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 Display Photo Albums on Your Real Estate Website or Blog
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Sat, Jan 14th, 2012 11:14 am

If you're a real estate agent with a custom website or blog, here's a cool tool you can use.

It's called an "Image Gallery" and it lets you display albums of photos on your website.  Basically, an Image Gallery program would be to photos what a blog program (like Wordpress) is to written articles.

The benefit of doing this is two fold.

First, you can easily upload, organized and display photos in albums on your own website.  It works like Facebook Photo Albums- so there's NO coding in HTML, it's very easy to change and reorganize, etc.

Second, it allows you to quickly add more content to your website for SEO benefits.  Since a big part of real estate is taking pictures of stuff as well as holding events and working in the public eye, real estate agents do tend to have an awful lot of photos.  Why not post them all to your website?

After years of thinking about it, I finally took a few minutes and set up a photo gallery on Kimberly's real estate website.  I used a program called ZenPhoto.

Price is FREE. You (or your website person) can download the software to put on your website here:

http://www.zenphoto.org/

FYI- In the past I used one called "Coppermine", but I think ZenPhoto was faster to setup.

ZenPhoto Features...

- It installs on a website in the same fashion Wordpress does. From what I read, it actually integrates very well with Wordpress. Once installed, the admin system is, again, a lot like uploading photos to albums on Facebook.

I’m still setting mine up, but if you would like to see what I’ve done with it so far, you can see it here:

http://www.stlagent.com/clients/gallery/

- It’s template driven (like Wordpress) so it’s fairly easy to change the look and feel of it.  I’m just using one of the stock templates is came with.

- Integrates with existing websites.  All I’m doing is framing it within my site (like most of you do with your real estate IDX or MLS search) so integration wasn't all that hard.

- It uploads entire folders of photos at once- Very fast. It also allows you to upload video and certain file types as well (zips, etc).

- You can create subalbums (folders within folders). As it's database driven, it's very easy to rename or move albums/subalbums, change the order of the photos, etc.

- It has a watermark option (which I've turned on). If you turn it off your images will revert back to not having a watermark (so it's not permanently altering the original file on the server). You can also watermark some albums and not others or use different watermarks for each album.

- It supports tagging (like a blog), captioning, comments, etc.  Comments can be opened to anyone or only for registered users and can be turned on/off on a per album basis. You can also turn on captcha codes and other anti-spam options.

It will also display the photo's date/time and other technical info as well as geotagging (if your camera does that).

Bottom line, if you can use Wordpress and Facebook you can use this.

Hope this helps!

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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in tech sales which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director. In 2011, he launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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