By now, you already know the secret.
Online presence is everything in real estate marketing. In fact, an eye-popping 90% of home buyers searched online during their buying process last year. For all you real estate agents, this means you need your listings on the major home search sites.
But your own website needs to stand out, too.
If you use WordPress for managing your site, or if you’re thinking about it, there are some amazing plugins that can make your job a whole lot easier. There are thousands of plugins out there, which can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled a list to help you find the best.
Here’s the deal, though: most of these aren’t specific to real estate. The last two will help you list properties in really accessible ways online, but most of the plugins in this list can help you run a lead-generating blog and website in any industry. They make content marketing easy for anyone, not just real estate agents.
Content marketing is seriously effective for real estate agents (and you can prove it).
If you can establish yourself as a trusted individual or agency that provides helpful resources to your community, people will line up to work with you. And creating helpful content is the best way to earn trust.
So for the real estate agent (or any other entrepreneur), these 7 WordPress plugins are pure gold. Every WordPress site should be using them.
SumoMe might as well be called CrownMe, because it’s king of this list.
SumoMe is actually a variety of tools and apps, all built for the purpose of growing your website’s traffic. Each one on its own is highly useful for attracting visitors; but when combined, the tools are a goldmine.
Some specific tools within SumoMe:
List Builder helps you collect more emails. It’s a simple, unobtrusive signup box that appears across your page to readers. It’s intuitively designed to pop up right before visitors are expected to leave the page, has an array of color schemes to choose from, and works perfectly for mobile visitors as well so you don’t have to miss any opportunities to collect emails.
Content Analytics allows you to look beyond the simple numbers of visitors to your page and see how much of the page people are seeing. The tool visibly displays a line on your website pages to show you how far the average person reads your page. You can make informed decisions from this data, restructuring content and replacing calls-to-action to suit your readers.
Share is a tool that makes it easier for readers to spread your content around. It’s connected to over 16 major social sites. The best part is how smart it is: Share recognizes which social avenues each of your pages is shared through most, and it rearranges the display accordingly.
2) Yoast SEO
Yoast is a dream tool for SEO. With Yoast, how your content appears in Google is entirely in your hands.
The “General” page is where you’ll find most of the magic. That’s where you can see, at a glance, the specific elements of your blog post that need to be optimized for the keyword you’re targeting.
Yoast has a wonderful checklist you can use to make sure your focus keyword is listed everywhere it should be for best SEO results: in the title, the actual content, the meta description, and the URL. You simply adjust the text in each of those areas until a “No” becomes a “Yes.”
Disqus is a plugin that facilitates comments and discussion on your website. Their three aims are as follows (from the Disqus website):
- To attract readers
- To power comments
- To monetize below the fold
Disqus is divided into two tools: Engage and Reveal.
Engage is an alternative to WordPress’s default commenting. Over three million websites have used Engage. And it’s free!
Reveal is an ads and analytics tool to help you monetize your pages. It boasts the ability to help you harness the quality of ads on your site, so you don’t have to worry about shocking images and obvious click-bait. You can determine what types of ads you want displayed. (Note: Reveal may only be used by sites averaging more than 25,000 weekly pageviews.)
The main draw of Disqus is its wide usership: it has achieved more than one billion unique monthly visitors across its network. Users only have to create an account once before they’re able to comment on any site that uses Disqus.
Engage attracts hyper-engaged users, 80% of whom leave comments.
This, of course, is why publishers market through social media: to call out into the virtual streets offering valuable content to whoever will listen. Most people know that if they don’t share their content, and share it consistently, it will probably never be found.
CoSchedule actually does far more than post to your social media accounts—it schedules all your posting in advance. Essentially, it’s a one-stop shop for promoting your blog posts as many times as you want.
The end goal is simple: boost your website’s traffic while spending less time thinking about it. The simple consolidation of tedious marketing tasks can save you more than an hour on each blog post.
Who wouldn’t want that?
Have you seen the “Click to Tweet” or “Tweet this” icons that show up in the middle of blog posts? They’re beautiful, and you might be wondering how to incorporate them in your own site.
There are two ways to create “Click to Tweet” quotations: by tediously typing code into your post or by using the Click to Tweet plugin.
If you’re looking for organic ways to get your blog’s readers to share your content…look no farther than this incredible plugin.
Ah, here we are with the plugins specific to real estate. And what can be a more aptly named plugin for real estate than “Real Estate”?
Before you read further, know that to use the Real Estate plugin, your website must use Templatic’s Directory theme. If you are already established with a website you’re happy with, this plugin isn’t for you.
But if you’re willing to build your site using Directory, the Real Estate plugin is an amazing option for listing your properties. You can use it to add all the usual listing specifics—price, address, pictures, year built, nearby schools, and so on.
Users can also filter their searches according to price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and property status.
The plugin comes with a number of pre-set tags that you can apply to properties to show their status (e.g. hot, offer, or reduced price) and you are able to add your own custom labels as well.
WPL Real Estate leaves you staggering with its user reviews; as of this writing, it has 66 perfect five-star reviews out of 73 total.
It’s obvious from reading these reviews that the customer support is a big part that satisfaction. The plugin is fairly complex, and one look at some of the technical parts of WPL’s website might seem threatening, but contact their support team and stick it out—it’s worth it.
The plugin is a gorgeous data management tool for your properties, and it’s very flexible: you can add to and alter fields without throwing your whole database out of whack.
Realtyna, which created the plugin, also offers cloud hosting. And for a little icing on the cake, the plugin can be translated into five languages: English, Spanish, Italian, Serbian, and Croatian.
Even though your face on a sign may not have the same impact that it used to, today’s real estate market is as much about earning trust as it ever was.
By creating locally based, helpful content on your blog, you’ll attract qualified visitors to your website…and you’ll be seen as a trusted resource in your community.
People will remember the real estate agency that shared a list of the 34 best service providers in their area. Later, when their friends are looking to buy a new home, your name will be on the top of their mind.
These plugins will give you a holistic strategy for improving your website’s value. They cover everything from collecting emails, to simplifying posting and marketing, to listing properties attractively on your site.
If you use WordPress, take the time to equip yourself with the best of the best.
It takes lots of time to create quality blog content that actually produces leads…and our entire focus is just that.
We spend our time exposing your brand to families that need you. You spend your time putting those families in their dream homes.
If you’re convinced that your real estate agency needs to create blog content that adds value to your local audience, let’s chat.
Ryan is Managing Editor at Sweet Fish Media. He has a Creative Writing degree from Florida State University. He loves old books, new restaurants, and overly sweet coffee. Currently, he’s writing a novel about a young girl who is exceptionally talented at getting into unfortunate circumstances.