10 Agent Cast Tips and Tricks
My name is Jennifer and I am one of the Account Executives here at Diverse Solutions. My job is to set up websites and to provide support and training on our AgentCast, Agent Reach, dsAgentChat and dsSearchAgent products. I encounter many questions and issues in my work day about the Agent Cast office, so I thought I’d use this post to share some of the tips and tricks I often give out.
Clear Your Cache
Internet browsers will often create a “cache” of websites so that it can load them more quickly on subsequent visits. However, this creates an issue when changes are made to a website since these changes can appear not to have taken effect. If you suspect that this has happened to you, you can clear your cache using the following steps.
- Internet Explorer 6 – Go to the “Tools” menu at the top of the window and then click “Internet Options.” This will bring up a new window, and in the middle of the window will be an option called “Delete Files.” When you click this button, it will bring up another new window, at which point you should click on the “Ok” button. Once it is done processing, close all Internet browser windows. Reopen one, and then bring up your website. While looking at the website, hold down the control button on your keyboard and click on the refresh button on your browser.
- Internet Explorer 7 – Go to the “Tools” menu at the top of the window, click “Clear Browsing History,” and then click “Delete Temporary Internet Files.” Once it is done processing, close all Internet browser windows. Reopen one, and then bring up your website. While looking at the website, hold down the control button on your keyboard and click on the refresh button on your browser.
- Mozilla Firefox – Go to the “Tools” menu at the top of the window and then click “Clear Private Data.” Make sure only the “Cache” checkbox is checked, and then click ok. Once it is done processing, close all Internet browser windows. Reopen one, and then bring up your website. While looking at the website, hold down the control button on your keyboard and click on the refresh button on your browser.
Another thing that often causes confusion when editing the website is publishing. Many times people will preview a change, see it there, and then just go straight to the “View My Site” option without clicking the “Publish” button. Doing this will lead to the assumption that the change has not taken effect. When my customers call or email me with this problem, the first thing that I often try is republishing the area in which the change was made; this usually solves the problem. If you are experiencing difficulty in having changes take effect, please try republishing the areas that are connected to the change that you have made directly instead of the main “Publish” area.
One specific example of where this often happens is in the Featured Properties section. You may wonder why you can delete a property from the page but still see the property appear in the featured properties slideshow. If you’d like to fix this problem, you can edit another one of your featured properties without making any real changes, go to the save step, and then publish the property. Afterwards, go into “Template Options” section of your AgentCast admin, go to the “Done” step, and click publish. This will reset the slideshow, and your deleted property will be properly removed.
Featured Properties Slideshows
Above, I have given one tip into the world of the featured properties slideshow, but I do have some more.
First, the featured properties slideshow takes the first image of each of the featured properties added to the “Featured Property” section of AgentCast. If you’d like to change which picture is first, you easily reorder the properties using the “Reorder Properties” option in that section.
Next, take a look at two of our templates that have a built in featured properties slideshow.
In the first one, the featured properties slideshow cannot be anything other than just that, a featured properties slideshow. In the second, because there isn’t any wording associated with any of the photographs, and because they are not links to real properties, it can be “cheated” in a way to be a slideshow of any images desired. If you would like to do this for your own site, you can add a number of featured properties, add a single image to each, and make sure the “Display in Featured Properties Slideshow” checkbox is checked and the “Display in Featured Properties Listing” is unchecked for each. Also, on the actual properties, it is necessary to reverse the above options to make sure the “fake properties” are not displayed with the real ones, and vice-versa. These options can also be used for choosing not to display properties that are not as beautiful as desired for the featured properties slideshow.
Adding a slideshow to your content pages is a great way to spruce up a page and make it more appealing to a reader. To add a slideshow to a page, the first thing that needs to be done is to upload the desired images into file manager; you can view step-by-step instructions on how to do this in the support center in your AgentCast admin. The next step is to create the slideshow in the slideshow builder; you can also view step-by-step instructions for this in the support center in your AgentCast admin. Finally, it is necessary to add the slideshow to the page of content. In order to do this, edit the page in the “Content Manager” section, place the cursor where the slideshow should go, and click on the “Snippets” dropdown to choose the desired slideshow. Once the page is saved and published, it will display the slideshow and the page will have pizzazz.
File Manager Folders
Using folders in the “File Manager” section is essential to keeping an organized file library. Many times I encounter file libraries that have all of the images in only one folder, often with duplicates, making it very difficult to find the desired image. Create a file folder for any new property and any new area that you are going to be using images for. This will really help when trying to locate the proper image for a featured property or content page.
Editing Photo Sizes
Often times I have had to change the sizes of photos for clients complaining that their photos are not showing up correctly. The featured properties slideshows do not automatically resize photos, and most photos straight from a camera are very large. I would recommend modifying the size of your images before you upload them into file manager. If this is not something that you know how to do, or you do not believe that you have the proper programs on your computer, you can upload the full size photos and then modify them in file manager.
To do this, you can click on the file name while in file manager. Doing so will bring up information about the image near the bottom of the window. To the right of the image’s information, there will be an icon of a piece of paper with a pencil on it. This icon is an edit button that will take you to a new window where you can edit the image. The window will have many editing options, including the ability to change the size of the image. The editor is only going to give you the option to change the width in order to keep the image proportions correct instead of stretching or squashing the image.
Each of our templates has a different slideshow size. If you have any questions about the sizes, please contact your Account Executive and they will be happy to help you with this.
Pasting Text Into Content Manager
Pasting text into content manager is a risky ordeal. Programs like Microsoft Word do not have the same programming as our content manager and will often cause problems when text is pasted directly from one program to the other. However, I would always recommend writing your content in a program directly onto your computer instead of over the Internet in our content manager since, if anything happens to your connection, you could loose your content. If you use a word processing program like Word on your computer, I would recommend pasting your content into Notepad first and then copying and pasting that text into the content manager. The reason I suggest this is because Notepad will remove any formatting that your content was given so that it will not negatively affect your content manager. Doing this will ultimately avoid unnecessary complications when editing the page later on.
Shift + Enter
When formatting your content in content manager, just hitting Enter will cause what looks like a double space. This is because it creates a paragraph tag in the HTML of the page. In order to just get a single line break, you will need to hold down the shift key on your keyboard and hit the enter key at the same time.
In the “Site Options” section, there is a step called “Colors.” There are two color boxes here, one for “Links” and one for “Background.” The background color override is a neat option that allows another color to be added to the website. You can see some examples below.
Normally, the background of the content would be the same color as the main background. The trick for the first example is that the home page content needs to be put into a table with a background color set to the other content’s background colors. To do this, right click on the table in content manager and choose “Table Options.” Then, on the advanced tab, change the background color; I recommend copying and pasting the hex number from the first color box in the Template Options since it will give you the exact color you are looking for. Since the second example has a background that is always going to be gray and pinstriped the change is a bit trickier. Please contact your Account Executive for more information on how to do that.
For my last trick, I bring you the Support Center. It is located in your AgentCast admin area and holds many secrets to the AgentCast product. Please use this valuable addition to our AgentCast office as it will help you in making changes to your website. If there are any questions that you have that the Support Center doesn’t answer, you can always contact your Account Executive and they will be happy to assist.
I hope that my knowledge of our AgentCast office has assisted in your quest of knowledge to create the best real estate website in the business. Thanks for the audience!