Jul 09

How to Write a Post From Realtor(TM) Ideas

Terms:

  • Dashboard – the main work area inside WordPress [more]
  • WordPress – the system that is used for content management and creating content [more]
  • Post – A post is an article in WordPress [More]
  • Template – Is a framework for building pages and posts. Beginners never edit or create templates.
  • Tags – Tags are a useful way to sort and organize content on a web page. [more]
  • Categories – Categories sort and organize pages. [more]

Steps

  • Start a post — You create a new post by clicking “Add New” under Posts on the left navbar. [Detailed Instructions]
  • Get an idea — Follow the link below for story ideas
    • General ideas
    • Real Estate Tips
    • NAR Realtor Story Ideas — Updated daily. This is the best source. Do NOT copy the story springboard. Instead use that as a tip for what to write. If you need to make up a quote or two that applies to the story springboard.
    • How To — Make sure to remove all the advertisements. Press This can help you add text.  Here’s an example of the before and after of an article. [Before] [After]
    • Design Tips — Summarize the article and carry over a picture or two.  “Blockquote” makes everything indented and italicized. Often Press This will put the copied text in blockquote. You can get rid of blockquote by putting your cursor at the start of the paragraph and then clicking the large quotation mark icon in the tool bar. You can also highlight text and add or remove blockquotes. [Before] [After]
  • Personalize and Edit — Add local touches. Take an article from NAR story ideas and add a city from our territory to the article. You can find a list of cities we work on our front page. Examples:
    • NAR Headline Reads “Homeowners Are Finally Ready to Sell”. Change to “Homeowners Are Finally Ready to Sell In Alexandria”
    • Real Estate Tip headline says “7 Reasons to Own A Home”. Change to “7 Reasons to Own A Home in Arlington”
  • You can generally use the NAR material verbatim but add in some local touches. Add a quote from one of our Realtors. For example, Alan Clernix says, “Now, is a great time to talk to an agent who knows Burke VA.”
  • Add a picture.  [Detailed instructions]
  • Add listings to the bottom of the article.  [How to add listings]
  • Add tags and a category.  The category can usually be the city.  Tags and categories are found on the right sidebar in the post creation page. [how to add tags] with examples [more]
  • Insert a “read more” tag after the first paragraph. [about more tag and how to insert one]
  • Publish.

May 02

Add tabs to neighborhood pages

Instructions

Add this code to pages which are assigned to you:
4

Then move the descriptor text already on the page and as well as images on the page to replace the number 1 in the code above.

Then move the code that says
*** Error: Cannot find includes file ***
to replace the number “2”.

Then move the codes that says <h3>Homes for sale in Variable<h3>idx-listings linkid="A NUMBER" to replace the number “3”.

Then move the subtitle (usually enclosed in <h2> brackets) to replace the number “4”.

Examples

Start with this


Map of real estate for sale at Old Town Crescent

[nrl-listings subdivision="Old Town Crescent" count="10" show_title=false show_listings=false show_map=true]

<img class="size-thumbnail wp-image-105961" src="http://nesbittrealty.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/OLD-TOWN-CRESCENT-150x150.png" alt="Old Town Crescent real estate agents &quot;" width="150" height="150" /> Nesbitt Realty can help you buy and sell real estate in Old Town Crescent.
<h2>Condos in Alexandria</h2>

Old Town Crescent is a newer condominium community located at the northern end of Old Town Alexandria. These condos are in close proximity to Braddock Road Metro, the shops of Slater's Lane and have easy access to Rt. 1 and the George Washington Parkway.
<h3>Homes for Sale in Old Town Crescent</h3>
[idx-listings linkid="55677"]

<img class="size-medium wp-image-113838" src="http://nesbittrealty.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Old-Town-Crescent1-300x274.jpg" alt="Old Town Crescent real estate agents." width="300" height="274" /> Nesbitt Realty can help you buy and sell real estate in Old Town Crescent.

No posts found.


End up with this

<h2>Condos in Alexandria</h2>

<img class="size-thumbnail wp-image-105961" src="http://nesbittrealty.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/OLD-TOWN-CRESCENT-150x150.png" alt="Old Town Crescent real estate agents &quot;" width="150" height="150" /> Nesbitt Realty can help you buy and sell real estate in Old Town Crescent.

Old Town Crescent is a newer condominium community located at the northern end of Old Town Alexandria. These condos are in close proximity to Braddock Road Metro, the shops of Slater's Lane and have easy access to Rt. 1 and the George Washington Parkway.


Map of real estate for sale at Old Town Crescent

[nrl-listings subdivision="Old Town Crescent" count="10" show_title=false show_listings=false show_map=true]


<h3>Homes for Sale in Old Town Crescent</h3>
[idx-listings linkid="55677"]


Mar 17

Make a list of price URL’s

Here’s the job.

First go to this page: [sitemap]

Scroll down, or use Ctrl+F to find “Mclean homes priced between $100,000 to $200,000”. Below that you’ll see 4 links:

Open those links in another tab.

Scroll down on the page and you’ll find a link that looks like this:

Sorry, but we couldn’t find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

We’ll call that a Type A.  The second type, which we’ll call Type B, looks like this:

See all in Mclean VA from $175,000 to $200,000.

Final product

From these pages and links you’re going to make a list that looks like this:

#
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104370–in-mclean-va-from-100-000-to-125-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $100,000 to $125,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104371–in-mclean-va-from-125-000-to-150-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $125,000 to $150,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104373–in-mclean-va-from-150-000-to-175-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $150,000 to $175,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $175,000 to $200,000 @
*

Here’s how you do it.

Start by copying the list into Notepad

Copy four links from the sitemap into Notepad to make a list like this:

Mclean homes priced between $100,000 to $125,000
Mclean homes priced between $125,000 to $150,000
Mclean homes priced between $150,000 to $175,000
Mclean homes priced between $175,000 to $200,000

Then put a + before the title and a @ after to end up with this:

+ Mclean homes priced between $100,000 to $125,000 @
+ Mclean homes priced between $125,000 to $150,000 @
+ Mclean homes priced between $150,000 to $175,000 @
+ Mclean homes priced between $175,000 to $200,000 @

Now add the links

Let’s start with Type B, because that is the most common.  Scroll down on the destination page until you see a link to the homes sorted by a specific price range. Right click on the link and then click “copy link location”.  Then paste the link to get something that looks like this:

http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/?idx-d-SortOrders%3C0%3E-Column=DateAdded&idx-d-SortOrders%3C0%3E-Direction=DESC

Delete the part from the question mark (“?”)  to the DESC so that you end up with something that looks like this:

http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/

That’s your link. Put a ~ before it and a + after it. When that’s added to your list it will look like this:

+ Mclean homes priced between $100,000 to $125,000 @
+ Mclean homes priced between $125,000 to $150,000 @
+ Mclean homes priced between $150,000 to $175,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $175,000 to $200,000 @

To do the type A link, copy a type B link onto all of the Type A links so you end up with something that looks like this:

~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $100,000 to $125,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $125,000 to $150,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $150,000 to $175,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $175,000 to $200,000 @

Then change the numbers to match the link, like so:

~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-100-000-to-125-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $100,000 to $125,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-125-000-to-150-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $125,000 to $150,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-150-000-to-175-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $150,000 to $175,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $175,000 to $200,000 @

Each link has a “link ID” number that is found after the /idx/ in the link. In the case of 175k to 200k in Mclean that link ID number is 104374. Back on the website, click on “Edit this Page”. Scroll down and find text that says: [idx-listings linkid="104370"]. Copy the appropriate number to the list to get a list like this:

~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104370–in-mclean-va-from-100-000-to-125-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $100,000 to $125,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104371–in-mclean-va-from-125-000-to-150-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $125,000 to $150,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104373–in-mclean-va-from-150-000-to-175-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $150,000 to $175,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $175,000 to $200,000 @

Finishing Touches

Now put a # before the start of the list and an * at the end of the list to get this:

#
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104370–in-mclean-va-from-100-000-to-125-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $100,000 to $125,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104371–in-mclean-va-from-125-000-to-150-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $125,000 to $150,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104373–in-mclean-va-from-150-000-to-175-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $150,000 to $175,000 @
~ http://nesbittrealty.com/idx/104374–in-mclean-va-from-175-000-to-200-000/ + Mclean homes priced between $175,000 to $200,000 @
*

Now save your text file with the name: price-mclean-100-200.php.

Continue until all links are finished

Do the next for in the same way except name the file: price-mclean-200-300.php. When you reach the millions the format is like this

price-mclean-900-1M.php for $900,000 to $1,000,000, and
price-mclean-1M2-1M3.php for 1,200,000 to 1,300,000.

Save each group of 4 links in a separate file. Save all files to a Dropbox and then give me a link to the Dropbox.

Mar 24

Posting Images from Feed

Posts by Nesbitt Realty are mostly listings of properties for sale. These posts are automatically deleted after a period of time and when they are deleted, the images posted with them are deleted as well.

 

1. Go here.

2.screenshot

3. Upload the image to the Media Library.

4.Title  = address of the property
Alternative text = a description of what you see in the picture. The alternative text will be brief and simple. Examples:

house with garage

new kitchen

high-rise brick condominium

Caption = “Tract” is in “City”.

Feb 02

Community The

There are never any communities with names like Pavilion The or Villages The.  Sometimes agents enter data that way so that the communities are properly alphabetized.  You should enter the same way the agent entered for the tract / code, but use The Pavillion or The Villages or The Plaza in your article.

Jan 21

How to write a Neighborhood Profile

A neighborhood profile is a post about a particular subdivision (tract) or condo community.  Information is drawn from new posts in a given area. Each neighborhood profile has the following attributes which will be created by you:

  • Title
  • One or two lines of text about the neighborhood. This is gleaned from source material described below.
  • Listings — properties for sale inserted into the text based upon criteria you will select
  • Comparable listings — similar properties representing criteria selected by you
  • A featured image — from our Media LIbrary
  • An image in the post — from our Media LIbrary
  • Tags — The zipcode and type of home
  • Categories — The neighborhood and city of the subject

Source Material

Start by going to Settings>>RSS Multi-Importer>>Manage Posts.

Click this and all images to see screenshots with further instructions.

Click this and all images to see screenshots with further instructions.

When you click “View Post” you’ll see something like this:


0-medium

5 beds, 4 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 0 sq ft
Lot Size: 11,252 sq ft
Added: 06/05/13, Last Updated: 01/14/14
Property Type: Residential for Sale, Detached for Sale
MLS Number: FA8099637
Tract: Hillwood/Buffalo Park
The price of this listing was last reduced on 10/7/2013 by 0%
Status: Active

NU YEAR,TIME 2 BUY A NU CITY ARTS & CRAFT 5 BDR GREENBUILT HM.Ready 4 move-in! LOCATION,VALUE & QUALITY BUILT/ FINE DETAILED WORK.OPEN FL PL,STONE,PLANK,SHINGLE EXTERIOR,PAVER DR,BREAKFAST RM, RI SOUND,SECURITY,MUD RM,BUILT-INS,9 FT CEILINGS,HARDWOODS,GREAT COOK’S KITCHEN,BRKT RM,2 car gar, great yard space.METRO,FARMER’S MKT,CITY SCHOOLS.Talk/meet builder.OTHER NU MADISON LN & 401 Meadow Ln


Save the image to your local drive. Instructions will follow on what to do with it, but this will be your featured image.

Save the image found in the post to your local drive.

Save the image found in the post to your local drive.

 

Click on the image in the post.  That will open a page that looks like this:

Listing page

Listing page

Pull down a bit to find the information you will need to create the post.

Use this information to create your post.

Use this information to create your post.

Writing the Post

In another tab, open “New Post”. This link is found at the top of each page.

Titling your post

Your post should have have one of the following titles:

  • Facts about “Tract”
  • Learn more about “Tract” in “City”
  • What is “Tract” like in “City”?
  • Where is “Tract”?
  • How much do homes cost at “Tract”?
  • “Tract” Market Update
  • “Tract” is near “Parks”*
  • “Tract is near “Placename”*
  • “Tract” is a walkable community  — Only if Walkscore is 70+
  • Things to know about “Tract”
  • Things you might surprised to learn about “Tract” in “City”.

* See below.

Vary your title from post to post. Never use the same title twice in a row.

Featured Image

Set the Featured Image.  This is the image that you saved from the original post. The Featured Image must be properly titled, captioned, etc.

  • Title — The title of the media is the “TRACT in CITY.
  • Caption — The caption of the media is the “PROPERTY TYPE at TRACT is in CITY ZIPCODE”. For example “Townhouse at Ridgefield Crossing is in Woodbridge 22192”
  • Alternative Text — The alternative text should read “TYPE OF HOUSE at ADDRESS”. For example “townhouse in 5207 Flatback Ln Woodbridge VA 22192.”

These are the types of houses:

  • condo — A condo looks like an apartment. Condos can be high-rise or low-rise.
  • townhouse — A townhouse is a house that is attached to another house. There are several types of townhouse. When you can’t tell what type it is, just say “townhouse”
    • Duplex — two townnhouses stuck together
    • Rowhouse — many townhouses in perfect alignment
  • single-family — A single-family is a house. It’s a stand-alone home for a single-family and does not touch any other houses. Types of houses:
    • cottage — a very small and cute house
    • manor — a very large and impressive house
    • house — a typical American home

For extra credit, describe the architectural style of the home:

Now add the image’s description.  The description is the following code:

Decription =
[idx-listings tract="INSERT TRACT HERE" statuses="1" propertytypes="132" orderby="DateAdded" orderdir="DESC"]

Change the text of INSERT TRACT HERE to the name of the tract in the orginal post.

Writing the post

Your post will use the following formula.

*TRACT* is a community of *Property Type*s in *County*. The community is served by *Elementary School*, *Middle School* and *High School*.

Use the source material to substitute the variables above.

  • Tract = Tract
  • Property Type = condos, townhouses or houses depending upon what types of homes are here
  • School = Insert the name of the school plus Elementary School, etc. If there are no schools in the source material then skip this part.
  • Walkable – If the area has a walkscore more than 60, then write “This is a walkable neighborhood.”  If the area has a walkscore more than 75, then write “This is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood where residents can walk to most daily needs.”

In your post, please describe the year the community was built or developed. Take care to note that sometimes the year built is not obvious because sometimes homes are knocked-down and rebuilt so the new home might not represent the age of a community. In a townhouse or condominium the year built is almost always correct. In a single family detached home, look at the neighboring properties (in your article) before describing the age of the property.

Examples of how to write about when a property was built

  • TRACT was developed in the early 1970’s.
  • TRACT was built around 1973.
  • Most homes in TRACT were built around 1973, but many have been renovated.
  • TRACT developed around 1973 is located in CITY STATE.

Homes, condos and townhouses are built.  Subdivisions (tracts) are developed. Subdivisions can also be built but it’s more accurate to say developed.

In your article please describe a community as walkable or pedestrian friendly if the Walkscore is greater than 70. Also, describe the price range of the subject community. For example, “1 bedroom condos at Place One generally cost from $175,000 to $180,000.” Or, “Homes in Virginia Hills will set you back from $350k to $400k.

Then go to the Maps to get more content.

Open the maps tab to find valuable content.

Open the maps tab to find valuable content.

Add this text to your post:

*TRACT* is close to  *Place name*.  The area is served by *Parks* and not far from *STREET 1* and *STREET 2*.

You can gather that information from the map above. Do not scroll the map out very far.  We want the closest major streets.  Next insert listings as described here.

Always add listings

“Listings” are properties that are for sale. Using tools on the blog you can add properties automatically to your post. Add listings to each post. More about this here:

Use the selection criteria to define a home that is as close to the source post as possible. The listings should always come from the same tract as the original post. Use additional selection criteria to describe the source property. For example use the same price range and/or same size as the original post.

Add comparable listings

In addition to adding listings that are from the source material, add another set of “comparable” listings. Comparable listings are similar homes that are for sale in similar neighborhoods. They are added the same way as described above. In your comparable try to use multiple criteria to make the other properties as relevant as possible. For example if the subject property was $350,000. Make the comparable properties have a minimum price of $340,000 and a maximum price of $360,000.

Or, bracket the square footage. For example if the source property was 2500 sqft, then the comparable properties should be 2200 minimum to 2700 maximum.

Call the comparable properties from the same zip code or city as your source post.

Vary the selection criteria between posts and vary the “display order” from post to post.

Finishing touches

Don’t forget to add a featured image.  How to add a featured image.

Every tip should also have an image in the post. The image should link to the attachment page.  Here’s how to add an image.

Every post must be properly tagged.  Your tags should be the property type and the zip code, as well as anything you think is relevant. [More about Tags]

Every post must be properly categorized.  Your categories should the TRACT and the CITY.  Not all Tracts are found in our categories. Don’t add these.  [More about Categories] In addition each post must be categorized according to price.

Redundant Posts

Do NOT post multiple articles for the same community in the same week.  For example:

 

These articles are redundant and the second post adds no value. After a week passes you can write another article about the same community, but if you write another article on the same community you must find a fresh angle or something new to say. If you start running out of communities, let me know and we can increase your zip code spread.

If you have opened a property and realize that the article will be simply a repeat of an article you’ve already written this week, mark the original for auto delete. But add that property’s image to the Media Library. You may bill for this action but it’s obviously much less the the rate for a Neighborhood Profile.  Check with your leader to get a rate.

Tips on making Neighborhood Profiles

If your work area does not resemble the work area in the screenshots, you probably need to click “Visual” on the tab above where the text is entered.  When you click “Text” you’ll see code and different buttons.  If you have done this but don’t see the green button, it might be because your monitor is too small.  In this case, collapse your menu to see more of the toolbar.

Please keep in mind that we are trying to actually add value and not just create volume and noise. For example “Renovated Condos near Metro Station” is a great title and is exactly what someone might search for, but that article should actually point out a renovated condo and not just have a list of condos—some of which are renovated and some of which are not. To make this an article more useful, from time to time you might want to use the solitary green peg (one house not many) to show the exact home you found in your source post.

Try not to create two posts about the exact same neighborhood on the same day. When you do create two posts about the same tract/neighborhood, schedule the post to be published the next day. You can edit the publish date by tinker with a setting right above the publish/update button.

Try read your own posts. After doing this for a number of days you should become familiar with some of the features and neighborhoods in your area.

Example

Jan 07

Collapsing your menu

If you can’t see some of the buttons and links described in these tutorials it may be because you’re working on a smaller screen.  If that’s the case you may want to take advantage of the collapsible menu in your dashboard.

On the left side of the screen is the main navigation menu detailing each of the administrative functions you can perform. At the bottom of that section is a Collapse menu button that shrinks the menu into a set of icons, or to expands to list them by major function. Within each major function, such as Posts, the sub-menu expands (fly-out) when hovered over, and expands fully if an item clicked.

The large area in the middle of the screen is the work area. It is here the specific information relating to a particular navigation choice, such as adding a new post, is presented and collected.

Jan 07

How to create a gallery post

You will produce one gallery post per day. A gallery post is a collection of 6 to 12 pictures from your neighborhood, blending old and new images in a theme imagined by you. A gallery is a useful way to add multiple images to a post, as shown below:

 

Your gallery should have a theme or some commonality. There are an infinite number of themes but here are some ideas.

  • Near the metro
  • Quiet
  • Convenient
  • Swimming pools
  • houses
  • townhouses
  • condos

Tip for finding content

If you need a starting point for images in your Gallery post go to your Dashboard.  Hover over Media and then click Library.  Try to find images that are not already attached to a post.  Use several of these to give you a starting point / angle for your gallery.

The Media Library is one of the main links in the navigation bar at the left of your work area.

The Media Library is one of the main links in the navigation bar at the left of your work area.


This is an example of a “text image”

Generally, the images in gallery posts should not contain “text images”. Galleries should NEVER contain more than one text image. Text images can be appropriate as a featured image on a gallery post.

Examples

Jan 05

Adding a Featured Image

A Featured Image is a thumbnail preview showed by our website, Google and other resources so that people can see what an article is about before they click on it.

Click on the Set Featured Image Link

Click on the Set Featured Image Link

Search the Media Library then click select.

Search the Media Library then click select.

The Media Library contains many types of images that might be appropriate for your post.  Some of terms you might search for are:

  • Place — City, tract, area, community, zip code
  • Type — house, townhouse, condo
  • Descriptor — Near metro, convenient,
  • Icon — check, heart, smile,
  • Staff — pictures of Will, Julie or Stuart Nesbitt

 

Jan 02

Landmark post

A “landmark post” is a post about a landmark in your neighborhood. Always avoid opinions in landmark posts. A landmark post is a description about the functions, services and location of a landmark in your neighborhood. Some landmarks are.:

  • Transit station. What’s the nearest Metro stop?
  • Schools. Detail information about a school serving this community? Include a link to the school. You can find a list of the schools to link to here. (Scroll down.)
  • A park
  • A library
  • A shopping center
  • A business
  • A governmental office
  • A major road
  • A particular subdivision or condominium

Don’t write in bullet points. Do write in clear concise sentences. Don’t use flowery language. Do use correct spelling and punctuation. In total your article should only be 1 or 2 paragraphs long.

At the end of the article add “Homes for sale in” the community you’re writing about and then add listings. Its quite possible that you don’t know the first thing about the neighborhood you’re writing about. If so add the listings, publish your work then look at the listings to do your research. Always make your listings as localized as possible.

A landmark post can require some research.  Use Bing. Google, our website and other resources to learn about the landmark.

Add a picture to your post. Select a featured image from the Media Library as well. If you feel it’s really important you may request pictures.  Email aubrey at nesbittrealty dot com and let him know what you need pictures of.  Tell him to ask Will Nesbitt for directions otherwise he will ignore you.

Don’t forget to add a featured image.  How to add a featured image.

Finish by tagging and categorizing your post.