TeamFisher.com to undergo significant renovations

When I moved this blog from Community Server to WordPress back in June I was convinced that it would be easier to manage. I was wrong.

Forget the fact that Pamela and I lived in a virtual hell for two months moving and organizing content, but after all was said and done, I felt like a compulsive neat freak living with a messy desk (yes, I do know exactly how that feels). Stuff just feels out of place, and some of the better bits of content are hard to find, clumsy to navigate and poorly presented. I can see that. I just don’t have the time or the skill to fix it.

Alas, I shall admit that I am not a web designer, and that’s okay. ☺

Rather than continue to tinker with what I do not know, I have engaged the services of professionals to help me sort out my mess. We’ve just signed an agreement with 1000Watt Consulting, a company that specializes in helping real estate brokerages get their web stuff together. I am particularly excited about working with Joel Burslem, Marc Davison and Brian Boero on this project. All three of these guys made Inman’s 2009 “notable individuals” list. There’s a tremendous amount of knowledge and know how going on at 1000Watt so I’m excited to see what might happen here between now and February 4, the projected completion date for the “gutting and redesign.”

I’m most excited to see what develops on our Saskatoon neighbourhood pages. Over the years, these pages have proven themselves valuable to home buyers, especially those who are unfamiliar with Saskatoon. Recently, I’ve done a whack of work with my flickr account organizing more than 1,300 images of Saskatoon and our neighbourhoods. I think that this content, properly presented, will really add a lot.

I’m hoping you might give me a little feedback on real estate listings display on these pages. I have a few options available to me through MyRealPage, my listings service provider. Would you kindly take a look at the three I selected and let me know which you prefer? You’ll find the listings displayed just below the opening text on the following three pages.

Let’s call this one a film strip display.
This page features a map based display.
This one is sort of a grid.  (I ultimately see this being presented as a few rows of homes, rather than the six which currently display).

Thanks a lot for your suggestions, and thank you for continuing to visit.

On behalf of Pamela, Lyndon and myself we wish you the very best in 2010.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Google Street View now available for Saskatoon and on our home search tool

Google began rolling out its “Street View” functionality for Canada earlier this year but Saskatoon wasn’t included in the initial release. Well, today we got caught up with other major Canadian cities and Street View for Saskatoon is now functional.

You’ll probably want to start by checking out your own haunts to see if you can find yourself captured on a Google map. Start by searching for an address, click on the map placement pin that identifies the location and then select the “Street View” link for a closer look. If you find something fun please share it in the comments.

Click image for a larger view

Click image for a larger view

You can also find the Street View feature live and functional on all of the listings featured on our website, including the MLS listings database available under the Saskatoon Homes tab of the navigation bar. To use the Street View tool on any MLS listing, click the “Map/Walkscore” tab and then follow the “Street View” link just above the map image in the upper right hand corner.

Click image for a larger view

Click image for a larger view

The map placements seems to be less than perfect but it’s pretty easy to move around and it’s kind of a cool way to get a look up and down the block of any home that you might be interested in.

It just keeps getting better. Have fun!

A tip of the hat to @dcramps for the heads up on the availability of Street View for Saskatoon, and a big thank-you to @billskrypnyk, Technical Director at MyRealPage for making it all work.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Our Saskatoon homes search tool gets some nice updates

MyRealPage, the people who provide us with the ability to deliver MLS listings through our website are some of the industry’s best. They deliver a smooth and effective search product with regular updates to enhance the home search experience. Today, they added some nice improvements to the search functionality that I think make a huge difference for users of the search tool.

The updates are live and functional now, available behind the “Saskatoon Homes” tab at the right side of the navigation bar, just below the header image on this page.

Check out the “Show More Options” link highlighted in the image below where you can select certain styles of home (bungalow, two-storey, etc.) or specify the type of garage you most prefer.

Even better, notice the “Kitchens” drop down menu which allows you to easily identify homes with rental suites (both legal and non-legal), and just as easily eliminate them from your search results if you’re not interested in having a suite in your home.

If you’re interested in an easy and effective home search tool, you must take some time to explore ours. Here are just a few of the advantages over realtor.ca.

  • Updated far more frequently to give you quicker access to new listings from all real estate brands
  • Search by neighbourhood, map, MLS number or property address
  • More search fields for fully customized results
  • Many additional data fields displayed including taxes, days on the market and more Cooliris slideshow functionality
  • Mapping functionality for Google maps and Google Earth
  • Neighbourhood “Walk Scores” which maps amenities in each area
  • Save your favorite searches for easy access on return visits
  • Enable and disable email notifications for new listings and price reductions
  • Choose from numerous sorting and listing view options
  • Save your favorite listings for easy review
  • Mobile access to your account on an iPhone or a Google Android device
  • Easy contact options for additional information with our assurance that you’ll never be contacted unless you ask for assistance

Please check it out on our Saskatoon Homes page. You won’t be disappointed.

My thanks to Bill Skrypnyk, Technical Director for MyRealPage and everyone else who contributes to the hard work that goes into delivering a great product. You’ve been super to deal with every step of the way.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Search Saskatoon MLS listings the way you want to search

I suppose I’m a little biased. After all, I did choose it, but I have to say that this website now has the slickest MLS listings search tool available to Saskatoon home buyers. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. I’d love to hear what you think.

Located under the “Saskatoon Homes” button on the navigation bar, this powerful home search tool provides access to Saskatoon MLS listings represented by all local real estate brands. Regular data feeds typically result in new listings appearing here within hours of hitting the agent MLS, and well ahead of realtor.ca.

You’ll have options to search by selecting neighbourhoods, by drawing out a preferred geographic area on a Google map, by address, or by known MLS numbers.

Search results are delivered quickly and with a number of viewing options.  Results can be easily sorted to display by price, by listing date, or even by house size.

Without a doubt, the detailed listing view provides more information than you’ll be accustomed to seeing on any other public home search site, including realtor.ca.

The search tool works and provides full details on MLS listings with no registration required, but there is additional functionality if you don’t mind throwing your name and email address into a registration form. You have my promise that we won’t treat your registration as an invitation to spam you. If you need something, just ask. Otherwise, we’ll leave you to browse on your own.

Registered users can save searches to a private portfolio so they don’t have to be executed each time they return, but rather, selected from their list of searches. They can save their favorite properties to separate lists, rank listings using a star rating system, make notes on listings, and opt in or out of email notifications on changes to their saved searches (price changes and new listings).

There’s an awesome mobile component for iPhone and Android devices. Rumour has it that a Blackberry version is in the works.

Check out one of the quick search links that reside on the side bar under “Search Saskatoon MLS Listings” or customize your perfect search here.

Hats off to MyRealPage who developed and market the tool. Technical Director Bill Skrypnyk, along with his crew of top-notch programmers have been busting their butts to bring some huge improvements to the product over the past few months.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Find & view all Saskatoon MLS listings within 1KM of your iPhone or Android

If you’re a real estate geek with an iPhone or an Android device you’re going to flip over this terrific little application.

It uses your device’s GPS to position you on a map and it plots all Saskatoon MLS listings within one kilometer of your current location.

Have you ever driven by a real estate for sale sign and thought to yourself, “Hey, I wonder what the deal is on that place?” Well, wonder no more my friend, wonder no more. Just pull out your phone, open the bookmark and browse the listing details including all of the MLS photos and dozens of data fields.

It will continue to search nearby listings as you “pan” the map and it can “follow” you as you walk or drive and automatically update the search results.

If you see something you’d like to visit, you can call us or send us a text message directly from the listing.

It’s a web-based application so it requires no installation and it takes up virtually no room on your phone’s hard disk.

Simply open this link with your iPhone or your Android, bookmark it, and you’re experiencing the magic, now and forever.

But please, don’t keep this gem to yourself. Email it to all of your iPhone and Android friends (you can use that little blue email icon at the bottom of this post to forward it on). They’ll love you for it.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

This application is brought to me by MyRealPage, the most kick-ass home search tool for MLS listings on planet earth, perhaps in the solar system.