Are you looking to set up a professional real estate website that ensures a high level of convenience for people who want to sell, buy and rent the houses, apartments and offices easily? If so, only having the well-designed real estate templates installed and used is far less enough. Instead, you have to add the IDX solution and the MLS listing, which are two of the essential parts for all the truly successful and professional real estate platforms.
The MLS listing is a special suite of database services for real estate brokers to disseminate and accumulate the related property information, while the IDX solution enables the display and public searches for all the updated property listing data within a certain location.
In the following, we have shared the detailed steps about how to add IDX and MLS listing to WordPress powered real estate sites by utilizing the Optima Express plugin. Learn its utilization from the below parts.
Install the Optima Express Plugin and Register for It
This plugin is a powerful option that can add the MLS listing for property and the responsive IDX search to your site with the beautify design and the informative reports. In addition, you are allowed to showcase several types of property search fields, listing galleries, contact pages and many more on the navigation bar of your site easily. Even, the exclusive drip email function helps your users highly engaged with all the open, sold and active properties.
Now, you simply need to enter the Plugin section of your WordPress dashboard to finish the installation process of this plugin. After that, you can click the Optima Express tab that is newly added, and then, press the Register button.
Here, you should register for this plugin by getting a free trial account or signing up for a paid account. The process requires you to enter your name, phone number and email address. In addition, you need to choose the plugin name from the Product drop-down list and determine the account type between the options of Individual Agent and Office. Here, we choose the agent option.
Choose the Optima Express As the Primary Menu
This plugin automatically creates an exclusive navigation menu to add the professionalism of your site. In this case, you’d better replace your default menu bar with this one.
To do this, you simply need to click Appearance > Menus in the admin. After that, you can choose the Optima Express menu to edit and set it as the primary menu from the Menu Settings area.
By default, the main navigation includes a lot of IDX pages, such as the Featured Listing, Property Search, Communities, Email Alters, Contact and Buyers & Sellers. You can order and remove them based on your needs.
Customize the IDX Pages
Note that all the IDX pages listed on the navigation bar are dynamically created by this plugin and have their own permalinks, titles, templates and meta tags. If you want to make the customization for them, you can click the IDX Pages button to modify these attributes.
In addition, you can even customize these pages in a detailed manner using the IDX Control Panel.
Featured Listing Settings
If you want to customize the Featured Listing IDX page in the navigation, you can click the Listing Settings button from the IDX Control Panel.
Firstly, you should configure the Results & Featured option. By default, this page looks like as below.
However, you can make some changes here. For instance, you can display these results in either List or Grid, hide or showcase the map, decide the number of results per page, hide or show the Sold/Pending/Supplemental properties, determine the showcase order and many others.
Next, you can decide the showcase of the property details. By default, you can show the aspects of Map, Schools, Walk Score and Mortgage Calculator.
However, you can hide some of them based on your needs.
Property Search Settings
Users can search their wanted properties from this Property Search IDX page. By default, the search page is displayed in the following way.
Here, you can make some modifications from multiple aspects. Firstly, you can specify the property types to be included into the search options, along with the type name and the default price range.
In addition, you can determine the text in the Quick Search Location box and can add more auto-suggestions into the Search Location field by selecting some MLS areas.
To help people search based on a more specific location, you can choose to restrict the auto-suggestion function to a custom city list. Also, you can decide the City List Format among three options of City Only, City & State and City & Country.
This plugin gives you the option to display the open house information from your own IDX listing or the whole MLS-provided listing. Even, you can include the search option for this part.
Lastly, you can set up some map settings by deciding the maximum zoom level, the center address for map search and the search type.
For the email settings, you firstly should make sure that you have entered the valid email address that is associated with your account. This address will act as the “From Address” for outgoing the messages for your users and subscribers, and will receive all the Price Change Listing and the Sold Listing when your MLS provides the data.
Note that you can decide the receiving frequency freely.
Here, you can decide whether to require users to enter the phone number for the contacting purpose and whether to show CAPTCHA in the contact form for the better security. Also, you can choose to display a popup for the email alert or not.
Display the Bio Information
If you want your reader to trust your property listing, you’d better showcase a bio section on your site. For this, you need to click the Bio Widget button, and then, upload the agent photo and enter the self-introduction.
Now, you can save the changes and showcase the bio information in the sidebar using the exclusive Agent Bio widget.
Display the Search Box
For the searching convenience and efficiency, you can display the Search box on both the sidebar and the webpage. The options include the Quick Search box, Listing ID Search box and the Address Search box.
If you want to show them on the sidebar, you need to use the widget and choose the proper display style. Note that you can choose to show the property types and determine the showcase IDX pages based on your needs.
In addition, you can show them on your homepage. For this, you should edit your homepage and click the Optima Express Shortcode button from the visual editor. Here, you can choose the search boxes and styles. After clicking the Insert button and updating the page, your search boxes can be showcased properly.
Showcase the Property Listing and Social in Sidebar
In addition to the search box, you can also display some social accounts for the platforms of Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, G+ and YouTube. This can be done using the social widget.
Also, besides the Featured Listing in the navigation menu, you can also display the Property Gallery listing in the sidebar with the help of Property Gallery widget. Here, you can choose the gallery types, decide the gallery title and number to be showcased, select the property type and enter the link text.