The WordPress team continues to develop new features into what was already considered an excellent blogging platform. Over the last few years, WordPress has matured into a content management system (CMS) for all kind of web sites. This became very evident at a recent Sarasota Association of Realtors® Tech Expo. Real estate Agents and industry consultants presenting at the Expo were touting WP as the platform of choice to build a diversity of real estate web sites with different marketing strategies.
When looking for an inexpensive CMS platform to blog or create a web site, WordPress offers two solutions. The first solution is hosted by WordPress itself which can be found at WordPress.com. This solution is an easy and inexpensive (FREE) method to start a blog or web site. The free version offers basic functionality with options to upgrade your service for a fee (See image 1 for upgrade fee schedule as of 11/14/2010).
Real estate agents can easily create a web site designed to specifically market a single property with a few hours of work. The dedicated property page is a marketing tool that promotes the property to the Internet consumer and generates links back to the property information page on their own web site. View this example for a Sarasota loft for sale at 1415 5th St, Sarasota, Fl. This page was created in less than an hour and all that was required to create the page was content and uploading images. This is a process that does not require a technologist to create a marketing asset for the Internet.
The second solution provided by WordPress is the ability to download WP and install it on hosted servers. A little bit of techy knowledge is required to go this route, but once the first WordPress web site is completed, the others will be a snap. This journey requires a web hosting company to install WordPress on their servers. WordPress & Go Daddy hosting is a good combination for your site. The benefit of this process provides flexibility to add a plethora of plugins and widgets to enhance the consumers experience with the site and creates the ability to generate as many web sites as allowed under the hosting providers program.
Many web sites today are running WP under the hood in this manner. TechCrunch and TheSaundersBlog.com are some examples of sites that uses WP as a web site platform. This is where WordPress has its greatest strengths. As an example, Real Estate agents marketing niche areas can collectively collaborate to build one powerful area site with dynamic, compelling, and interesting content. Each agent publishes content for their niche market area with links back to their personal web sites. With a group of four Agents, the distribution of creating stories that consumers are anxious to read are shared by the group. Using this strategy each Agent would be required to produce one story a month.
With either WordPress solution, creating these collaborative web sites that are relevant to consumers is a strategy to drive more consumer traffic towards Agents.
As WordPress continues to build features, the platform becomes stronger as a real estate marketing tool. How the platform will be utilized is only limited by the imagination of those who learn and adapt WordPress as an Internet tool.