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Opinion Editorials

Real Estate WordPress Themes- Premium Themes You Should See

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Turnkey WordPress websites for the not so savvy

So if you’re sick and tired of paying ridiculous monthly fees for seriously ugly and outdated real estate websites, a powerful WordPress CMS  may be the solution for you.  CMS is simply short for content management system, and WordPress has proven itself as a disintermediating force in the bill’em monthly solution.

WordPress is simple to host and install, easy to theme, and over the course of a weekend, a beginner can launch a beautiful new WordPress blogging website, themed and ready to go- and even if you’re not that savvy, you can have it done for you at a fraction of the overall cost of some real estate content solutions.

WordPress isn’t just for blogging anymore!

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The Real Estate Theme (demo)

“The theme allows you to create property listings of two types – Buying and Leasing – each with a details and listing page. Additionally, you can create pages like this one to hold general content and submenus so that the site is largely extensible.

The Real Estate theme features:

  • Searchable listings
  • Editable homepage content via a customized WP-Admin panel
  • Simple, clean CSS to easily update colours
  • Flexible page structure that can accomodate a large amount of content
  • Easy to create “listings” from WordPress posts”

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Real Estate Theme (demo)

WP Pro Real Estate is a clean and simple theme designed for WordPress installations. It allows you to create a dynamic content managed site for use in the real estate business. It’s very simple to get up and running, and includes many features allowing for complete customization.

  • Custom Theme Administration Panel – Allows you to edit template and home page content including the logo, home header image, company tagline, home page verbiage and link text as well as many other options. No need to go searching through code to make template changes.
  • Custom Write Post Panel – Adds all the necessary detail fields to your write post panel i.e.(price, location, sq ft, etc…) without the use of a plugin. This is built in and ready to go once you activate the theme.
  • sIFR 3 – All headings are rendered utilizing sIFR, this allows the use of the custom font without having you or the end user to have the font installed on your computer.
  • Dynamic Image Resizing – Never worry about having to re size your images, upload large images via the WordPress admin and the theme takes care of the rest generating thumbnails, medium and large size images on the fly with caching.
  • Searchable listings – listings are searchable by address or description.
  • Utilizes Clean and Semantic XHTML and CSS – everything is commented and very easy to update.
  • Very scalable page structure – allows for accommodation of large amounts of content without breaking the layout
  • Five nice large stock photos are included as well.”

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Agent Theme (demo)

Benefits include the Agent theme, unlimited theme support answered by experts, customization techniques with detailed theme tutorials and professional design services available by their list of recommended designers.

Features:

  • Support
  • Multiple variations of property categories
  • multiple variations of page templates

realestatewordpress-itheme

IReal Estate Theme (demo)

Straight forward real estate WordPress theme with loads of features.  Simple and easy to customize.

Features include:

  • Easily customizable
  • Integrated blog
  • Home page template
  • Wide layout for content heavy sites
  • Widget ready sidebars and feature areas
  • Drop-down navigation
  • Search engine optimized

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Bel Air Real Estate WordPress Theme (demo)

This is an awesome WordPress theme from the small team or broker perspective as it comes as a complete turnkey ready for launch solution. Load your listings, agent mugshots, a little bit about who you are and your services and you’re off!

Features Include:

  • Easy Listings Management Look like a Pro
  • Five Color Schemes
  • Photo Gallery
  • Agent Image / Biography
  • “No Custom Fields”
  • Featured Properties
  • Property Search Options
  • Payment Calculator
  • Ad Management
  • Affordably Priced
  • Rebrandable – No credit links required

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Smooth Real Estate WordPress Theme (demo)

Finally, designers are beginning to get it as the evolution of the real estate WordPress theme continues. Have you been wanting Google Maps and other big site search features? Well here they are and a whole lot more.

Features include:

  • Google Maps Integration
  • “No Custom Fields”
  • PSD files included
  • Multiple Agents
  • Carousel Property Slider
  • Logo Uploader
  • Easy Listings Management
  • Widget Ready
  • Custom Plugins
  • Photo Gallery (up to 14 images)
  • Agent Photo Uploader
  • IE6, IE7, Firefox and Safari compatible
  • Extensive help and tutorial included
  • Banner Management
  • Ad your Adsense or Image Link Code
  • Turn all-or-individual banners on/off
  • Image Auto Resizer
  • Gravatar Support

A Few Things a Noob Should Know

Hunting real estate WordPress themes can eat up an entire Saturday and can be incredibly frustrating, but even worse than that, some (not all) free themes are proving to be dangerous.  Problems range from some free themes with malicious code, to required or hidden links in the framework to malicious or low ranking (often Google penalized) websites to being so basic that the learning curve is beyond beginner to bring to up to a usable level.  I advise anyone new to themeing WordPress to stick with reputable designers- I’ve pointed out a few here and will feature more later.

The themes featured above are Premium WordPress themes, meaning they come either with support, an administration panel that aids you point and click customization, or both and more for a one time price.  The themes above range from $25.00 to $120.00.

Some Basics

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Doug Francis

    May 3, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I have been establishing a new blog using one of these themes mentioned and it really looks great. A couple of bugs that I am working on today but the feedback so for has been positive. WP has been easy to use… with a little help from some clients who are more proficient (a great way to reconnect).

  2. Matt Stigliano

    May 3, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I’ve been using the iReal Estate Theme and it works great. Its pretty self explanatory from the start and looks great. I’m still working on making some changes (and the upgrade is starring me in the face, but when I upgraded it changed a lot of my layout so I need to get to work on that and then get the upgrade installed).

    It took me awhile to get a hang of it, but once I did, it helped. The new update has a great feature where you can write new pages, but not include them in the menu – it allows for deeper sub pages or just some good test pages that you want to work on without them being seen by the public.

  3. Duke Long

    May 4, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Great post. I use word press now.I will use this for research.Great content. I have you in my Google Reader.

  4. Carlos

    May 10, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you for featuring the Gorilla Themes Real Estate WordPress products, we have a new theme coming this week for single and multi agents .

  5. Jim Reppond

    May 11, 2009 at 9:23 am

    The tipping point has come to dump static real estate websites from old template-based companies like Superlative or AdvancedAccess. These WordPress themes make it very easy to migrate over to web 2.0 and control your destiny.

  6. Red Lodge Real Estate

    May 12, 2009 at 12:21 am

    i am planning to create my real estate blog, maybe i can use these templates.

  7. wordpress themes @ blogicthink.com

    May 20, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    This is a great news. Since real estate is a BIG industries blogger can optimize their making money online effort using this theme. So they can looks professional and trustee.

    WordPress make that possible. Thanks for sharing this info.

  8. Eliese Pivarnik

    May 20, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    The premium themes really make a difference. I have several websites, and I’ll use the premium templates for future ones.

  9. Mike

    July 11, 2009 at 3:42 am

    I tried WordPress and some other scripts both free and paid for launching a real estate site and my choice is PG Real Estate Solution. It is not so costy, yet has everything I needed. What I like is that regularly I get updates with new and new improvements, support is also one of their strong points, i would recommend it to my friends.

  10. Doug Francis

    July 11, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Mike,
    When I first started my blog I consulted with some clients (Allyson and Chris) who are more internet savvy. Both have gotten totally into WordPress since I started in January ’09 and they now consult with me… role reversal? They have been very excited about what I have done with my blog going from a 2001 web site to a 2009 WP blog – click above.

    Anyway, in a conversation last week I suggested to Allyson that she take a look at Joost de Valk’s blog since he is a WP guru (in my book). Here is his info and I think you will be even more excited https://yoast.com/wordpress/

    Have fun!

  11. Cory Lahey

    December 17, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Check out this theme… reitrainer.com/free-wordpress-themes/ . It isn’t the traditional real estate agent type site with listings. It is more of a squeeze page type thing, made to be a lead generator for real estate investors looking for home seller leads.

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Opinion Editorials

Ways to socialize safely during quarantine

(EDITORIAL) Months of isolation due to quarantine is causing loneliness for many, but joining virtual social groups from home may help fill the need for interaction.

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quarantine

Quarantining, sheltering in place, staying home. We’re tired of hearing it; we’re tired of doing it. Yet, it’s what we still need to be doing to stay safe for a while longer. All of this can be lonesome. As the days turn into weeks and weeks into months, the alone time is getting to even the most introverted among us.

Solitary confinement is considered one of the most psychologically damaging punishments a human can endure. The New Yorker reported on this in a 1992 study of prisoners in detention camps in the former Yugoslavia, as well as Vietnam veterans who experienced isolation. These studies showed that prisoners who had experienced solitary confinement demonstrated similar brain activity to those who’d suffered a severe head injury, noting that “Without sustained social interaction, the human brain may become as impaired as one that has incurred a traumatic injury.”

We aren’t meant to be solitary creatures. Your “pandemic brain” is real. That fogginess, the lack of productivity, can be attributed to many things, including anxiety, but being kept apart from other humans is a big part of it too. Be kind to yourself, give yourself grace, and join others virtually. Be it an app, a class, a Facebook group, a chat room, or a livestream, someone somewhere is out there waiting to connect with you too.

The good news? We are lucky enough to live in an era of near limitless ways to interact socially online. Sure, it is different, but it is something. It’s important. The best thing about this type of social interaction is being able to hone in on your specific interests, though I’d caution you against getting caught in an online echo chamber. Diversity of interests, personality, and opinion make for a richer experience, with opportunities for connecting and expanding your worldview.

Here are a few suggestions on ways to socialize while staying home and staying safe. Communicating with other humans is good for you, physically and mentally.

Interactive Livestreams on Twitch:

Twitch is best known as a streaming service for video game fans, but it offers multiple streams appealing to different interests. This is more than passive watching (although that is an option, too) as Twitch livestream channels also have chat rooms. Twitch is fun for people who like multi-tasking because the chat rooms for popular livestream channels can get busy with chatter.

While people watch the Twitch hosts play a video game, film a live podcast, make music or art, mix cocktails, or dance, they can comment on what they’re watching, make suggestions, ask questions, crack jokes, and get to know each other (by Twitch handle, so it is still as anonymous as you want it to be) in the chat room. The best hosts take time every so often to interact directly with the chat room questions and comments.

Many Twitch channels develop loyal followers who get to know each other, thus forming communities. I have participated in the Alamo Drafthouse Master Pancake movie mocks a few times because they are fun and local to Austin, where I live. Plus, in my non-quarantine life, I would go to Master Pancake shows live sometimes. The chat room feels familiar in a nice way. While watching online is free, you can (and totally should) tip them.

Online trivia in real time:

There are some good options for real-time online trivia, but I’m impressed with the NYC Trivia League’s model. They have trivia games online on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The NYC Trivia League seems to have figured out a good way to run the game live while keeping answers private from the other teams. They run games on Instagram Live with a live video of the host, and participants answer via the question feature. Clever!

Online book club:

First I have to shout out my Austin local independent bookstore, BookPeople, because they are fantastic. They run book clubs throughout the year, along with readings, book signings, and all things book-related. BookPeople hosts several online book clubs during these lockdown days, and most people will find something that appeals to them.

I’m also impressed with this list from Hugo House, a writer’s resource based out of Seattle. This list includes Instagram and Goodread book clubs, book clubs for Black women, rebels, and poetry lovers. The Financial Diet recommends the Reddit book club, if you are comfortable with the Reddit format. Please note that it’s a busy place, but if you like Reddit, you already know this.

Cooking class or virtual tasting:

This is doubly satisfying because you can follow these chefs in real time, and you end up with a meal. There are a couple on Instagram Live, such as The Culinistas or Chef Massimo Bottura.

You can also participate in virtual tastings for wine, whiskey, or chocolate, though you will have to buy the product to participate in the classes (usually held over Zoom or Facebook Live). If you are in Austin, Dallas, or Houston, I recommend BeenThere Locals. The cost of the course includes the wine, spirits, or cooking kit in most cases, and all of the money goes to the business and expert hosting the class.

Look for your favorite wine, spirits, cheese, chocolate makers, and chefs that are local to you to find a similar experience. Most either prepare the class kit for pickup or delivery within a local area.

Quarantine chat:

To interact with another quarantined person seeking social interaction, there’s Quarantine Chat. Quarantine chat is one of the ways to connect through the Dialup app, available on iOS and Android devices. Sign up to make and receive calls when you want to speak with someone. The Dialup app pairs you randomly with another person for a phone conversation, at a scheduled time, either with anyone or with someone with shared interests.

Quarantine chat takes it a step further with calls at random times. When your quarantine chat caller calls, you will not see their number (or they yours), only the “Quarantine Chat” caller ID. If you are unable to pick up when they call, they will be connected with someone else, so there is no pressure to answer. It’s nice to hear someone else’s voice, merely to talk about what you’ve been cooking or what hilarious thing your pet is doing.

Play Uno:

Uno Freak lets people set up games and play Uno online with friends or strangers. Players do not need to register or download anything to play. Uno Freak is web-based.

Talk to mental health professionals:

If your state of loneliness starts sliding toward depression, call someone you can speak to right away to talk over your concerns. When in doubt, call a trained professional! Here are a few resources:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET, 800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org.
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to this text line 24/7 for someone to text with who will also be able to refer you to other resources: U.S. and Canada: 74174, U.K. 85258, Ireland: 50808.
  • Psych Central has put together this comprehensive list of crisis intervention specialists and ways to contact them immediately.

There are many ways to connect even though we are physically apart. These are just a few real time ways to interact with others online. If you want something a little more flesh and blood, take a walk around the block or even sit in a chair in front of where you live.

Wave at people from afar, and remember that we have lots of brilliant doctors and scientists working on a way out of this. Hang in there, buddy. I’m rooting for you. I’m rooting for all of us.

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Opinion Editorials

Working remotely: Will we ever go back? (Probably not)

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) Now that the pandemic has opened the door on working remotely, there’s no way we’ll put the genie back in the bottle. But, here’s some ways you can adapt.

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Woman working remotely on her couch with a laptop on her lap.

When it comes to working remotely, will the toothpaste ever go back in the tube?

Mark Zuckerberg recently said, “We are going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale…” By 2030, Zuckerberg anticipates that over half of Facebook’s workforce will be remote. Many other companies are jumping on the work from home bandwagon. Working remotely has helped many businesses manage the pandemic crisis, but it’s unsure what form remote working will take over the next 10 years.

We know that employees are responding positively to WFH, as reported in this article – Employers: Lacking remote work options may cause you to lose employees. As offices transition to a post-COVID normal, here are some things to consider about your office and remote work.

What does your business gain from allowing workers to WFH?
The future of remote work depends on a conscious application of WFH. It’s not just as easy as moving employees out of the office to home. You have to set up a system to manage workers, wherever they are working. The companies with good WFH cultures have set up rules and metrics to know whether it’s working for their business. You’ll need to have technology and resources that let your teams work remotely.

Can your business achieve its goals through remote work?
The pandemic may have proved the WFH model, but is this model sustainable? There are dozens of benefits to remote work. You can hire a more diverse workforce. You may save money on office space. Employees respond well to remote work. You reduce your carbon emissions.

But that can’t be your only measure of whether remote work fits into your vision for your organization. You should be looking at how employees will work remotely, but you need to consider why employees work remotely.

The work paradigm is shifting – how will you adapt?
The work environment has shifted over the past century. Remote work is here to stay, but how it fits into your company should be based on more than what employees want. You will have to work closely with managers and HR to build the WFH infrastructure that grows with your organization to support your teams.

We don’t know exactly how remote work will change over the next decade, but we do know that the workplace is being reinvented. Don’t just jump in because everyone is doing it. Make an investment in developing your WFH plan.

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Opinion Editorials

The truth about unemployment from someone who’s been through it

(EDITORIAL) Unemployment benefits aren’t what you thought they were. Here’s a first-hand experience and what you need to know.

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unemployment

Have I ever told you how I owed the government over two grand because of unemployment in 2019, and only just finished paying it back this year?

This isn’t exactly the forum for memoirs, but this is relevant to everyone. So I’ll tell y’all anyway.

It all started back in 2018 when I came into work early, microwaved my breakfast, poured coffee, and got pulled into a collaboration room to hear, “We love you and your work, April, but we’ve been bought out and you’re being laid off.”

It was kind of awkward carrying my stuff out to the car with that Jimmy Dean sandwich in my mouth.

More awkward still was the nine months of unemployment I went through afterwards. Between the fully clothed shower crying, the stream of job denial, catering to people who carried rocks in their nostrils at my part-time job (yes, ew, yes, really), and almost dying of no-health-insurance-itis, I learned a lot!

The bigger lesson though, came in the spring of the following year when I filed my taxes. I should back up for a moment and take the time to let those of you unfamiliar with unemployment in Texas in on a few things that aren’t common knowledge.

1: You’re only eligible if you were laid off. Not if you had quit. Not fired. Your former company can also choose to challenge your eligibility for benefits if they didn’t like your face on the way out. So the only way you’re 100% guaranteed to get paid in (what the state calls) “a timely manner”, is a completely amicable split.

2: Overpayments have to go back. Immediately. If there’s an error, like several thousand of Texans found out this week, the government needs that cash back before you can access any more. If you’re not watching your bank account to make sure you’re getting the exact same check each time and you have an overpayment, rest assured that mistake isn’t going to take long to correct. Unfortunately, if you spent that money unknowingly–thought you got an ‘in these uncertain times’ kinder and gentler adjustment and have 0 income, you have a problem. Tying into Coronavirus nonsense is point three!

3: There are no sick days. If ever you’re unable to work for any reason, be it a car accident, childbirth, horrible internal infection (see also no-health-insurance-itis), you are legally required to report it, and you will not be paid for any days you were incapacitated. Personally, my no-health-insurance-itis came with a bad fever and bedrest order that axed me out of my part time job AND killed my unemployment benefits for the week I spent getting my internal organs to like me again. But as it turned out, the payment denial came at the right time because–

4: Unemployment benefits are finite. Even if you choose to lie on your request forms about how hard you’re searching for work, coasting is ill-advised because once the number the state allots you runs out…it’s out. Don’t lie on your request forms, by the way. In my case, since I got cut from my part-time gig, I got a call from the Texas Workforce Commission about why my hours were short. I was able to point out where I’d reported my sickness to them and to my employer, so my unpaid week rolled over to a later request date. I continued to get paid right up until my hiring date which was also EXACTLY when my benefits ran out.

Unemployment isn’t a career, which is odd considering the fact that unemployment payments are qualified by the government as income.

Ergo, fact number five…

5: Your benefits? They’re taxed.

That’s right, you will be TAXED for not having a job.

The stereotype of the ‘lazy unemployment collector burdening society’ should be fading pretty quickly for the hitherto uninformed about now.

To bring it back to my story, I’d completely forgotten that when I filed for unemployment in the first place, I’d asked for my taxes NOT to be withheld from it–assuming that I wasn’t going to be searching for full time work for very long. I figured “Well, I’ll have a tax refund coming since I’ll get work again no problem, it’ll cancel out.”

Except, it was a problem. Because of the nine month situation.

I’d completely forgotten about it by the time I threw myself into my new job, but after doing my taxes, triple checking the laws and what I’d signed, it was clear. Somehow…despite being at my lowest point in life, I owed the highest amount in taxes, somewhere around the 2k mark.

Despite being based on a system that’s tied to how much income you were getting before, and all the frustrating “safeguards” put in place to keep payments as low and infrequent as possible, Uncle Sam still wants a bite out of the gas-station Hostess pie that is your unemployment check. And as I’m writing this, more and more people are finding that out. And even as we enter 2021, there is still more to be aware of – we’re not out of the woods yet.

I’d like to end this on a more positive note… So let’s say we’ve all been positively educated! That’s a net gain, surely.

Keep your heads up, and masked.

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