Episode 429: Best Real Estate Website from Theme Forest and Other Online Resources for 2024

Episode Timeline

On the 429th episode of Mail-Right, Robert Newman and Jonathan Denwod discuss some of the best real estate themes from ThemeForest. These themes are great for people who want to save money and bunker up while still trying to maintain the idea of owning their website. Robert Newman is the founder and CEO of Inbound REM. This inbound marketing company provides real estate website development, SEO consulting, and services directly to agents and brokers. Jonathan Denwood is the joint founder of Mail-right, a CRM and lead-generative platform that creates fantastic-looking websites through WordPress.


Houzez has about 35,000 buyers with 2,200 reviews, mostly five stars. It offers unique features due to its different looks and is a good deal. Houzez uses Elementor as the page builder, which allows some flexibility. Good hosting is needed for this theme, such as WPEngine, Kinsta, LiquidWeb, or Converse.io. Avoid using GoDaddy or Bluehost, as this theme needs strong resources.
Houzez provides great value and allows some customization but avoids over-customizing. Minor changes like swapping images and moving elements are fine, but extensive changes can be problematic. The theme supports some IDX integration with plugins but avoids heavy integration. This theme is good for starting or if minor customization is enough.

Houzez provides a good base for a website; with Elementor, you can create a whole site. However, if you have WordPress skills, it’s a great deal. If not, you might need to pay for help setting up and customizing the theme. For example, Ben Stevens used this theme and had a design company customize it. This shows that some parts of the website need professional adjustments. Features like client testimonials and digital marketing might need customization.

For $69 plus hosting, Houzez offers a good start for a website. Hiring a professional might be the best option if more customization is needed. Furthermore, when looking at website pages, it’s easy to think that the main pages like the listing metacomposer, property details page, and half map page will be enough. But then, it becomes clear that many other small pages are needed, like contact forms. This can be overwhelming, and it’s likely necessary to hire help unless you are very skilled in web design. Even if feeling competent, it might take hours to do something a professional could do in minutes.

With new page designs coming online, trying and copying looks from other websites can be tempting. However, this often leads to wasting time trying to customize a theme to match another site. Hiring someone or an agency to get the desired look is usually better. Another tricky part is integrating MLS data into the website. There are about 800 MLSs in the US, but only about 50 are supported by some services. It’s important to accept that while these services offer good value and a good start, they may not have all your needs.


Residence is very similar to Houzez. It costs about the same and is likely one of the more popular options, with tens of thousands of downloads. The company is proud of its integration with HubSpot. HubSpot is a CRM that works well with WordPress, so the theme highlights its integration. However, it might be too complex for most real estate agents unless they are tech-savvy. A WordPress theme combined with HubSpot can be very efficient for agents.

For real estate needs, it is better to go to specialists like MailRight, InboundRem, or agencies that focus on real estate rather than regional digital marketing agencies. These general agencies may know online marketing but don’t understand the real estate industry. They often buy themes and hire someone like a web developer to customize them. This can be expensive, and you may not know what you’re getting.

Building a custom theme, like what was done for InboundREM, was a lot of work and money. It was necessary to improve SEO and include specific features like IDX broker search results, wherein most themes don’t allow this level of customization.

Off-the-shelf themes work fine for primary users. However, developing a custom theme might cost around $20,000 for advanced needs. Developing a theme involves designing the pages, and coding features specific to real estate, like MLS and IDX data, as well as other features, like calendars and weather widgets, which take a lot of time and effort.


Quarter costs $39 and offers many themes with one click, adding example content. These themes make it easier to set up a website. It is important to change the sample text they give because much of it is in Latin. They also include other free plugins to help set up the website.

It is possible to set up quickly in Quarter for someone with WordPress experience, but there will be a learning curve for beginners. Quarter does not have many downloads, soI it is wise to look at other options carefully before deciding.


Realestate7 competes with Real Geeks and AgentFire, which are similar to WordPress but with some differences. Realestate7 is one of the main competitors of Reel Geeks because it creates nice-looking websites and offers many functions identical to Real Geeks.

MailRight is another competitor, but it might not provide all the features offered here. MailRight has an IDX plugin for $79 and a one-time license for $59. They also have a subscription for $129 per year, which probably includes more designs. However, hosting is not included in the $129 subscription. The IDX plugin for $79 might not be very effective, as building a good IDX plugin is very challenging.

A young, tech-savvy real estate agent with a limited budget but a desire to invest in the future should consider learning WordPress and building a WordPress site. This investment can lead to either finding a partner or learning to do it independently, both of which are good decisions. The CRM extension costs $399 per year, which is expensive, and the CTIDX Pro Plus at $79 per month is also relatively high. The Real Estate7 WordPress theme at $129 per year is a good deal based on reviews.

However, too many add-ons might not be necessary unless there is a clear understanding of what is needed. CMS messaging is available for $1.99 yearly, but other features can be easily integrated with HubSpot for $50 a month, which is more cost-effective. The theme alone is likely sufficient, and although they claim it is SEO-friendly and shows listings on the site for a slight local SEO boost, this benefit is minor. Most real estate websites with listings get the same boost, so the impact is insignificant.


For $59, HomePress integrates IDX plugins, IDX Broker, and Home Finder in their theme. The exact number of downloads for Homepress is not clear. Many prefer IDX Broker, but some sites use Home Finder, which is also acceptable. The other themes do not mention this integration, but Real Estate 7 offers its own IDX plugin, which is unfamiliar, but the layouts look good.

Using these themes often leads to questions. Many tutorials and documentation are available, but Envato may not provide specific support. Realestate7 is favored due to reviews praising quick responses from Richard, the designer.

Good images are recommended for customization, as they are important for SEO. A good picture can significantly benefit your business. Quality images on the website, properties page, or listing page can be a valuable investment, whether taken personally or by a professional. A little effort in optimizing these images for SEO can yield good returns.


The Estatik theme has many layouts available. It looks old but has maps and other things you might need. The theme appears a little outdated, with a lot of white space. It seems designed for someone who wants to customize it, so it looks basic on purpose. There are also reviews and another layout built with Elementor, which is good.

Mainly, it involves RETS integration. RETS is an older standard for real estate website data. It allowed property data to be recognized as original on a website. However, it is not widely supported anymore.

The newer version is the RESO Web API. This modern method transfers data in the real estate industry. It means sending data to the website directly, using the same technology as the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). These providers rarely need this, but it can be useful. They might suggest using IDX data to make the data look unique to a website.