By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine
From beginners to pros, WordPress Camp had something to offer every blogger at the 2010 REALTORS® Conference & Expo Monday. Technology and marketing experts presented dual-track sessions for novice bloggers and advanced WordPress users.
Blogging has proven to be a valuable tool for real estate professionals to demonstrate industry and community knowledge, as well as express identity and brand. The sessions provided tips to help leverage the medium and connect with potential clients.
“WordPress is a perfect forum for real estate Web sites,” said presenter and co-WordPress Camp organizer Dustin Luther with 4realz. “There’s a lot of talk right now about marketing via social media. But we really wanted to focus on creating a great Web site.”
Presenter Steve Zehngut, from Zeek Interactive, honed in on integrating real estate tools on a WordPress blog.
When choosing a theme – or the overall design of your WordPress Web site – Zehngut recommended Woo Themes, which provides customizable Web designs for $70 to $200.
Zehngut also listed a few must-have plugins for a real estate WordPress site:
WP-o-Matic: “You need a good feed plugin,” Zehngut said. WP-o-Matic is an RSS feed plugin that pulls in posts/links from an external Web site, such as a local news site. “It helps your site look like its moving and refreshes the content,” he said.
Viper’s Video Quicktags: This plugin is a quick and easy way to embed video to a WordPress site. Once installed, VVQ adds a YouTube button to your post box on the backend. Simply click on the button and drop in a YouTube URL for fast embedding. No more copying and pasting code. The plugin also offers shortcuts to change the embed size – making the video player larger or smaller.
dsIDXpress: What to add content from an MLS to a WordPress page? dsIDXpress will pull in the listings description, photos, map, and more. An account is required, which includes a $99.95 setup fee and $29.95 per month subscription (per domain). dsIDXpress also comes with several widget options to drop in a sidebar, such as a search field.
Gravity Forms: A great way to enhance communication on WordPress site, Gravity Forms is a contact box/forms plugin, a tool for feedback and lead generation. Various views, buttons, and spam prevention to choose from. Pricing from $39 to $199.