Real Estate Technology Glossary

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A/B testing
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method that lets you scientifically test the effectiveness of your marketing campaign by creating two versions (called variants) of your campaign to determine which statistically performs better.

above the fold
Above-the-fold refers to content initially seen and before the user scrolls to view additional content. The term comes from the print newspaper where it referred to stories seen on top of a folded newspaper.

address book
A facility in most e-mail client software that allows users to store address information for their contacts, recalling and using the addresses as needed.

Companies that combine and offer for distribution a number of services or suites of products, usually from a variety of partners. In this context, aggregators are those companies that combine listing information from a number of sources (mostly MLSs).

alt tags
Alt tags are images shown on a webpage that includes a descriptive field. If for some reason the image is unable to be shown, the Alt Tag text is displayed instead.

Almost everything in the world can be described or represented in one of two forms: analog or digital. The principal feature of analog representations is that they are continuous. In contrast, digital representations consist of values measured at discrete intervals.

anchor text
Anchor text is the clickable text that describes a link. Anchor text is not a URL, like “”. It is linked text that tells the reader where they can expect to go after clicking, for example, “Learn More”.

application program interface (API)
An executable; is a program file that performs an ‘execution’ of code when activated, without requiring another application’s intervention. Once an executable is activated, it will take action on its own. This is in opposition to data files that require application programs to open them.

Text Also called Plain Text; text without formatting characters.

associated application
The application that Windows® uses to open a specific file type, based on default settings or the settings entered.

The process of identifying an individual, usually based on a user name and password.

When the user begins to type and the software recognizes a letter pattern, using it to fill in the rest of the word or phrase.

An e-mail facility that allows you to respond automatically to incoming messages with a predetermined reply. This facility is useful when you wish to make the same information available to all who want it.

An e-mail client function that automatically sends a reply message to people who send messages to it (as in a vacation message).

A text file appended automatically to an e-mail message.


backup device
Any device that enables the user to create restorable copies of hard disk contents.

A backlink is where one website has a hyperlink on a piece of text, image, or button which, when clicked, sends that traffic to another website.

The amount of data that can be transmitted in a given amount of time (usually stated in bits per second [bps]).

Transporting digital information from one device to another by means of infrared beam technology.

A blog is an online publication where regularly published articles (or blogs) are posted. This could be a section of a website or its own platform.

A bit map (often spelled “bitmap”) defines a display space and the color for each pixel or “bit” in the display space.

Nearly all Web browsers support a bookmarking feature that lets you save the address (URL) of a Web page (as a Favorite) so that you can easily revisit the page at a later time.

Bounce Rate
A bounce rate on the internet is the percentage of people who visit a website and take no action before leaving the website.

Maximized data transmission by use of several channels on a single wire or medium.

Software built on the Mosaic model that allows for translation of HTTP, HTML, and other Web technologies. The software that allows a user to view and surf Web sites.

Bulk Email
Bulk email is a single email communication that is sent to a large group of email addresses at the same time


A call-to-action (CTA) is an instruction in an email or on a website designed to have the visitor take the desired action. Some common CTA’s are “join now”, “sign up”, or “register”.

The CAN-SPAM Act is a federal law that regulates the sending of commercial emails. Each email that is in violation is subject to a financial penalty.

CD-ROM (Compact Disc, Read-Only Memory)
A compact disc is used to store and playback computer data instead of digital audio.

A form of interactive online communication in which users have real-time conversations with other people who are also online.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Click-Through Rate is the rate at which a particular URL in an email message is clicked based on the number of subscribers who opened the email. The Click-through rate is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the total number of emails sent.

A place in Windows where information that you have cut or copied resides. That information is stored there so you can paste it into the same document, or in another document.

CSV – Common Separated Values  
CSV files are commonly used to transfer data between spreadsheets, databases, and contact management programs. Each piece of data (a cell in Excel, a field in a database, a field in Outlook) is separated by a comma. Each set of data (a row in Excel, a record in a database, a contact in Outlook) appears on a single line.

Community (Used in tandem with “virtual communities”)
Offers people with similar experiences and interests the opportunity to come together, freed from the restraints of time and space, to form meaningful relationships.

In this context, certain parameters that an e-mail message must meet before it is acted on by a rule.

Confirmed Opt-in
Confirmed opt-in, also known as verified opt-in or sometimes double opt-in, means that a recipient (your subscriber) has verifiably confirmed permission for the address to be included on your specific mailing list.

Cookies are small files that are stored by your browser which contain information that is specific to a user. Cookies are used to help web pages tailor experiences directly to a visitor, such as remembering your name or login information.

Cost Per Click (CPC)
Cost Per Click (CPC) is the amount paid for each click on your link to visit your website or a particular landing page. CPC is calculated by dividing the total cost by the number of clicks.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
CRM entails all aspects of interaction a company has with its customer, whether it be sales-related or service-related.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a design language used in simplifying the process of building websites.

In this context, the cursor is the icon that identifies the location on the screen or in the document your system is focused on. Any action is taken (e.g., typing over) will take place at the cursor location.

Making changes to the settings for a software system so that it behaves the way you want it to in the new default mode you define.


A type of graphical user interface that often provides at-a-glance views of key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to a particular objective or business process. In another usage, “dashboard” is another name for “progress report” or “report” and is considered a form of data visualization.

Technology that allows you to store and retrieve related records and data items. In this context, a database refers to the ability to store contact information, including names and e-mail addresses.

deep linking
Linking to any location within a Web site other than the home page.

A setting established by the manufacturer that, if you do nothing to change it, will be part of the software.

Delivery Rate
The delivery rate is the percentage of emails sent and successfully delivered to the recipients. A delivery rate is calculated by dividing the number of emails delivered by the number of emails sent.

desktop computer
Your main computer; usually not portable.

Internet access that requires the use of POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) lines and relatively slow modems (usually equal to or less than 56kbps).

digital data
Anything (including data) that has been converted from its native form (text as an example) into digital form (machine-readable).

DNS servers
An Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they’re easier to remember. The Internet is, however, really based on IP addresses.

docking station
A peripheral device that allows the user to slip a notebook computer into a preconfigured slot that instantly attaches a full keyboard, monitor, printer, mouse, and more to make the notebook more desktop-like.

domain name
The text name corresponding to the numeric IP address of a computer on the Internet. The address or URL of a particular Web site.

domain name servers
The servers where your domain is located on the Internet; a primary and a secondary server for locating your domain.

To transfer a file or files from one computer to another, for example, from a server to your desktop computer.

drag and drop
Technology that enables the user to click the mouse over an item, drag the item to a new location, and drop it into that location.

Drip Campaign
A drip campaign is of a series of time-based automated emails which are sent over a specified period of time to an email subscriber based on specific actions or account changes.


e-commerce (electronic commerce)
A term referring to the movement of traditional financial transactions from their physical bounds to an electronic platform, such as the Internet and the Web.

e-mail client
The user-level program allows users to access SMTP and POP functions in the virtual post offices of their ISPs or other email services.

e-mail forwarding
The ability to automatically forward incoming messages from your permanent e-mail address to your current ISP for retrieval.

e-mail presence
The total marketing effort, including and emphasizing branding, created using e-mail techniques including opt-in newsletters, Listserv participation, e-mail signatures, and auto-responders.

Email Service Provider (ESP)
An email service provider is a software company that offers email service. These services allows users to send email marketing communications to a list of subscribers

e-mail signatures
Most e-mail systems allow the user to store one or more text files that can be appended to each outgoing message. This is commonly used for personal information, including name, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses. It can also be used for sending routine responses.

emoticons (smileys)
Emoticons are text-graphical combinations that can add certain emotional inflections to an otherwise flat e-mail message.

When all participants in a transaction communicate, pass documents, and share schedules and approvals totally through Internet communications—effectively speeding up the process.

executable files
Program files that perform an ‘execution’ of code when they are activated, without requiring another application’s intervention. Once an executable is activated, it will take action on its own. This is in opposition to data files, which require application programs to open them.


Web pages that you have saved a link to within the facilities of your Web browser for rapid retrieval.

A specially programmed computer system is used by many companies as a security measure to prevent hackers and other unauthorized users from accessing internal networks.

An e-mail message sent to the Listserv that is especially harsh in its treatment of another member or members of the Listserv community.

Bringing content from an outside Web document into your site within a sub-window of the browser. Dividing the browser display area into separate sections, each of which is really a different Web page. The net effect is to link your site to the content of another site while still keeping a part of your site on the screen.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A method and protocol for transferring files from one point to another; typically used to upload files to a server.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a privacy regulation that gives European Union citizens control of their personal data.

gif (Graphics Interchange Format)
A bitmapped graphics file format used by web designers.

GPS (Global Positioning System)
A satellite navigation system is used to determine terrestrial position, velocity, and time. Once exclusively used by the U.S. military, the GPS is now available to the general public worldwide. The GPS system relays satellite signals that can be processed by a GPS receiver.

Lists of e-mail contacts and addresses you have determined belong grouped together for mass mailing purposes.


Hard Bounce
A hard bounce is when an email cannot be delivered because of a permanent failure. A permanent failure means that email will always end up with the same result.

hard drive
An important data storage medium that houses all of the electronic information and software programs on your computer.

A unit of information that precedes a piece of data; in this context, a packet. E-mail headers are used to identify the source, destination, and other important information about a packet so that it can become reassembled as a message at the recipient’s location.

home page
The first page of a Web site that the visitor lands on.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
The programming format that creates hyperlinks and hypermedia on web pages.

A link embedded in a message or in a document that will, when clicked, transport the user to another location or activate a program.


A small picture or image that represents an object, a folder, or a program.

Internet Data Exchange, aka Broker Reciprocity.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
An Internet e-mail protocol that allows access to your e-mail from any IMAP compatible browser. Your mail resides on the server level while working with it, versus POP mail which is downloaded into your mail program.

Instant Messenger (IM)
Technology that enables users to instantly communicate with other connected users in an interactive message format.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)
The company or entity that provides a path to the Internet (Internet access) for its users. See ISP.

A restricted access network that operates on Web technology, usually on a closed corporate network.

IP address
A numeric address that is assigned to servers and users connected to the Internet.


JavaScript is a common programming language used in websites and web applications. It can be used to update content, make pages interactive, and control animation.

jpeg (jpg)
Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group, and pronounced “jay-peg”. Jpeg is a compression technique for color images. Although it can reduce file sizes to about 5 percent of their normal size, some detail is lost in the compression.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
KPI’s are the “key” quantifiable metrics used to measure the success of an organization, department, employee, or process


Landing Page
A landing page is a webpage often geared specifically for an offer in an email. When the subscriber clicks to visit the page they don’t have to read your entire site to find your offer, the landing page contains all the information they need and gives them a method to take action.

license period
The length of time a particular domain name is licensed to a domain name holder (registrant).

A link embedded in a message or in a document that will, when clicked, transport the user to another location or will activate a program. AKA hyperlink, hotlink.


mail list
The generic term meant to describe a list of names and addresses (in this case, e-mail addresses) used for bulk mailing purposes.

Megabyte (1 MB) represents 1,000 “K” bytes, or one million bytes. (A byte is 8 bits of information.)

memory card
Recently developed, very small digital storage devices that allow for large amounts of digital storage.

Meta Description
A meta description is a short summary of your webpage added to the HTML of your site either directly or using a CMS or website plugin. It often appears in search engine results below the page title and is read by users and search engines. Well-written meta descriptions can entice searchers to click on your site instead of others.

A special HTML tag that provides information about a Web page.

Short for: MOdulator, DEModulator. A hardware device you connect to your computer and to a phone lilne. It enables the computer to talk to other computers through the phone system. The three types of modem are external, PC card, and internal.

Movie/Video file

My Documents
A default folder available in Windows® that is usually used for storage of data files.


An intermediate processing location on a network. Nodes are usually created to group users on a network for resource sharing.

NRDS (National REALTORS® Database System)
A searchable database system with information on all members of NAR.


Happening or taking place without being connected to the Internet.

online community
Used in tandem with “virtual communities”; gives people with similar experiences and interests the opportunity to come together online, freed from the restraints of time and space, to form meaningful relationships.

Open Rate
Open rate is the percentage of subscribers who open an email. An open rate is calculated by dividing the number of unique opens by the number of emails delivered. Open rate can not be tracked when sending plain text emails.

Operating System
The software that communicates with the computer processor in machine-readable code; the instruction set and rules under which all application software operates.

Offering users a way to subscribe to a mailing list.

Offering the recipients of an e-mail marketing message an easy way to unsubscribe.


A piece of a message transmitted over a packet-switching network.

The common set of beliefs, theories, and examples define how subscribers view a specific topic or dogma.

Temporarily locating your domain name on a server until you decide where it will ultimately reside.

password protected
A site that restricts entry to those who have the correct password.

permanent e-mail address
An e-mail address that is derived by owning and controlling your own domain name. You can use the e-mail services of the domain host to point mail to and from this domain regardless of your actual ISP. By doing this, you no longer need to change e-mail.

permission marketing
Marketing to those who have given their permission, usually through an opt-in message or a field on a form.

Phishing is an attempt by scammers to contact individuals using email, phone, or text message in order to fraudulently mislead them into providing passwords, credit card information, or bank information.

photo editing
Software that enables the user to make often sophisticated changes to digital images, such as sharpening, resizing, recoloring, and much more.

PIN (Personal Identification Number)
Your unique identifying number for security purposes, as used in banking and other applications.

ping (Packet Internet Groper)
A utility that determines whether a specific IP address is accessible. Ping is used to checking Internet connections by sending a packet to a server several times, testing the connection and response times.

Plain Text
ASCII standard text; nonformatted text.

The user interface in which a user typically points to an object on the screen and then clicks a button on the mouse to take any action or to move to another location (as in hypertext).

pointer domains
In this context, a pointer domain is a domain name that is used to point to the main domain. Many organizations have registered multiple variations of their domain name (including misspellings), which they then point to their base domain name through the use of pointers or redirects.

POP Account
Post Office Protocol account, which enables the user to receive e-mail.

pop-up window
A window that appears within another window and provides information or advertising.

A “door” or entry point to a wide-ranging variety of Web sites. Used in the real estate context, a real estate portal offers a repository of industry-related Web links that provide single-click access to many real estate Web sites.

To compose an e-mail message and send it to a Listserv for distribution to the group.

privacy statement
The written stated practices of a Web site or Web company that specifies the degree of privacy and confidentiality the company or site owners will apply to the protection of the private and personal information of its users and visitors.

A predetermined and common format for transmitting data from one point (computer, network, user, device) to another.

Internet terminology is used to refer to the act of putting information in front of the user, often through automated electronic communications, including e-mail newsletters, HTML-based e-mail, and Web clipping.


Qualified Lead
A qualified lead is a person or organization who is interested in your products or services and is a good candidate to convert into a customer or client for one or more reasons.


When something is happening on an interactive basis (action now, result now) it is often called real-time.

The company or entity requesting the registration of a particular domain name.

The company or entity granted the rights to register domain names.

RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard)
The new open standard for exchanging real estate transaction information. Consists of a transaction specification and a standard Extensible Markup Language (XML) Document Type Definition (DTD); RETS is being implemented by many real estate industry leaders in their next generation of real estate information systems.

Rich Text Format (RTF)
The Rich Text Format standard is a method of encoding formatted text and graphics for easy transfer between MSDOS, Windows®, Windows® 95, OS/2, and Apple Macintosh applications.

On the Internet, a device (or, in some cases, software in a computer) determines the next network point to which a packet should be forwarded toward its destination. A router maintains a table of the available routes and their conditions and uses this information— along with distance and cost algorithms—to determine the best route for a given packet. Typically, a packet may travel through a number of network points with routers before arriving at its destination.

RSS stands for “Real Simple Syndication” which is a specific type of file format that can be automatically read by News Readers that subscribers have installed on their computers or access online.

Those standards are established in the e-mail client for automatic handling of incoming messages based on predetermined conditions.


Safelist, also known as a whitelist, is when a subscriber adds an email address to their contacts list within their ISP, like Gmail or Yahoo!. The purpose of safe listing an email address is to ensure that it arrives in the subscriber’s inbox.

Short for Internet over Satellite; IoS technology allows a user to access the Internet via a satellite that orbits the Earth.

screen capture
Use of technologies designed to make a photo-like image of the computer screen’s contents.

The act of moving the scroll bar in a program’s active display window.

search engines
A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Designing a website or blog around keywords and content to achieve a higher ranking when users search for those keywords using search engines like Google and Yahoo!

SERP – Search Engine Results Page
The pages of links are generated by searching keywords using search engines like Google and Yahoo!

Second-Level Domains
That unique name (domain name) identifies a particular computer or network on the Internet. It is the unique name assigned within a domain (I.e. and is
registered with the Domain Registry.

Segmentation is the process of grouping your list into smaller subgroups based on certain criteria. An example of this would be sending a broadcast message to the people in your list who’ve purchased your product versus the subscribers who have not purchased yet.

A computer or device on a network that manages network resources.

A text file that you append to your messages; contains static information, including name, e-mail address, telephone information, etc.

A portable device that combines mobile telephone and computing functions into one unit.

SMTP server (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol server)
The server software manages all outgoing e-mail from users.

snail mail
Traditional paper mail via the U.S. postal service.

source code
The code that defines a Web page: HTML, DHTML, asp, others. Program instructions in their original form.

Internet junk mail; unsolicited e-mail.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a technique used to authenticate commercial emails. It helps prevent spammers from sending unsolicited emails under a forged name.

streaming video
A method of making large-file video available via the Internet in which the video starts to play while the rest of it downloads in a continuous stream.

Subject Line
The subject of an email is a statement shown in the inbox to represent the contents of the email. Subject lines are important tools for encouraging recipients to open the message.


Tags are keywords or phrases that you can use to group subscribers together and assign specific campaign messages to them. Tags can help you learn more about your subscribers or help you determine which form they used to sign up to your list. You can use tags with your sign-up forms and campaigns to further automate your messages, or you can send broadcast messages to subscribers who have a certain tag applied. Tags can also help you manage your subscriber information from one list rather than having multiple lists.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
TCP enables two hosts to establish a connection and exchange streams of data. TCP guarantees delivery of data and also guarantees that packets will be delivered in the same order in which they were sent.

Third Level Domains
The owner of an SLD (domain name) has the ability to assign specific groupings within that domain name for categorical purposes. This can apply as in the case of e-mail addresses ( with JohnSmith being the third-level) or in Web page groupings (as in, where the community pages can be segmented to allow tighter access control and for other reasons.

An electronic discussion that takes the form of “Message-Reply-Reply” in a threaded conversational manner.

TLD (Top Level Domain)
Identifies the most general part of the domain name in an Internet address. A TLD is either a generic top-level domain, such as “com” for “commercial,” “edu” for “educational,” and so forth, or a country code top-level domain, such as “fr” for France.

Interactive learning tools allowing the student to learn by example.


Occurring in many disparate locations at the same time. Seeming to be everywhere at once.

To copy a file from your local computer to a server or host system; the reverse process of the download.

URL (Uniform [or Universal] Resource Locator)
The URL is the Internet equivalent of an address. Your Web site’s location on the Internet is found through the use of your URL.

user name
The unique name that identifies a specific user within a certain domain/site.


virtual tours
Recent advances in digital photography where one digital picture is “stitched” to one or more other digital pictures at common points to create a continuous 360-degree view.

Virtual Office Website.


Web interface
An interface to a program or programs that offer the user point-and-click actions, usually through hypertext.

Web presence
The total marketing effort, including and emphasizing branding, invested using the World Wide Web, including Web sites, reciprocal linking, and more.

Web response forms
Fill-in-the-blanks forms on Web pages that automatically e-mail the user input to the page owner/manager.

A unique database search facility that enables one to look up a domain registration record to determine ownership.


Zip files
Files that have been compressed by removing nonessential bits, such as zeros and blanks. Further compression is attained through a “sampling” algorithm that strips bits on a predetermined frequency.


Blog – Web Log

An internet journal publishing model that is easy to design, manage, and update. Blogs are ideal for increasing audience retention by frequently posting comments.

CSV – Comma Separated Values

CSV files are commonly used to transfer data between spreadsheets, databases, and contact management programs. Each piece of data (a cell in Excel, a field in a database, a field in Outlook) is separated by a comma. Each set of data (a row in Excel, a record in a database, a contact in Outlook) appears on a single line.

POP3 Server – Post Office Protocol 3 Server

The server that receives and stores incoming email messages until they are downloaded to a computer. Users have the option of leaving messages on their POP3 server so that those messages can be accessed from several different computers.

RSS – Really Simple Syndication

RSS is a standard for publishing information (blog posts, podcasts, vidcasts, and website updates) so that it can be displayed in customizable internet portals like iGoogle and Yahoo! as well as feed readers like NewsGator and Microsoft Outlook.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Buying advertising space on search engines based on the keywords used in the search. Search engine advertisers may appear in different locations on the search engine results page. Research suggests that users are learning to ignore internet advertising, so publishers sometimes mix advertisements in with “organic” results which were found based on keywords and content rather than having paid for placement.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Designing a website or blog around keywords and content to achieve a higher ranking when users search for those keywords using search engines like Google and Yahoo!

SERP – Search Engine Results Page

The pages of links generated by searching keywords using search engines like Google and Yahoo!