Since it’s real estate marketing month here I’m continuing on with our theme by providing what is hopefully a useful resource. I know a lot of agents utilize WordPress on their site in whether that be for full IDX integration, or just hosting their blog. It’s obviously a CMS that powers Linkbuildr, and just about most of the blogs around the web. Because of that, there is an abundance of ingenious plugins and code hacks to set yourself apart from the pack.
I will mention that there were of course too many plugins to cover in one post, but I do encourage my readers to post up in the comments. I would love for companies or agents to let us all know what they’re using, and and if you can tell us its hottest functions. I’ll also invite any company to come to an interview for this month about your plugin, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
For this article I found almost everything on WordPress Plugin database, and of course Google helped a bit. Not all the IDX system I saw in use were listed there, so how’s that for a link building hint hint hint?
WordPress IDX Plugins:
Every real estate agent needs an IDX system to pump their site full of listings from their area. While there are a lot of non WP based IDX platforms, notably REW’s IDX, WordPress has a few really amazing plugins to handle the job. If I were an agent, I’d tend to stick with the one that integrates other cool features such as Google Maps, Tweets and other features to provide a more unique listing. This will go a very very long way in how well Google will index your listings. Remember, there are hundreds, or maybe thousands of agent sites with the same listings.
DS IDXPress: http://www.dsidxpress.com
This IDX plugin for WordPress is the real deal, and is my first choice for a reason. This affordable package has pretty much everything you’ll need to get your listings in your site…and easily! Some of the features include an installation that takes no more than 2 minutes, widgets to do all sorts of handy things, Google maps integration and a nifty slide show system. They have a demo site here which isn’t bad, but you could easily have a much better theme designed than that one.
WP Realty: http://wprealty.org/
A lot of you have most likely come across WP Realty’s impressive IDX solution for WordPress. The great thing about this platform is that there is a team of experts there to help with customization, or building your site from the ground up. They also have a set of themes that are perfect for selling homes which is great. One key feature in mind is that this plugin is compatible with the All-In-One-SEO Pack which makes your on-page game all that much better.
WP Real Estate Helper Plugins:
There are a plethora of plugins that add extra features to your WP site that’s specifically for real estate. I’m all for these even though they may take more of your precious time away from you in setting up and maintaining. These plugins will make your website much more pleasing to Google, as well potential clients as it adds more functionality to the overall process. These features will make you also stand out from the rest of the agent sites which I know can all kind of blend together.
Real Estate Q/A: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/realanswers/
This is a really cool plugin that I think every WP based agent site should have running. While it might take a bit to get the questions flowing in, I have personally seen it work wonders for agents. It’s a great way to handle easy questions, establish search rankings for the hot terms, and showcase you’re an agent who knows your market well. After a few years and a few hundred questions, that will only do great things for your long tail search marketing game. Oh and this plugin is 100% FREE!
Simple Real Estate Pack: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-real-estate-pack-4/
This plugin has so many features I couldn’t believe it was out there for free. Props go to Max Chirkov for creating this gem and providing it to the community. This is something I’d almost not give away if you know what I mean. I’ll take some wording direct from his description and let you know this plugin includes mortgage and home affordability calculators, closing cost estimator, live mortgage rates, Trulia and ALTOS statistical charts, local schools, local rental rates meter, business listings from Yelp and Google Maps. You can see the in-depth options here, which should give you a grand idea the many things you can do with this plugin pack.
WP Great Real Estate: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/great-real-estate/
I’ve used this plugin personally on a pet project real estate site I’ve been involved with. I can say how much of a gem this is and I couldn’t give it enough praise. If you’re wanting to add in homes manually supported by a whole whack of features then this is the plugin for you. I’ve seen some very stunning looking agent sites as well completed with Great Real Estate, so don’t miss this one. This plugin utilizes the likes of NextGen Gallery to upload, manage, and display property listing photos. It uses WordTube to upload, manage, and display videos. There’s FPP Pano which displays panorama photos in a Flash 360 degree interface. Makes use of Feed Wrangler to enable you to send a listings feed to various websites such as Google Base, Trulia, and Zillow! It uses WP-DownloadManager to display and track links to downloadable brochures…and that even isn’t all of the features believe it or not.
This is a full featured WordPress plugin that basically turns your website into a powerful real estate CMS. This property and real estate management Plugin allows you to create a directory of real estate properties and integrate them into you site beautifully. I’ll spare you a few extra lines of me blabbing and let their handy video showcase to you the ease of use with this software.
WP Mortgage Loan Calculator: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/mortgage-loan-calculator/
It doesn’t hurt to add a bit of extra functionality to your real estate site, so why not a handy mortgage calculator? This acts as a sidebar widget, as well it can provide nifty looking AJAX graphs that are quite appealing. If you don’t have the time to have one programmed or integrated into WordPress, this plugin makes for a quick fix.
Local Market Explorer:http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/local-market-explorer
This will be the last plugin I put into this post and it’s a doozy! The Local Market Explorer plugin does so many amazing things that everyone should drop what they’re doing and get this configured on your site! This plugin allows WordPress to load data from a whole host of neighborhood related APIs(Yelp, Zillow, Education.com, Nile Guide & more) to be displayed on a page or within your own posts. I highly recommend reading the features of this plugin, but just take a look at this screenshot to get an idea of the powerhouse this plugin is. This is my top pick for all the plugins I’ve seen and if you have a coder on staff, you can make it even more custom to suite your needs.
You can see more screenshots of the features in action here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/local-market-explorer/screenshots/.
If you’re needing help with any Real Estate Marketing or WordPress help our team is available and here to help. We provide a wide range of real estate marketing options that will help you get the most out of your website, as well give you the time to focus on what you actually need to do…sell homes! If you’d like a proposal or just chat with out real estate marketing team don’t hesitate to get in touch.