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Weapon of Choice: Dashter

I have a new “weapon of choice” when it comes to curating relevant content and engaging with those in your network that find it extremely useful. It’s called Dashter. It’s a social content dashboard of sorts, but really…it’s much more!

Dashter was recently launched by some incredibly smart folks, one of which I’m lucky enough to call a friend…that would be Jeff Turner. I’ve known Jeff for many years as a well-voiced blogger, poignant?speaker, innovative?entrepreneur and he’s not too bad on the dance floor!

Now?I could skip right to telling you how to use it. Which might get you to try it, for a bit, before throwing your hands up in frustration over the latest shiny object. Or, I could just tell you why I love this new tool, and why you should too. Which might actually get you to use it with delight or better yet… make it your own social content “weapon of choice”. [Read more…]

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The Site That Heather Built

When I present, teach a class, or give a Webinar I LOVE providing examples and scenarios that demonstrate the strategy being discussed. One of my most favorite and extraordinary examples of raising the bar in real estate has always been Heather Elias.

Heather and I have known each other since WAY BACK?during the good ole RE.net days when blogging was all the talk! And it was shortly after starting in real estate in 2004 that Heather also started her blog, LocoMusings.com. A writer at heart, a bit of a techy, and a lover of her community?she shared it all with great posts and photos on a WordPress.org blog she set up herself.

Over the years, Heather?s business grew and so did her Website. ?She recognized the need for more features to provide additional value to her community and potential clients. ?So Heather added an IDX home search solution, as well as market data and trends. ?Because Heather had selected the WordPress platform, she was easily able to add new features in the form of plugins. [Read more…]

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AgentPress 2.0: It’s All About Flexibility

Real estate professionals love WordPress.

We know this because you made AgentPress not only a top seller among real estate themes, but among all themes available to WordPress users.

Brian Gardner, Founder of StudioPress and creator of AgentPress says, “It’s been a top seller in the StudioPress gallery for the last 18 months”.

We also know that you were ready for some changes, and so AgentPress has evolved. The new version launches today and our Agent Evolution team is proud to have had the opportunity to collaborate again with Brian on this latest release.

GREATER FUNCTIONALITY

The most notable difference from the first version to the new AgentPress is with how listing management is integrated. ?Listings are now entered as custom post types via the accompanied AgentPress Listings Plugin (which you can download for free). FYI- Integrating your listings via the plugin makes this data portable to future theme upgrades. ?This new functionality makes blogging your listings easier and more systematized. [Read more…]

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I’m Bringing Comments Back?

Alright, so I’m not bring comments back, but Mailchimp sure is with their new WordPress plug-in for improving comments. If you?re a blogger, you?ll probably agree that receiving comments can be a wonderful thing. Personally, I enjoy the engagement, the dialog, the understanding of how people are interpreting my content. The problem is that comments themselves have evolved. They don?t just take place on the blog; they take place on social media sites across the net. The challenge has become how to accurately represent that widespread conversation at the post level? [Read more…]

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Google Authorship Markup and the Beginning of Visual Search Cues

Recently Google announced they were piloting a program to start presenting author information in organic search results. As this feature is beginning to gradually roll out, I?m struck by what a huge opportunity this could be for real estate practitioners. Imagine having your quality content displaying to locals via search, with your avatar included directly to the right.

Here is an example of what we?re talking about:

Authorship Markup is essentially a way for Google to connect authors with the content they create and then show what I’m calling Visual Search Cues in the organic results. ?This is all done by using HTML5 microformats such as the rel=”me” and rel=”author” tags to identify your content. [Read more…]

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FREE WordPress for Real Estate Webinar Series

I?m excited to announce I?ll be sharing my WordPress expertise online via a series of upcoming classes?available to?you, for free!

This will be a great opportunity if you?re ready for a Website with more freedom and functionality.? Or maybe you?ve been hearing how WordPress assists you in your overall marketing plan? Whatever the case, I?ll be providing a Webinar series is for those of you that are new to WordPress and ready to navigate this powerful platform.

Each Webinar will take place on a Wednesday at 11am PDT. The first 30 minutes will be a presentation given by yours truly, with an extra 15 minute segment from 11:30-11:45 dedicated to you and your WP questions. In fact, Chad Johnson (Co-Founder & COO – Agent Evolution) will be joining me during this time to provide his technical expertise.

So go ahead, register now for one or all of the upcoming classes! It?s time to get your blog on! [Read more…]

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5 Types of WordPress Plugins for Real Estate Sites

Plugins are best described as ?features? you add to your WordPress site that enhance your functionality, content and lead generation. But new WP.org users can easily become overwhelmed by the abundant shiny plugin choices! And just because you can activate a ton of feature-specific plugins doesn?t mean you need to, or should.

Of course it?s a wonderful thing to improve user experience on your site. But it shouldn?t come at price?which is often a bloated blog with a slow load time. Nobody wants that! So, whether you?re new to WordPress or looking to optimize site performance I?ve narrowed my list of favorite plugins down to the must-haves and organized them into 5 categories. Take a look? [Read more…]

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What the Girl Scouts Taught Me about Content Distribution

Every year I count on the little neighbor girl to stop by with her Girl Scout Cookie order form so that I can place my ridiculous order of Thin Mints and Tagalongs?and then I wait (for months it seems) for them to finally arrive. This year I got the knock at the door?but no order form! The cookie boxes were right there?immediate gratification?no ordering, no waiting!

Clearly the Girl Scouts, being the savvy salesgirls they are, embarked on a new distribution strategy for their delectables this year! My little neighbor not only informed me I could purchase cookies on the spot, but also introduced me to their new iPhone app in case I needed to locate more in the near future. She even gave me her card that included a link to her troop?s Website and email newsletter! ?Now I can get all the news and tips I need to suffice all my cookie cravings!

Go Girl Scouts! They get it! They recognized the need to update their distribution strategy to better meet the needs of their targets. So I ask you?when was the last time you updated your distribution strategy?! [Read more…]