Real Estate Agents Add Online Calculators

By Rick Wheat, Managing Partner, Horizon Interactive, LLC

Posted 2007/06/22

Real estate agents looking to engage their web site's visitors often add real estate calculators to their web sites. These online calculators allow home buyers to do their financial figuring without leaving an agent's site.  Also, web site calculators enhance a real estate web site giving home buyers another reason to return.

When looking for web site calculators, real estate agents must keep a few things in mind related to hosting and licensing.

Hosting describes where the financial calculators are actually located on the Internet.  Some web site calculators are provided by companies which host the calculators on their servers.  You use these vendor-hosted calculators by sending your visitors to the vendor's web site or loading the calculator from the vendor's web server.  Most consider a better way is to host the web site calculators on your own site. This ensures there's no reason for visitors to leave your site.

How web site calculators are licensed is important, too.  Some software companies require an annual license fee which must be repaid each year. Other companies charge a per use fee or license their web site calculators with traffic-based fees.

Generally, he most cost effective licensing arrangement for web site calculators is a one time fee in which you purchase a license and then may use the web site calculators indefinitely for no additional charge on your own web site.  The financial website calculators at http://www.moneytoys.com are an example of calculators provided with this type license.

Another consideration is whether the calculators you choose for your web site can be customized to match your web site's current color scheme and design.  If you are like most real estate agents, the chances are great that you put a lot of thought and effort into the design of your site.  After all, your web site is your own home on the web.  The calculators you choose should not detract for the quality of your site's design and color scheme.

It's important, too, that the online calculators you choose allow you to configure the default values for your own local market.

For example, a refinancing calculator should allow you to set your own initial values for the amount borrowed.  This is important because the typical loan amounts will vary greatly between Orange County, California and Catahoula Parish, Louisiana, for example.

Consider ease of installation.  Do the calculators come with step-by-step instructions?  Are there example web pages included with the calculator?  Does the developer commit to help you resolve any installation or configuration problems? How much maintenance is required once the calculators are installed.

Ideally, the calculators you choose for your web site should be easy to install and require no maintenance. If problems arise, though, you want access to tech support.

One example of web site calculators which you can install on your own web site is the MoneyToys(tm) collection of 15 calculators for real estate web sites.  They are licensed with a one-time, perpetual license and can be configured to match your site's colors and design.  The default values can be set to reflect your market and installation is easy.

Installation is easy, too.  If you've ever created a web page, you have the skills required to install MoneyToys.  Simple step-by-step instructions and 3 sample web pages are included with each MoneyToys calculator.  With a few lines of HTML and MoneyToys a real estate webmaster can quickly install online financial calculators so visitors can do financial math without leaving the web site.

The MoneyToys collection of web site calculators currently includes a Home Seller's Proceeds Calculator, a Biweekly Payment Calculator, a Down Payment Savings Calculator, an APR Calculator, a Pay Down Debt or Invest Calculator, a Loan Spread Calculator, a Refinancing Calculator, a Buyer's Cash Requirements Calculator, a Simple Loan Calculator, the new Very Simple Loan Calculator, a Future Value of Savings Calculator, a Loan Comparison Calculator, a Discounted Cash Flows Calculator and a Rent or Buy Calculator.

Will installing web site calculators guarantee you'll sell more homes?  Of course not.  But installing online financial calculators on your real estate web site will make it easier for home buyers to begin their financial figuring and they will ensure your visitors have an additional reason to return to your web site.

For more information visit http://www.moneytoys.com

MoneyToys Financial Calculators
Horizon Interactive, LLC
1802 N. University Drive, Suite 102, #342
Plantation, FL 33322
http://www.moneytoys.com
webcalcs@moneytoys.com

 


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