The Advantages of Using WordPress For Real Estate Websites
It’s no secret that the real estate market has moved online. Last year, over 90% of home buyers started their search for a new home on the internet, while over 70% used the same medium to find an agent. With these kind of statistics, it’s vital to have an effective, professional real estate website to compete, especially in this slow market.
Ask your typical real estate agent about their online presence, and they’ve certainly got a website. Ask your typical real estate agent about WordPress, and most won’t know what you’re talking about. If they have heard of WordPress, chances are they think it’s simply a blogging platform, maybe something to use in conjunction with their main site, if at all. However, WordPress can provide the kind of unmatched flexibility, affordability and power to provide a comprehensive, all-in-one real estate solution for even the most demanding of agents.
Real Estate and Web 2.0
Before we discuss the advantages of using WordPress for a real estate website, we have to determine what goes into a successful real estate site and marketing campaign in the age of Web 2.o. Gone are the days of monolithic marketing messages designed to convince the client of an agents’ prowness. You can’t expect to be taken seriously with a gaudy, clumsy website full of mismatched images and animated gifs.
Today, agents must master the ins and outs of marketing to the search engines and social media crowd, and they must also have a sleak, feature-rich website with all the bells and whistles, professionally designed to impress and convince that client that they know what they’re doing. Let’s face it, clients want someone savvy enough to represent themselves well online, especially those sellers who hand over their most important investment. Also, real estate agents are not hard to find. How you stand out in the crowd, and if you’re found at all, can make a world of difference.
The Fundamentals of a Real Estate Website
All in all, there are a few basic fundamentals for having a successful online real estate presence. On the marketing side, it includes great search engine marketing and optimization, social media integration, blogging, and general community and link building.
When it comes to a real estate website, it must look great, provide all the information people need, have a search function or IDX solution built in, show off those beautiful listings, and capture leads. A tall order indeed, but not impossible. This is where we turn to WordPress, because there is no other platform that can do all this at the same level of affordability, ease of use, and flexibility it offers.
The Advantage of WordPress and how it Pertains to Real Estate
- Marketing – As an original blog platform, WordPress naturally communicates extremely well with search engines. Pages and posts can be indexed by engines almost immediately, and there’s also a large amount of great plugins available to improve search engine optimization. Social Media can easily be integrated into WordPress sites, so there’s no excuse not to connect with potential clients through every medium. Setting up social networking and bookmarking is as simple as a few clicks. The ease in which posts and pages can be created lends itself to more frequent content creation, and as every SEO knows, content is king. Keeping your WordPress website updated with fresh, relevant information is a snap. Finally, blogging has proven to be a valuable tool to build an audience, rank higher, and capture leads, so we know WordPress has all the bases covered there. When it comes to marketing, WordPress is an out-of-the-box solution that has few competitors.
- Web Design – One of the best features of WordPress is the active theme community. Premium themes enable you to have a gorgeous site in just a few minutes. Many premium real estate themes come pre-loaded with great options for displaying listings and have additional features like photo galleries, maps and advanced search functionality. Customizing a theme is much easier than most people think, and in some cases it’s not even necessary to know any code at all. There are also plenty of resources out there for the do-it-yourselfer, as well as a wealth of affordable design and customization services. Setting up WordPress, installing it and hosting it is easier than most platforms, requiring just a few steps and some basic info. WordPress can even be used to host an IDX solution so users can search the MLS on your site. In summary, WordPress provides both the power and flexibility to achieve anything for your web design, while keeping the management and setup as simple as possible.
- Affordability – Finally, there’s the question of price. As an open-source platform, WordPress is free. You’ll have to pay for a domain and hosting, and professional themes and customization could also run extra, but when you compare it to any other solution, WordPress will always be more affordable.
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