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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So if you’re sick and tired of paying ridiculous monthly fees for seriously ugly and outdated real estate websites, a powerful WordPress CMS  may be the solution for you.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

realestatewordpresstheme-be

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

realestatewordpresstheme-sm

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

Interviews shouldn’t include ‘how did you improve yourself?’ during or after COVID

(EDITORIAL) Emotional Intelligence will be even more needed in recruiting talent and Interviews shouldn’t look the same as they did pre-COVID.

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interviews

Question: Remember that last time you dealt with a global pandemic?
Answer: No, because most likely, none of us have.

This is new for many of us. We’ve likely each felt the rollercoaster of emotions or even grief as our ways of lives changed, some were quickly moved to working remotely while others were deemed essential workers and were not able to work from home. It was disheartening for many that no matter what position they were put in, it was with no choice. And then there were the millions of jobs eliminated as well, affecting people’s ability to pay their bills and fulfill their own safety, and even basic needs. Everyone entered survival mode, and it looks the same yet different depending on your unique situation.

All of this comes at a price that seems hard to predict. Moving forward will be different albeit many of us don’t know exactly how yet, and are imagining a wild range of possibilities. Now that the US unemployment is up to 14.7%, there will also be many people job searching and finding themselves in interviews answering the typical “Tell me about yourself”, or “Tell me about a time when…” Most likely many candidates will be able to tell you about their previous work experiences, but here’s what we ask of future employers:

  1. Be more understanding (less judgmental or pushy) if you see folks looking to switch careers, or you see Small Business Owners applying for your open position. This may have been an opportunity for them to explore another avenue, or it may have been forced if their previous type of position (or business) is no longer available. Of course, you can ask them why they are interested in the position, but try not to look down your brow if they seem to be an unlikely or unexpected candidate.
  2. Do not ask what this candidate did to be productive during the quarantine. Just surviving may have been enough. If they did take up a new hobby, learn a new coding language, write a book, or start a new work out program, I’m going to guess it will come out in conversation. If they literally had to utilize the majority of their energy for coping skills, that should be enough. Don’t believe all the sourdough starters you saw on Instagram (and why has banana bread been so popular?)
  3. Try to avoid some of the ridiculous questions that tell you nothing about their skill set. We get it, interviews can be boring so you thought it might be fun to ask the interviewee for their favorite joke such as “What 5 items would they want on a deserted island?” or “What fruit they would be in a smoothie?” This has been an extremely traumatic situation for many. The goofy questions are not really applicable, and will only lead to additional stress after they leave thinking over if they “got the answer right”.
  4. Please do your best to really utilize this time to hire with diversity and inclusion in mind. Do not dismiss someone because they have several years of experience in another sector or because they didn’t attend the Ivy League school. If they applied, chances are they do have an interest in your company, so exploring how they can be a great fit, bring in a refreshing perspective, and may be a better option than hiring something that exactly matches the job description (which may be hard to find anyway) is a smart idea. Please be open to a variety of ages, races, and sexes.

Interviews in general can conjure up lots of negative feelings, anxiety, and stress. Most people don’t like the stress of interviews but yet they have accepted that this is part of the job search process. There will be even more people out there looking again, and likely not because they want to. The mental toll this is taking should be handled with care. As this Ask a Manager article beautifully states:

“If someone is teaching themselves a new language or building their coding skills during the pandemic, that’s great. But to present it as an expectation during a time when millions of people are struggling to keep their homes, feed their families, and stay alive — to imply people might be less worthy of employment if they needed to focus on their finances and their safety during a f’ing global crisis — no. No. Something has gone very wrong in anyone who believes that.”

The companies with openings may have an advantage with many available and interested candidates but they also have a huge responsibility to not take this lightly; don’t waste people’s time, and don’t ask really INSENSITIVE questions. If you need help reviewing your questions or interview processes, it may be great to assign someone to review Emotional Intelligence tips and see if they can incorporate that in to what you normally do.

Emotional Intelligence is touted as the most required skill of the future (that may have been pre-pandemic), which is, “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” This means really reading the room and not putting candidates in an awkward position, or placing unrealistic expectations on them. Oh, and please have a little grace with those virtual interviews – that is also new to some people, so maybe cut them some slack if the nerves have really kicked in.

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Opinion Editorials

Press mute when you’re sobbing on a Zoom (and other COVID mental health observations)

(EDITORIAL) COVID-19 had been hard on everybody, but a group often not thought of are those who have mental illness, they struggled in the world before, what about now?

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mental illness help

Editors note: This editorial was written anonymously and brings important insight into an issue not often brought up or thought about. We at The American Genius believe this is an important topic to keep in mind about an often silent group that may think they are alone and face extra challenges everyday.

Whether you’re a veteran of working from home, or if you are someone newly learning that muting your mic is important, welcome. Working from home is both rewarding and challenging. This is not an instruction manual on how best to work from home. It’s a guide to working from home and not losing an already delicate mind to existing or potential mental illness.

Some ideas I’d like to convey should ring true now and in the future. However, one aspect is unique to now. I’m writing from the time of Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Workers have been divided into two groups, “essential” and “non-essential.” Those considered non-essential were sent home with hopes of slowing the spread of the disease. Those deemed essential, like doctors and grocery store clerks, were considered too vital to our way of life to stay home. One group unable to work, the other unable to stay home.

Then there’s us. A quasi third group. Those who have a job that is so tied to the glowy screen in front of them that it could be performed, in theory, from any location with a computer and internet. Theory was put to practice as many people – accustomed to commuting each day – suddenly learned the joy and perils of working in their jammies.

Working from home is not a new idea, but there had never been such a reason to push so many people to practice it. Some companies, historically, felt uncomfortable with workers staying home. With the arrival of COVID-19 they had a change of heart and now insist on it. Once and for all we will find out which meetings could have just been an email.

The pandemic has been hard on many people. If one is able to avoid the disease itself, they are still subject to staying in and staying isolated. Many never leave their home except for groceries or prescriptions. Some people thrive in this situation, but for others, it puts pressure on the mind and spirit. What about those who already have such a toll on their state of mind due to mental illness?

Working a job, or doing anything, with mental illness can be its own challenge. Mental illnesses and disorders that can affect your work include depression, PTSD, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and borderline personality disorder – just to name a few. So what happens when those who suffer from one or more of these mental health issues have to stay at home every day for work?

There are advantages. If a moment strikes you when you can’t be your professional self, you can often step away and have that cup of tea and peace of mind. Going heads-down and focusing on your task is where you might thrive. However, working from home can still mean having dead-lines and going to live meetings. Needing help or coordination from distant workers can quickly tax your social resources.

There will be a great deal of communication through multiple methods ranging from group video calls to instant messages. Things can get out of control quickly if you don’t set limits. When you want to reach someone it may be unclear which method to use. “Should I email or call them?” you might find yourself pondering. This can frustrate you to the point of not taking action at all. Getting a handle on the lines of communication is vital.

Request to have as few modes of communication as possible. You might find yourself responding to text messages, reading emails, taking phone calls, or answering instant messages from WhatsApp, Slack, or more. It will certainly create a growing obsession towards monitoring notifications rather than actual work.

If a consensus can not be found, give your coworkers clear communication on how you want to be reached, and ask them what they prefer. Needing to check the notification on so many apps is a recipe for a panic attack and overwhelming yourself.

Let’s consider meetings. You’ve seen it by now – or you will – a Zoom meeting with people saying “hello hello, is this thing on?” It’s amazing that in a time we all have computers in our pocket, that it’s still hard to coordinate things like your own audio, video, and even lighting conditions. If you suffer panic attacks it’s best not to be unknotting your earphones while the CEO is about to make a big presentation. Get ready early, check that you can be heard and can hear others. If another meeting is about to start, leave on time. Respect the start time of that new meeting. Overlapping meetings that never end are a sign that boundaries are not being observed. Boundaries are hard for most, but if you have a mental illness they can feel impossible to set.

On a similar note, let’s look at the start and end of work. Being on time is important. Wait, you just need to roll out of bed and turn on a computer? Great, but is it though? You get there just in time to say the proverbial “here!” If you are not ready to work, you are falling behind. Extend this idea to the day itself. When is the day over? Did you start a little late so you feel obligated to work a little later? Do you have a time when other people can expect that you won’t get their message until the next business day? Does working-from-home turn into working-all-the-time?

Getting to work on time also means leaving work on time. Those who have had a reactive or abusive partner know that setting boundaries can escalate situations instead of repairing them. Telling your boss “I’ll like to be offline after 6:30.” can result in the fear that you’ll just be told to close your computer and never return. But these are the boundaries one must set. Finding this work-life balance is doubly important for the mentally ill because we need to reserve time for ourselves for repair and growth.

Among all my reminders to you, remember to leave the house. In the time of COVID-19, this gets convoluted because “Stay home, stay safe!” is the phrase of the day. Having issues going outside can be a part of mental illness. In extreme cases, some people are afraid to go out the front door. With nearly everything being available for delivery now possible to stay home for days, but this is not a good recipe for mental health. When your day ends – and make sure it ends – get some fresh air and possibly some exercise.

Plan the rest of your day ahead of time. Look forward to it and go out and enjoy it. Day to day life is already hard with mental health issues. Don’t let working from home be another hardship. Breath deeply, take care of your mind and don’t let the mixture of home and work overwhelm you. Don’t forget your most important job is to take care of yourself.

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Opinion Editorials

5 Secrets to a more productive morning in the office

(EDITORIAL) Productivity is king in the office, but sometimes distractions and other issues slow you down. So what can you do to limit these factors?

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distractions stop productivity

Regardless of whether you’re a self-proclaimed morning person or not, more efficient mornings can be catalytic in your daily productivity and output. The only question is, do you know how to make the most of your mornings in the office?

5 Tips for Greater Morning Productivity

In economic terms, productivity is a measure of output as it relates to input. Academics often discuss productivity in terms of a one-acre farm’s ability to produce a specific crop yield, or an auto manufacturing plant’s ability to produce a certain number of vehicles over a period of time. But then there’s productivity in our personal lives.

Your own daily productivity can be defined in a variety of ways. But at the end of the day, it’s about getting the desired results with less time and effort on the input side. And as a business professional, one of the best ways to do this is by optimizing your morning in the office.

Here are a few timely suggestions:

  1. Eliminate All Non-Essential Actions


    Spend the next week keeping a log of every single action you take from the moment your eyes open in the morning until you sit down at your desk. It might look something like this:

    • Turn off alarm
    • Scroll through social media on phone
    • Get out of bed
    • Eat breakfast
    • Take shower
    • Brush teeth
    • Walk dog
    • Watch news
    • Browse favorite websites
    • Get in car
    • Starbucks drive-thru
    • Arrive at office
    • Small talk with coworkers
    • Sit down at desk

    If you do this over the course of a week, you’ll notice that your behaviors don’t change all that much. There might be some slight deviations, but it’s basically the same pattern.

    Now consider how you can eliminate as many points of friction as possible from your routine. [Note from the Editor: This may be an unpopular opinion, but] For example, can you skip social media time? Can you make coffee at home, rather than drive five minutes out of your way to wait in the Starbucks drive-thru line? Just doing these two things alone could result in an additional 30 minutes of productive time in the office.

  2. Reduce Distractions


    Distractions kill productivity. They’re like rooftop snipers. As soon as they see any sign of productivity, they put it in their crosshairs and pull the trigger.

    Ask yourself this: What are my biggest distractions and how can I eliminate them?

    Popular distractions include social media, SMS, video games, news websites, and email. And while none of these are evil, they zap focus. At the very least, you should shift them to later in the day.

  3. Set Measurable Goals and Action items


    It’s hard to have a productive morning if you don’t have a clear understanding of what it means to be productive. Make sure you set measurable goals, create actionable to-do lists, and establish definitive measurements of what it looks like to be efficient. However, don’t get so caught up in the end result that you miss out on true productivity.

    “There’s a big difference between movement and achievement; while to-do lists guarantee that you feel accomplished in completing tasks, they don’t ensure that you move closer to your ultimate goals,” TonyRobbins.com mentions. “There are many ways to increase your productivity; the key is choosing the ones that are right for you and your ultimate goals.”

    In other words, set goals that are actually reflective of productivity. In doing so, you’ll adjust your behavior to come in proper alignment with the results you’re seeking.

  4. Try Vagus Nerve Stimulation


    Sometimes you just need to block out distractions and focus on the ask at hand. There are plenty of ways to shut out interruptions, but makes sure you’re also simultaneously cuing your mind to be productive. Vagus nerve stimulation is one option for doing both.

    Vagus nerve stimulation, which gently targets the body’s vagus nerve to promote balance and relaxation, while simultaneously enhancing focus and output.

  5. Optimize Your Workspace


    Makes sure your office workspace is conducive to productivity. This means eliminating clutter, optimizing the ergonomics of your desk, reducing distractions, and using “away” settings on apps and devices to suppress notifications during work time.

Make Productivity a Priority

Never take productivity for granted. The world is full of distractions and your willpower is finite. If you “wing it,” you’ll end up spending more time, energy, and effort, all while getting fewer positive results.

Make productivity a priority – especially during the mornings when your mind is fresh and the troubles of the day have yet to be released in full force. Doing so will change the way you operate, function, and feel. It’ll also enhance tangible results, like income, job status, and the accolades that come along with moving up in your career.

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