Tips before purchasing a WordPress real estate theme

WordPress Theme Selection

Tips before purchasing a WordPress real estate theme

All real estate themes are not created equal. If a theme is not built with a secure foundation it can be vulnerable to malware and hacking, and then you must rebuild. If you buy a theme from a platform like look at these items:

  • How many copies of the theme have been sold? I prefer over 1,000 sales.
  • When was the theme published? I prefer longer than a year so you aren't using the first version of a theme.
  • What rating does the theme and developer have on the platform? The rating is usually located at the top of the page.
  • Read the most recent reviews. Some times a great theme will get negative reviews after the latest update. Make sure the theme is consistently good quality.
  • Read the comments. Are they mostly positive? Does the developer respond in a timely manner?
WordPress Theme Selection

Apartment Locator WordPress Theme Recommendations

If you're building your own WordPress website, these are the theme's we recommend. They work well with our data feed and apartment property listings.

We have fully researched these WordPress real estate theme’s and believe they offer maximum features, flexibility, and search functionality. Each can be customized with your branding, and match your preferred look and feel. Technically, any WordPress theme can work for a locating website, but all theme’s are not created equally.


Offers limitless customizations and functionality. Hundreds of out of the box listing templates for you to choose from. More built in plugins than most theme's but also requires someone with moderate technical/design skills to customize.


Large selection of pre-built websites. Launch your real estate website in minutes. This theme is integrated with service like a CRM for real estate agents, lead generation, website management and more. Learn more on their website.


HomePress is IDX Integrated Real Estate WordPress Theme for Realtor, Broker, Real Estate Agent & Apartment Locator. This theme covers all aspects: tailor-made layouts, super customizable, customer first approach & Elementor page builder.

Questions to ask before you hire a developer

Hire a developer like you're hiring an employee.

Please do your due diligence and ask lots of questions before you hire a developer to install your data feed or build a website. Hiring a developer should be a job interview. Make sure the developer can give you real estate websites they have done in the past and ask the developer for a reference at each website. Ask what kind of data feed they installed on their previous work. XML, JSON, Excel, CSV, or was it a residential MLS? Importing our XML data feed is more complicated than importing an Excel spreadsheet. If they have worked with XML or JSON in the past, they probably have the proper skill set. Ask the developer if they have ever used WP All Import and WordPress.

Unfortunately we’ve had numerous apartment locators hire us AFTER another company is unable to deliver. Often times developers will give a low quote to gain your business, but when they realize they’ve underestimated the work they either ask for more money or just stop returning your calls. Unfortunately I’ve never heard of locator getting their money back.

A robust apartment locating website with search capabilities, a data feed, and hundreds of apartment listings is going to take a developer between 180 – 200 hours. A developer with the skill set needed to launch an apartment locating website is going to charge $75 – $100 an hour, for a total quote of approximately $13,500. I would trust a developer if they quoted $10,000 or higher, but I wouldn’t trust a quote for less than $10,000 unless the developer can show 10+ apartment locating websites they’ve already done which means they can do it faster than 180 hours. You can’t hire an experienced developer for $50 an hour. Either the time is going to suffer or the skills are going to suffer if they are quoting a $50 rate.

I build apartment locating websites for less than $10,000 because I’ve launched over 75 locating brands so I can do it in approximately 95 hours but I still charge $75 an hour. I also typically use the same three WordPress theme’s so I already know the structure. I wouldn’t be able to finish in 95 hours with a theme I’ve never used before.

The only other exception to the $10,000 rule is if the website your building doesn’t have robust search capabilities or functionality. In some cases an apartment locator doesn’t need a lot of search functionality. If you are using our data feed to basically publish a “landing page” for each property and you have no need for search, custom post types, custom fields, user accounts, or saving search results you can pay less than $10,000. The less function you need, the lower skill set you can hire, which will ultimately cost less.

Before hiring a developer

  • Which real estate themes have they worked with previously? Buying a theme they aren't familiar with can create massive delays.
  • How many real estate sites have they designed?
  • Have they implemented an XML data feed or MLS feed before?
  • If so, ask the domain name and look at it online. If not, I would pass.
  • How many years of experience do they have?
  • Ask for at least three referrals from real estate clients and call/email all of them. Ask critical questions about timing, expense, and delivery.
Before hiring a developer
About Jodi Southwick

I am a data engineer

I deploy data strategies for apartment locating websites to generate leads.

Do you have a skill or talent that comes naturally to you? And since it comes naturally, you absolutely love it? That’s me with data! I started in commercial real estate at CB Richard Ellis in 1997 where I managed huge databases. It was a natural fit. Commercial brokers rely heavily on data to drive sales and so my love for data and my love for real estate was born. I started this company in 2005 with one market in Houston, and I’ve grown it to 35 markets because I’m still obsessed with what I do. Thanks to Google, data will always be necessary to generate leads.

Please contact me if you need help using data in your business. Or help our journey by sharing this article on your social media platforms.


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