Tips to Make Your Online Realtor Business Better
A realtor business that is going online requires several things from its owners. First, no matter the size of your company, your site should be designed such that it shows professionalism: well-designed and user-friendly. That's where real estate website templates can make all the difference - they create the idea of a design you trust (essentially, if your site looks beautiful, then your company is trustworthy).
Second, the site should use the latest web standards, web design trends and make sure the site provides a top-notch user experience. Otherwise, how will people believe that your business is a professional enterprise?
The look and feel of a real estate website are what matters the most.
When it comes to web design, there are two options (custom or ready-made design). But, is a custom design a feasible choice?
In reality, going with a pre-made WordPress template has significant advantages, that makes a custom design becomes too heavy a choice. There's one perfect analogy between a realtor business and online business: both of them need to react quickly to trends.
The environment changes quickly, but clients will always demand quality.
There are several key advantages to using a pre-built property website templates when launching your realtor business online.
Ready-Made Real Estate WordPress Templates
But why should you opt for ready-made WordPress themes?
Quite a few reasons. Here's why:
If you go with an established template provider, like TemplateMonster (we use their themes as examples for this article) you can be sure that all the latest web standards are followed. Themes are built using the latest HTML5 and CSS3 with the code being clean and as simple as possible.
But simple does not mean that these products are not feature-rich.
The groundwork has been laid for detailed customization and some pretty neat stuff, like parallax scrolling, animated image sliders, bundled page-builders and whatever else you require for your site.
One of the most popular myths about pre-built real-estate agency website templates is that they are not customizable. Using such a theme will result in a "cookie-cutter' design, looking exactly like a hundred other property businesses online.
This is a real fear, right? Well, we can put your mind at rest about this. These days, pre-made templates offer a huge degree of customization, down to the smallest details.
You can change button designs, menus, switch panels around, mess around with colors and palette, and, of course, change all of the imagery. You can vary the layouts, the columns, the widgets, the fonts, and everything else.
Using such plugins as page builders, you can even create a design using literally, drag and drop functionality (read our review of Elementor to learn more).
Invest some time into learning all about this process and what you'll achieve is a result that looks nothing like any other property agency websites on the internet. Always make sure you pick a trusted web designer, like for example, ourselves :-)
A custom WordPress design could easily burn a hole in your pocket. Software development services don't come cheap. Good developers are in high demand and that means, the price of services goes up.
Picking the right freelance designer, explaining to them what is it you want to see, waiting for the result and then discovering that it is not what you were after can suck up a lot of your resources.
It's all-time, money and energy-consuming. A custom design can cost upwards of $20,000.
And in such high-octane business as a property online agency, you'll want those resources used in a more profitable task.
A pre-made real-estate website template costs just under a hundred bucks and more importantly, you know what you buy right from the very beginning: with the live demos of themes you can always look at the design in action.
When you are designing your website and stuff to starts to go wrong or you get stuck, you need somebody to have your back. Vendors such as TemplateMonster offer an excellent support structure.
Those guys are there for you 24/7, ready to help you with all and any of the problems you may encounter.
Stuck on the installation? Something not working quite as you expected? Want to change something but you're not sure how? Just call or get in touch with the support team and they will take it from them. Works like a charm, every single time.
Most of these real-estate WordPress themes are planned to cater to many common features and functions so most of the products which are featured here will have the following functions built-in:
- Customization of various aspects of the theme/design
- WPML and translation-ready
- Parallax support
- Designed using HTML5 and CSS3
- Portfolio ready
- Compatible with popular page builders
- GDPR compliant
- Multiple widgets available
When opting to work with a popular vendor, common functionality will be part and parcel of the product you buy.
Now that we've seen the top reasons why you should opt for a ready-made theme, let's go through 21 things you can use to make your realtor business a perfect design example on the internet.
Here are our choices of the best realtor website templates.
Beautiful websites sell - there is no doubt about that. If you portray the house you want to sell as beautiful by featuring photographs taken professionally, by somebody who has the eye for it, your sales pitch is 50% done!
Beautiful imagery sells - and when the potential clients come to see the property, they are already almost sold.
Undoubtedly, using Divi to power the property site you want to sell is one of the best choices you can make. It allows you to create an eye-catching layout for your design. The great thing is you don't need to know the nitty-gritty of designing and coding to design a beautiful estate website.
With Divi, you can find tons of different features including a visual builder that allows you to create almost any kind of layouts you can imagine - all without touching a line of code.
The theme also has ready-made layouts, so you don't even have to do any design yourself. Just import the ready-made layout, tweak it to your needs and you're good to go!
The theme has already been used hundreds of thousands of times to create beautiful property sites - you can see a few great examples here.
Read CollectiveRay's complete Divi theme review by clicking the link.
2. Your Design Should Sell Aspirations
A realtor's business is based on selling aspirations, hopes and making dreams come true. When people seek a new house to buy or rent, they often want to change their lifestyle for the better, too.
Implementing that kind of feeling in your website's design may be a powerful tool in inspiring your clients. Thing is, if you manage to inspire them, that's it: people always go with what inspires them.
Look at this property agency website template for a feel of how this design approach could be implemented. It's simplistic and minimal, yes, but the faded out photos in the background, the white icons and a touch of bright yellow are a sum greater than its parts.
3. Keep It Simple
Finding and researching property for sale should not be complex.
A house is an essential asset, and the procedure to find, decide and buy a house is already a complex undertaking.
So if you can make it simple for your potential client to research a few properties in an easy way, your client will feel that much better. That's why overcomplicating your pages with unnecessary information is bad for business.
People look for simplicity, easy and fully accessible user-experience, with simple usage and the short, succinct descriptions, letting the imagery do the talking. That's why going in for a minimal look is a sound choice.
Minimal design is a trend for the last several years. It's not merely a coincidence that this trend has stayed current.
People desperately want simple, unintrusive experiences in this age of information overload. Thing is, people are busy, they don't have the patience to "figure it out" and the simpler your site is, the higher the chance someone will spend their time browsing it. The tricky part is not making it too simple, and not sacrificing essential information.
Look at this apartment template to see how to do it the right way.
4. A Cover Photo Is Worth a 1000 Words
If you want to make a lasting impression, a huge cover photo of the best feature of the property in the header of your website is probably your best option. That way people will be able to imagine themselves lying on that bed and those sofas, standing on those balconies and having a snack inside the living rooms you're selling.
They can immediately make it their own.
This approach is even better if you use an animated image slider. This way the cover photo will switch every few seconds. See the Comfort4U theme by TemplateMonster to look at such an approach in action.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Be Different
Just like we said before, quite a lot of websites, even property businesses online tend to fall into the trap of following an established design. This happens to the extent that they start to look pretty much identical to each other.
If you feel brave enough to opt for something more left-field, it gives you the chance to stand out from the crowd and appeal to the young, modern-thinking and forward-looking customers.
One way to do that is to keep the information on your main page minimal. Go with a large typeface, juxtapositioned on a high definition image. This poster-like design instantly evokes feelings of cinematic grandiose and futuristic pathos.
This pre-built real estate WordPress template shows the advantages of this approach in action.
6. Choose Appropriate Buttons and CTAs That People Will Want to Press
One way to make your realtor WordPress website more presentable and engaging is choosing a Call To Action design and building the website's image from it. Consider your CTA buttons to be the groundwork of everything else.
Smart CTA button placement can be the cornerstone of your design like it is in the template depicted below.
Divide the information into clearly defined categories and assign big, juicy, animated buttons to each of them. The results will speak for themselves. Your visitors will be compelled to take action.
7. People Want You to Show Them the Way — Use a Map
A crucial difference between property agencies online business and every other business on the internet is that you're dealing not just in realty, but in reality.
What you're selling is real, it exists, it's tangible: people can look at it and they can touch it and they can obviously live in it. After all, it's a house, a home.
Utilising that feeling of realness can be a powerful way to compel people to take action and visit the property - where you can then make your pitch.
So one tip on how to do make this easier for your visitors is by using a map on your site.
Show your customers the location of your apartments, or whatever other property you are selling on a map and you'll hit two birds with one stone. Firstly, your clients will instantly understand the neighbourhood they'll be living in, the notable places around and where they might be spending their evenings, their days - their life!
It's not only useful for your clients, but it's also a powerful way to advertise your offers: people will start imagining their lives in those neighborhoods, picking their jogging routes and locating the nearest points of interest. They can start imagining it, and it'll be hard for them to drop that image from their heads.
Secondly, it's that "real feel" that makes all the difference. Locating a property on a map instantly sends a signal that "this is really happening". The property doesn't exist in a vacuum but it is right here in a city — and that makes the client excited to check it out asap.
With a property WordPress template like Template Monster's Apartments, it's easier than ever before to place a map on your website. The support for a map plugin is bundled in and you can go for a map in the header of your page. It's a great approach: a huge interactive map improves the user experience significantly.
The result will stand out from the crowd. And you're much more likely to close that sale.
8. Put Images in the Spotlight
There's a natural pulling power in images.
It's not just a question of people enjoying looking at them. Studies show that the internet is becoming more and more image-centric, so maybe paying special attention to the usage of images on your pages is kind of essential.
And as the saying goes:
"An image is worth a thousand words".
This is especially true when you're launching a realtor online business website.
People want to know what their future home will look like before they commit and check it out in real life. That's why photos and images are a great way to make your design better. A great photo is pleasing to the eye in a way that not many of the things are.
But the most important thing is how useful it is for your clients. They will not forget it a great looking image!
A great pre-built WordPress template can use images and photos stunningly.
For example, look at the Perfect Rent theme by TemplateMonster below. You can immediately notice the handcrafted structure of the image placement on the main page of this real estate website theme.
9. Be Ready to Speak Many Languages
No matter what the Brexiters (is that a word?) say, these days the world is 100% globalized. And with the world, so is its economy.
People are relocating from one country to another, much more often than ever before. Some of them may even not know the language, and still make the move — but they still want to buy or rent a house for themselves. After all, everybody needs a home.
Notice a business opportunity? Or even something which can differentiate your website from that of your competitors?
That's right: launching a version of your website in another language (or various languages even) is a great way to attract customers and enlarge your client base. If you're going with WordPress, the WPML plugin (which we have reviewed here) is your best option. With it, it's easy to launch a version of your site in Spanish or German — whatever language you think will be in demand in your area.
A lot of TemplateMonster's themes support WPML right out of the box. For example, the one depicted below will look just in good in any other language as it looks in English.
10. Keep up with the Trends
If you're not in the know, there's a lot of, what feels like, complicated words thrown around the Web niche these days.
Flat design. Responsiveness. Parallax scrolling. Negative space.
Behind them stands a philosophy of design that believes that a website should not be a simple tool: it should also look gorgeous while doing its job.
A WordPress property site's design should look stunning. Not because it's trendy, but because your customers will want to feel impressed while choosing a property or home. With the help of parallax design, an animated image slider, you can achieve a stunning look that feels great in action.
Just look at the RealEstate24 website template that you can buy right now at TemplateMonster. It's a combination of complicated technology the result of which speaks for itself.
11. Search Engines are your Best Friend
There are literally billions of websites on the internet. With each day there, millions more come online.
Even the most obscure niche will have thousands of websites, so a high-demand business such as that of a realtor, and property will have plenty of competition to contend with. There are hundreds of thousands of websites dealing in property on the internet. Even if your neck of the woods, there are properly hundreds, even thousands.
Some of them are old, established and popular. And this makes it hard to compete against them.
To break through the noise and find your customers you have to pay attention to good SEO - "Search Engine Optimization".
SEO is the process of optimizing your site for search engines. This means investing time, energy and money to get a good ranking position on the Google search result pages for relevant queries.
The more effort you put into SEO, the higher you'll be eventually on the search result pages. Google searches are the primary way people find information and stuff they need on the internet.
So you'll want to be as high on its results list as possible.
Thankfully, Template Monster's real estate website themes are already SEO-friendly, so you have nothing to worry about. The one depicted below comes with search engine optimization on board: time + money = saved.
12. Color Schemes Can Work in Your Favour
A carefully chosen color palette can attract a lot of customers all on its own.
After all, it's no secret that a lot of the people are visual-thinking. Their first impression which is achieved through the site's design, which includes the color palette will make or break their experience with your website. A good design that uses both complementary and contrasting colors will stand out from the crowd.
Contrast is one way to achieve a striking color palette - but leave that for areas you want to attract attention too.
For the rest, pick to colors that compliment each other.
For example, go to the apartment template, pictured below ($75). Its usage of white combined with several careful touches of red is outstanding.
The color is balanced in a nice, pleasant way, keeping the attention on the content, while still having an excellent, trustworthy design — just what an online realtor business needs.
13. Readability is Key
Every other tip we've mentioned so far will fall flat if your website is hard to read.
People who have spent hours if not days reading various descriptions of properties and comparing them will get annoyed with small to read typefaces and weird fonts.
Large fonts, with good line-spacing and easy, common typography will do lots of good to your website. Easy to read text has a subtle positive effect on the visitor.
Often the best way to achieve great readability it to go for a classic combination of a dark gray text on a simple white background. The Real7 property website template by TemplateMonster ($75) is a great example of how simple it can be to browse such a website.
14. Put Social Media Front and Center
More and more, your client's lives are happening on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit... that's why your realty business must have a strong social media presence.
Placing social buttons right on top of your main page is a great choice. Whether you like to or not, expect customers to send your requests and inquiries via social media. So besides giving them the link to your social media before they start looking for it.
And make sure your social media messaging platforms are manned and ready to accept queries.
As for your template, make sure it caters well for such a scenario.
This pre-built WordPress Apartments for Rent or Rentals theme ($75) by TemplateMonster is a great example of using social media buttons to frame the entire website. They are not intrusive, but it's impossible to visit your website and without noticing them.
15. Have a Detail to be Remembered
One of the most popular business advice you'll find is on how to make your customer approach more personal, intimate and memorable with careful attention to detail. In offline property marketing, experts recommend putting bright flowers or a nice toy inside the apartment you're selling to catch people's attention.
This is a neat trick, because it makes the property look homely, lived in and attractive.
However, we're speaking about online property marketing.
To be memorable on the internet, choose a simple detail that no one else has and go with it. A great touch would be a short simple video showing your typical client doing a home visit and being thrilled with the property. This is something everybody can relate to.
The Loans and Mortgages pre-made WordPress template ($75) does the attention to detail with a great opening image - below is somebody handing over the key to your home, but you can find your image which tells a similar story.
16. Build Around a Slogan That Is Worth Believing
Sometimes a lot of information can be misleading. In real-estate business, selling a property often comes with speaking out one perfect phrase. One perfect phrase is the only thing that stands between you and closing the deal.
Don't waste time writing long wordy descriptions of what you're offering and why you're different. Instead, choose a slogan and build your design around it. That way, your website will be a powerful call to action.
This pre-made apartment WordPress theme ($75) was built with that approach in mind. Look at the slogan in the middle of the main page, smartly put on a bright orange background that instantly catches the eye.
A company with such a promise is worth following.
17. Use a Responsive Design
We live in a universe where a lot of people use their smartphones as the primary means to browse the web.
As various researches show, sometimes their phone is the main or the only device they experience the web with. Many of these will want to buy themselves a house or rent an apartment — all on the go. You need to be 100% sure that you can cater well to this segment of the market.
That's why making the website of your property agency business, responsive is a must.
Responsiveness means that your website template adapts to the size of the screen on the fly — essentially the content is split into a grid-like structure that flows depending of the device being used to access it.
The most important quality of responsiveness is its continuity. Your website will look different on a Retina MacBook and a smaller screen of an Android phone, that's a given. However, your website must not only look good on both of those screens, but it also has to offer a similar visual experience.
Thankfully, these days practically all of TemplateMonster's designs come in with responsive design built-in. For example, look at the Oblia theme ($75) on a large screen (below) and a smaller phone screen.
18. Show Them What You've Got
One of the most common mistakes among property agencies online is not showing what they are offering front and center. Your website should be pleasant to look at, right, and well balanced as well, but think about it — what's the most important information you can share with your customers right away?
It's the price (or price range) of a property. Putting up listings on the main page and showing their prices will instantly engage your clients. It will also avoid any surprises or disappointment.
For an example on how to do it right, look at the Laguna Seca pre-built WordPress template which can be bought for $75:
19. Make Your Customers Speak for You
Sometimes hearing a friendly voice who is satisfied with their results is just the tipping point you need. That's why putting a testimonials section on your main page can be a great way to rapidly increase your business and close rate.
The science behind it is easy. People don't like the uncertainty of buying something from somebody with whom they don't have a relationship. Providing positive comments by satisfied customers will dampen some of that uncertainty.
This template illustrates a great way to put a testimonials section on the main page of your WordPress real estate website ($75).
20. People Believe People with E-A-T
E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trust) is a term used in the SEO industry to assert that a website and it's owners / authors have the expertise, authority and trust to speak about the subject matter (in this case property).
EAT can be asserted well through a detail About Us page. Go the whole nine yards with this and make it visible why you guys should be trusted above the rest. Achievements, years of experience, awards, education are all factors that can be mentioned.
After all, people want a more personal approach, even when they are buying or browsing properties on the internet. Telling them about yourself is a great way to establish that personal connection.
The 4Rent pre-built realtor website template ($75) by TemplateMonster does the job with a two-column section in the lower part of the main page. That way, your clients will be able to learn who you are quickly and they'll see that you have nothing to hide.
21. Don't Forget About the Newsletter
Keeping your clients up-to-date with a weekly newsletter is a great way to interact with your customers. In a newsletter, you can share valuable information with your subscribers so you can earn their trust. With trust earned, you can then provide them with your best deals and push your latest offers.
Newsletters help those clients that don't have the time to regularly browse your website in search of the latest deals, or those who tend to forget (as most of us do). With a newsletter, you keep the customer aware of the latest listings.
Putting a newsletter subscription field on the main page is really important.
If it is not visible many people will ignore it. Ideally, you share with them something which is valuable to them in exchange for their email so that you get more subscribers.
This WordPress real estate website theme ($75) offers a perfect example of placing a newsletter block on the main page: it doesn't steal the spotlight, but it's there to help.
Real Estate WordPress Themes
We've taken the time and effort to pick the best premium WordPress themes from ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, ThemeFuse and other vendors for realty web design projects - hope you will find some of these useful for your next property-based web design project!
Check out a few of the best products below.
1. Real homes
Real homes is one of the most popular WordPress themes for realtor websites and for good reason! It has a nice, clean design and it comes fully loaded with lots of features like
- Responsive layout powered by Bootstrap
- Advanced Search for property,
- Google Map with property location markers,
- simple & grid listing,
- user login & registration,
- front end property submission & editing,
- payment integration with PayPal,
- Visual Composer Page Builder Plugin,
- dsIDXpress IDX Plugin support,
- WPML plugin support,
- custom widgets,
- various templates,
- easy theme options,
- easy to use meta-boxes, Google reCAPTCHA support
and lots more. If you want to stop your search before even starting: this is the theme for you!
Realia is a fully responsive Realtor and Rental Portal template for WordPress based on BootStrap.
You can create a property portal in really easily with Realia since it supports the dsIDXpress WordPress plugin and the new WP Theme customization API, which allows you to make design changes in real-time!
The theme has 20 colors variations, 10 background patterns, 3 header setups, and boxed or full-width versions so you can easily match the brand colors you are looking for.
Since the theme is based on Bootstrap, you know that it is fully responsive for all types of devices - of course on the major things you'll need to look out for in a theme these days.
3. WP Residence
WP Residence is a theme designed for property agents and agencies.
Using this theme to power your WordPress real estate website you can allow people to submit their properties for free, for a fee or based on a monthly subscription. It has a really clean user-friendly design, and it features options like:
- Properties Advanced Search (with custom fields and dynamic search URL),
- Google Maps with property location markers (managed from admin),
- Ajax Filters for Properties list,
- user login & register with white-labeled dashboard (no WordPress reference),
- front end property submit & edit,
- payment integration with PayPal and Stripe for Credit Card Payments,
- Visual Composer Page Builder Plugin,
- dsIDXpress IDX Plugin support,
- WPML plugin support,
- custom widgets for realtors,
- colors controls,
- various Advanced Search and header options,
- easy theme options,
and many more. This WordPress theme has an extremely good rating, and it won't be a long time before it becomes one of the most popular themes of all time. Of course, it's also FULLY responsive and RETINA ready.
ElegantEstate essentially turns your WordPress website into a full-featured property website. The theme makes browsing your listings really easily and adds special integration features for property info, photos, Google Maps and more. The search feature is really simple to use and is, of course, an essential feature in any site that contains a significant amount of listed properties.
Incidentally, if you love the stuff from ElegantThemes, you might want to have a look at CollectiveRay's Divi review and our Divi vs Avada showdown! While if you're a fan of Avada, we've also reviewed that here.
If rather than being an estate agent, you just want to create a website for a particular piece of property you want to sell, you'll need to find a real estate WordPress theme that focuses specifically on a single piece of property.
Solus allows you to do just that - focus specifically on a single piece of property and make it the showcase of your website.
This specific theme has a number of good things going on
- Demo Content is included so that your theme matches the live preview!
- Unlimited Color Schemes that are easy to customize from a front-end color picker
- Retina Support: Solus is optimized for high-resolution displays like the Macbook Pro with Retina Display, iPhones and iPads
- Responsive Layout: Looks great on any device!
- Video Documentation with a detailed written help file
- Translation Ready: Translate to any language easily.
- Built using HTML5 Boilerplate for a fast, robust and future-proof site!
- Photoshop Files Included
Homeland is a responsive and retina ready with a minimalist approach, flat clean design and clean. It is a great solution for realty professionals and agencies working in the property domain.
It includes features that make it very easy to not only add property listings to your site but also organize and categorize them in the ways which make sense for the potential clients. It also has two theme layout (fullwidth and boxed style).
ThemeFuse templates may seem a little bit pricey when compared to other templates but really and truly, you don't need to think much about the price when going for this template.
This is because this template will put that professional touch to your property website. It is very very different in style from what we've shown so far, in that it looks like a graphical dashboard rather than a website. For example, the pricing of properties is done via a nice slider, whilst the switches look very realistic, just like real switches rather than "web switches".
A lot of attention has been given to the small details in this theme - it shows that a lot of thought has gone into designing and developing this theme.
This is of course besides the other features available in the theme
- 4 color pre-made styles
- Specific property details as necessary
- The awesome slider
- A search module for properties
- Multiple and easy to change backgrounds
- Properties integrated into Maps
- Fully responsive and retina ready
- Advanced SEO options built-in
- Can be fully white-labeled
Go on - have a look at the...
If rather than specifically for real-estate you want to feature architecture or you want your real-estate website to feature architecture strongly, we have you covered too!
Architecture is a theme designed especially for an industry that needs a minimalistic design with a feel of an ‘Architect’. The good thing about this theme is that it comes with a very powerful administration panel. You can control almost every element colour via this panel. This theme is designed with 1140GS and looks good with screens that have a very large resolution such as those larger than 1280px. It still also looks very good on smaller screens since the theme is fully responsive.
Which WordPress Real Estate website template do you like best? Is there anything else which you like? We'd love to hear from you? Please do share it with us below.
Please leave a useful comment with your thoughts, then share this on your Facebook group(s) who would find this useful and let's reap the benefits together. Thank you for sharing and being nice!