Realtors and Real Estate Agents definitive guide to WordPress
There is a movement within WordPress and its growing fast. Their is a growing community of Estate Agents and Realtors that are begiining to use WordPress to power their sites. This is likely to have been encouraged by some of the early players such as R&W Mosman and Neutral Bay Real Estate in Sydney and Harcourts Luxury who were both featured in the WordPress sites Showcase.
The move to WordPress can only be encouraged by the relatively recently introduced Widgets and Modules that have been specifically designed for WordPress, the wide variety of themes now available and the upcoming WP Plugins due for release soon, read on to find out more about what I know on that.
Tasked with developing yet another Real Estate site I have decided to check the feasibility (in fact on the subject of Real Estate web sites a I am currently working on four, this is a hot market right now) of doing it in WordPress. With a little research I realised it is certainly possible. To get the site right I wanted to thoroughly understand what was available and what they could do, so I set about doing some intensive research on the subject.
I was left feeling positive very early on, fnding Justins post
“I was able to turn WordPress into a real estate Content Management System and property listing application.” My suspicions were further confirmed when he went on to say
“Their previous site wasn’t getting much traffic … Now with WordPress as the backbone of their site, it’s ranking extremely high under multiple very competitive keyword phrases”
You can see the results of his work here: http://www.NWColorado.com
I then cam across Susan & Troy Deierling’s blog where there was a great post explaining the combination of plugins that they use titled “WordPress for Realtors: Plugins that work for Real Estate” Their blog is the Williamsburg Real Estate and Homes Guide, Your Guide to Williamsburg and Real Estate and you can read the post here:
Now I knew I was on the right track, but I wanted to see what was out there currently and what I could do. So I set about finding some dedicated resources for WordPress and Real Estate Agents. Not surprisingly I found two which are worthy of a mention. They are both very new web sites however in time I am sure they will grow to be fantastic resources. The first is “WordPress for Real Estate” http://www.wpforrealestate.com it is extremely limited at the moment, but give it time.
Themes and Designs
The second was a Realtor WordPress Theme Site http://realestatethemes.com/ and there are some great themes there, however they are all Premium themes that you have to purchase at a price. If you are prepared to spend money on a theme then you should really take a look at the theme that was only released this week ‘Open House Real Estate WordPress Theme’ a highly customisable Real Estate WordPress that features 5 different colour schemes, Google maps integration, custom plugins and scripts to easily add and manage property listings, a financing calculator amongst other things.
If you are looking for inspiration or a free design then there is a good collection of 17 Free themes that are specifically geared toward real estate agents.
At the other end of the spectrum completely you have GPL themes which means you are free to do what you want pretty much and an example can be found here:
There are a number of plugins that a Realtor could utlise, however here I will deal with Real Estate specific plugins.
Great Real Estate was developed to enable real estate agents, brokers, and realtors to display and manage propertly listings in WP.
A number of widgets and custom page templates permit display of only available homes, only sold homes, a random “featured” home, and a detailed property page for a listing. To get the full power of the plugin you will need to install about another 6 plugins to enhance its capabilities. You also need to get a Google API key to enable the maps, and a Truilia, Google Base, and Zillow account to enable feeds.
This is not the simplest module to install and configure however it is in a league of its own and will be using it on client sites personally.
EZ Pro Realty developed a plugin to provide website owners with truly easy to manage easy to integrate listings management features into their WordPress blogs. This script is in now way as feature rich as Great Real Estate however it may be easier for some to get to grips with.
Listing Press is a brand new WordPress plugin developed to allow real estate agents and other bloggers in the United States with the opportunity to display real estate listings. Listing Press draws properties directly from IDX providers who provide the MLS information.
All of the listing content is actually embedded within your site. No more awkward iframes, no more clashing styles. Because the listing content is actually embedded on your site you now have additional content on your domain for the search engines.
FireStorm Real Estate Plugin
Always the first with the news, the FireStorm Real Estate plugin is being created by Wes Fernley at FireStorm Interactive. It is a real estate plugin that allows house listings to be added to any WordPress website. The plugin will comes with all needed features built-in without the need for additional plugins to be installed. The FireStorm Real Estate Plugin is currently in Beta and is due to be released soon. More information can be found at the plugin homepage: www.firestorminteractive.com/wordpress/. A demo is also available at www.getitlisted.ca.
About The Author: Andrew Bonar, TopExpert.com
With over 12 years experience working with and marketing internet technologies, Andrew launched his first website ‘Happenings’ in 1994, when there were less than 100,000 websites online. Andrew’s early interest in the internet lead to becoming co-founder of the UK’s first Independent ISP, Cheapnet/Pobox and by 1999 he had launched one of Europe’s first payment gateways, eBanx.
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