MASTERKEY BLOG

Masterkey Partners with UAE Real Estate Portal Beeyoot.com

Masterkey, the region's leading provider of web-based real estate software has inked a deal with emerging real estate portal http://www.beeyoot.com, giving brokers a unique opportunity to promote property side-by-side with owner-investors of UAE real estate. "This partnership is instrumental to improving our liquidity and strengthening our plans to welcome brokers this quarter," says Beeyoot.com CEO Hashim Ahmed. "We understand the advantages of working respectfully in the same real estate market with local brokers. By joining our portal, brokers can grow their real estate revenue online and enhance their brand by connecting with our high value visitors." With thousands of properties available in the market, buyers and renters, by necessity, are more discerning in today's market. The partnership between Beeyoot and Masterkey allows brokers to populate and update their properties directly to the online portal via Masterkey. As a result, hours of time and overhead is avoided, and brokers ensure they are displaying the most up-to-date and accurate information about their properties - all with the click of a button. Masterkey sees this partnership as integral addition to their Portal Partner Program, and represents an important step in the company's evolution toward a market-driving platform solutions company. For more information on Masterkey and its Portal Partner Program, visit the Masterkey website at http://www.gomasterkey.com.

Top 7 ways to rate Property Portals

What makes a good property portal? How do you differentiate between a portal that will ultimately generate an abundance of worthwhile leads and one that will waste both time and money? Here’s a list we’ve compiled of the top 7 things to look for in a property portal:   1. Cost per lead   While the number of leads generated is an important measure, your cost-per-lead is one of the most important measures of how well a property portal is doing for you. Simple in concept and difficult in practice, you’ll need to have well organized data and a tracking mechanism that shows you the number of leads generated.   What you need: The number of leads generated by the specified portal (see #2 below) and how much you’ve spent on advertising with that portal. Simply divide the two, and there you have it. How hard is it to measure?  Very hard. To ensure every lead is tracked is a difficult but surmountable problem, and ensuring you know the total expenditure should be relatively easy. The results though, will definitely help you on your quest to stretch every marketing dollar spent. Not relevant if: you’re conducting a branding exercise, lead quality is poor or the portal is free (infinite rate of return!).   2. Number of leads generated   While a precursor to #1, the number of leads generated only looks at what’s incoming, not what’s outgoing. You can achieve a high number of leads by paying top dollar, but is it worth the money? Regardless, it’s still an important factor, given it was voted the most measured factor by the subscribers of Property Portal Watch. What you need: A tracking mechanism that covers all contact methods (phone, email, walk-in) and a CRM database to manage the leads. How hard is it to measure?  Reasonably hard. Some portals track this for you, some do not. Go through your process and ensure that at every point of contact you have an accurate means of measurement. Not relevant if: you have more business than you can handle.   3. Number of unique visitors   This is one of the most contested statistics between portals. It’s commonly thought of as simple math. More visitors equal more leads… right? Normally, yes. But with property portals you want to ensure people are inquiring about the property, not just browsing past them and taking no action. The portal needs to encourage visitors to find out more, look through the photos and to hit submit. While this can be a good statistic to compare portals on the surface, if the numbers are roughly the same, dig a bit deeper.   What you need: Most portals will give this information without you asking. How hard is it to measure?  Easy. Just ask if they don’t give it to you off the bat. Not relevant if: You have a niche product (such as a high end developer targeting a small group of people), or if you’re helping a portal get started.   4. SEO Ranking   To determine a portal’s SEO ranking, type in the keywords that you want to be listed under and count how far down the portal appears. Better yet, try typing in the keywords that your customers will enter. SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is a tough, highly competitive market in real estate. Not only do portals fight for obvious keywords such as ‘Dubai Real Estate,’ they also have to fight for communities within the market. Remember that there are two types of rankings when it comes to search engines – natural search and paid advertising. If a portal tops the paid ads section, they may not be there for long. Natural search almost always enjoys a long term result.   What you need: SEO ranking tools. Surprisingly, you can Google (or Bing) such tools. An example would be: Google Rankings. How hard is it to measure?  Easy. Search your favorite term and evaluate. Not relevant if: Your website is higher than the portal’s, or online advertising is not interesting to you and you don’t want to be found.   5. Up-to-date and content-rich listings?   Many brokers and agents overlook the importance of having fresh and detailed listings. Customers want real and relevant data on properties BEFORE they enquire. Out-of-date listings and barren, lacklustre listings fall through the cracks.   Your listings should come alive with rich content listings such as interior and exterior images, maps, 360 views and more. The more information available on a property, the more likely visitors are to send an enquiry. This also helps to ensure you are receiving your most qualified leads because users are getting a genuine glimpse of the actually property and registering their interest.   Failing to keep updated listings and ensuring customers have the most up-to-date information is another barrier to success for portals. The real challenge with portals is not really getting listings on the website, but knowing when to take them down. With old, irrelevant and outdated listings a portal can often build traffic temporarily only to lose it again.   What you need: Ask the portal for the number of return visitors. This is a measure for who comes back to the portal more than once and will help determine visitors are leaving in search of other websites. You can also randomly check listings to see if they still exist. How hard is it to measure?  Easy, but tedious. The hardest but most effective way is to spend time calling a random selection of listings to verify accuracy and status. Not relevant if: The portal lists properties only from Masterkey (which guarantees accuracy), or has a guaranteed method to remove old listings.   6. Ease of listing a property   It’s important not to overlook the time it takes to list a property on each portal. Sure, you can try listing the property on each portal one by one but you’re going to be there a long time, and that’s a lot of overhead. It’s better and easier to find portals that allow you to upload directly from your property database. This may sound like shameless plug for Masterkey’s portal partners, but the reality is that the ability to list directly using an upload tool, or via XML in some way, will save you a lot of time.   What you need: Tech-savvy people to figure out the integration. How hard is it to do?  Easy. All you need is a team of experts who make it easy for you, or use Masterkey. We will integrate with any portal that our clients demand. Not relevant if: You like spending a lot of time in front of the computer and not with your clients.   7. Ease of searching for a listing   How quickly can you find your listing on the portal website? Can you go straight to the listing with a property reference code? Does the portal allow you to use your own reference code? Can you search for the building name and the name auto-completes for you? If this is going to be your main advertising channel, you must ensure it’s accessible.   What you need: A stop watch, mouse and computer. How hard is it to measure?  Easy. Not relevant if: You want your customers to spend hours looking for your property. Never underestimate the value of providing a user-friendly and manageable way for your customers to find what they’re looking for.   Lastly, we invite you find out more about the Masterkey Portal Partner Advantage here.

Google is changing the Web and you need to know about it.

Google is changing the Web and you need to know about it.Google is at it again. They continue to shape the environment and circumstances that dictate how we as businesses exist on the web. It is essential as real estate professionals to stay informed about the advancements in technology as they pertain to your customers shopping and selection experience. We all know that the web has supplanted the more traditional forms of search and selection when it comes to consumers finding what they want. What's more important than acknowledging this, is involving yourself with the new methods and game-changers as they occur. Knowledge breeds preparation breeds action. On that note, take a look at this article on how Google is changing how people use the web. Google Gets Real-Time, Personalized Search If you have any thoughts on the article, we'd love to hear them. Just post a reply to this thread. Best Regards, The Masterkey Team    

Is Your Business Falling Behind? You may be setting your business up to fail by not utilizing social media

Communication through Google and social media has significantly influenced how people make decisions and find information. Today, interactive information sharing on the World Wide Web, better known as Web 2.0, has changed the way users communicate around the world. According to Mashable, the world's largest blog dedicated exclusively to Web 2.0 and Social Media news, business professionals who aren't actively involved in social media will be left behind, and catching up won't be easy. We're here to give you some valuable tips and ideas to get you started in social media.   Become a Butterfly on Social-Networking Sites: Social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin rank in the top four most visited websites. According to Mashable, more than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos) are shared on social-networking sites daily. Individuals who get involved are taking over their businesses and building incredible audiences around the world. In one instance, Starbucks updated their status on Twitter about a promotion for free coffee all day. The effect was tremendous, making it the #1 Rank on Google for that day. A separate initiative by Dell offering expensive-to-sell refurbished computers on Facebook generated approximately $2 million in revenue. Pretty serious. Get Started: Set up Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn company accounts and plan a social media strategy. There are a number of webinars and whitepapers out there to help you facilitate your strategy, just Google it. Your best bet is to get out there and start meeting people like it's your business. Don't alienate your audience though, avoid one way- targeted marketing and focus on building a strong brand presence through interaction. Become part of the community and strive to learn, share and meet. In the end, it really is like going to a social gathering, the more friends and connections you make, the more popular you'll be at the party. So, get out there and meet some people. Be Viral and Be Interesting: Viral marketing can be an extremely effective marketing tool, but it's not easy. Being Viral is all about communicating interesting and creative content to your audience via newsletters, emails, text messages, etc. The key to successful Viral marketing is creating content that your audience finds so rewarding that they want to share it with others. Think about a really funny email that you receive in your inbox and immediately forward on to a friend because it was just that good. That is the essence of being Viral. Viral marketing isn't for everything though, and is best used as a technique to increase brand awareness. By nature your content should not usually generate a specific commercial action from your audience other than for them to spread it around. Viral marketing relies heavily on word-of-mouth delivery via the network effects of the Internet, you must keep that in mind. Get Started: Create a monthly newsletter that provides value and/or entertainment to your target audience. Publish interesting stories that directly affect or relate to your audience and industry to a blog or your social media accounts. Create a company Wikipedia page that dishes the details about your organization and your members. If you think your concept is good enough, you can even take a stab at a publishing content onto YouTube. Whatever you do remember that with Viral, content is king. If what you're posting is interesting and relevant to your intended audience, it can spread like a wild fire. Blog with the Best of Them: If you don't know what a blog is by now, there may be no hope for you. But just in case, a blog is basically a website where individuals post commentary, opinions and/or news on a number of subjects. Blogs serve as a digital soapbox for anyone, and in today's world literally everyone, to express themselves. Blogs come together to create a vast social network called the Blogosphere. The Blogosphere consists of all blogs and their interconnections. Strong blog involvement in the Blogosphere essentially creates a large discussion group for like-minded people to meet, receive feedback on ideas, share business ideas and bring out the personality of their company. C-suite business executives, celebrities, authors and every day people are gaining popularity around the world for sharing their opinions online. Drop by your favorite company or celebrity's website and you are almost guaranteed to find a blog. Get Started: This one is simple. Start a company blog and start publishing. Find a niche topic for your business, write about yourself, what you think, what you believe. Start sourcing other interesting articles and publishing them on your blog. Promote yourself by promoting others. Seek out the blogs of your peers and respected professionals and listen. Well don't just listen, talk back as well. Create a web of dialogue surrounding what you find interesting and helpful and others will engage. Think of it like going to the gym, if you just take the steps to get started, it's all downhill from there. Pretty soon, you'll even start enjoying yourself. These are just a few tips to help you get the ball rolling. The truth is that the world's biggest and most powerful businesses are involved in social media and benefit greatly from it. With so many involved businesses, catching up won't be easy, but if you communicate in the right way and reward your audience with great material, you're heading in the right direction. Stay tuned to the Masterkey Blog for updates with marketing tips, real estate industry news and loads of other interesting stuff coming soon.

Cityscape Dubai 2009 Finds Realism

In years past, attending Cityscape Dubai meant you were going to see the biggest and best that the industry had to offer. Budgets were an afterthought, with companies from around the world barring no expense to ensure they had not only a presence, but made an impact at the event.   Cityscape Dubai is still largely considered the preeminent B2B real estate event of the year. However, this year uncertainty about the turnout of the event permeated throughout the industry. Yes, it is smaller, that much is obvious upon entering the exhibition center.  And yes, the foot traffic is nowhere near the crowds of past years. The stands are not as many or as big, and the giveaways are less flamboyant and far and few between. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s simply the reality.   For years, Cityscape Dubai resembled a social gathering rather than a showcase for serious professionals to connect and focus on business. That sentiment has changed for Cityscape Dubai 2009. The atmosphere of the event is calmer and geared more towards genuine networking and business connections. The sense is while you may not fill your rolodex with a flood of new business cards,  the ones you are collecting are more meaningful and more qualified.   Moreover, the feeling is one of realism, and that the event more accurately reflects the current conditions of the market. The big names are there, but not in the manner that they are accustomed to. It’s truly refreshing though, because one is actually able to approach the executives and staff, and engage in meaningful conversations that render genuine business relationships.   So, if you haven’t taken the time to stop by the exhibition, you really should. This year is unlike any in the recent past and more importantly it represents the reality of the industry. No more smoke and mirrors, but rather real professionals doing what they can to improve their businesses. It bodes well for the industry because the participants and visitors alike are actually acknowledging one another in a meaningful way.   Don’t forget to stop by our stand in Hall 4, stand 4A40 and tell us what you think about the event, we’d love to hear what your take is.   Best Regards, The Masterkey Team 

Masterkey offers 1 Million AED Real Estate Stimulus Package to fuel Cityscape Dubai 2009

In conjunction with this year’s Cityscape Dubai exhibition, Masterkey is offering a stimulus package valued at 1 million AED, as a catalyst to help real estate organizations world-wide climb out of the recent industry downturn. The stimulus offering which runs from now through the last day of Cityscape Dubai, taking place October 5th through 8th at the Dubai International Trade Centre, is highlighted by our pledge to provide our industry leading software to one company free of charge for life. What you can win: 1st place: One company will receive up to 5 user licenses and any initial license costs free for life. 2nd place: One company will receive up to 5 user licenses and any initial license costs free for 6 months. 3rd place: One company will receive up to 5 user licenses and any initial license costs free for 3 months. *Everyone who registers with Masterkey will receive up to 5 user licenses and any initial costs free for 1 month. Who qualifies? Any individual or organization in the real estate industry can register for the Stimulus Package. Please note that the sweepstakes is open to new customers only. Employees or contractors of existing customers or any person directly or indirectly involved in the implementation of this competition, or their direct family members are not eligible. How do you register? Individuals or organizations may register here or in person at the Masterkey’s stand, 4A40, located in Hall 4 of the Dubai International Trade Centre.          Individuals or organizations can earn up to 4 additional submissions into the drawing by registering and connecting with Masterkey through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and by visiting the booth to be treated with a bonus submission. This allows applicants for a total of five possible submissions per applicant. When can I register? The offer runs from today through 6:00pm on October 8th, the last day of Cityscape Dubai. The winners will be notified by October 20th via email and telephone. The details: All submissions from registered companies will be placed into a drawing. All registered applicants will be notified when the drawing will take place. The winning applicants will be notified directly via email and telephone by October 20th. The winning applicants will sign a standard Masterkey License Order to obtain the free licenses and while any additional user licenses, if requested, will be charged at the standard rate provided by Masterkey. Included are the Masterkey Professional Software License and 5 Masterkey Professional User Licenses. Prize(s) is non-transferable and non-refundable. No prize substitution will be given, and cash will not be given in lieu of any prize. However, Masterkey reserves the right to substitute a prize (or any part of the prize) with a prize of equal or greater value. Read the Full Terms and Conditions

New Feature Added: Support Center

We are excited to introduce the Support Center feature now included in the Masterkey software. The new feature provides users with a user-friendly and comprehensive resource for information and help regarding Masterkey features and functionality. The Masterkey Support Center covers a range of topics broken down into various sections allowing for easy and intuitive navigation.   Getting Started A page dedicated  to all the relevant information for users new to the Masterkey system.   FAQs Our FAQ section provides answers into the most frequently asked questions about Masterkey. Help Files A single page listing of all help files available in Masterkey for quick and easy referencing.   Log an Issue Provides as a direct communication channel for support issues between you and Masterkey.   Release Notes An archive of all release notes covering new features and functionality added to Masterkey. (coming soon)   Videos  Interactive and flexible collection of multimedia resources covering a number of useful topics. (coming soon)   How to access the Support Center feature in the system: If you haven’t already noticed by now, the next time you log into your Masterkey system you will be notified of the new Support Center feature via an alert. Please click to “acknowledge” the new feature.     Next, simply click on the “Support Center” button located in the upper right hand corner of your screen.   A new window will open in your browser launching the Masterkey Support Center.     It’s as easy as that. At Masterkey, our continued aim is to provide you with best possible support for your Masterkey products. The release of the new Support Center feature is a major accomplishment in our efforts to provide you with on demand support of your system. We welcome you to explore the new Support Center feature and provide us with any feedback you have.   If you have any questions about the new Support Center feature or any other issue related to Masterkey, please contact us at support@gomasterkey.com.   Best Regards, The Masterkey Team  

Masterkey and Alineah Special Offer

June 4th, 2009 by Zack Stay cool this summer with Masterkey and Alineah!   All summer long as the temperature rises, watch your costs fall. Masterkey and Alineah have partnered to provide you with the coolest ability to promote your listings. As a Masterkey client you can now advertise your property listings on Alineah directly through Masterkey.  Once users have entered property details into Masterkey, the process of posting each property’s details onto Alineah is automated instantly, saving you both time and money… Sign up for Alineah’s special summer subscription and bonus offer Receive 1000 AED off your Alineah monthly subscription fee, every month, all summer long. It gets better, the first 10 users to sign up can take advantage of an exclusive offer and get the maximum exposure for their listings. Add a “skyscraper” Advertising Banner on Alineah.com for only 1000 AED (normally 6,000 AED). To sign up for this limited time offer contact Leticia Nevermann at Leticia@alineah.com or +971 50 879 2286. Mention the promo code MASTERSUMMER when signing up to receive this discount. Masterkey + Alineah =   Increased visibility   Lower advertising costs   Expanded reach   Quick & easy property listings     Visit us at www.gomasterkey.com or call us at +971 4 398 9739 to learn more about how Masterkey can help your business grow in the current market.

Cure for the Common Collapse

Cure for the Common CollapseConcerned about the health of your finances?   We all can agree that the current economic conditions have everyone feeling less than their best. The collective negativity and despondence spreads like a sickness, making it seemingly impossible to escape the pessimism.   We say enough is enough; it’s time to start the road to recovery.   Do more. Spend less. Feel better.   Start today with Masterkey, the ultimate Software as a Service (SaaS) for Real Estate Professionals.   Masterkey provides real estate companies with the exact functionality they need, and none of what they do not. Not only that, but Masterkey provides professionals with more innovative and user friendly capabilities than traditional software providers at a fraction of the cost.   What are some of the side effects of Masterkey Software as a Service (SaaS)? No costly software installation, upgrades or maintenance. Gain access to cutting edge technology immediately without a large upfront investment in hardware or software. Shorter deployment time. Be up and running in just days, as opposed to a phased implementation that could take months. See the return on your investment sooner. Global availability. Gain access to your system at anytime from anywhere via the web. It’s a SERVICE to you. Masterkey is dedicated to the service model, providing you with a dedicated account manager that liaises with you directly, while our support team ensures you receive any assistance you need in the swiftest manner. Stay ahead with ongoing, smaller upgrades. We are constantly improving and expanding our software in the form of consistent small changes that improve functionality while avoiding large, costly roll outs that cost you time and money to implement. Optimize your internal IT efforts. There are scores of IT troubles incurred by software consumers in the traditional client/server model. By eliminating these constant hiccups, your IT team is able to focus on improving the day-to-day technical operations of your company. Save money and redistribute your IT. By outsourcing software functionality to Masterkey, you are saving money in both infrastructure requirements and IT personnel knowledge requirements. The money you save using Masterkey can be, well…saved, or reallocated to augment the other areas of your business. Scalability to adapt as you grow, or change strategies. Masterkey is flexible enough to expand with you as you take on growth, or scale back if you shift strategies.   Feel beeter now sign up with Masterkey today

Receive 9% off if you sign up with Masterkey today.

Time is Money.   We know, we know. But as cliché as it sounds, it’s true.   In today’s environment real estate organizations can’t afford to operate at anything less than fully optimal. The microscope is on every detail of the business, and saving money while not compromising on service is all that matters.   The longer you stall and the longer you fail to optimize your business, the more money and opportunities you lose. How do you optimize your business?   By improving Return On Investment (ROI) Stretching your budget Targeting your efforts Honing your strategy   Every minute of every day is money lost when you aren’t running your business as efficiently as you can. Right now, it’s tough to justify lost money and opportunities because of inaction.     Masterkey helps real estate professionals do business better, faster and easier.   Sell and lease more property. Lower your cost per lead and reach a global audience of 1000’s qualified leads. Organize and manage your data with one central database. Save thousands on marketing with a powerful array of tools and features that allow you to customize and specifically target your message and audiences. Manage your team of brokers and agents more efficiently and provide them with the resources to succeed. Streamline every facet of your operations. Eliminate tedious administrative processes. That means less time in the back office and more time interacting with clients. Measure and improve your ROI with meaningful and detailed reporting.   When we say time is money, we literally mean it. From now until April 31, 2009 when you register your interest with Masterkey receive 1% off your set up fee for every day remaining in the month.   Here’s how it works:   Register your interest with Masterkey today, April 22, 2009 and receive 9% (9 days left in April) off your total set up fee.   Register your interest with Masterkey tomorrow, April 23, 2009 and receive 8% (8 days left in April) off your total set up fee.   You can see where this is going. The longer you wait…the more money you lose so sign up today.   Please enter the promotion code TIMEMONEY, when registering on our site.   Optimize your efforts today with Masterkey!   Best Regards, The Masterkey Team