WordPress is a remarkable piece of software that only grows more powerful every day. Case in point – Premium WordPress Themes can take a blog and transform it into a online magazine. Choose an even more specialized theme and WordPress can become a Contact Manager too.
Many agents I talk to are starting to use WordPress to build single property web sites for their listings (see Do Single Property Websites Sell Homes?). This is especially powerful when it’s done with a one-click install and 100 site (unique URL) hosting limit with a MediaTemple Grid Service account. Only $20 a month! And companies like Realivent have even designed plugins and templates to help make this easy to do (see Using WordPress to sell Real Estate).
AgentPoint is a web development company based in Australia, that’s taken the idea to a whole new level though.
They’ve built a series of complete custom web sites for broker Fruit Property in WordPress. And, while not a radically new idea; I think you’ll agree, the results are pretty impressive.
On the whole, the site doesn’t look much different from any other broker website, but as you start diving into property searches and viewing individual listings, your realize the enormous amount of customization that went into transforming these sites from a typical WordPress install.
In order to accomplish this; they built a number of custom plugins. From the email sent to me:
- Real Estate Plug-in: This is the main plug-in and works without our Agentlog System and displays all of the agents property listings. It also controls search results, pagination, property pages, print pages, email listings, email to self, mortgage calculator and many more features. Also includes Lightbox image gallery for individual photo galleries. The plug-in uses many settings such as company id’s and office id’s from our agentlog system. (we can have thousands of offices added), it also includes how many listings in search results, google analytics code, google maps codes and other basic settings.
- Featured properties: Allows user to create featured listings or have this automatically load from database.
- Latest Listings: Brings in latest listings (6 of each). The plug-in has a number of controls such as whether to display sales, lease or both types.
- Property clouds: Brings from database all suburbs, and suburbs grow in size if they have more and more listings within a particular suburb.
- Email subscriptions: A site user can subscribe to sales or lease email subscriptions, this sends them latest listings added to system. The plugin has a number of settings such as back days, html, text formats and send times and dates.
- RSS feeds: for sales and lease listings.
- Team Pages: We also developed a plug-in that allows all team members to have an individual page complete with all of their own for sale lease, under offer, sold and leased listings.
Now, these installs still rely on AgentPoint’s proprietary Agentlog listings management software to manage the properties on the backend, but as you can see, all the display on the front end is done through WordPress. Pretty cool stuff.
The upsides to the building your broker site in WordPress are numerous; for the same reasons it’s caught on as the blog platform of choice for most bloggers. You have a vibrant, active community of developers constantly creating new features, and a codebase that generates standards compliant web copy which is naturally optimized for Search Engines.
I’d love to see AgentPoint release (or even sell) some of these plugins to brokers in North America. Or, at the very least, for more brokers (or enterprising developer) to pick up the torch and try and duplicate what they have accomplished.