I will try to reply to each item one by one. But before, I want to make a resume of our logic.
The theme was initially designed for agents and agencies. The people were adding profiles in wp-admin and assigning agents to properties from wp-admin.
We then added user submission, because that was asked. User submission was for regular users who have a property to sell and want to sell it through an agency website. Admin can modify the property submitted by an user and assign it to an agent in wp-admin. They can also charge for submission.
Some clients want those users to be listed as Agents in Agent List and have their individual profile show on the website (so admin works less on this, and each agent controls his/her profile from front end dashboard). This is wnat we’re adding 2.03, but again we will do it with on/off control from wp-admin as some clients will want the old control (agents in admin, users in front end).
When a new client registers on the site, it creates a WP user – in the dashboard, from the front-end, that user is able to upload a profile photo, and that’s great; however it appears to be a rather useless function, as that picture does not pop up on property or agent’s listing pages, unless I duplicate that user and use the profile photo as featured image – defeating the purpose of having the front end upload option in the first place?
—> The image is useful as the person contacting the user who has submitted the property. He can see who that person is (if the user doesn’t want to share that photo, it doesn’t show).
—> What you’re asking is what we’re trying to give in 2.03 – the additional control for clients who want to list the users as agents automatically, without additional changes in wp-admin.
You mentioned that with the next update, any user with at least one property will pop on the agent list page template – will that include their profile pic across the site as well?
–> If you will check the option, the user will be transformed into an agent profile and it will show as agents show now (so yes for the photo)
I’m trying to understand the need for an agent custom post type and I just can’t see any – there doesn’t seem to be any functionality to the custom post type that default user profiles don’t cover? Am I missing something important and obvious?
–> It may not be important to you, but for some clients it is important. They want to create Agents Profile in wp-admin and not let users create their profile. Many of our clients don’t want to use Front End submission. They want to submit their properties from wp-admin and let users just save favorites. So we build the theme for a multitude or options.
I am considering removing that custom post type altogether, and using a membership plugin to display user lists and their posts as well as a profile box on property pages – is there anything I should be aware of before attempting the customization, would that affect some other template functionality?
–> I can’t know in advance what will happen. However, if you’ll plan to use 2.03 with the new features (which I understand you’ll do), the agent custom type will be needed as it will be assigned to user’s profile. You may not use it in wp-admin, but the theme will use it to create the agent profile automatically.