Building a badass real estate website in WordPress is no easy feat. But with the help of a few specialised themes and plugins, along with some knowledge of what makes a winning real estate website… you’ll be well on your way to creating a clean, professional site that gets results.
Creating a real estate website in WordPress can be a daunting prospect.
Creating a real estate website in WordPress that stands out from the crowd and gets results?
Getting to know the unique features and functionalities a site like this requires is key to creating a winning WordPress site of this nature.
Because the truth is, a real estate website is different to any other website you’ve worked on.
The good news is… there are plenty of easy-to-use plugins and out-of-the-box themes you can harness to build a professional and functional site.
The bad news is… you have to know what plugins to use… along with when, where, how, and why to use them!
But don’t worry, in this article we’ll take you through the basic steps you need to follow.
We’ll also touch on what types of themes and plugins you should be utilizing for best results.
Finally, we’ll look into the common qualities and elements that make a real estate website stand out from the crowd.
But first… let’s get some formalities out of the way
Before we dive into this walkthrough, I’m going to assume you already have hosting and a domain sorted…
… I’m also going to assume you have WordPress all ready to go and we can jump into building ourselves a kickass real estate website!
Alright now we have that sorted…
Onto the first step!
1.Choose The Best Real Estate Theme For Your Website
The first step is choosing a theme for your site.
Themes can be incredibly helpful, as real estate websites typically require a lot of specialised functionality – making them not so easy to create from scratch.
You’re also in luck, because there are literally THOUSANDS of WordPress themes to choose from.
However, although there are plenty of “flexible” themes out there that serve all kinds of different industries, for now we’ll just focus on real estate specific themes.
Another good reason to use real estate specific themes is that they come with real estate friendly features.
Here are some examples of real estate WordPress themes and what they offer:
If you’re looking for a free theme option to get started with – WP Real Estate is a fantastic option.
Overall this is a simple, stylish and fast loading WordPress theme specially designed for real estate firms and agents.
Of course, with free themes you can expect the functionality and features to be much lower than paid themes.
The good news is, after downloading this theme you’re immediately recommended a real estate plugin which can help add features like property listing functionalities, search bars, and more.
Other than that, you can expect standard website features like: a featured posts section, customizable headers, and a custom background.
This theme is also dead simple to set up:
All you have to do is download the “.zip” file of your theme on your computer (don’t extract it!)
Then directly upload the “.zip” file in your dashboard by going to Appearance > Themes > Add New > “Upload.”
You can also install the theme directly from your dashboard:
Boom! Your theme is all ready to go.
*Note: these same download instructions will apply to most free themes you encounter.
Neptune Real Estate is another free WordPress real estate theme which focuses on simple design elements and functionality.
As a result, this theme is more suited to a small real estate website that focuses on a defined region.
When you download the free version of Neptune you can expect features like:
- Properties custom post type.
- The ability to list and manage properties.
- Custom homepage with custom header, property listings, and call to actions.
- Regular updates.
- Forum support on wordpress.org.
However, if you really want to get serious you can unlock the pro version which comes with a whole host of additional features including: an advanced search mechanism, property slider, custom homepage designs, and more.
RealHomes is the number one real estate theme on ThemeForest – with more than 19,000 people currently using it for their real estate websites.
According to the theme page the team at RealHomes are also always working on improvements and enhancements – so expect this theme to get better with every update!
Some of the handy real estate features of this theme include:
An advanced property search customization – which allows users to easily search for properties.
Google Maps integration – letting you display your properties on the map with little pin identifiers.
Real estate property comparison feature – which visitors can use to easily compare properties they are interested in.
Property layout options – RealHomes also gives you a bunch of different templates for laying out your properties, including list layout, grid layout and half map layout.
Check out more of the features of RealHomes Real estate theme here.
Sitting at around the same price as RealHomes, Houzez is another great premium real estate theme option.
This theme in particular is incredibly flexible and gives designers and developers a great platform to show off their creativity and produce high quality work.
Some of the handy real estate features of this theme include:
Full responsiveness – Houzez assure you that they have tested their code and this theme produces a smooth user experience on all platforms.
Visual composer – If you’re not as experienced in web design or development, you can use this handy feature to see your progress. You can also use the drag and drop builder to easily set up pages.
Parallax backgrounds – Parallax backgrounds can be a great way to help a real estate website stand out and produce visually impressive backgrounds.
Blog layouts – Another great feature every real estate website needs is a blog. With this feature you can choose between “Default” and “Masonry” blog layouts, to make your blog section both appealing and functional.
2.Install Specialized Real Estate Plugins To Add Even More Functionality
Adding plugins to your website can be a great way to make up for functions your real estate theme might be missing.
Using plugins is also a great way to add additional features to a free real estate theme that might not stack up to its premium option.
Check out these real estate-specific plugin examples:
WPL Real Estate is an all-in-one plugin made by the team at Realtyna, who’ve been hard at it creating real estate solutions since 2007.
As well as a range of features you’ll see below, WPL Real Estate also comes with its own support team, as well as plenty of documentation and a comprehensive knowledge base.
Already this a lot more than you’d usually expect from a free plugin!
WPL Real Estate’s features include:
- Adding properties with a simple listing wizard.
- The ability to automatically hide fields that do not contain information on your listings.
- Categorize listings into room and property types, and help narrow down user options. As well as searching by state, city, and zip code.
- Enabling the user to switch between two layout modes: lists or grids.
- Share your property listings through Facebook, Twitter, and email.
- Display search results on Google Maps.
Estatik is another all round free real estate plugin for WordPress that comes packed with a range of valuable features.
This plugin also comes with advanced filters for search for dates, famous properties and locations. And it works perfectly with all of the popular WordPress themes.
Other features include:
- Customizable categories, types, features, and amenities.
- Social sharing (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).
- Photo gallery with video integration (YouTube, Vimeo).
- A simple field builder which creates unlimited numbers of fields of any type.
- Google Maps integration.
The WP Amortization Calculator is a special calculator add on that can be used for mortgages and other kinds of amortized loan.
This plugin is a great tool for any real estate website and can easily be inserted onto a page, or used as a widget.
The design is clean and simple and fits nicely into WordPress themes of all shapes and sizes.
This calculator can also be used as a lead capture device (you can ask to send a report to visitors email) and an educational tool for visitors to see the costs involved in obtaining a home mortgage.
Real Estate Pro is a paid property listing plugin you can add to your WordPress website.
In a nutshell, this premium plugin enables you to add listings, sell properties, manage customer reviews, and more.
This plugin also lets visitors to your website place bids on properties, as well as contacting the property owners, and joining up to your list if they want valuable insights and updates.
Real Estate Pro also comes fully responsive and can be integrated with services such as MailChimp, PayPal, Stripe, and more.
It also includes a visual composer you can get your property listings up quick smart and complete your real estate website.
3.Make Sure Your Real Estate Website Is User-Friendly
It’s all well and good to install a real estate theme and add a few plugins.
But according to HubSpot there are also some basic rules and principles that every successful real estate website should adhere to.
After all, the goal of a real estate website should be to either capture a lead, or have a lead get in touch with the real estate agent.
On that note, here are five bonus tips to consider when creating a real estate website:
1.Ensure The Website Is Easy To Navigate And Explore
The simple truth is, if a website is too confusing or overwhelming for someone when they land, it’s more likely they will bounce from the page.
That’s why it’s important to keep the site navigation as clean and simple as possible.
Something as basic as having the main points of interest as menu items at the top of the page – with other less important pages coming under sub-menus… will declutter the page and make a huge difference.
Another tip is to make sure your menu is visible no matter what page the user navigates to.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive menu plugin for your real estate website, you can’t go past UberMenu.
2.Set Up A Simple Lead Capture And Contact Flow
It’s vital to ensure a real estate website can easily capture visitor information.
Most real estate websites will have “lead magnets” like market reports and other helpful guides (for home buyers or sellers) that visitors can download.
Also remember to include a simple contact page or form on the home page.
Another tool many real estate websites use now is “chatbots.”
Chatbots are a great way to help qualify visitors and establish what their needs are.
They’re also a great way to improve user experience and assist them with any problems or questions they might have.
ChatBot for WordPress is a great option if you’re looking for a chatbot plugin.
3.Make Sure Your Real Estate Website Is Responsive
We’ve known for a while now that real estate (along with every other industry) is moving online.
But it’s not just online…
It’s at the gym…
It’s at the mechanics…
It’s in our pockets at all times!
Another crucial element is making sure a real estate website is responsive.
This means the screen will adapt to fit no matter what the user is using – whether it be on a tablet or a mobile phone.
In fact, a lot of businesses are taking a “mobile first” approach, making sure their websites are designed for mobile first and then designing their websites for laptops and tablets.
Although most real estate themes are already responsive, if you’re looking for a mobile response plugin try: AMP for WordPress.
4.Apply User Content And Resource Functionality
As mentioned earlier, offering downloadable content can be a great way for a real estate website to capture leads and provide value for potential sellers or buyers.
As well as downloadable guides and reports, you may want to consider setting up blog functionality on the website to enable the user to post regular articles for their audience.
Providing valuable and helpful content is also a great way to establish authority and show the owner of the website is a thought leader in his or her industry.
As a bonus, posting regular content on a website helps improve SEO (search engine optimization) and a website’s Google search rankings.
5.Use High Quality Imagery and Video
When it comes to real estate websites the old adage “show don’t tell” couldn’t be more true.
That’s why it’s crucial a real estate website uses high quality photos and videos for its home listings.
Video especially has taken off in the real estate world, with virtual tours of the property and drone footage becoming a norm for real estate listing videos
This doesn’t only apply to listings…
The imagery, design, copy, and layout of the rest of the website should also be on point and reflect the brand.
Also remember that high quality images and videos also have the potential to slow a website down.
So it’s important to make sure you optimize all images for optimal page loading speed.
Well whaddaya know… we’ve got our own plugin for that!
Use Smush if you need help optimizing your high quality images. Check out how it works below:
Ready To Create A Kickass Real Estate Website Of Your Own?
To sum up:
If you want to create a real estate website in WordPress that gets results:
If your website requires more functionality use plugins to fill in the gaps.
The themes and plugins you choose will largely depend on the type of real estate website you’re setting up and what the owner wishes to achieve.
And finally, remember to consider the practical elements a real estate website should include.
Ensure optimal functionality for elements like lead capture forms, chat bots, blog pages, high quality photos and videos etc.
Also feel free to fire through any of your real estate website questions in the comments, our team of experts are always on hand to help!