Real Estate Advertiser Frequently Asked Questions
Created: February 6, 2009
- How can I get the most out of my property listings on NYTimes.com/RealEstate?
- How many photos, floor plans and video tours can I include in my listing(s)?
- What other tools and information are featured on my listing detail pages?
- What determines the default order in which listings are displayed?
- How are neighborhoods determined?
- How can users search for a property?
- Is there an Advanced Search option available?
- In what order do locations or zip codes appear in the search box as users are typing?
- How do users search for properties in multiple cities or neighborhoods all at one time?
- Can users search listings by keyword(s) such as "garage", "pool", "patio", etc.?
- How can users refine results to only show the listings with the features that they are most interested in?
- Can users search by county or region?
- Can users search by navigating the map instead of by entering specific locations?
- What listing tools are available to users?
- How do I perform a property search by address?
- What should I do if I can't find my listing(s) on NYTimes.com?
1) How can I get the most out of my property listings on NYTimes.com/RealEstate?
*NOTE: Any changes made to your current listings feed will require that it be fully tested before it is implemented. As a result, the turnaround time associated with a new listings feed is 2-3 business days from the time we receive it. We ask that you continue to provide us with your existing feed until the updated version has been implemented to prevent any listings from dropping off the site
- Take advantage of the most up-to-date feed specs available here
- Provide a complete and accurate address for each listing. Since New York City sales listings with full addresses (whether publicly displayed or not) will appear before search results without addresses, we strongly encourage our clients to include full property addresses in their feeds. Please also be careful to enter the complete address into the "Address" field (always) and the "Display Address" field (if you would like the address to be displayed publicly). If you provide a full address in the "Address" field and another value in the "Display Address" field (e.g. Fantastic Condo!), we will be able to map your property and provide you with priority sort positioning, but users will see "Fantastic Condo!" rather than the property's full address on the listing detail page. A property with an empty "Address" field will be sorted as a listing without address and will not be plotted on the detail page Google map. A property with a full address entered in the "Address" field and an empty "Display Address" field will display the property's full address on the listing detail page by default.
- Include the listing URL (the link to the property on your website) for every listing. This will ensure that you receive increase qualified traffic to your website in addition to enhanced SEO benefits.
- Use the new data feed processing times to your benefit. Data loads take place 3 times per day (including weekends) - at 6:30am, 9am and 3pm. Listings will be live approximately 3 hours after processing begins.
- Regularly check your expiration date, feed limit and other account information to ensure that your listings will continue to load in a timely and accurate manner.
2) How many photos, floor plans and video tours can I include in my listing(s)?
We have added several enhanced listing features. Brokers / property sellers now have the ability to display up to 20 photos, up to 5 floor plans (will soon be increased to 10), and up to 1 video tour link. For feed clients, all listings detail enhancements are available based on minor tweaks to your NYTimes.com data feed. Data feed specs are available here
NOTE: Photos, floor plans and video tours will only be displayed if provided by the broker / property seller. As a result, there can be instances when none of these features are available
3) What other tools and information are featured on my listing detail pages?
In addition to the property information you provide, listing detail pages contain a variety of useful qualitative and quantitative data to help make your listings as comprehensive as possible for users. These include:
*NOTE: Total number of bedrooms is currently not available from the New York City Department of Finance. As a result, that information cannot be displayed in conjunction with the recent sales data that we display. We are working on more detailed community information such as neighborhood guides and price trend data that we expect to feature in the coming months
- Sales Activity: For searches in New York City, we return results from the Department of Finance. These results are sorted in a way that we find is most useful for users. This means we incorporate date of transaction, distance, property type (e.g. condo, co-op) and price range to display sales activity data in an effort to provide users insight into the market. For searches outside of New York City, we return results from third parties that collect the data.
- Nearby Schools: We return results from third parties that collect the data.
- Nearby Cities: The closest 6 cities from the listing you are viewing within a 10 mile radius are displayed. Clicking on any of the cities displayed will automatically add them to your search and direct you back to the search results page.
- Nearby Neighborhoods: The closest 6 neighborhoods from within the city of the listing you are viewing are displayed from up to a 10 mile radius. Clicking on any of the neighborhoods displayed will automatically add them to your search and direct you back to the search results page
- Maps: Listings with complete and valid addresses will be plotted on an interactive Google map (available in Street View, Traditional, Terrain and Satellite map format).
- Additional Listings From This Broker: Up to 8 listings can be displayed, encouraging users to browse your other listings on NYTimes.com
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Benefits: The syntax of individual listing URLs has been modified to help search engines more easily pick up your listings when users of Google, Yahoo! and other similar engines search for real estate.
4) What determines the default order in which listings are displayed?
In an effort to provide our users with high quality and geographically precise listings, we encourage all brokers and agents to provide us with the listing address so the property can appear on the map. In the case of New York City "For Sale" searches the address is also considered in the sort order, meaning those listings with an address will appear above listings that do not have an address provided by the broker. Property listings on NYTimes.com are sorted in the following manner:
NOTE: Users can alter the listings sort order at any time, by selecting one of the various sort options from the "Sort By" dropdown menu at the top right side of the search results page
- In New York City for properties for sale, we return results that have an exact and validated street address first. Then we sort by price descending. We validate street addresses through a program which compares listings to the City of New York's records.
- Outside of New York City and for all rental properties, we return results sorted by price descending.
5) How are neighborhoods determined?
To enable users to search for properties in various neighborhoods throughout Manhattan and the five boroughs, we have assigned specific boundaries to many popular search locations and then attributed commonly used names for those neighborhoods (e.g. Upper West Side, Flatiron, Clinton Hill, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, etc.). We understand that people may have alternative interpretations on what the exact neighborhood boundaries should be for some neighborhoods, and what neighborhood a listing should be assigned to as a result. Neighborhoods are inherently difficult to assign because they change over time and because in many cases, they are subjective interpretations of an area. That said, our objective in creating the various neighborhood boundaries was to take the most unbiased, user-friendly approach to these neighborhood assignments. For advertisers, the inclusion of neighborhood searches will help surface your listings with increased accuracy to buyers and renters looking for properties in more granular areas within New York City.
Please also keep in mind that neighborhood associations only affect users who choose to search by a specific neighborhood. Neighborhood assignments do not have any impact on property searches conducted by zip code, city, town, etc. We are continuing to evaluate these new boundaries as our primary objective is to create the best property search experience possible. With this in mind, we may periodically redefine nuanced New York City neighborhood boundaries to help surface the most accurate and comprehensive listing results for our users.
NOTE: When we are provided with the exact listing address for a property, we will return it based on the neighborhood we have assigned. If we were not provided with the listing address for a property, it will be assigned to a neighborhood (if one exists) based on the geographical center point of the listing's zip code
6) How can users search for a property?
To search our listings database, users can start by using the property search box at the top of every real estate page. They can first select if they want to search properties for sale or for rent, and then search for properties in a variety of different ways including:
- By city, state or neighborhood (For more information, see # 9 below)
- By property address (For more information, see # 15 below)
- By valid zip code (US & Canada only)
- By property ID
Users can choose to further narrow search results by selecting a property type, property price and number of bedrooms. From the search bar, property searches can also be filtered in the following ways:
- For sale properties can be filtered by: Properties with Open House information or New Developments (including new homes and new construction) by clicking on the appropriate check box in the search bar
- For rent properties can be filtered by: No Fee, Open Houses or Vacation Homes by clicking on the appropriate check box in the search bar
Users have the ability to add multiple cities, states or neighborhoods on any search results page (or by clicking on the "Advanced Search" link displayed in the property search box), as well as continue to refine their search criteria to ensure that they're getting the results that best match their property needs.
7) Is there an Advanced Search option available?
YES! Simply click on the "Advanced Search" link in the property search box to conduct an advanced search. The advanced search page gives users the ability to select multiple cities or neighborhoods in addition to a number of other refinement parameters including price, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, property type, property amenities and many other refinements before reaching the search results page. Once they reach the search results page, users can also continue to refine their search and/or add/change their city/neighborhood selections in an effort to better surface the most relevant listings.
8) In what order do locations or zip codes appear in the search box as users are typing?
If there are multiple locations that fit the characters entered by a user, the search bar will sort based on the following criteria:
- NY State, Connecticut and New Jersey (neighborhoods will appear before cities and cities before states)
- All other locations sorted alphabetically (neighborhoods will appear before cities and cities before states)
9) How do users search for properties in multiple cities or neighborhoods all at one time?
There are two ways for users to search for properties in multiple cities or neighborhoods in one search:
NOTE: We only display cities or neighborhoods (if we have listings in those areas) from up to a 30 mile radius from the original location searched
- 1. Clicking on the "Advanced Search" link within the property search box at the top of the page
- 2. Once a user reaches a search results page that lists properties, they can easily expand their search, change their search and/or search in multiple cities or neighborhoods by refining their search on the left side of the page
10) Can users search listings by keyword(s) such as "garage", "pool", "patio", etc.?
YES, there are two ways to do this!
- 1. Users can search for specific words (e.g. mansion, sunny, etc.) that are featured in the body of the listings by clicking on the "Advanced Search" link within the property search box.
- 2. Alternatively, users can search by keyword once they reach a search results page by entering a word in the keyword field located at the bottom of the search refinement area on the left side of the page. Users can also search for a specific phrase (e.g. "heated pool", "open space", etc.) by surrounding the phrase with quotation marks.
11) How can users refine results to only show the listings with the features that they are most interested in?
Once users reach a search results page that lists properties, they can refine their initial search in a variety of ways by selecting any of the following parameters located on the left column of the page in the search refinement area:
NOTE: The above parameters are dynamic, meaning they are only displayed if a listing in our database is available based on a user's pre-selected search criteria. Not all listings have all these options - it is up to the discretion of the listing agent to add any of these fields so that the listing can be searched against them. Any of these selections can be deselected at any time by un-checking them from a user's search criteria at the top of the search criteria column on the left side of the search results page.
- Price Range (Minimum and Maximum)
- Number of Bedrooms
- Number of Bathrooms
- Square Feet
- Property Type (Condo, Co-op, Single Family House, etc.)
- Listing Type (New Development, Open House, etc.)
- Popular Features (Elevator, Doorman, Pool, Fireplace, Fitness Center, etc.)
- Location Amenities (Retirement Community, Metro Area, etc.)
- Pet Policy
- Date Listed
- Heating/Cooling (Electric, Gas, etc.)
- Basement (Finished, Unfinished, etc.)
- Lot Acreage
- Style (Victorian, Colonial, etc.)
- Construction Type (Stone, Stucco, etc.)
- School (District, Elementary School, etc.)
12) Can users search by county or region?
Yes! Users can search by county (e.g. Westchester County) or region (e.g. New Jersey Shore) using the location keyword field within the property search box
13) Can users search by navigating the map instead of by entering specific locations?
YES! Once users reach a search results page that lists properties, they can choose to search for properties using the map. They can click the "Search by Map" radio button above the map on the right side of the page to begin a map search, and/or click the "expand map" link to more easily view properties on the map. Users can simply click and drag the map in the direction they wish to search, and the page will refresh and populate the appropriate listings based on the map location. The numeric pinpoints on the map will correspond to the list of property results displayed adjacent to the map.
NOTE: Clicking on any of the City or Neighborhood icons on the map will automatically return users to a traditional list-based search
14) What listing tools are available to users?
LOTS! To help users search for properties, we feature a number of tools available on both the search results and detail pages including:
NOTE: Users must create a real estate account in order to take advantage of saved listings, searches and e-mail alerts.
- Saved Listings: Gives users the ability to save up to 50 of listings that will be stored in their personal account for future reference.
- Saved Searches: Gives users the ability to save up to 10 of searches. This feature will record their search location(s) and search refinements.
- E-mail Alerts: Will notify a user via e-mail each time a property is listed that matches their search criteria.
- RSS Feeds: Offers anther way to stay informed about any and all listings that match users' search criteria. RSS feeds can be sent to any RSS reader.
- Send to Mobile: Gives users the ability to send listings to their mobile device so that they can take property information (including photos) with them while on the go.
- Mortgage Calculator: Gives users the ability to calculate an approximate monthly payment based on the asking price, down payment, loan term and annual interest rate.
- E-mail a Friend: Gives users the ability to e-mail their friends listings that they think will be of interest.
- Print Friendly View: Gives users the ability to view the page in an optimal layout for printing.
- Contact broker: Gives users the ability to get in direct contact with the listing broker via e-mail.
- View listing on broker site: Gives users the ability to view the same listing on the broker's site.
- View all listings on broker site: Gives users the ability to view all of the broker's current listings on the broker's website
15) How do I perform a property search by address?
Type an address, including street number (e.g. 68th street) and street name or just a street name into the property search box at the top of every real estate page and hit the Go button on your screen or the Enter button on your keyboard. This will return all properties in the database that match this request on a search results page. Click on any of them to view detailed information about that listing.
NOTE: Some brokers do not supply us with an address for a listing so this will not return all listings, just those with an address supplied by the broker.
16) What should I do if I can't find my listing(s) on NYTimes.com?
If you cannot find your listing(s) on NYTimes.com, you can start by verifying one of the following possible reasons:
- If you are not providing a complete address for a New York City sales listing, your listing will get sorted after all listings with complete addresses
- Your listing may be assigned to a new neighborhood because of the more precise neighborhood boundary definitions.
- Make sure that you correctly search by "rental" vs. "sales" and that you do not enter a rental ID in a sales search (or vice versa).
If you are still having trouble with your listing(s) and/or wish to report a problem, please contact:
- Your New York Times Account Representative
- NYTimes.com Customer Support / By Phone: 866-698-3485 | 888-594-7173 / By E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org