The number of premade WordPress themes has exploded in recent years, with options now available for end clients in every sector. Most web development agencies have the capacity and expertise needed to custom build their own WordPress theme around a client’s specific needs. But, for smaller agencies lacking development experience and capacity, reaching for an off-the-shelf theme might be tempting. This is especially the case in real estate site builds, which typically have a high level of complexity. The prospect of building such a site from scratch can be daunting for a small agency and this is something that we at White Label Agency know well. We’ve worked with over 600 digital marketing agencies of all sizes, and have insight into their experiences in selecting custom vs premade WordPress themes for real estate. We’d like to share these with you so your agency can make a well-informed decision in selecting a theme for your next real estate site build.
The necessity of real estate themes
In WordPress, themes set the look and function of a website. The unique requirements of real estate websites necessitate highly specialized themes:
Function: Real estate websites are relatively complex, incorporating a high degree of functionality. They commonly include a large number of templates, API integration to the MLS listings database, map integration, search functions, advanced picture galleries, loan calculators, etc. Clients must be able to effortlessly manage some of this functionality, such as adding and editing property listings, editing search options, and using map integrations.
Usability: An intuitively designed website with seamless navigation fosters trust and credibility among potential clients. Real estate websites that present difficulties for users ultimately result in fewer bidders on listings and lower sales. Real estate themes must be built with this in mind, ensuring visitors can easily browse listings, explore property details, and contact agents without hassle.
Visual Appeal: In the fiercely competitive real estate market, standing out from the crowd is vital. With visually striking designs and interactive elements, real estate websites must make a memorable first impression and entice visitors to explore. In this industry, visitor time on site converts strongly to leads and sales. Developing a WordPress theme with the inherent power to attract potential clients is key.
Premade real estate themes for WordPress
When it comes to top-notch WordPress themes for real estate websites, the following three gems stand out in the crowd: Houzez, Real Homes, and WP Residence. Let’s explore the distinctive features and functionalities that make these themes shine.
Houzez: One of its standout features is the advanced property search options, allowing visitors to find their dream properties effortlessly. With customizable property listing templates, real estate agents can showcase listings in a visually captivating manner, capturing the attention of potential buyers. Houzez also seamlessly integrates with maps, ensuring clients can easily explore property locations, nearby amenities, and neighborhoods, making informed decisions. Additionally, the theme offers support for IDX (Internet Data Exchange) integration, enabling real-time MLS (Multiple Listing Service) data display. For an agency aiming to provide a dynamic and user-friendly platform, Houzez emerges as an excellent choice.
Real Homes: This theme boasts a clean and modern design, making property search a breeze for website visitors. The customizable property detail pages enable agencies to showcase each listing’s unique features in an attractive and engaging manner. Real Homes also understands the significance of real estate agents in the buying process, offering agent profiles that foster trust and rapport with potential clients. The integration of advanced search options further refines property searches, allowing users to filter listings based on specific criteria, such as price range, location, and property type. Moreover, the mortgage calculator feature empowers clients to make well-informed financial decisions. With RTL (right-to-left) language support, Real Homes extends its reach to international markets, making it an excellent option for a diverse client base.
WP Residence: The theme provides multiple homepage layouts, ensuring versatility and uniqueness in design choices. Property comparison tools allow users to weigh different listings side by side, simplifying the decision-making process. The integration of virtual tour options allows potential buyers to experience properties as if they were physically present, further enhancing user engagement. With front-end property submission forms, WP Residence empowers clients to take an active role in listing their properties, streamlining the content creation process. Additionally, the theme offers a robust agent management system, enabling agencies to efficiently manage their teams and their respective listings. With a focus on scalability, WP Residence ensures that real estate websites can evolve and grow along with their business aspirations.
Custom vs Pre-built theme
Benefits of Pre-Built themes
For small development agencies, pre-built WordPress themes for real estate offer a host of advantages that cannot be ignored. Firstly, these themes are cost-effective and save a significant amount of time compared to custom development. With pre-built themes, you don’t have to start from scratch, as they come ready with functionalities tailored specifically for real estate websites. This streamlined approach allows you to allocate your resources efficiently and deliver projects within shorter timelines.
The wide variety of pre-built themes available is another key advantage. You can choose from a diverse range of designs and features, ensuring your clients get a website that resonates perfectly with their target audience. These themes often come with specialized functionalities, such as advanced property search, map integration, and property comparison tools, enriching the user experience for potential buyers.
Advantages of custom themes
While pre-built themes offer numerous benefits, custom themes hold a special place in fulfilling specific client requirements. One of the most significant advantages of custom themes is the complete control they provide over design and functionality. With custom development, you can modify every aspect of the website to perfectly align with your client’s vision and branding. This level of customization fosters a unique and memorable online presence, setting your clients apart from competitors.
Custom themes also address the unique business needs of your clients. Whether it’s integrating specific third-party tools, implementing a custom property listing layout, or incorporating niche functionalities, a custom-built theme allows you to cater to individual preferences precisely. Scalability is another key benefit of custom themes. As your client’s business grows, a custom-built website can easily accommodate future enhancements and features. Unlike pre-built themes, which may have limitations in terms of customization and extensibility, custom themes can adapt and evolve alongside your client’s expanding business goals.
At WLA, we understand the importance of offering personalized solutions to our real estate clients. While pre-built themes may be suitable for some projects, our preference for custom-built themes stems from the desire to craft unique, high-performing websites that exceed expectations. By carefully assessing each client’s needs and goals, we can create tailor-made solutions that leave a lasting impression on their target audience, driving business success and growth.
Lastly, a custom-made theme is safer and guarantees stability.
“A custom-built theme will do exactly what you planned it to, and it will not be affected in the same way by external components and thereby become outdated. As opposed to purchasing a premade theme, which carries the risk of the manufacturer discontinuing updates, causing potential issues with WordPress and plugin updates.”-Says Einar, CEO of The White Label Agency.
What’s best for real estate clients: Custom or Pre-Built?
When it comes to WordPress themes for real estate clients, choosing the right approach is crucial. Specialized real estate themes offer unique functionalities that enhance the user experience and attract potential clients effectively. While prebuilt themes may seem appealing initially, custom-built themes provide unparalleled stability and independence. Custom themes offer complete control over design and functionality, ensuring a unique online presence that aligns perfectly with clients’ branding and vision.
At The White Label Agency, we firmly believe in the power of custom solutions. We have worked with over 600 clients, delivering over 10,000 websites and we have extensive experience in delivering sites for real estate and many other niche industries. Our guarantees on timeliness and our eagerness to exceed expectations are what sets us apart in the competitive market of WordPress outsourcing. If you are looking for an outsourcer for a real estate website development project, or for ongoing site maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact our sales team.