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WordPress Basics for Agents

May 05 2014

wordpress logoIndustry superstars like Nicole Nicolay have made WordPress a familiar term for most real estate agents. As you probably already know, this is a blogging platform that can also be used to build agent websites. The price tag – a big, fat ZERO – has undeniable appeal for many agents. If you're considering a WordPress site, there are many factors you'll need to investigate. Today, I'm going to look at only two of the most important.

Property Search

It's easy to argue that an agent website is worth very little without property search. Without the option of property search, what value are you providing to your visitors? Thus, property search should be included on every agent's website.

As a result, a variety of technology vendors have created WordPress "plugins" for property search. If you're unfamiliar with the term, "plugins" are tools created by developers to integrate with WordPress and add functionality to WordPress sites.

A good example of a WordPress property search plugin comes from WolfNet. Their pluginTheir plugin synchronizes their powerful IDX search with any WordPress website or blog. It's important, when considering a property search plugin, to ensure that it offers the full functionality you've come to expect from IDX search. For instance, WolfNet's plugin still includes the SEO features (such as individual property detail pages and dynamic listing content) and customizable search options that have made their IDX such a popular choice.


Responsive Design

These days, a huge percentage of prospective buyers are using a mobile device to begin their home search. Thus, it's absolutely essential that your website can be viewed effectively on any device. This is called responsive design. Responsive design detects the size/orientation of a visitor's screen and changes the layout of the Web page accordingly.

In WordPress, agents should choose a template with a responsive design. They're out there. The template is basically the "skin" of your website – it's how the visitor will view the information you present. With WordPress, you can easily switch-out the template on your website when you get bored or if your branding changes – another appealing feature for many agents.

Sometimes, Traditional Web is Best

I've barely scratched the surface, but you can see that there's a lot to like about WordPress. However, the fact of the matter is that WordPress is a blogging platform. It offers a variety of templates, but few options for more substantial customization. It cannot do what a traditional website, built by a developer specifically for you, can do. If you broker offers an agent website with IDX for free or for a discount, it may be in your best interest to take advantage of it.