Hands down, a real estate agent’s best option for a website is WordPress, especially when loaded with a few key WordPress real estate plugins to make it run smoothly.
WordPress is one of the most commonly used website/blog builders on earth, and currently runs more than 75 million websites around the world.
WordPress plugins let you customize your real estate website — even if you don’t know a thing about coding.
That’s good news for any real estate agent who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time building a website or paying a lot for a static website that doesn’t actually do anything. There are thousands of WordPress developers in this country — you can’t swing a For Sale sign in a coffee shop without nailing one or two. This means setting up a WordPress site and maintaining it should be easy and cost-effective.
Editor’s note: Haven’t built your WordPress website yet? Read this to find out how.
Rather than doing a lot of programming and coding, you can use WordPress real estate plugins to improve the appeal, effectiveness and usability of your WordPress website. And there are plenty of plugins made specifically for real estate agents to use on their agency’s website.
For example, you can find business-related plugins like WooCommerce, which lets you add an eCommerce function to your website. Fifteen years ago, that functionality would have cost more than $10,000 — now it’s a free download.
There are business plugins that let you schedule appointments, share past tweets, build photo galleries, create Yelp listings — even fight comment spam. (I really recommend Akismet for this last one. Make sure it’s installed on your WordPress site.)
And there are plenty of must-have plugins every WordPress owner should have—regardless of the kind of site you have:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast
- Jetpack (social sharing)
- Google Maps Builder
- GoDaddy Website Security (powered by Sucuri)
Must-have WordPress real estate plugins
There are thousands upon thousands of WordPress plugins available to you, but only a few that are made specifically for the real estate market. Here are four of the most essential.
WP-Property is geared toward not only real estate agents, but property managers as well. It allows for Google Map integrations, which means you can display your listings on an interactive map. You can also show different templates for different properties and types of properties. WP-Property is optimized for search engines, so it will help your listings get found more easily on Google.
Easy Property Listings
Easy Property Listings is another listings-based plugin that allows visitors to sort listings by price, date and location. It lets you link to virtual tours and floor plans; and add a photo gallery to Google Maps listings. Best of all, it can even capture contacts and lead information for future follow-up.
WPL Real Estate
WPL Real Estate from Realtyna has some under-the-hood functionality you might want. It lets you do things like:
- Customize your listings database without changing the entire database.
- Create your own customized iPhone or Android app with just the click of a button.
- See their search listings appear on Google Maps as you add them, thanks to the Add A Property wizard.
When it comes to capturing and communicating with leads, Leadin might be your best bet. It can collect all the leads on your website and drop them into a CRM (customer relationship management) system. Leadin even plugs into different email marketing tools so you can create an automated drip campaign.
For example, you could create five different email messages that are sent to every visitor seven days after they visit your site. Emails could share articles on home financing, schools, attractions, restaurants and so on. Rather than doing this by hand for each visitor, it can be done automatically. Your leads get contacted without you lifting a finger.
5 generic plugins you should consider as well
Much of what you have to do on a daily basis isn’t specific to real estate — it’s the routine tasks required of professionals in many fields. Check out these plugins for improved site speed, better efficiency and real-time monitoring:
- Contact Form 7 will let you easily create forms for visitors to use. With drag-and-drop functionality, you can create multiple forms for different facets of your business.
- Lazy Load helps your page load speed, which is an important SEO (search engine optimization) factor. The faster a page loads, the more “Google juice” it gets.
- Smush Image Compression will compress your images, stripping out unnecessary information without reducing image quality. That way, your images are smaller and will load faster, which also improves page load speed.
- Google Analytics Dashboard lets you monitor key stats like number of visitors in real-time, traffic sources, social sources and even device categories.
- Business Profile is a local search-boosting plugin. It’s a must-have for any business that depends on local traffic — like restaurants, retail stores and real estate agents. Fill in the blanks, and you can give yourself a little boost.
Make your job easier with WordPress real estate plugins
There are several dozen WordPress real estate plugins, and most of them are about putting listings on your website. But it’s important to look beyond that and find the plugins that will make your life — and your job — easier. Those may be normal productivity plugins, or they may be additional real estate plugins. Some are free, some can be purchased and some require a monthly subscription. Just be sure to test each plugin thoroughly before you fully adopt it into your arsenal. Happy hunting!
Also published on Medium.