As we continue to work with many real estate professionals, a common question is how one should integrate real estate listing information, photos and data into their personal website. There are a few options to consider such as IDX integration, a WordPress listing plugin or even just writing about your listings via blog posts, but the question is difficult to answer until some larger, big-picture items are thought through. Let’s discuss…
Before answering the best method for including listing information into your website, it’s important to answer the following questions:
What’s the purpose of including listings in your website?
Many individuals don’t even consider their goals or purpose in including listings into their site prior to doing so, but it can be extremely helpful in planning your site by giving this question some thought. Here are some possible answers:
- The purpose is to establish my credibility – By showing my current and previous listings, potential clients can see that I have experience and have successfully managed many listings and transactions.
- I want my website to be a valuable resource for people looking for homes or real estate information – Listings and home information are resourceful pieces of content for someone visiting my website.
- The purpose is to share my voice and perspective – By articulating particular information about homes for sale or homes that have recently sold, I can build my personal brand and voice in my real estate market.
How much time and effort do you realistically plan to put into listing content on your website?
Let’s face it, many professionals are extremely busy. For some, finding time to add content to their website is quite a chore. For others, they can knock out thousand word articles and listings on a daily basis without breaking a sweat. Estimating the amount of time and effort that you will realistically put forth into listings and content on your website on a long-term, ongoing basis is an important consideration.
If you determine that you have little to no time to maintain your website, then an IDX solution might be your best bet. IDX integration can pull in your listings and other listings automatically. While it costs more money, for many professionals, the extra cost is negligible in the big picture of working as a real estate professional (Read more on IDX integration here).
If you believe you have some time, you might consider adding listing content as blog content rather than actual listings (either manually added or IDX driven). By including listings or writing about specific homes in your blog, you can pick and choose moments to highlight something specific or feature a specific property rather than having to maintain your entire listings portfolio as listings change status or new listings are added.
Lastly, a WordPress listing plugin might be the right answer if you feel comfortable maintaining and updating your listings on a regular basis. This means adding the description, photos and data of a listing when you list a new property, and updating the status of current listings as they sell or go off the market.
It’s important to recognize that adding your own listings and maintaining them isn’t an overwhelming task. Many real estate professionals do it on a regular basis with their website; however, there are some individuals that simply struggle to find the time to perform such tasks. Regardless, it’s important to be realistic and factor such an estimate into your decision of how you structure and layout your website.
What plugins are available for real estate listings?
Probably the most widely used plugin for real estate listings is the AgentPress Listing plugin. When installed, it creates a separate Type in WordPress for listing type content (in simple terms, it adds an item to your menu in addition to Pages and Posts, you can now also create a Listing).
Adding and editing the information on your listing is super simple. The title and body of the listing content is just like a WordPress blog post, but it also includes a few listing related data fields such as address, city, state, MLS #, price (see the below screenshot):
If you go the route of adding listing content as blog posts, no additional plugin is needed. If you go the direction of full blown IDX integration, then give us a call, because it’s a bigger process than simply adding a plugin to your website.
There truly isn’t a wrong answer to how you integrate listings information into your website. Your website is an exension of your personal brand, so it should fit your personality, market and goals of your website. As we discussed above, it should also fit into your expectations for maintaining your website in the future.
We hope that this post was helpful to you as you consider mapping out your own real estate website. If you still have questions or would like to see some example websites that have implemented the various strategies discussed, give us a call.