Email Post to a Friend: Tech Tuesday - Setting Up Saved Searches

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October
27

This week Harley reviews setting up saved searches in the DeltaNET.

Video Transcription

Harley:

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Tech Tuesday, presented by Delta Media Group, where we're going to try to make this one quick because we checked with Noodle this morning and Noodle said it's a no bones day. So today, we're going to take a look at creating safe searches or home finders in the DeltaNET. You may have heard that term, home finder, before. It's mentioned in a handful of places throughout the DeltaNET. A home finder just refers to a portfolio account or a customer account on your website that has a saved search in place. It's a home finder because they will get notified whenever a new home that they might be interested in comes on the market.

Harley:

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Tech Tuesday, presented by Delta Media Group, where we're going to try to make this one quick because we checked with Noodle this morning and Noodle said it's a no bones day. So today, we're going to take a look at creating safe searches or home finders in the DeltaNET. You may have heard that term, home finder, before. It's mentioned in a handful of places throughout the DeltaNET. A home finder just refers to a portfolio account or a customer account on your website that has a saved search in place. It's a home finder because they will get notified whenever a new home that they might be interested in comes on the market.

Harley:

Now the easiest way is to just go up here to the search box and type in their name. And you can see they come up right here in the quick actions auto completer. And then I can just click on their name to run through to their profile page, and here we are. So however I've chosen to get there, once I do find my way to their portfolio page, I can scroll down here to that saved searches and market watch report section and click add a saved search. So when it loads up initially, it will have me define what search area I want to look at. Keep in mind that I can add to this also, so I could search by market here. Type in a market name and then I could go to this locations tab, and I can add additional markets to it. So just like the public saved search or the public side search, I can search by all this same criteria.

Harley:

So MLS IDs, if I'm looking for specific listings, which would kind of defeat the purpose of a saved search when you think about it, but you get the idea. So in this one, we'll go ahead and go by area. And I'll just draw a polygon on the map here to give us a few things to look at. So we'll zoom in a little bit and just make a nice sized box here, covering an odd looking area. But the idea with this polygon search feature is if you did have a specific market, or a specific neighborhood even that you wanted to look at, you could actually just go right along the streets and you could draw a box around just that neighborhood.

Harley:

So once this is set up, we'll click next and we'll find no listings in that area. So to accommodate that, we'll go over here to locations. And you can see polygon location is what I have set up in here. I'll just clear that out. And I can choose something else. Let's do a radius this time. We'll do a nice big radius then we'll find something. Oh, yeah, that's a pretty good radius. There we go. So now we have a bunch of listings in our search radius. Again, I could click on locations and I could add additional or exclude additional areas here also if I wanted to, so I have a lot of freedom as far as narrowing this down to just the listings they want based on area.

Harley:

Everything else here, or just about everything else here is kind of standard search criteria. So under property type, I can narrow that down if I'd like. I can go to property details. I've got my price, beds, baths, all those standard filters. There's quite a bit there. Under filter options, these are kind of our standard filters. And all of these filters exactly match what is on the public website, with the exception of these two. And you can see we have a couple set up in here just as examples. But the idea is whatever MLSs your system is connected to, those will populate up here as well, so you can search those MLS specific fields. So the rest of these filters are things that are kind of generally common from one MLS to the next, so we translate them into our system.

Harley:

These are filters that are so specific that they may exist only at this MLS, or they're just really inconsistent from one MLS to the next. This allows you to get into those really specific features and really narrow down these properties to things that'll match. Now because this is test data, I won't really get any matches here, but just to give you an idea. This particular MLS lets you filter down by only listings that have an invisible fence set up, or if we open up flooring, only those that have concrete flooring, or laminate flooring. So you get the idea here, and you can really get specific in a way that the customer, if they go to the public site, won't be able to because they can't get to these MLS specific features. So when you do get to them, you can really nail down a very specific search for them.

Harley:

So the next piece we have here is if we take a look at search summary. It shows me just a quick breakdown of all of the filters that I've selected so far, so it's just an easy way that I can see exactly what I'm narrowing things down to here without having to go tab by tab and take a look at everything. So it's just a handy way to do that. Now also, if I have saved a template search before, I can pull up my templates with this drop down. So if for example, you had a two beds, three baths, and 2000 or more square feet, and that was a search you found yourself setting up all the time, you could save a search template for that and use that template later on.

Harley:

So the next piece we have here is saved search settings. So under this, we first have the ability to name our search however we would choose. This will actually be shown in the email to the customer. So whenever this search runs and it finds new listings that match whatever criteria you set here, it'll send an email out to the customer based on your settings here. And in that email, it will include the search name. So we'll call this big radius search. Sounds descriptive enough for our purposes here. But you want to name this in such a way that it's going to make sense. So if you do set up multiple saved searches for a customer, for example, let's say that they're interested in properties in multiple school districts, but they want to break up those results so that every time they get one of these emails, they know that this is specific to a certain school district. Instead of combining them all together, you could set this name to match the school district that each of these searches if for. That way, every time they get it, they really know what they're looking at.

Harley:

So next thing we have in line here is message notifications. Now if I turn this off, you can see the rest of those options go away because they all really have to do with the notifications themselves. But I could still save this search now, and if I did save it, it would be in this customer's account. So they wouldn't get any notices when new listings come up that match, but they could go to your website, log into their account, find this search and run it on the website. So there's still a benefit to saving it, even if the notifications are turned off.

Harley:

Now if I have the notifications turned on, I can choose first how often I want the updates to go out. So this one in particular is set to every two days by default, but I can go all the way down to instantly. And the idea is as soon as a listing comes on the market, the system will queue up and send out an email to the customer to let them know that a new listing has come up. Now if I set this to run every seven days, for example, then at that point, all it will do is every seven days, the system will run this search. And if it does find any new listings that match, it'll then fire off that email. Now you can see when I set a long interval like that, I do have the option of adding these emails to the queue. So what that would do instead is when this runs, if it does find any new listings that match, instead of emailing the customer directly, you'll get a notice email that says, "There's a saved search email in queue, ready for your review."

Harley:

Now if I have the notifications turned on, I can choose first how often I want the updates to go out. So this one in particular is set to every two days by default, but I can go all the way down to instantly. And the idea is as soon as a listing comes on the market, the system will queue up and send out an email to the customer to let them know that a new listing has come up. Now if I set this to run every seven days, for example, then at that point, all it will do is every seven days, the system will run this search. And if it does find any new listings that match, it'll then fire off that email. Now you can see when I set a long interval like that, I do have the option of adding these emails to the queue. So what that would do instead is when this runs, if it does find any new listings that match, instead of emailing the customer directly, you'll get a notice email that says, "There's a saved search email in queue, ready for your review."

Harley:

Now the next thing I can do is I can choose whether this email will go out via email or whether it'll actually be a text message notification that goes out instead. In order for the text message or the SMS functionality to be available for you here, you have to have activated a virtual phone number, and you do that from your profile page. Just click your name up here and then click on profile. That takes you to your profile page. And then if you go down to your personal phone number section, there is a button there to create a virtual phone number, so that is the first requirement to be able to send these out as SMS messages.

Harley:

The second is that the customer that I'm setting up the saved search for, so Alan Partridge in this case because why not, they have to be opted into the receipt of SMS messages as well. So they do that when they first create their account or they have an SMS opt in page or basically through the email opt in page. They can opt in that way, or you can talk to them and you can go to the subscriptions page and opt them in as well, so that is our message format.

Harley:

The second is that the customer that I'm setting up the saved search for, so Alan Partridge in this case because why not, they have to be opted into the receipt of SMS messages as well. So they do that when they first create their account or they have an SMS opt in page or basically through the email opt in page. They can opt in that way, or you can talk to them and you can go to the subscriptions page and opt them in as well, so that is our message format.

Harley:

Now the next thing we have here is new functionality we have added to this. You can now send these on price changes. So in addition to the search running on whatever interval it runs on and finding new listings that come on the market that match this criteria, if the send price change option is turned on, then it will also pick up any price reductions of listings that it's already found. So if there's a listing that already matched, that maybe it already sent last week, or a couple of weeks ago, and this time, it finds that same listing, but the price has been reduced, well, that will also trigger the email if this is set on, and it will point that out as a price reduction.

Harley:

And then the next piece we have here is send open houses. If this is turned on, in addition to sending the new listings that match every time it runs, on Thursdays and Fridays, it will run, and if it finds any listings with upcoming open houses that match the criteria of this search, it will also send out an open house email. And that email just says, "There are open houses upcoming for these listings that match your search criteria, or that we think you may be interested in." So if you wanted to send those emails as well, then you just turn send open houses to on, and it will include those, or in addition, it will send out those emails.

Harley:

The next piece we have here is you have the option of copying yourself on this email, so that is exactly what it sounds like. Every time it goes out, you'll just be copied on it. And keep in mind that you can pull these emails up after the fact from the history section on the customer profile pages as well, and we'll take a look at that in a moment. So you wouldn't necessarily have to copy yourself in order to see these emails. If they did call in and question you on anything in the emails, you can always go into their account and you can find that email in their history section.

Harley:

And then the next option we have here is to send the results now. So if I don't select this, the system is basically assuming that the customer has already seen all of these results. So at that point, it will only send an email when new results are found, or when price reductions on these results are found, if you did select this price reduction option. But if you wanted to send this entire result set first, so let's say you're setting this up for them, they haven't come to your website and done a search themselves, when you're setting this up for them, you'll go in and say, "Okay, they've never seen these before. I've removed all the ones I know they're not interested in. So I want to send them this whole set of results." And then after that, have it continue and just pick up new ones and notify them of the new ones.

Harley:

To do that, I would check this send search results now box. And then if I'm doing that, I can also put a little custom message in here if I want that will basically indicate, hey, I set up a saved search for you. Here's a few listings that I found initially. This search will keep running and it will let you know if anything new pops up that matches. So that way, you get to put a little custom message in there. So when you have all your options set up here, you just click save search and send results, and it will do exactly that. For this initial set, it'll save and send, so I'll go ahead and say, "I found some listings you might be interested in." Save and send.

Harley:

Now I'll just add before I click that, there is just a save button up here. So if you were editing this, if it was an existing search and you just made a couple of tweaks and wanted to save it without going through all this or looking through all this, you can just click this save search button, and then you're all done. But in this case, we want to send out the initial set, so I'll say, "Save and send." And there we go, results were saved. Email was sent, so just like that. So that is how you set up a saved search, and that is how you can also now set up a saved search to be triggered on price reductions in addition to just new listings that come up that match.

Harley:

And now if we scroll down here, we'll just take a quick look at the history section. You can see, here is our history section, and here is saved search. So they just give some information about the search or the saved search that we just created for this account. It hasn't sent the email yet, but it's dropped it off in the queue, so once that sends, and every time it sends from here on out, it'll show that here in the history section. Now with this history section, I can also narrow this down. So if I wanted to see only the saved search emails, you could use this drop down and I could say, "Just my home finder emails," and this would narrow it down to only those.

Harley:

So there you have it. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, as always, feel free to give us a call or send an email into support@deltagroup.com, and we can help you out there. So thank you very much, and I hope to see you again next week.

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