WordPress at Real Estate Connect SF?

Are you breaking the rules with WordPress in real estate? I wanna know!

wordpress sticker on laptopThe good folks at Inman News have asked me to moderate the WordPress Summit at Real Estate Connect this summer and I couldn’t be more excited!

While we haven’t tried to confirm any speakers yet (that’s where I want your help), I’m positive the lineup is going to be awesome. We’re going to be covering themes, plugins, strategy, advanced installs, listings, and the future of WordPress!

The idea of a half-day at Real Estate Connect dedicated to WordPress is simply awesome.   I love WordPress and have been using it since the very birth of Rain City Guide (over 5 years ago!).  Over the years I’ve been a part of too many WordPress blogs than I could count… And unlike a lot of software I was using in 2005, WordPress has continued to improve with each iteration!    Especially now that website vendors are building in advanced IDX and CRM tools into the platform, it’s become a no-brainer option for real estate professionals!

By the way, did you know the new conference website for Real Estate Connect was built on WordPress?

I think it’s a pretty slick design and implementation, although I’m probably a bit biased since we designed and built the site!  🙂

Coming full circle… If you know someone in the real estate space doing interesting things with WordPress, send ’em my way!   I want to make this the best half-day on WordPress educational event around!

And finally, a huge hat-tip to Dan Woolley for the idea behind this post when he wrote about his ConnectTech Workshop!

Step 6: Changes are on the way!

This means that for a little while, 4realz.net will be in a strange state where comments you make will quite likely NOT be saved.

In addition, because my email is configured through the same wordpress.com backend as 4realz.net, I may never see emails sent to dustin@4realz.net if you send them tonight.

Much better to call me 805-624-6086 or find me on twitter: http://twitter.com/tyr

However, when I come back, I’ll quickly be adding a new tool that I can’t wait to share with you’all.

And if you’re wondering why I’m switching, I can tell you that it is with great reluctance.  I really love having the fine folks at WordPress.com manage the backend of my site.  Their tools and service have been most excellent.   However, I kinda outgrew the WP.com hosting in that I need a bit of functionality that they simply can’t provide. 🙂

By the way, here are the notes I’ve taken for myself in terms of the steps I should follow in order to move 4realz.net hosting from a WP.com backend to a self-hosting environment.   I searched for a list like this, but didn’t find one, so maybe this will help someone else out down the road.  But you should really wait to find out if I’m successful first!  😉

[UPDATE: After I completed the move, I wrote a more complete list based on my experience… as oppose to the “plan” that is listed before!  Check out that post on moving from a hosted wordpress.com domain to a self-hosted environment]

Steps to move from wordpress.com to a self-hosted environment:

  1. Export out posts/comments XML file to hard-drive
  2. Save a copy of the blogroll’s OPML file
  3. Copy the header graphic to hard-drive
  4. Set up new database with the host and configure wp-config.php file to point to new servers.
  5. Upload, but don’t activate, wordpress files to the new host servers *
  6. Publish posts saying changes are on the way  (THAT’S THIS POST!) 🙂
  7. Change DNS settings on my domain registrar to point 4realz.net to the new host.
  8. Ask new host to recognize 4realz.net as the new primary domain
  9. When recognizes 4realz.net as the primary domain, then run the WordPress 5 min install
  10. Import blog posts from XML file  (make sure to check the option that batches in all multimedia!)
  11. Configure MX settings to get Google Apps working with new host
  12. Wait for DNS settings to take effect and begin redirecting traffic to the new site!

* Note I actually ran threw a test where I completed steps 1 through 4 AND activated the WP blog using the dummy domain I had set up with the host just to make sure I would have no problems installing WP on their backend. I then deleted everything and started over for the “official” move because it seems more intuitive to me to wait to “activate” the WP blog until after it’s going to be configured to the correct domain.

I hope my notes will work. But if I’m not back online by the morning, you’ll know why!

Trulia adds Spotlight ads and lowers…

…the overall price of their featured listings with a revamp of their ad platform.

Some details… What used to cost $50/month for 10 listings now costs $39/month for unlimited listings.   In addition, as part of Trulia Pro, agents can also add unlimited spotlight ads.  So far, so good…

However, similar to Joel, a move toward “unlimited” ads had me scratching my head a bit.  From a business point of view, the upside of the spotlight ads seem somewhat limited for both Trulia and the ad buyer… especially in that they don’t do much to reward creative or innovative ads.

One of the keys to success of Google’s AdWords program is that users are constantly tweaking their ads and adjusting (often increasing!) budgets for their ad campaigns. With the Spotlight ads, there’s very little incentive to tweak. Sure you might be able to tweak things to get a slightly higher click-through-rate, but at the end of the day, you won’t be able to increase the amount of money you spend on the service (remember I get “unlimited ads for $39/month”), so even if you figured out the “system”, most agents won’t be able to use that knowledge to substantially increase their exposure.

Nonetheless, especially while the system is new with lots of excess inventory, there’s probably a lot of low-hanging fruit to pick up for agents looking to find potential buyers…