Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you: TRB V 3.0.
I hope everybody had a great long weekend!
I was able to get out to the golf course, but I also spent a lot of time behind the computer, as you might be able to tell based on TRB’s new layout!
I’ve never been good with change. In fact, I’m terrible with it. But I hope my blog readers are a bit more accepting of TRB’s new layout, and hopefully more so than they were in 2011 when we went from the original 2007 version to the “new and improved” version that up until last week was the norm.
TRB V 3.0 is cleaner, easier to navigate, and the most important features of the blog are more easily accessible.
The previous version was organized chronologically, with the last fifteen posts listed from top to bottom on the home page.
But I’ve been told by many readers that they’re either interested in today’s article, or yesterday’s if they missed it, but beyond that, there’s no point in scrolling back.
I’ve also been told by some readers that they like to read by genre, or “channels,” such as Condos, Mortgage, Stories, Friday Rant, etc.
And lastly, I’ve been told that the most popular columns, ie. the ones with the most comments, are also in high demand.
So I’ve combined this feedback to give you the new and improved home page!
On the left hand side, you can search by “Latest” to get the last five posts, or by “Popular” to get the five posts with the most comments.
In the middle section, we have “Today’s” blog, and then on the right, you can access “Yesterday’s” blog, as well as the previous week. If you want to dig back further, there’s a link for “More,” and you can always go to the “Archive” on the left hand side, below the “Videos.”
Below the fold, you’ve got your main twelve “TRB Channels,” with blog posts organized chronologically, but by Channel or Genre.
And then, as you’ve probably noticed from the animated GIF image below the fold on the main page and at the masthead on the blog post pages, we’re cranking out a new feature called “Pick Five.”
This, in my opinion, will be the most controversial thing I’ve ever done in seven years of blogging.
“Pick Five” is a password-protected section of the site where I’ll analyze active listings, and provide my insight and analysis on the properties, and everything in between. Up until now, I’ve always had to be anonymous in my writings, and either provide an address such as “123 Fake Street,” or refer to a house as “a property in North Toronto.” Well I’ve created a Virtual Office Website by incorporating a password-protected area of Toronto Realty Blog, meaning we can look at active listings for sale, all their photos and details, and talk about the pricing, the marketing, the strategy, probable sale prices if they’re holding back offers, and basically I can do and say a host of things that I couldn’t previously (and still can’t…) on the main page of TRB.
I’m not going to get into a discussion about the “rules” of organized real estate, their merits, their uses, etc. Instead, I’ll play by those rules, and launch “Pick Five.”
So what’s all the fuss about “Pick Five?”
Well, imagine I decide to analyze five properties in Bloor West, one of which I tear to shreds. I talk about how terrible the staging is, how it’s like putting lipstick on a pig, how the property is over-priced AND they’re holding back offers, and how I don’t trust the listing agent. Well, how would that listing agent feel? He or she might launch a RECO complaint, charging that I’ve “disparaged a competitor,” and that I’m guilty of “unauthorized advertising” for providing access to their photos and virtual tour.
Well, I would charge that I’m not providing my opinion to the general public, but rather to members of my database, who have their own password, and who have ASKED for my help and commentary.
I would also suggest that I’m not “advertising” their listings, or illegally using their photos and virtual tours, since the same are readily available to any person receiving automated “Prospect Matches” via email from a real estate agent.
The bottom line is this: the real estate industry is changing, like it or not (consumers like it; organized real estate does not). Barriers to entry are being broken down, and information will (eventually) be more readily available. A website like www.tosolds.com is blatantly breaching RECO rules, and yet nothing is being done about it, since the broker/owner is currently embroiled in a half-billion-dollar lawsuit with every member of organized real estate. But I digress…
“Pick Five” is not meant to ruffle any feathers, but rather demonstrate how technological advances can and should be used to benefit an industry.
Remember when Napster hit the scene in the late 1990’s, and the music industry spent billions and billions of dollars fighting against the technology instead of embracing it?
I have a message, an opinion, and a mission, and I want to share it with people who want to hear what I have to say. I shouldn’t be confined to the telephone to talk to potential clients, or in the board room in my brokerage. The password-protected back-end of my website is as good a place as any to talk to potential clients, and it follows the policies set for “virtual office websites.”
So with that short rant out of the way, I’d love to hear some feedback from my regular readers on the blog’s new layout – whether you love it or hate it.
For real – let me know about anything and everything, good or bad. A lot of time went into this, and I’d like to know how my regular readers feel. Some of you have been reading for seven years, and have seen all three versions of TRB. I’m hoping you’ll like these changes.
And check out “Pick Five” if you have a chance. Yes, you have to put in your email address and you’ll be sent a password, but I’m not in the business of spamming people ten times per day. 🙂
It’s a short week, but I’ll be posting new blogs every day.