This week Zillow launched what is soon to be one of the largest implementations of WordPress on the web. The Zillow blog already runs on WordPress and they will now be offering easy-to-use, WordPress-powered websites for real estate agents.
The cornerstone features of the new Premier Agent Websites include a free domain name, striking designs, and built-in IDX MLS search. The sites are offered at just $10/month and marketed towards busy real estate agents who have little time left over in the day to maintain a solid web presence as a base for customer relationships. This is a brilliant move on Zillow’s part, as these affordable websites are a product that will appeal to tens of thousands of agents. Current Zillow Premier Agent subscribers will receive a website for free.
Premier Agent Websites feature:
MLS property search through IDX
Ability to display video
Ability to add custom pages and menus with dropdowns
19 widgets and 7 widget-ready areas to put them in, including mortgage calculator, reviews, search by affordability, and more
Home page slideshow for branding and/or featured listings
Optimized for SEO
Integrated with the Zillow CRM
Currently, you can’t add any custom plugins as that would be a security nightmare and most agents don’t want to learn about using them anyway. However, the Zillow team is taking requests for additional features and will more than likely implement those that have the strongest mass appeal. Though the sites aren’t as customizable as hosting your own WordPress site, a huge selling point is that you own your own data and can export it at any time.
Zillow’s move to add WordPress-powered sites is another great example of a company using WordPress infrastructure to provide enterprise-class business sites and services. Zillow had 32 million unique users visiting their websites and mobile applications in April 2012 and this massive WordPress-powered network is bound to increase that number. The use of open-source software is definitely on the rise and WordPress publishing integrated with Zillow’s powerhouse real estate marketplace seems like a recipe for success.
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