In this review, we introduce you to a new feature of the popular TheGem WordPress…
If you need to build a website for a real estate agent, then the EstateMLS WordPress theme could be just what you are looking for.
This theme makes it easy to add properties to your website and then display them to your visitors. All of the listings on your site can then be easily filtered by your visitors, helping them find exactly what they are looking for.
The EstateMLS real estate theme also features an appearance inspired by Google’s material design guidelines. This will help to give your website a modern and professional look, should you decide to use this theme. This WordPress theme also includes a few premium plugins, adding some nice features to your website, while also saving you some money in the process.
If you need to create a website that can list real estate properties, complete with a professional design, the EstateMLS WordPress is well worth checking out. To find out exactly what this theme has to offer, read on for our hands-on review.
Features of the EstateMLS Real Estate WordPress Theme
The EstateMLS theme has all the features that you will need to create a modern and fully functioning real estate website. With this theme installed on your WordPress site, you will be able to create and publish as many property listings as you need, complete with photos, property details, and plenty of other useful information that will help you to promote those properties.
In this section of the review, we will now explore the best features of this WordPress real estate theme in more detail.
Property Custom Post Types
To ensure that you are able to add properties to your website in a standardized manner, the EstateMLS theme makes use of custom post types and custom fields to store and publish this data.
The Property custom post type includes a number of custom fields that make it clear exactly where each piece of information about the property should be entered, when creating a new listing. The contents of these custom fields are then published, along with the main listing description, on the frontend of your website.
These custom fields are also used to further enhance the search functionality of your website; making it easier for your visitors to find the exact type of property, they are interested in buying or renting. When creating a property listing, you can also mark it as a featured or hot property in order to help it stand out on your site.
User Submitted Property Listings
This real estate WordPress theme also gives your visitors the chance to submit their own property listings. Therefore, if you enable this feature, you can accept submissions from your readers, all through a front end form. You can then decide whether to approve these submissions or not, and add them to your site.
Attractive Property Listing Pages
With the EstateMLS theme, the template for publishing the listings on your website is very attractive. The listings page can include a large featured image to help promote the property, a gallery of photos, an overall rating of the listing, space for a Google Map highlighting the location of the property, information about the agent handling the property, and a selection of related listings your visitors might be interested in.
Each of the listings on the site can also include a contact form that allows your visitors to get in touch, regarding the property listing they are currently looking at.
MLS Multiple Listing Service Integration
As the name of this theme suggests, your WordPress website can be integrated with the Multiple Listing Service Listings (MLS) system.
This means that you can display real estate listings from the MLS service, directly on your website. These listings can also be filtered to ensure they are relevant to your target audience, helping you to build a valuable online real estate resource.
The plugin supported by this theme for adding this integration to your WordPress website is the dsIDXpress IDX Plugin. While this plugin is free, displaying the data from the MLS isn’t and you will need a premium account to gain full access. However, you are free to try the plugin using the provided demo data.
Although this integration is available with the EstateMLS theme, you are of course free to add your own listings to your site, rather than importing them from the MLS service. It’s also possible to combine these two modes to display both types of listing – it’s really up to you.
Detailed Listings Searching
Making it as easy as possible for your visitors to filter your listings, in order to display the type of properties they are looking for, is one of the main objectives of a good real estate website, at least when it comes to improving the user experience.
Thankfully, the EstateMLS theme includes a robust search tool that will allow your visitors to filter your listings by type, location, price, size, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. The results can then be displayed in a list, or on an interactive Google Map. The latter option solves another problem that homebuyers often face, and that is determining exactly where a potential property is located.
If viewing the Google Map, clicking on a location marker takes the visitor to the individual property listing on your website. They can then find out more about that property and get in touch with the agent allocated to it, or return to the listings to explore the other options.
Real Estate Shortcodes
The EstateMLS theme ships with some custom shortcodes. You will find these shortcodes useful when creating your website and adding new content to it. Amongst these shortcodes, you will find easy ways to display your latest properties, list the featured properties, display testimonials, and publish your latest news content, plus a few more options.
The real estate shortcodes have been integrated into the Visual Composer tool – which is included in this theme package – giving you an easy way to insert them into your posts and pages. When the post or page is published, the shortcode is replaced with the corresponding content, such as a list of featured properties from your database.
When it comes to the appearance of this real estate theme, its developers have followed the philosophy of material design by Google. This is a style of design that Google has made popular through their own online services, including the Android mobile operating system.
The benefits of making use of a design style that has been created by one of the biggest companies in the world is that your website will feature a tried and tested appearance that will immediately be familiar to your visitors – or at least those that use any Google apps or services.
This means that your website will feel non-threatening and have a foundation that your users should already by well acquainted with, helping them to start interacting with your site right away. However, as this WordPress theme provides plenty of scope for customizing the appearance of your site, you are still able to add your own personality to the material design concept, in order to help your website stand out from the crowd and create a memorable impression on your visitors.
Prebuilt Page Templates
As well as the individual property listings pages and the search results templates, the EstateMLS theme includes a few other prebuilt page templates for you to use.
This includes an attractive contact us page. This template includes an interactive Google Map, which displays the location of your office. There’s also space to list your physical address, with a contact form that makes it easy for your visitors to send you or your agents a message.
The about us page is another useful template. While this page can be customized to meet your needs, the default configuration includes space for information about your services, profiles of your agents, and client and customer testimonials.
These and the other prebuilt templates available, help to save you time, while also ensuring that your website has a consistent and uniform look throughout.
Visual Composer Page Builder Plugin
As mentioned earlier, the EstateMLS theme includes the commercial Visual Composer page builder plugin. This addition brings true front (and back) end drag and drop page editing to WordPress. The plugin makes it easy to create custom page layouts for your website, which go way beyond what is possible with WordPress on its own.
Packed with shortcodes, Visual Composer allows you to insert a wide range of elements into your content and custom layouts, including the aforementioned real estate listings shortcodes.
The page templates that make up the theme have also been created using this tool, allowing you to customize them to meet your needs. If you really want to design some custom posts and pages for your website, then the inclusion of this popular plugin makes it easy to do so.
Other Notable Features of the EstateMLS WordPress Theme
As well the Visual Composer plugin, the EstateMLS theme also includes the commercial LayerSlider plugin. Retailing at $15, this premium plugin makes it very easy to add advanced content sliders to your website, which are surprisingly straightforward to create. While not everybody loves animated slideshows, when used appropriately, they can be an effective way to showcase the content on your website, and in this case, highlight your best listings.
The design and layout of this real estate theme is of course fully responsive and mobile friendly. This means no matter what device or screen size your site is being viewed on, your visitors will have no trouble accessing any of its content and making enquiries about your listings.
This theme also integrates with the Google Fonts service, giving you access to over 600 free and high quality fonts. Changing the default fonts is very easy, and all takes place through a visual control panel. You can also change the colors of the text on your site, with potentially an unlimited number of color schemes on offer.
The EstateMLS real estate theme for WordPress includes a custom post type that makes it easy to store and publish testimonials from your clients and customers. These testimonials can add some much needed social proof to your website, helping you to land more clients for your business.
You will also find a child theme included in the package. This child theme contains the minimum amount of files that are required; giving you a foundation for your custom website should you decide to make any changes to the core design. Using the child theme prevents any changes you do make to the theme being overwritten, should you update the EstateMLS parent theme at a later date.
Using the EstateMLS Theme to Build a Real Estate Website with WordPress
Using this theme is very straightforward. After uploading and activating the theme files, you can start adding your content, including the property listings. If you want to import MLS listings, the included plugin takes care of this for you – although you will need an appropriate account to do so.
The theme options control panel gives you a good amount of control over how your website will look. This covers your site logo, colors, font, and a few other properties.
The theme comes with some basic documentation to help you make the most of its features. However, setting up EstateMLS is simple, despite its good set of features. Even if you’ve never used WordPress before, you shouldn’t have much difficulty in building a professional real estate website yourself.
EstateMLS WordPress Theme Review Conclusion
Perhaps the most important feature of a real estate website is the way properties are presented. After all, selling homes is all about selling dreams and helping your clients to imagine themselves and their families living in a certain property.
Thankfully, the EstateMLS theme does a good job of promoting each of the properties listed on your website, whether they are available for sale or rent. The search functionality of this theme is also very impressive and the filter should make it easy for your visitors to find exactly what they are looking for, no matter how many listings you have on your site.
With additional features, such as Google Maps integration, a fully responsive design, and a nice set of theme options, EstateMLS and its professional appearance could be just the theme you need to build the real estate website you’ve always wanted.