Why You Should Use WordPress for Real Estate IDX Websites
When working with different real estate agents, developers, and property managers over the years, a common question asked is which platform is best to build a real estate website?
Many of these real estate agents have done their initial research and know that they have 3 main options:
But comparing the benefits, the setbacks, and the prices of each can be a headache.
So rather than trying to write a big comparison article, let’s get straight to the point; build a WordPress website.
WordPress is our recommended platform for building a new real estate website and this is the answer regardless if you’re going to integrate the MLS listings into your website using IDX or not.
Below I will cover 31 reasons why a real estate website should be built on WordPress.
31 Reasons to Build Real Estate Websites on WordPress
#1: You Own Your Website
A WordPress website is self hosted meaning you own the website and this is super important for the longevity of your website and its success.
When you don’t own your website, like with websites given to you by your real estate brokerage company, then you run the risk of losing it should you change companies or the current brokerage closes down.
With WordPress, as long as you continue paying for the hosting (check out Siteground), then your website will stay live and running on the internet for years and years to come. The hosting plan is owned and controlled by you.
Search engine optimization is huge if you want your real estate website to be self sustaining and generate it’s own traffic and leads for your business.
WordPress is built for SEO and solves many SEO problems you might run into on other website builder platforms.
Yoast SEO is the #1 recommended and downloaded SEO plugin for WordPress that allows you many SEO benefits to help your website rank on Google and get local visitors finding your business.
#3: Real Estate Plugins
Websites start out as basic pages with text and images on them. You’ll want to use different add-ons, known as plugins, to add different features to your real estate website.
For example, adding property listings to your website is a feature you can add using an IDX plugin which connects your website to the MLS.
You’ll have to sign up for a monthly IDX subscription since this is a premium feature, but there are also thousands of free plugins on WordPress that offer other features.
There are plugins that add social media share buttons, contact forms, Google maps, etc. to your real estate website.
You can also add checkout pages if you want to offer people a place to submit rent, earnest money, or pay online for services your real estate business offers.
Your options are endless as someone has probably created a plugin for it, if you think of different ideas and features you want on your real estate website.
Right now there are close to 60,000 WordPress Plugins in the WordPress Plugin Repository.
I also recommend checking out the real estate plugins on Code Canyon.
#4: Real Estate Website Themes / Templates
There are almost 4,000 FREE WordPress Theme Templates to choose from in the WordPress Theme Repository.
There are also hundreds of real estate themes you can find on external websites like Themeforest that give you easy to customize templates built for real estate.
Many of these themes are premium themes with page builders and advanced design features which cost money, but the premium WordPress themes are still pretty inexpensive at $40-$75 usually.
I recommend checking out free & paid themes from:
#5: WordPress Price
#6: Easy to Use
One of the big worries real estate agents and business owners have is picking out a website builder platform that is simple and easy for them to use.
All platforms are going to have a learning curve to understand their page builders, how to set up different add-ons, and how to customize settings in your website theme.
WordPress is pretty simple and easy to use and it is beginner friendly.
#7: Community Support
WordPress controls the largest market share of websites on the internet, making up almost 35% of websites worldwide. This also means it has the largest support community.
You can find WordPress Support forums that answer just about any question you can think of if you run into trouble shooting with your WordPress website.
When you have a problem, start by searching your question in Google and you should see several forum community results populate to click on and find the answer you’re looking for.
#8: Content Management System
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which is basically a fancy term for website, but it’s all inclusive of a blog, media library, website pages, etc. all in one so you don’t have to have a separate blog system outside of your website.
#9: Blog Editor
WordPress rolled out an update to their blog post editor making it a drag and drop builder tool with different content blocks you can insert into the blog post pages.
They still offer the Classic Editor, but the new blog editor makes designing blog posts easy for beginners.
Creating blog posts is a simple process of clicking “Add New” under the Blog tab in the WordPress dashboard, and then inputting your content and hitting publish or schedule.
The Yoast SEO Plugin integrates right into the blog post editor page so you can also customize the Title and Meta description for your blog article to optimize it for SEO before publishing.
#10: Landing Page Builder
In your real estate business you are going to want to collect leads from your website that you can follow up with to convert into sales and commissions.
You’ll hear of terms like “Landing Page” or “Squeeze Page” or “Lead Capture Page” and these are one in the same in WordPress.
You can build a capture page with the WordPress page builder quite easily and you can integrate a contact form into the page using a contact form plugin.
I like Formidable but WordPress has tons of contact form builders to choose from!
#11: Open Source
WordPress is an open source software so the original source code is freely available for developers to modify and add to.
The massive WordPress community can constantly improve and develop it to add new plugins, themes, and features to WordPress, hence why you see nearly 65,000 plugins and 4,000+ themes.
A downside is that there are some bugs from time to time in different plugins and themes but each update that gets rolled out by the plugin developer or theme developer usually addresses the errors and fixes them to be compatible with whichever WordPress version your website is running.
#12: Updates are Free & Easy
One concern you might have when deciding which platform to use to build your real estate website is the need to update your website continually when using WordPress.
Yes, plugins do need updated over time and theme developers come out with new updates for your theme you installed, but these can be managed.
First and foremost, these updates are free. You don’t have to worry about paying for an update.
They are also easy to do on your own, just click the “update” button and in 5 seconds the page will reload with the update done and applied to your website.
But if you don’t want the hassle of signing into your WordPress account every month and manually updating your plugins, WordPress has plugins you can install that will auto-update all your plugins/themes/etc. for you.
Checkout Easy Updates Manager which is highly customizable to update the way you want it to work for you.
#13: Social Media Integration
It’s easy to add social media to your WordPress website. I wrote up a real estate website guide to social media you can read.
You can integrate social media into your real estate website multiple ways:
- Add share buttons to your menu/header
- Add share buttons on pages/blog posts
- Add a direct social feed to a web page
- Share pages & links from your website on your social accounts
- Display follower counts on your website
- Display follow buttons on your website to gain followers from website visitors
#14: IDX Integration (MLS)
IDX is the Internet Data Exchange term used by developers and IDX offers the ability to sync property listings from the MLS into your website.
This is made simple on WordPress by simply installing the plugin with the IDX service you use.
Once you get the property listings integrated and showing on your website, you can work with your web designer to clean up the appearance and make it more aesthetically appealing.
Most IDX integrations out of the box aren’t very modern looking or “pretty” so compare options and beware ahead of time if you want the design to flow with your overall website appearance.
#15: Contact Forms
One of the benefits of WordPress is you get access to countless contact form plugins. You can choose free versions or pay for more advanced contact forms that may offer additional features.
Most free contact form plugins offer the ability to design your form with different fields like Name, Email, Phone Number, Text Boxes, Address Fields, etc.
You also should be able to link it to your email address to alert you when someone fills out your contact form so you can follow up with the lead quickly. Formidable is a free plugin that lets you do this.
#16: Mobile Friendly
A big feature your real estate website must have is the ability to be “mobile friendly” and WordPress is designed to be mobile friendly so you won’t have to worry here.
Most WordPress themes are built to be “responsive.”
This means the web pages are designed to fit mobile screens and auto-adjust themselves so that the page is friendly for mobile users viewing it.
The biggest percentage share of your website traffic in 2020 and beyond will likely come from mobile since people are on their phones more than computers.
You’ll also get website visitors who will be clicking over from social media apps they were using on their phone when they came across a post from you linking back to your real estate website.
If you ever decide to change website hosting companies in the future, you’ll have low stress knowing that your WordPress real estate website can be easily transferred.
Migrating a WordPress website is relatively easy to do. You can use WordPress’s export tool as well as different migration plugins that you could install to download your files into a Zip file.
Other methods can be performed as well. Some web hosting companies (like Siteground) offer to help you move your files when migrating to their company as your new web host.
#18: Add Testimonials
There are plugins like Easy Testimonials and WP Customer Reviews that can help you easily add client testimonials to your real estate website. This is important for gaining credibility and can help you attract new buyer clients and new listings.
#19: Add Google Maps
Real estate is all about location, the land, and the structure built on the land. Using a Google Map on your website can show buyers and sellers locations of neighborhoods or you can use it to show your office address like on a contact or about page.
#20: Email Marketing Integration
WordPress easily integrates with many different email marketing softwares and email CRM databases so you can capture leads from your website and have their data transferred over to your email database.
All of my contact forms are linked to ConvertKit which is the CRM I use to manage email lists, send email blasts about properties, or enroll email leads into a weekly/monthly newsletter.
#21: Schedule Blog Posts
Another feature I like about WordPress is you can use the blog post editor to schedule your blog articles days, weeks, months, and even years in advance.
If you find inspiration to write lots of content one weekend, schedule the articles to publish overtime so you don’t stress about creating content every week.
#22: Hire Freelancers
With WordPress being as popular and wide spread as it is, you can easily find freelancers on job sites like Upwork or Fiverr to help assist you with website design. You can also easily hire developers on these job sites for fixing and errors your website encounters.
WordPress is limitless in terms of size and growth. You can add as many blog posts, pages, and media items to your website as you’d like.
However, as your website gets larger in size and content, you may need to upgrade your hosting plan to accommodate the storage space and bandwidth on the hosting servers so it doesn’t get slowed down.
Learn more about the different hosting plans offered by Siteground to see examples of how they increase storage space, bandwidth and hosting resources as you scale up your plan.
Adding a chatbox is very easy to do. Just install a plugin like Chat or ClickDesk and connect an email address to get alerts of chat messages your chat box has with potential customers.
#25: Password Protect Content
One of the features I use on one of my websites is password protecting content. This can allow you to only give access to exclusive files to clients.
For example, you can have them create an account and get access to a list of homes for sale, foreclosure resources & links, neighborhood market reports, etc.
While we recommend connecting an external real estate CRM to WordPress, you can still use WordPress as your CRM if you choose.
There are CRM-like plugins you can install but WordPress also has what’s called “users” and you can have leads registered as users to your WordPress website.
#27: A/B Testing
Another cool feature you can do on a WordPress website is A/B testing. This is simply testing two things at once, splitting up your website traffic to funnel to both tests and see which one performs better.
For example, you create a lead capture page offering a free list of homes for sale in zip code 12345. You create a second lead capture page offering a free market report for zip code 12345.
The test will then determine which lead capture “gift” does better. Maybe for every 100 people, 5 of them opt in to download the homes list while 8 opt in to download the market report. Market report would be the winner.
#28: Heat Maps
Installing heat maps on your real estate website will highlight what actions visitors are taking on your pages.
These heat maps record the mouse of your visitor so you can see where they are scrolling on your page, what links and buttons they are clicking on.
This will help you learn behavior patterns and you can redesign up make updates to your page to better capture leads and funnel visitors to pages you want them to see on your real estate website.
Show off photo galleries of your listings and past sales. I like to create a grid page template that has different columns and rows and each grid item is a separate property for sale with a pop-up photo gallery when they click on it.
You can also make video galleries if you want to showcase all the video tours you’ve done of current & past listings and closed transactions.
#30: Drag & Drop Theme Builder
I recently wrote an article about drag & drop page builders highlighting the 3 best plugins to install for real estate websites.
These are free drag & drop builder WordPress plugins. They offer pre-built templates to help you create your contact page, about page, landing pages, testimonial pages, etc.
Or you can play with the editor tool and custom build your own page by simply dragging and dropping different content elements like text boxes, image boxes, and video boxes.
#31: Security & Spam Protection
You can download a free plugin like WordFence that guards your website from spammers and hackers attempting to figure out your login info.
Wordfence sends you weekly reports showing you IP addresses they blocked from signing in as well as other important security data. It also alerts you if it detects spam or malware on your website so you can fix it.
How to Build a Real Estate Website on WordPress
You’ve now seen 31 reasons to use WordPress to build your real estate website and the list could go on and on, but I’ve got an even better resource for you to check out.
I wrote an in-depth guide on how to build a real estate WordPress website from scratch. It’s in progress of being published but you should easily find it on my website when it’s live.
This content is also found inside my course Real Estate Marketing School along with hundreds of other videos, PDF files, eBooks, worksheets, etc. Keep reading below…
Take Your Marketing Next Level ~ More Leads & Sales
If you want step by step lessons, worksheets, and videos on how to build your business with proven marketing strategies, then you may want to check out my eCourse – Marketing School.
It comes with everything you need to get started and teaches you not only how to start your website but also how to drive massive amounts of traffic to it and convert these website visitors into business leads / customers.
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