WordPress Camp: Get Busy Bloggin’

By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine

annual2010_logo_leftnavFrom 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.

To find the handouts and more info from WordPress Camp, visit WordPresscamp.blogs.realtor.org.

Erica Christoffer

Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing writer and editor for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at echristoffer@realtors.org.

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  1. Just took a look at dsIDXpress, indeed it’s a great plugin for real estate site. =)

  2. This is an informative article! Thank-you for sharing this information with us!

  3. Good job NAR! I never thought I would be getting CSS lessons at a REALTOR® Conference. Please keep it up!

  4. If you are considering using a wordpress real estate website for your business, why not give one a try for absolutely FREE? Visit http://r3altor.com for more details.

  5. I use wordpress now, and I love it. Check out the iRealEstate theme at woo themes. If you use Top Producer, they have a great IDX setup that is better priced than anything else around and usually no setup fee. You can see my theme and the top producer IDX page on my website at http://www.benrlarson.com.

  6. Thanks for the informative article. I have to recommend Woo Themes, too, which I use with my primary blog. Now, on to integrating dsIDXPress.

  7. I have a wordpress site, and idxpress. I am constantly looking for new and creative ideas for my blog. I watched Dustin online at the NARdiGras website and I thought he did an AWSEOME job. I hope NAR steps it up in providing web 2.0 and even 3.0 information. We’re not all newbies and I absolutely welcome intermediate lessons. The free webinars would be the perfect delivery system for this!