What's new in 4.2...

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This year at the REW Summit 2012 in Miami, we had a chance to show attendees a preview of the latest 4.2 platform and all the new features to be included in the release. In this post I review each of the newly introduced features and breifly explain how they work.

During the presentation we took additional ideas and suggestions that were not yet implemented. Out of these many great improvements, there were a few that stood out and were chosen to be developed by the R&D team here at REW. Morgan talks about these feature requests in his Post Miami REW Summit Wrap Up post, and I am here to let you know the end result on how these new features and improvements were implemented.


Sender Settings for Form Auto-Responders: When setting up form auto-responders, the sender can be set to one of three options: Super Admin, Assigend Agent, or Custom. This allows for much more control over who the auto-responder will be sent from.


Copy Snippets: When editing an existing CMS Snippet or IDX Snippet there is now a button to Copy the snippet to a new snippet. Click on the 'Copy' button, then you will be asked to provide a unique name for the new copied snippet.


Ability to Edit CMS Listing URL Address: When creating a new listing in the listings manager, you can now supply the Listing Link that is to be used in the Listing's URL Address.


Import MLS Listings to Listings Manager: When managing listings, there is now a button to access the 'Import Listings' tool. Usign this tool, Listings can be imported from the MLS through your IDX using your Office ID.


Suggest a Saved Search: When viewing a lead's recently viewed searches, there is now a link to 'Suggest' the search. Once suggested, an email will be sent to notify the lead that you've suggested that they save a search. Include is the search criteria, as well a links to Save and Refine the search. Here is a copy of the email that is sent:


Edit Lead Call Notes: When viewing the details of a tracked call for a lead, you are now able to Edit the note that was saved to the lead's history.


Agent SMS Email Address: On the agent preference form there is now an input to supply an SMS Email Address that can be used to send Form Submission and Lead Assignment notifications to an Agent's phone. SMS Notifications can be enabled in the Agent Notification Settings (See Below).


Agent Notification Settings: Agents now have more control over some of the various notifications that are sent out from the lead manager.

  • Turn on SMS Notifications for when a lead is assigned or when a new inquiry and form submission are received. Also add a CC recipient if turned on.
  • Turn on/off notifications for when a lead create a new saved search or saves a favorite listing. Also add a CC recipient if turned on.
  • Add a CC/BCC recipient to emails sent to assigned leads: Saved Search Updates, Saved Search Suggestions, Listing Recommendations


Bulk Un-Assign from Group: When managing leads, you can now choose to either Assign to a group or Un-Assign from a group. First, select the leads and then pick the group from the menu. Once clicked, a message will appear to confirm your action and pick Un-Assign or Assign.


Bulk Status Change: This improvement makes it possible for Agents to easily accept or reject leads in bulk. Added a dropdown list to the manage/search leads list for Agents to change the status of their selected leads. If rejecting leads, a reason for rejection is required.


Rotation Un-Assign: A new option has been added to the auto-rotation feature, so instead of assigning rotated leads to the next agent, the lead will be un-assigned and sent back to the Super Admin to handle. This is enabled under the Lead Manager settings by checking the 'Rotation Un-Assign' checkbox.


Allow Agents to Delete Leads: The super admin can now chose to give an agent permission to delete leads from the system while in Admin mode. Must also allow 'Access to All Leads' in Agent permissions.


Saved Search Notifications: When a saved search is manually created or edited by a lead, there is now an option to have the agent assigned emailed with the details so they can follow up. Similiar to saved listing notifications, these notifications can be turned off for an individual lead. An agent can turn on/off these notifications globally in their notifcation settings.


Lead Referer & Keywords: Search Engine Keyword information is now included in a lead's tracked visits as well as on the lead summary page. Updates were also made to better detect Organic vs Paid search engine traffic. For paid traffic, referer will display as 'Google PPC'.


Lead Message Notification: When you send a message to a lead, the next time they visit the website they will receive a popup notification displaying the sent message. This will ensure that the message will be seen for active and returning leads during their visit.


View Next/Previous Listing: When on a lsiting details page, visitors can now click through to the next or previous listing matched in their last search.


Google Maps Version 3: In the latest 4.2 release, all instances of Google Maps API have been updated to use the latest Google Maps API (version 3.x). Google Map Version 3 includes a few new benefits and features such as optimized tiles for Retina devices, as well as Flash-Free (HTML5) Streetview and speed improvements and optimization for Mobile devices. Some of the improvements of this upgrade may go un-noticeable, as they are "under the hood". The most noticable are the new icons for listings and amenities, as well as better support of handling listings at the exact same location.



Online Leads: The lead manager now lets you know when a lead is active on your website. Online leads will have a green icon next to them.


IDX Social Connect: This is a new feature that allows your visitors to register and login using their social media accounts. Currently supported providers include: Facebook, Google, Windows Live (Hotmail), Twitter, Yahoo, and Linked In. Leads that have connected using their social media account will be flagged with an icon.

In order to enable this feature on your website, you must first register an application which each provider (More detailed instructions to come).


Improved Craigslist Tool: Listing flyers can now be posed to Craigslist directly from the tool and are are now stored for easy re-use. Also, a new 'Generic Template' is available.


News & Alerts: In the left-hand sidebar of the backend there is now a News section. This lets us easily provide everyone with news about upcoming server maintenance or known service interruptions. Now you can stay informed without having to check the REW Forums or REW Blogs.


Bounce Detection & Anti-Spam Features: Improvements have been made to the way that bounced emails and SPAM reports are handled. Search leads that have been flagged as bounced / reported.

Steven talks more about the News & Alerts and Anti-Spam Features in his blog post here: http://www.realestatewebmasters.com/blogs/rew-steven/26183/show/


That pretty much sums up some of the latest features of the new 4.2 release. Until next time...

Michael Griffiths
Real Estate Webmasters

Comments

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phake

The text alerts and the new messaging pop-up system look awesome.

When a user logs in using a social account, does it make them a fan of our social page or something, or do we get there contact info (e-mail / phone number) from the social page?

I've never had a site that used that feature before.

Morgan Carey

It does create a lead in the system and you get name / email etc - we do not at this point autopost to their facebook, but you will know what their facebook user is I think - I'll have to check on that part.

REW Michael

@phake, Morgan is correct. We do not auto-post or auto-like anything for the user as only basic permissions are requested. You can see an example on how this feature works for visitors on http://2012.rewlec.com/idx/register.html

Matt

Love all the new features.

In looking at the google maps version 3 screen captures above, I noticed the "show nearby" menu. Don't see that feature on my 4.2 site. Is that area specific?

REW Michael

Hi Matt! The 'Show nearby' features (shown in the screenshot above) are only available with the Get Local (Demographics) Module which is an IDX Enhancement listed here: http://www.realestatewebmasters.com/upgrades/idx-enhancements.php#get-local-module

Ben Ganje

What would it cost to upgrade from the 4.2 backend? Thanks!

Mike Ciucci

Awesome description with photos...Looks like a good upgrade to me, I'll be doing it very soon. I especially like the updated Google Maps version 3 (for speed & better for mobile devices). I also like the ability to see which leads are currently online so we can help them right away.

Bob Broad

Just upgraded to 4.2 ... are there any release notes/documentation?

REW Kyle

I just noticed that the Social Connect mentions "more detailed instructions to come" but there's none that I see. Here's a link to more detailed instructions:

http://www.realestatewebmasters.com/support/idx-social-connect.php

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