WordPress and Realtors

WordPress and Realtors

Want to see more clients in your Real Estate business.  A website is one key to success for Realtors®.  If you don’t have one, then you have a real problem.  If you do have a Real Estate Website, the ask yourself if i

WordPress and Realtor Web Sites

WordPress and Realtor Web Sites

t’s modern, easy to use, pleasant to look at and easy to find things that the prospective client would want to know.

One big problem with the real estate industry is that agents get sold on websites from franchisors or affiliates. These include franchisors like Remax and Baird and Warner. Many agents partner with companies like these, and they get all sorts of incredible benefits. Unfortunately, however, the websites usually aren’t good at all.

However, you can still be associated with your real estate company and make your own WordPress website. This way, you have complete control over the design and functionality, and you can boost your sales by utilizing the best WordPress real estate plugins. The plugins, or extensions you install to add functionality, include highly advanced property listing plugins, options for adding mortgage calculators to your site, along with integrations with Zillow.

If you are just getting started, one of the best things to know is don’t just go out and buy a theme.  My suggestion is to start with the Divi Theme.  This theme can be so flexible that you can change anything on your site and it will keep growing and never get outdated.   I used to go around and buy themes for clients, install them and then spend hours customizing the theme.   Now I can just install Divi and build about anything the client wants.  You can find out more about Divi here.

Since many people reading this article are new to WordPress altogether, it helps to explain the elements that will go together to create the ideal real estate site. We’ll be listing the best WordPress real estate plugins below, but you’re only going to select maybe one or two of them for your website.

The rest of the plugins you decide on won’t have a direct relation to real estate. Instead, they’ll protect your site, make it faster, allow for social sharing and give you marketing options. Since you shouldn’t install too many plugins, it’s important to stick with the reputable essentials.

Here is a few things you need for any wordpress site

  • Domain Name
    • Choose a domain name that is easy to type
    • Keep it short
    • Use keywords that describe you or your business area
    • Target your area
    • Avoid numbers and hyphens
    • Be memorable
    • Research it
    • Choose a domain name extension that fits
    • Protect and build your brand
    • Act fast
  • Hosting
    • I recommend Hostwinds because they have great customer support.
    • Of course you can use GoDaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost, WPEngine, etc. But like I said, I recommend Hostwinds.
  • WordPress Installed with basic recommended plugins (These are my goto plugins to get started)
    • Akismet
    • Jetpack
    • Yoast SEO
    • Classic Editor -> I don’t like the block editor especially with the Divi Builder
    • TinyMCE Advanced
  • WordPress Theme
    • I recommend Divi Themes by Elegant Themes.  This is the most versatile and responsive theme I have found.  I can do anything with this theme.

Real Estate Plugins

    • Estatik – Estatik is definitely the king of all real estate plugins, seeing as how it offers a wide range of features in one plugin. Yes, you get the listings and multilingual support. Yes, you receive a responsive layout with a photo gallery. Yes, you can create a slideshow or integrate with social media.
    • Real Estate Pro – The Real Estate Pro plugin comes highly recommended for a few reasons. First of all, it’s one of those rare plugins where the settings, pages, and templates are all configured right after installation. You truly don’t have to touch anything for it to look pretty nice.
    • IMPress Listings – IMPress Listings is completely free, but you do have the option to buy some listing templates. The basics behind the plugin include a full listing management system, an MLS integration and status tags for all of your listings.
    • Responsive Mortgage Calculator – The Responsive Mortgage Calculator is a jQuery widget and shortcode that’s designed to fit easily into any theme, on any device, at any size. Just what every “Real Estate Agent on the go” needs. This plugin is, optionally, relying on www.mlcalc.com service to show calculation results.
    • Easy Property Listings – The Essential Real Estate plugin gives you a lot of premium features in their free version of the plugin. You can easily customize and override the layout and functions. It supports global payments, single list properties, single agents, and more.
    • Essential Real Estate WordPress – This plugin essentially has everything you need to start a Real Estate website. It also has an impressive 5-star rating on the repository! It has custom post types, taxonomy features for properties, agents, packages, user packages, invoices, and even transaction logs. You can add new listings, edit them, and much more.
    • WP-Property – The WP-Property WordPress plugin has been around for a long time and is one of the most downloaded real estate plugins on the repository. It allows you to create and manage highly customizable real estate, property management, and completely custom listing showcase websites.

In conclusion, let me say that the best money you can spend is to give me a call for consultation.  I offer reasonable rates and know everything real estate.

 

How and Why of Landing Pages in WordPress

How and Why of Landing Pages in WordPress

The Perfect Landing Page

The Perfect Landing Page

When someone says “Landing Page” do you know what they mean?

Landing Page means that you create a specific page where a visitor comes to a specific page on your WordPress site which makes it the entry point to your main site.

The main purpose of Landing Pages is to take your visitor to a predefined page the convinces them to take a certain action.  Most cases (especially on Realtor® sites) it is about getting contact information and developing a lead or customer.

In other words, the goal here is to take that new visitor and immediately put them through some marketing process on your WordPress site, as opposed to letting them wander around, looking for something to do.

How can you make your Landing Page in WordPress special?

Of course, you don’t need something like a Landing Page to try convincing your visitors to do something. You can do it on any page that can be built inside the WordPress platform or even from the homepage of the site itself.

However, the difference here is that a Landing Page (when executed properly) will always bring better results, due to its single-purpose nature, as opposed to a standard homepage which is usually built in a way that tries to present a load of different things and information.

The most interesting thing about Landing Pages is their design, or more accurately, lack thereof. Most Landing Pages in WordPress, at least in a way that they’re implemented these days, are very minimalistic. They are usually built entirely separately from the rest of the site and retain very little of the site’s original design.

In short, every element that appears on a Landing Page should reinforce the main goal of the page (getting the visitor to take a specific action), and everything else should be erased.

In summary, the elements that make a good Landing Page in WordPress, and also the elements that we’ll focus on in this post are:

  • Simple structure with minimal design.
  • No sidebars. Sidebars make the design distracting.
  • No footer.
  • Minimal header. The visitor can get straight to the copy.
  • If you’re going to use a logo, make it so it is not linked to another site.

Method #1: The Obvious One – Plugins

There’s a plugin for everything these days and Landing Pages in WordPress are no exception here. If you want a quick way of building Landing Pages in WordPress, and you don’t care that much about optimizing code, then plugins are where you should go.

There’re not much free Landing Pages available. Sure there are some plugins in the official directory, but you will quickly find out that they are either very limited in terms of features or even that there’s almost nothing available for free and that you have to do some kind of an purchase in order to get the actual features.

Anyway, the only free and functional plugin I could find is WordPress Landing Pages. It’s quite easy to use and has all the basic features you’d need to start building Landing Pages in WordPress.

Method #2: Drag and drop theme builders

The whole idea of constructing a Landing Page on a WordPress site is to make it different from all the other pages. But the problem with most WordPress themes is that they are quite limited in terms of what you can and cannot do with the design.

For instance, every theme will allow you to place whatever you want inside the main content block of a page template. However, if you want to do something outside of this area, well, bad luck.

So what’s different about drag and drop builders that are integrated into some of the more developed themes out there is that you can basically do whatever you wish with any page’s design, and this sort of customization is available through a very easy to use interface.

In a nutshell, the advice is this, if you’re working on a site that you know is going to require a handful of Landing Page templates for WordPress to be created along with the main design, consider switching to a drag and drop builder altogether. It will likely make your work a lot faster.

Method #3: Manually Built Custom Pages

This method provides the best SEO and gives you better information on how your advertising campaigns are working.  For instance, If you were to do a WordPress Multi-Site using Sub-Domains and set up a new sub-domain for each of your landing pages, the search engines would view these as a separate site from your main site.  So basically, each sub-domain would be a separate website with a custom landing page.  Then you advertise that domain and using AdWords you would get information on how well that advertisement is working.

This is an advanced topic and if you are interested in how it works give me a call at (208)830-7991.