universal.
    Brixwork Version 3.9.6 Releasing Tonight2014-06-03T21:13:22+00:00

    We are rolling out an update to the Brixwork core system later tonight, version 3.9.6, which includes numerous improvements, bug fixes as well as improvements in the MLS® search functionalities. This round of updates have a heavy focus on functionalities on the internal side, as well as improving our MLS® listings filtering function which will lead to better targeted SEO results on Google™.

    MLS® Search Function Improvements
    • Added function to allow for minimum bedrooms, and fixed bedroom numbers. Traditionally users were only able to use 1+, or 2+ bedrooms for minimum settings. Now we are able to provide solid “1 Bedroom Condos in Vancouver” or similar results.
    • Able to search listings by listed date (custom function that is setup on a site-by-site basis, not a default function on search yet).
    Some bug fixes:
    • Page deletion mechanism fixed to avoid empty instance running
    • Lot size and Frontage size calculation was off for REBGV data (they changed the unit increments).
    • Home retrieval function returns boolean on lack of property ID in database (useful for coders to determine whether home exists or not by simply returning the boolean)
    • Semi-transparent image rendering improved on Firefox, Opera, Safari & Chrome
    • Condo storeys class added, previously only accessible through the data array ($home->story, the database was set up without the “e” so we have to live with the minor typo, as we cannot overhaul all existing sites).
    Feature Improvements:
    • Lead forms are able to send to multiple emails in an array (useful for partnerships or groups)
    • URL fix for Facebook shares when Facebook converts space/semicolon characters to ASCII
    • Google Analytics code update to enable demographic data scraping.
    • Default gallery image size increased to 2400 pixels in light of larger monitors becoming standard (existing sites may need manual adjustment).
    • Added default animate-fade-in elements that can be easily applied for a smoother & more interactive user experience.

    Future Updates Planned

    Here at Brixwork we are committed to continuously upgrade our system and software to keep up with the demand of changing technology. Here’s more items we have on the roadmap:

    • Hourly sync of same-day listings only
    • Instagram feed into your websites
    • User interface changes throughout
    Paper Thickness & Weight: First Impressions2017-07-04T22:02:44+00:00

    Like we said in our article Beautiful Design is Functional Design: What’s on the outside counts, and first impressions matter[…]Websites and printed material that are designed beautifully are also more functional.

    We stand by that statement. First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to print media. When you hand someone a business card or mail out fliers for a new listing, it is the style and quality of that product that is influencing people – for better or for worse.

    As on of our five senses, texture has a great impact on our perception of the world. Think of the satisfaction of that fizzy coca cola. Or imagine the feeling of cashmere against your skin. It makes all the difference and the type of paper you use for your marketing material is no exception.

    The many factors of choosing the right paper stock:

    In order to make a quality decision about what first impression you want your marketing paper to give, you must first understand the many factors that effect what kind of paper will put your best foot forward.

    1. Your market & the image you want- are you are selling homes to a middle class buyer? offering rentals? or grand, luxurious mansions?

    2. Purpose of this print project – is this a wide scale mailout for an open house? a new, upscale business card that you can write notes on? or a professional, clean folder with your own personal style?

    3. Quantity of printing- do you want 50 feature sheets for your open house? or 500 for a mailout?

    4. Budget – money, money, money… it always plays a part and the amount you want to spend can greatly affect the type of stock paper you will want to use.

    Thickness: Pros and Cons

    Bigger = Better is often the mantra, but it isn’t always true. Here are some examples:

    Pros:

    1. Thicker paper feels luxurious & serious, like you spent a million bucks on it.

    2. You’re more likely to be taken seriously with a thicker card than thinner counterparts because it FEELS like you’re serious. It feels like you are getting down to business.

    3. It is able to handle specialty applications such as foil stamping better without distortion. This can add some really professional, and – lets face it – pretty cool effects to your print media.

    4. It wins more draw prizes. Thicker paper is more likely to catch the fingers when they draw for that free lunch!

    Cons:

    1. Thicker paper stock prices go up by a big margin! i.e. Our 16pt cards with laminate can be as cheap as $120 (1,000), while a 29pt card can quickly exceed $500. That a big budget difference…

    2. Less cards will fit in your business card holder. You’ll need to keep on top of refilling that stock you cary around with you.

    3. When paper is too thick, it’s hard to fold over without breaking the edges… which means that any colour you have like black will look cracked and peeling on the fold. So folders, folded booklets or pamphlets should be limited to a certain thickness (16pt max, 14 is safer).

    So now that you’ve learned about the pros and cons, when is it ok to use thick paper?

    When to go thick:

    1. Business cards

    2. Single-sheet cards that are not folded

    When to keep it 16pt or under:

    1. Folders or folded feature sheets to avoid cracking.

    2. Lower quantity print-jobs. Thicker paper is more expensive in small quantities than in bulk.

    Printing has such a wide variety of options & specifications that it can be overwhelming. If you are interested in printing with us, please inquire with our design team to discuss your needs.

    We specialize in branding & print media design for real estate agents and will know exactly what will help your print media give the first impression you want.

    6 Benefits of our New Toronto MLS Integration2013-08-27T22:20:10+00:00

    How We Got There

    Years ago, we took the step to integrate our servers to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver MLS (REBGV) to launch one of the finest real estate websites & marketing services for our clients in Vancouver. Since then, we have since expanded our territory to five other Canadian regions—WLS (Whistler Listing System), KADREA (Kamloops & District Real Estate Association), RAHB (Real Estate Association of Hamilton and Burlington), FMRA (Fort McMurray Real Estate Association), and, most recently, TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board). And we cannot forget about our one USA territory, CBOR (Columbia Missouri Board of Realtors) integration that was done a few months ago.

    We have had overwhelming support from real estate agent clients from all around the country, and we have finally taken one big step forward towards the Eastern Canadian region…

    Welcome, Toronto!

    Toronto, now our sixth Canadian region, has been connected to Brixwork via MLS® RETS integration to bring you the best listing search & display results for our clients in Toronto. With special thanks to the lovely staff at TREB, we are now officially launching our services in Toronto, Ontario.

    Our CEO Jeff Kee will be making a business trip to Toronto between September 3rd ~ 12th (2013) with meetings set up with some agents & brokerages. If you wish to have a private consultation, please fill out our contact form and he will do his best to make it happen.

    6 Benefits Of The TREB MLS® Integration via RETS

    Here are some of the Benefits that our Toronto Real Estate Agents, and their clients, can now take advantage of via Brixwork Real Estate Marketing:

    Benefits to Real Estate Agent
    1. More fully branded search tools and pages for clients to use
    2. Effectively define your niche area through pre-defined listing pages
    3. Easy to share listing search results and detail pages by email, social media etc.
    Benefits to Customers
    1. Map based or list-based option to easily search for listings
    2. Easily save search results which auto update any new listings upon future visits
    3. Easy to share listing search results and detail pages by email, social media etc.

    If you are interested in learning more, please take a look at the MLS Integration Page on our website.

    Version 3.9 Released With Updated Infrastructure2013-05-24T23:53:57+00:00

    In the past few weeks we’ve been working hard on releasing our new version of BRIXWORK Real Estate Websites. This update was heavily focused on improving the back-end system. We had some very useful feedback from our clients, and we’ve monitored the parts of the back-end that had the most questions & inquiries around it. This allowed us to identify the parts that our clients found to be most confusing, and presented us with the opportunity to improve our product for the better.

    Listings & MLS® Integration

    This is the most important core of our website system, and ours is very powerful on Google (and a focal point when we develop our software). We have made improvements that will especially benefit our clients who utilize the MLS® Reciprocity. This makes up more than 90% of our clients!

    MLS® to OWN Listing Conversion Module Cleaned Up

    The ability to convert an MLS® sourced listing to your own is an old feature. However we made improvements to the user interface, with more information-filled dialogue that lets you know what is happening. Sometimes MLS® listings take a day or two to be loaded into the public database (then funnelled to the BRIXWORK master database) and the new system clarifies this better.

    Removal Of The Facebook LIKE & Tweet buttons from the back-end

    We had experimented with adding the Facebook LIKE & Twitter Tweet buttons on the back-end, under the HOMES section, to make it easy for you to share your listing. However these modules caused more glitches, slow-downs of the system. We decided it wasn’t worth keeping. Instead we added a quick link module that will let you open the property detail page (the public page for customers) very quickly, and you can use that screen to share your listing on social media. The social media share buttons on the front-end are still intact of course – they are very useful tools for marketing.

    Integration With More MLS® Systems Across North America

    We’ve had growing popularity not only in our home city Vancouver, but across North America. We have now added the following MLS® integrations:

    • Hamilton & Burlington, Ontario
    • Fort McMurray, Alberta
    • Columbia, Missouri

    You can see the full list of the MLS® Reciprocity integrations we offer for real estate websites here.

    Other Modules Improved

    Text Editor & Other Code Structure Updated to Latest Version

    The user interface modules that we leverage are constantly updated, so we like to keep on top of that as well. The modules updated include:

    • TinyMCE (Text content editor for pages & listings)
    • jQuery & jQueryUI (user interface modules such as the tabs, buttons, drag & drop modules etc.)
    • Image Cropper module

    Website Email Generation System Improved

    The email forms throughout our clients’ websites have been improved further. We now use a dedicated outbound email service provider at a nominal cost. This system allows for great deliverability of emails in a quick timeframe. But even more interesting is that this system allows us to track the open/click/geographic statistics of the emails generated, which can be turned into valuable marketing data later.

    What’s Planned For Future Updates

    Some items we are planning to improve upon include more support for rental modules, as well as generating link snippets for Craigslist postings. Also the pages module will receive some upgrades to make it easier to navigate between top pages and sub-pages. As always, we’re working hard to improve our infrastructure!

    Version 3.8.7 Released with User Interface Refinements2017-10-10T23:26:20+00:00

    This is our first software upgrade across the BRIXWORK system in Q2 of 2013, and here’s what’s been improved. This upgrade focused mostly on the user interface in the back-end of your BRIXWORK Real Estate Website platform.

    Accidentally Leaving Page During Editing

    Some clients experienced issues when editing a property or a page, they would accidentally go back a step, or leave the page in some other way. This posed the problem of losing unsaved edits. We improved our system by implementing scripts that prevent the user from accidentally leaving the page. Unless the system is prompted to switch you to another page, or you click the SUBMIT button at the bottom, you’ll be given a prompt that asks you if you’re sure you want to leave the current page.

    If you hit the backspace button, or another link by mistake, this pops up to ensure you intended the action.

    If you hit the backspace button, or another link by mistake, this pops up to ensure you intended the action.

    This functionality is currently available on the Homes edit page, as well as Pages edit page. We will be rolling this out for the Buildings/Resources sections in the weeks to come.

    Identical City/Subarea Display Fixed

    As we are expanding our MLS® Reciprocity integration to other cities across Canada & USA (new updated list coming soon), we noticed that some smaller areas have the same City/Subarea name. When this happens, we had some awkward displays on the website where it would say “Burlington, Burlington” for example. To mitigate this, we updated our codebase so that if the names are an identical match, it truncates it into just “Burlington”.

    MLS® Listing to Own Listing Conversion Photo Glitch

    When converting an MLS® reciprocity database listing to your “OWN” listing, some clients in different jurisdictions other than Vancouver had issues where the photos won’t come in. We’ve fixed that issue, and positively tested the photos flowing into the local website when this conversion happens.

    Multiple Office Locations Supported

    Some brokerages have multiple Office IDs assigned from the board. Many clients started asking for an “Office Listings” page that displays listings within the brokerage only. To address clients who wish to display listings from all branches of a brokerage, we’ve updated our listing retrieval module to allow multiple Office IDs. If you wish to expand your “Office Listings” parameters to include other branches within your brokerage, please submit a support ticket with the office codes and we’ll handle it.

    Lead Forms On Websites Updated

    The email forms on your websites (on your listing display pages as well as contact & other pages) have been universally updated. Since we switched our email routing to a much more secure channel to avoid your leads ending up in spam, the delay has increased by a few seconds. To mitigate this, we have included a pop up that shows a progress bar indicating that the work is in progress. While this is a very minor change in the user interface, it has a great impact on keeping the users engaged to your website.

    Rental Modules

    You will notice a new “Rental” tab when editing a home. While this feature is enabled on the back-end on a beta mode, it takes extra installation labour to make it happen on the front-end. We will be offering setup of Rental sections on our clients’ websites upon request, and with a nominal set-up fee. This feature is still in beta mode. You are welcome to enter things and fiddle around with it, but it won’t show the rental only features on your website.

     

    Version 3.8.6 Released, New Office & Staff2013-03-19T01:49:12+00:00

    We are announcing two new exciting developments today. BRIXWORK version 3.8.6 has been released today (March 18th) and will spread through our clients’ websites later today or tomorrow morning, depending on your locale. We have also acquired an office lease in Yaletown Vancouver and just moved in as of yesterday (March 17th), and hired a new part time staff, Elisabeth, who will be assisting with data entry, administrative tasks and more. Our space will allow us to work with more efficiency and handle the volume of business better. We have experienced a fair bit of growth in the past few months thanks to your loyalty!

    New 3.8.6 version Upgrade Notes

    SEO Upgrade on Listing Search Pages

    SEO tricks are a trade secret of ours so we won’t divulge on the details here, but we made some upgrades that will definitely increase the odds of your listing pages (both your own listings and MLS® listings) being picked up by Google.

    User Interface Errors Addressed

    HOMES screen pagination bug

    We had an issue where the HOMES screen would display one less page (i.e. when you need 6 pages of 20 listings per, it only showed 1 2 3 4 5), and that has been resolved. This was in fact discovered by our new staff, Elisabeth.

    TinyMCE Text Editor Upgraded

    TinyMCE Text Editor Upgraded

    Page content editor module fixed & upgraded

    The page content editor that looks a lot like a wordprocessor has been upgraded to a newer version with more stability and bug fixes. We also had an internal bug that was disallowing pasting on certain editing screens depending on the browser you were using. That will be resolved also with the propagation of this upgrade.

    Listing Retrieval Mechanisms Being Upgraded

    Listing retrieval mechanisms are being upgraded. While this upgrade is not taking effect on all websites immediately, this is a phased upgrade that we are planning, and testing on small scales on select websites. This upgrade will take effect on the next upgrade, and will make your listing pages more stable and streamlined.

    Our New Office in Yaletown

    We have finalized a lease for a new office in Yaletown, Vancouver. Our new office is located at 1080 Mainland Street, Vancouver BC. Drop by for a visit anytime during business hours!

    BRIXWORK real estate websites Yaletown Office

    Our new Yaletown Office

     

    Changes to Our Rates in 2013 Q2 and Upgrades2013-02-20T08:40:45+00:00

    2012 has been a monumental year for us with the largest growth in client base ever. We are thrilled to continue to serve some of the best real estate agents with our boutique website services. We have welcomed many new clients from different brokerages and cities. We have added support for Kamloops & Whistler BC’s listing reciprocity systems, and recently started work on Burlington/Hamilton Ontario!

    There are some significant changes coming up to our services and rates. As our products are becoming more sophisticated, and our offerings diversified further, we do feel the need to increase our prices on some parts. We are also now offering more services.

    Custom Design Labour Rate Change

    Effective April 1st, 2013

    Currently our custom design labour cost is $75/hr. This is set to increase to $80/hr, billed by minimum half hour increments. This applies to:

    • Modifying layout of website
    • Adding custom icons or graphics
    • Or any other significant changes to website that requires labour from our design team
    • Modifying custom set slideshows
    • Layout of print-media (business cards, newspaper ads, listing sheets etc.)
    • Anything else that falls outside the scope of regular maintenance and tech support

    This new labour pricing also applies to custom website design quotations. We quote for our custom designed websites on an hours-estimation method, so this will affect the pricing of new custom design websites that we build.

    There will be no changes to monthly subscription fees, however! 

    SEO, Social Media & Content Writing Services Launching Soon

    There was a significant demand for more dedicated search engine optimization work as well as content writing. We have put together some SEO & writing packages, and will be releasing the offer sheets soon. In fact, our SEO & Social media packages are already published on our website.

    January 19, 2021

    Century 21 Agents & Brokerages Website Design Showcase

    Brand compliance doesn't mean you cannot stand out from the crowd. Take a look at these gems for Century 21 brokerages & agents across Canada!

    Written By Jessica Hussey | Design & Visuals, Featured Clients

    October 29, 2020

    3 Benefits of Having Community Guide Pages on your Website

    Custom content pages are a gold-mine for Google™ and even better you can curate the pages to your audience and entice readers to stay longer. Take a peek at what the 3 key benefits of community pages are.

    Written By Martyna Noworyta | Design & Visuals, Marketing & Promotion

    November 12, 2020

    Hiring – Production Line Graphic Designer

    Join our team to create beautiful visuals in one of the most active niches in Canada - marketing real estate. We are a boutique firm with in-house design only.

    Written By Jeff Kee | Company Updates

    September 18, 2020

    Instagram Dos and Don’ts for Realtors

    Good design, consistency and originality on Instagram posts will help you create an impressive feed that will outshine all of the other thousands of Real Estate professionals. Check out the do's and don'ts for Instagram!

    Written By Martyna Noworyta | Design & Visuals, Marketing & Promotion, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media & Marketing, Technology & Trends

    July 15, 2020

    Digital Dominance for Real Estate Agents in a COVID World

    Modern business requires modern tools. Here are a list of critical cloud software & apps that every real estate professional can use to increase efficiency & close more deals.

    Written By Martyna Noworyta | Design & Visuals, Marketing & Promotion, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media & Marketing, Technology & Trends

    April 14, 2020

    Ways To Increase Online Presence & Brand Awareness for Real Estate

    There is increased online presence & brand awareness for real estate during COVID-19 crisis. Check out great ways to increase your website engagement here!

    Written By Martyna Noworyta | Design & Visuals, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media & Marketing

    July 15, 2019

    Offering Edmonton Real Estate Website with EREB IDX Integration!

    Hello Edmonton! Brixwork has completed the integration of the EREB MLS® IDX (Reciprocity) system. We are bringing our beautiful website templates with great search engine & social media performance to Edmonton real estate agents! Take a look through our website design options!

    Written By Jeff Kee | Features & Development

    June 6, 2019

    Boutique Project Marketing for Townhomes and Condos

    Brixwork has been providing project marketing services for new builds for years. As demand for more new boutique townhome/condo projects increases, so does the need for higher-level project marketing. No matter how big or small, your project deserves a proper brand presence that'll set you apart from the rest.

    Written By Jeff Kee | Design & Visuals, Featured Clients, Features & Development

    May 7, 2019

    Notable Realtor® Teams and Brokerages Custom Website Showcase

    High performance teams and boutique brokerages need the best online image possible. Brixwork combines functional features and exceptional visuals to create custom website designs built to stand out!

    Written By Jeff Kee | Design & Visuals, Featured Clients

    1 2 10
    Go to Top