Monday, November 16, 2009 Goes Mobile

Recently we implemented a mobile site at The site is designed for searching active listings from a mobile (small form factor) device. The full capabilities of are currently not available on, but we are considering extending the features.

Have a look at and see what you think.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bing Maps and SEO Improvements

Our recent additions include adding a link (Aerial) to the property listing page that will take you to the Bing Maps bird's eye view of the property.

In addition, we have changed the TITLE of each property listing to include the address of the property. Hopefully, this will provide added Search Engine Optimization and additional coverage by the search engines.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Single RSS Feed For Multiple Agents

If you have multiple agents or listing IDs with you can now combine their listings into a single RSS feed. As an example, you might have individual agents with their Open Houses listed independently but you would also like to have a consolidated list of Open Houses for your office.

Using the URL template:,y,z

you can create a list of IDs to be included in the RSS feed. You can still have unique feeds by specifying a single ID after "ids=" but now you can also create a combined list. You can find your ID at the top of your Account page in

Using this syntax and free tools such as Feed2JS you can create code that can be embedded into you Web site to show a dynamic list of your Open Houses.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Features For Consumers

For some time now we have had a Features List for agents and agencies. We thought it was about time to add a list of Features For Consumers. Below is a list of features intended specifically for consumers and to assist them with their hunt for open houses. Links in the list refer to blog entries describing the feature in detail. First, the basic search:

From the home page click the Search link on the left. No need to sign in. From the OpenHomez Search Page you can search by Zip code or city name or you can simply select from the list of Zip codes below the search box. The numbers in parenthesis next to the Zip codes are the number of active open houses in that Zip code.

Search Results Page
Your search will likely take you to a search results page where a list of properties matching your search are displayed. You can view the detailed listing by clicking on the thumbnail picture of the property or on the address. But wait, there's more!

  • Hovering - Hover over the thumbnail picture or the icon following the address and you will see a preview of property listing.

  • RSS Feeds of Search - Near the top of the page you will see the familiar RSS feed icon (). Clicking on this link will provide you the results of your search in RSS format. You can use this link in any RSS reader to view your search results.

  • Download Map/GPS Data - By clicking on the Download link on the Search Page (in the text near the top of the page) you can download a file suitable for uploading into your favorite mapping program or your GPS.

  • Map Your Search - By clicking on the map link on the Search Page (in the text near the top of the page) you can create a Google Map of your search results.

  • Share Your Search - By clicking on the button on the left under the menu you can share the results of this search on over 50 social networks. You can also print or email the results of the search.

  • Get Notified - At the bottom of the Search Results page you will see a chicklet. If you click on this icon you will automatically be notified of changes in this search.

  • Options - are presented in the form of icons at the end of individual listing in your search results. Click on the icon to view the listing, click on the icon to download map/gps data for this listing, or click on the icon to download this listing to your calendar.

Options When Viewing A Listing
When you are viewing an individual listing you have several other options. Here are a few.

  • Map & Driving Directions - Click on this link to map and acquire directions to the property.

  • Download to GPS - Download the listing to your GPS.

  • Download to Calendar - Download this open house information to your calendar.

  • Tweet/ReTweet - Use the Tweet/Retweet chicklet to send this listing to your Twitter account using TweetMeMe.

  • Dwellicious - Use the Dwellicious chicklet to add this listing to the Dwellicious Real Estate social bookmarking site.

  • Share The Listing - Use the Share chicklet to email, print, or share this listing to multiple social sites.

There are more features coming. Come back to this list often or just browse the and experiment with each of the features.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sharing A Listing And Social Bookmarking

We've now added a social bookmarking and sharing button from AddThis to each listing. Not only does the button allow viewers to add the listing to over 60 social sites, it also allows the viewer to bookmark, print, and email the listing. The button appears near the bottom of each listing page.

We have also added this Share Button to the right sidebar of this blog. Check it out for yourself. It's over there ======>

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Now You Can Search By City Too!

Prior to today search options only allow Zip code searches. Today we added the ability to search for upcoming open houses by City Name. As with the Zip code search you can use the "%" as a wild card in your search. That is, you can either enter the entire City Name such as "Sacramento" to get all the upcoming open houses in Sacramento or you could enter a search of "Sac%" which would return all the open houses in all cities starting with "sac".

A word of caution, there are hundreds of open houses in some cities. Searching by City Name may yield a large number of open houses and the results may take some time to return.

Go ahead. Give the new Search a try.

Monday, July 20, 2009

OH - Dwellicious is a real estate social networking site that allows you to organize, share, and discuss specific properties. Today we added a Dwellicious chiclet to each listing. When a listing is viewed the viewer has the option of clicking on the chicklet and tagging the property on there by exposing the listing to the real estate social networking community and providing more eyeballs for your listings. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

OH - FriendFeed

Today we added a FriendFeed Group for open houses providing another location on the Internet where your listings will be published. Subscribe to me on FriendFeed

Sunday, July 12, 2009

OH - Technorati listings are now featured on Technorati. Yet another place where your open house listings are displayed on the Web. The more eyeballs the better.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 listings now appear on, an International classified ads search engine. Please visit to view their classified ads. You can find a complete list of listings on here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

OH - Now You Can Tweet Too!

Today we added the capability to "tweet" your own open house listings to a twitter account of your choice. Here is what you need to do:

  • Get a twitter account for your open house tweets. If you already have one and want your open houses "tweeted" there you should use your existing account.

  • Login to your account. You'll need to create one if you don't already have one.

  • Scroll down to the bottom and fill in your Twitter ID and Twitter Password. You'll also need to change the Twitter Mode to "ON" to enable tweeting from

  • Go to your My Listings page on After each listing you'll see a Twitter icon (). Click on the Twitter icon to tweet that open house to the Twitter ID and Password provided in your User Account.

This is a manual process for the time being. You'll need to click the Twitter icon for each listing you want to "tweet". In the future, we hope to add an "Automatic" Twitter Mode so that any new listing added/updated will automatically be "tweeted" to the supplied Twitter account.

Monday, May 4, 2009

OH - Tumblr

We recently added Tumblr to our list of syndication sites. Each open house is added to the OpenHomez Tumblr public micro-blog making it visible to all Tumblr users and search engines.

You can search Tumblr for activities and events, including open houses, by zip code, city, street, etc. We have also tagged each posting with the zip code and the city of the open house.

There are many Tumblr Goodies to explore including iPhone apps, widgets, gadgets, and RSS feeds.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Of Search Updates

Today we added a feature to our SEARCH RESULTS page that will allow you to receive notification of changes to a specific OpenHomez search via email, IM, SMS, or a FREE desktop application.

These services are provided by We have provided a button on our SEARCH RESULTS page to This button will automatically pass the necessary RSS feed parameters to to set up the notifications. You decide, via your account how you want to be notified of changes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

OH - Twitter

OpenHomez is now on Twitter. We post new open house listings to Twitter as they arrive within the limits imposed by Twitter (about 100 per hour). You can follow OpenHomez on Twitter here. There are a variety of Twitter widgets and gadgets here.

On 4/27/09 we added a Twitter hashtag on the open house city name and zip code to our tweets. Now you can use Twitter Search to find open house listings in a specific city or zip code. Enter a city name or zip code proceeded by a # to search for the city or zip code you are interested in. (i.e. #Sacramento or #95835).

In the very near future, we hope to be able to allow you to automatically (or manually) post your listings to your own Twitter account.

System Status

This post is used to reflect current system status and events that may effect use of the system. Hopefully we don't have to use it very often. New events and information will be entered at that top of this post. All times are Pacific Time.

** 3/13/2009 07:00 - Operating normally.

** 3/13/2009 07:00 - We sincerely apologize for the system outage yesterday. We are taking steps to move our backups to an off site facility so we can minimize the chances of our production and backup data being lost in the same event.

** 3/13/2009 07:00 - All syndication and notification feeds have been restored.

** 3/12/2009 17:00 - Most of the "active listings" data has been recovered. However, due to the damage to the user database, most of the listings are not associated with an individual user. If we were processing a feed that you were supplying to us that feed process, the data, and your userid have been restored.

** 3/12/2009 15:00 - The system is back up and running with limited data. We lost all of the listing data and most of the User data base. If you had an ID on in the past you should try to log in. We apologize but you may need to recreate your userid.

** 3/12/2009 13:00 - The data base storage facility has been replaced as well as the Web server. We are in the process of rebuilding the system and the data bases.

** 3/12/2009 07:00 - We experienced a catastrophic failure of our servers. Not only did we loose our primary data base but the backups were also damaged. We are working on recovering the system now.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Features List

Over the past years we have added many new features to Rather than have you scan through this entire blog we thought we would create a consolidated features list. Each feature is linked back to the blog entry that describes the feature in detail. Another good source of summary information is our FAQ page

Current features of include:

Free syndication of your open house listings
Broad Internet Syndication
Send us your open house data for syndication
Email and SMS notifications
RSS feed of YOUR open houses
Download To A Calendar
Download To A GPS
Download GPS/Map Data
iGoogle Gadget with up to 5 zip codes
Google Base Syndication
Google Earth
OpenHomez on Twitter Of Search Updates
OpenHomez on Tumblr
Tweet to your personal Twitter account

All of this for FREE. Our service is completely ad and donation supported.

Searching for open houses does not require a login or sign up. Neither does the use of the RSS, download, and gadget features above. We only ask for ID and email address if the email or SMS notification options are chosen. All links come back to listing agent's site. We do not sell or distribute any information collected on our site. We do not SPAM.

Come back to this page often as new features will be posted here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Syndicating Open House Listings

We've been ask to provide a little history as to the genesis of You'll find more detail in this blog and at but here is a brief history. You should know that our founder is an office manager for a small independent real estate company and an IT consultant. He tells the story like this:

While going through my normal Thursday drill of preparing open house information for the weekend and posting each individual open house to a multitude of Web sites it occurred to me that this was very repetitive and mundane work, not to mention boring. Being basically lazy, I set out to write a tool that would take a single open house listing and syndicate it to as many other sites as possible but only require me to enter the data once. It’s been refined over the last year and it’s available, free of charge (ad support) to anyone who would like to use it.

The site is As I said, it is free to all. We use the ad revenue to pay for the servers, etc. Listings point pack to the agent site(s), and of course, we don’t sell email address or other personal information. You can find additional information throughout this blog. You’ll find the system has some interesting features like email and SMS notifications, an iGoogle gadget by zip code, GPS and Calendar downloads, and a variety of other interesting features. We would greatly appreciate any feedback. We’re wide open for input and suggestions on improving the site.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

RSS Feed Of Your Upcoming Open Houses

Today we added a link to an RSS Feed for your upcoming open houses. You can find the link on your My Account page or on your My Listings page. You can use the RSS link to provide your users with an RSS link that they can place in any RSS reader or gadget. You can also embed your upcoming open houses in your own Web site using this RSS feed link.

Click here for a simple, free tool to generate the code to embed your upcoming open houses in your own Web site.