WordPress has a great selection of themes and plugins for real estate agencies, freelance realtors, and online marketers in the real estate niche.
But one thing to keep in mind is that, not all real estate themes serve the same purpose. For example, as a licensed real estate agent, you may want to have an automated way to publish MLS listings on your site; not all themes can do that.
Or as an internet marketer without a real estate license and MLS access, you may wish to build a real estate site to charge realtors and property owners for listings. Again, you need to find the right themes for this.
With that in mind, let’s investigate the focus of each WordPress real estate theme and plugin to determine the best solution for you:
Real Estate Themes with Optional MLS / IDX Integration
The following themes are integrated with the WordPress plugin dsIDXpress. This plugin allows you, as a licensed real estate agent, to pull MLS listings automatically and publish them on your WordPress site in a search-engine-optimized manner.
If you don’t want to use an MLS data feed, it’s okay. You can just as well post properties manually. But keep in mind that these themes do not have the ability to accept and charge for user submitted properties out of the box.
Estate by WooThemes
Estate is a comprehensive real estate theme by one of the most reputable theme design companies, WooThemes. It has minimalistic and highly customizable design. The individual property pages are very rich. There’s a virtual tour widget and integration with Google Maps with Street View, among other things. It’s priced higher than most other themes at $200. But this is a small investment for a serious and professional real estate website. You may also consider joining the WooThemes club to get the theme at a discounted price. Download »»
Openhouse by Buchmann Design
Openhouse is the most popular real estate theme on ThemeForest. It has thousands of purchases, many user comments, and excellent ratings. It has all the features that you’d expect from a real estate theme, and then some. I don’t particularly like the design, but that’s just my taste. It’s a very functional theme otherwise. At $40 only, it provides most value for the money. Download »»
AgentPress by StudioPress
AgentPress is built on the popular Genesis Framework by StudioPress. It is most suitable for a single agent. I don’t think it’s meant to be used by a real estate company with multiple agents. For example, it doesn’t have a built-in contact form or an agent profile page. The design is not that special either. Frankly speaking, I think you’re better off with one of the two themes above, unless you’re into the Genesis Framework, in which case you can buy this theme for just $44.95. Download »»
Real Estate Themes with Paid User Listings
Unlike the themes above, the following themes don’t integrate with MLS or IDX. What they have, that other themes don’t, is the ability to accept and publish paid user listings. It’s like paid classifieds, but tailored to the real estate market.
RealtorPress by PremiumPress
RealtorPress is a great choice if you need to build a user-driven real estate site. It’s one of the many excellent app themes by PremiumPress. It ships with a wide range of features and options, such as 20 integrated payment gateways, user profile pages, mobile device optimization, and more. It can be used as a property directory or a portfolio. It’s reasonably priced at $79 only. Download »»
Templatic Real Estate by Templatic
Templatic Real Estate will give you a professionally laid out, community driven real estate site in a matter of minutes. It has everything you could ask for, agent management, powerful property search, content rich property pages, several payment gateway options, and multiple color schemes to make your site unique. You can buy this theme for as little as $90. Download »»
Real Estate Plugins
Your choice isn’t limited to those themes listed above. In fact, any WordPress theme can be turned into a real estate theme by using the right plugins.
But let me be realistic. While some of these plugins are great, if you want a proper looking real estate site, your options are to either do advanced customizations on a generic theme with the help of one of these plugins, or use one of the themes above.
Now that you know what the use of one of these plugins entails, let’s get into it.
WP-Property seems to be the most popular real estate management plugin on WordPress.org. It has thousands of downloads and almost a perfect star rating. With this plugin, you can post properties with the same level of ease of making regular posts. The plugin takes care of displaying Google maps, organizing properties by type, displaying a list of properties, and more.
FireStorm Real Estate is very similar to WP-Property in its offering, but it’s newer and has a smaller user base. You should still check it out to see if you like how it differentiates itself.
Great Real Estate was the leader in this space once, but it has been surpassed by other plugins. The last update on Great Real Estate was in 2010. I’m listing it here because some other real estate themes still rely on this plugin.
Simple Real Estate Pack brings interesting content to normal real estate listings. That includes “mortgage and home affordability calculators, closing cost estimator, live mortgage rates, Trulia and ALTOS statistical charts, local schools, business listings from Yelp and Google Maps. Optionally, Simple Real Estate Pack can function as an extension for Great Real Estate (GRE) plugin, and will add new features to the GRE if it’s installed.”
dsIDXpress is the IDX feed plugin for WordPress. It allows your users to search and browse your MLS listings within your site. It turns each of your MLS listings into a search-engine-optimized page on WordPress. Diverse Solutions, the company who developed this plugin, also offers other solutions that help real estate agents take full advantage of web technologies.
Tips for WordPress Real Estate Websites
In researching WordPress real estate themes and plugins, I’ve come across a few tips that I should share with you.
Capture The Emails of Potential Real Estate Buyers
Some real estate agents complain that visitors who land on their site back out after viewing a couple of listings without leaving any trace. To mitigate this problem, consider using an unobtrusive popup where you ask for the visitor’s email. You can set it up so that the popup will only be displayed at the second pageview, which makes it significantly less annoying, yet still effective. A WordPress popup plugin can help you with that.
Submit Your Property Listings RSS Feed to Other Real Estate Websites
Some websites like Truilia and Zillow allow you to publish your properties with them automatically through an RSS feed. If you’re using WordPress, you can create a customized RSS feed for each website using the Feed Wrangler plugin.
Turn a Real Estate Theme into a Membership Site
If you wish to do so, you can protect some of your property listings from public viewing and only allow registered users or even paid members to view them. You can use a WordPress membership plugin to do that.
It’s understandable if all of this is a bit confusing.
Fortunately, a company exists that specializes in helping real estate agents enhance their web presence. It’s called Agent Revolution. They’ll help you build a WordPress real estate website and market it through social media.
By the way, I came across a few other real estate themes while I was researching, such as: Elegant Estate, WP Pro Real Estate, Exotic, Quickstart, and Elegant. Gorilla Themes and ThemeShift also have several real estate themes.
I didn’t list these above because I wanted to narrowing down the selection to the best of what’s available in order to make it easier for you to decide. If you think one of these should be listed above, let me know.
I hope you found this stuff helpful. If there’s something I missed or got wrong, or if you have a question or a suggestion, please comment!