After creating two very large and complex real estate sites, I will say that the biggest issue we had was with customer service from our real estate plugin creator.  And it’s my own fault for not being prepared.

There are limited options for Real Estate plugins so we had only a few to choose from.  I did read up on everything I could find.  I checked their sites, I read the features, I found a few live sites using the plugins, and I chose to go with the plugin that had the most options, features and was actively updating on a regular basis.  Those are all good points.  Right?  Yes.  Good.  But not everything.

I had skimmed the forums of their site to see what kind of feedback and reactions were taking place.  I must have hit on a really good couple of days because now if I go back…and when I tried to get assistance…it wasn’t quite the same as it was during my research phase.  And I could argue that things had changed since my research, or there were new software issues….but I’d be lying.  When I started to ask for help, I was told I had to PAY to get support for a product I just paid for.  HUH?  Seriously?  And then when I figured that out, I saw that the paid posts asking for help were a roadmap to the land of frustration.

I totally missed that when I was researching.  I really hadn’t been looking hard enough, it seems.  So now, when I do research on a product, I’m definitely researching customer service.  Twice.  Oh maybe I’ll even do it three times.  Because, in the end…a product is only as good as the support it has.  It can be awesome on paper, and work great on their server…but if it doesn’t do squat on your server, it was a waste of money.  In this case it was a waste of a LOT of time and money because I had to have our programmer write a script for our server to make the plugin work properly.

So do your research, check your facts, get referrals if you can…and look at the way they support their product.