Zillowpress Websites

By
Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty Group

UPDATE:  I've once again switched up my websites (I'll be writing another post about it - it's brutal)!  I changed the link to the new domain on my Zillowpress website.

I never thought I'd be writing this post.  I've never had anything good to say about Zillow.  But I wanted to create hyper-local blogs for my 2 main towns that I work and live in, so I checked out all the different website offerings.

EDIT:  Check out my updated Websitebox review.  They keep improving and their inidividual IDX results pages are full of information now.  I tried Websitebox and I wanted to love it.  I found a neat little template I loved and started working on it.  It has some great things but I kept having trouble with the IDX search.  One day it would work, one day it wouldn't.  It wouldn't work for searches for $100,000 & under or $2 million & over.  I sent in support tickets and some were taken care of immediately and others seemed to be floating around.  The backend was clunky - that's the best way to describe it.  I would sometimes have to log-in again to continue working on the site.  I would have dealt with that if I liked the IDX, but the results page for each listing was lacking. After creating a bunch of blog posts and working on the site for the 1st month I had to call it quits.  They refunded my money.  The search was on.

And then I found Zillowpress

I'm not sure how I stumbled across this as I rarely do anything at Zillow but keep up my profile and listings. I saw the sites for $10.00/mo. with Diverse Solutions IDX and thought I'd give one a spin for Oak Lawn real estate, the smallest of the two villages I was creating hyper local sites for.  Although IMO the templates are too few and I'm not loving any of them, I chose one that I could work with best.  For ten bucks a month I feel I can't lose.

The title Zillowpress is a combination of Zillow and Wordpress.  I have several Wordpress blogs on Bluehost so am familiar with how to use them.  I really like Diverse Solutions IDX.  The only downfall is that you can only search 1 town at a time, but I love the detailed results page for each listing.

Homer Glen real estate website

Does it send links to Zillow?

I've educated agents in the past to stop using badges and widgets from sites like Zillow and Trulia because they just give a lot of backlinks to those sites, making them ever more powerful so they can beat us out in organic search and sell our leads back to us.  However, you can control your links back to Zillow on these sites.  You can remove the link from the footer and you don't have to use all of the widgets, some that do link back to Zillow.  I'm searching for a different calculator for the sidebar that won't link back since that is one of the widgets that does, along with the Zillow mortgage rates widget.  But I just wanted to use them temporarily until I find a replacement.  That's the other downfall of Zillowpress sites, you'd have to find something that gives you html code to use in a Text widget because the sites don't support any Wordpress plug-ins.  

Why don't I just create another Wordpress site?

I don't want a hyper local blog/site for area real estate and lifestyle without offering an IDX search.  I already have a main website that I pay a monthly fee for and am now adding the 2 hyper local sites.  The other new hyper-local site is a Wordpress blog/site using the AgentPress theme.  After much searching I decided to go with iHomefinder for the IDX and am pretty happy with them.  The bottom line is I'm offering 4 different websites with 4 IDX fees and I needed to cut the costs on the site focusing on the one of them, and I chose the Oak Lawn homes site.

It's still under construction and I'm learning how to add some special things to it using html and widgets. The only thing I'm not crazy about is that there is no css access to make custom changes.  My other fear is if they decide to delete this offering I'll have to switch over to something else, but since it is Wordpress I'm hoping it can be done somewhat easily using the built-in Export function.  All in all, I'll take that chance for $10.00 a month.

Posted by
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group
18305 Distinctive Dr.
Orland Park, IL, 60467
US
Work: 708-536-8200
Fax: 708-249-0074
 

Comments (22)

Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Super blog, Judy. Had to print it out as it had so much valuable information. I am a Central Florida/Orlando Realtor and a sort of a 'newbie to ActiveRain; believe I was on for a day or two back in 2009. Have had my Illinois Real Estate licenses for years and my Florida license since 2007. Was in my Des Plaines, Il. office today as I read your blog and noticed, ORLAND PARK. Neat to see someone from Illinois. Thanks for sharing your information. Did you attend any MEET UPS in Spring? Please keep me in mind if you hear of any Summer Meet Ups in Illinois. Again, thank you!

Apr 23, 2013 07:15 AM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

Thanks Jane, I hope you found some good information.  I've been to a Raincamp a few years back but no meet-ups. So are you in IL now?  I have a 2nd home in Scottsdale, AZ & I keep thinking of getting licensed there but haven't done anything about it yet.  Unlike in IL, you have to attend classes in person - no online study courses available.  Also, since IL is an attorney state, AZ real estate seems soooo different, and I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with such a change.

Apr 23, 2013 09:42 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Judy:  Interesting information ... I'm bookmarking this for reference.  I'm trying to learn as much as possible regarding what agents find of value for listings and websites.  Helps me help you, in my thinking ... the better educated I am the better referral partner I can be.  Going to go to the sites you mention to see what I can gain from them and utilize within my own services/online presence too.  Thanks so much for providing the info here ...

I noted that Jane above asked about meet-ups in our area.  I have tried to host meet-ups a few times in the past.  This time around business was just to demanding to do it.  Will definitely keep both of you ladies in mind, should I host again or see others are doing so.  I've enjoyed those times that Chicagoland AR members did get together.  I think you would too ...

Hope all is well,

Gene

Apr 23, 2013 10:41 AM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

Hey Gene, if I wasn't interested in offering IDX on each site I'd just stick with Wordpress for multipel hyper local websites.  On one of my Wordpress sites (used just to send backlinks to my other sites), I actually link to my main site's search pages.  But I wouldn't want to do that with these 2 new websites I've created.  I want the IDX built-in to each site as these are indexable listings.

As far as meet-ups, I've been so busy I can't think of going to a meet-up right now.  This is going to sound terrible, but when I was at Raincamp with my husband we only spoke to a couple people.  I did recognize some faces but I didn't go up to anyone.  There were a lot of people there so it wasn't as "cozy" as a meet-up would be.  

Apr 23, 2013 10:57 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Judy:  Totally understand about the meet-ups ... what you say is exactly why I didn't even try to be the host of a Chicagoland area meet-up this Spring.  Too busy!!  A good problem to have ... and refreshing!

As I said in my previous note, will keep you posted should I see something forming in the future.  Timing will be everything ...

Gene   

Apr 24, 2013 02:59 AM
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

Hi Judy, I was actually checking out the Zillowpress site information and decided to come on AR and search it to see what others had to see and I found your post.  Since you wrote this post almost 9 months ago, how's the site working for you?  For $10 a month I may give it a try too for a specific market area I'm targeting.

Jan 11, 2014 11:59 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Thanks for this explanation. What have you learned since you wrote this post?

Jan 11, 2014 09:22 PM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

Gina & Cheryl, I don't think I'd use it for my main website, although the IDX search is great (since they own  Diverse Solutions).  There's not a good enough selection of templates IMO and you cannot download plug-ins, even though these are Wordpress sites.  So you are somewhat limited.  They do have some decent widgets to use though.

I still can't figure out how to create a general "Blog" link in the menu.  I even asked and although support is pretty good, I wasn't given a good answer.  IOW, I'm making blog posts (need to update), but there is no "Blog" link to show all of the blog posts with a way to find more.  That's my biggest beef with the site and I've never seen a Wordpress site without this ability.  I checked out other live Zillowpress sites and see the same thing - no "Blog" link in the menu.  

For a niche area for $10.00/mo. you can't lose.  Even if they decided to shut it down or charge more, it is easy to transfer your site to another Wordpress site.  But again, if you want to offer an IDX search (I don't understand those who have real estate sites and don't offer IDX - why bother), you can't find anything less expensive than this. 

Jan 12, 2014 05:03 AM
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

Thanks Judy.  My plan was to use it for a niche site and for the price, I think its worth a try.

Jan 12, 2014 09:28 PM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

Gina, it's perfect for a niche website.  Another affordable solution is Websitebox, my site there is Homer Glen homes, although it is not Wordpress based and like Zillowpress, it's got some things I'd like to be different, but they keep improving and support has been good.  Good IDX too.

Jan 13, 2014 12:40 AM
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

I was looking into Websitebox too for a niche website.  I think I am going to do both websites for 2 different niches.  Last question (I promise), one niche is a condo complex and the other niche is an area which includes 4 towns that all attend the same school district but each town is its own municipality with its own zip code.  Do you recommend which site is better for one than the other? 

Jan 18, 2014 02:51 AM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs
Gina, I really had to think about this. I'm not sure which is best for what. Each website provider is great for any kind of niche. Website box does offer a section for you to build out communities. However, Zillowpress also allows that and it's got some automated features, but it's for actual towns, not condo complexes or subdivisions. Again, differences between the two that might help you make a decision is that Websitebox is not easily transferred to another website if you decide not to use it in the future. Zillowpress can easily be transferred to another Wordpress site, whether it's self hosted or hosted by another Wordpress template provider. With that said, Websitebox is still the most economical product to use, especially for niche sites, even if you purchase add-ons. You pay once and that's it.
Jan 19, 2014 02:58 AM
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

Thanks Judy.  I appreciate all your help!!

Jan 22, 2014 08:16 PM
Brian Clinger
Coldwell Banker AJS Schmidt - Cascade, MI
Brian Clinger ABR, GRI, CRS, SRES

Thank you for sharing your experince witht he Zillow website.  I found your reader comments helpful also.  It is time to pull the trigger and get one.

Jan 22, 2014 11:00 PM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

It's certainly worth a try for the money Brian!

Jan 22, 2014 11:41 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

Interesting that you are in my area! This came up for Zillowpress as I'd never heard of it. I'm going to investigate it further.

I've tried Placester & I'm really happy with it.

May 05, 2014 09:30 AM