Earlier this month we launched a new premium WordPress theme designed for individual realtors, real estate companies, and home builders. The new real estate theme is a Genesis child theme and has functionality similar to the AgentPress theme from StudioPress.
An Example of a Real Estate Firm Website Launch
A few days before we officially released the theme I received a call from the president of a real estate firm in California. He needed a custom Genesis theme that was capable of integrating with the IDX functionality from Diverse Solutions. Before I could stop myself, I showed off our Hans theme and color options. It wasn’t even available yet, but I couldn’t help myself. The broker loved it and bought it as soon as I added it to our online store. He had us create a custom color scheme for it and integrate the IDX plugin and HTML code for him. We also set up the AgentPress Listings, Simple Real Estate Pack and Gravity Forms plugins for him. It was a perfect, low cost, and low hassle solution. And more importantly, the website looks great! You may think I’m partial to it – I do consider our themes my babies and I am the overly proud mom – but it does look really good.
Why is Hans Perfect for Real Estate Firms and Home Builders?
It uses the awesome AgentPress Listings plugin and can also integrate to plugins like Simple Real Estate Pack and Gravity Forms. Hans comes with five different color options and as we discussed above, custom color schemes can be created.
Han also includes multiple sidebars, a widgetized home page, a flexible rotator, call to action boxes, FeedBurner integration, and author boxes for single or multiple bloggers and agents. It takes advantage of cool Genesis’ features such as multiple page payouts, columns, featured images, latest tweets, user profiles, eNews and updates, and featured pages. And because this premium WordPress theme is built for Genesis, it is a lightweight theme and secure.
The important part of all of this is that Hans was designed for realtors and homebuilders who sell new construction homes. The look, feel, and functionality was specifically designed to accommodate the needs of this industry and their website visitors. And it is a great low cost option for creating a swanky website that makes the agent or company look as professional as possible.
Is IDX Integration Really as Easy as it Seems?
Another buyer of Hans had inquired about IDX integration, so I suspect this is a common question for users of real estate themes. Hans can integrate to IDX, but the CSS code may need to be tweaked in some cases. There are just too many IDX companies and integration options to have the theme completely preset with all IDX code options. We’ve worked with two different IDX companies in the last 30 days and while they are similar, they are different. Some IDX companies and/or packages create listings right on the website and others embed an iFrame into a page that manages the functionality. Both are strong options and the choice is made on a variety of factors pertaining to the ultimate client’s unique needs.
I will say that I found Diverse Solutions’ dsIDXpress IDX Plugin to be one of the best plugins I’ve ever installed and used. It was not only filled with great functionality, itdid the majority of the integration us at installation. When I activated it the first time, I was amazed at how well the functionality worked and was ready for use right out of the box. The only thing we really needed to do was modify the CSS (look) of their default search box.
The folks at Diverse Solutions are also awesome at support. Keep in mind I do not have an account with them and I’m not directly paying them money. But I’ve called them twice for two different clients and both times they were very helpful and were more than happy to give support on behalf of our shared client.
If I Have IDX, Why Do I Need to Bother With AgentPress Listings?
IDX isn’t a solution for all theme users. While IDX is great for agents and real estate firms that buy and sell homes across a wide range of areas, it wouldn’t be suitable for a homebuilder that limits sales to their own new construction homes. In this case, Hans and the AgentPress Listings plugin is a perfect fit.
My girlfriend Jen is a marketing manager for a local new homebuilder. She knows WordPress, but struggles getting her homes listed on her company’s website because she is never really sure how to style the content. The AgentPress Listings plugin can actually do this for her. Once you configure the base settings, the plugin does it for you. Jen will only need to pop in her square footage, lot size, photos, and virtually any other criteria she deem appropriate. The WordPress plugin will do the styling for her and make sure all listings are uniform in both functionality and their visual elements. She’ll even be able to segment homes by neighborhoods. And adding new neighborhoods is as easy as dropping the subdivision name in a table within the WordPress admin panel.
Take Hans for a Ride and See For Yourself
The thing I love about real estate agents is that many are DIY type of people. They love a good DIY website and Hans helps them get it done. If you’re in the real estate industry and you’re considering building a new website or redesigning your current website, consider Hans. You can give Hans a test drive by visiting our Hans theme demo or by stopping by VerandaHomes.com to see it on a live website.
If you love Hans as much as we do, you can buy theme in our WordPress theme store.
Anne @ Shipsladder says
Having a good and a very attractive WordPress Theme is very important especially if we are marketing a special project or material because it attracts visitors to stay longer in a site and in the ind make them to decide to buy. I enjoyed reading your post.
Love the Hans template. I’m about to launch a new real estate website and have definitely decided on this Theme. I’ll let you know how it goes! One question – if I need any customization beyond my own development skills, will you be able to help? I have some user-functionality in mind that I will need some assistance with.
Rebecca Gill says
Her Chase we can definitely help as needed. Use the forum to get you started and if you need some customizations that are outside your abilities, just send us an email with your to do list. We’ll be happy to turn around a cost and timing quote for you.
Does the purchase allow me to fully edit the website using my pix etc. install forms on pages, etc, without having to already have other editing software? I have been on some sites where the website template is one price & some come with installation tools whereas other don’t and you need dreamweaver or several other kinds of software to edit it once you download the template.
Rebecca Gill says
The theme is designed to allow image uploads and you should certainly use your own images. Our images are just there to provide an illustration of how the theme works.
We use Gravity Forms for the forms. You can purchase a license for this or use a free plugin like Contact Form 7.
We do not use Dreamweaver.
Please note this is a child theme for Genesis, which means you need to install Genesis before installing our theme. If you do not own Genesis, you can obtain a copy of it at StudioPress.com.
I purchased Hans and I am lost. The genisis tutorials list a lot of child theme tutorials; but I don’t see one for Hans? Also, the genises default layout offers 6 default layouts; but none match the hans demo layout. My biggest question is this, is not there a way to download a replica of the hans demo theme pages so all I have to do is simply put my content/pix and make adjustments here and there? Right now it seems like I am creating a whole website from scratch vs using a template that has already been created. I loved the way Hans demo looked which is why i purchased it. thank you 🙂
Rebecca Gill says
Chas the Hans theme is built on Genesis, but not by StudioPress, so you won’t find tutorials in their Genesis forum. We do offer instructions in our forum and you are welcome to ask as many questions as you’d like about set up. We’re here to help as needed, so please visit our forum and start dropping in some questions for the team.
What about this page :
I can’t find this page in demo , is this a different template ?
Rebecca Gill says
The page you reference is an integration with their IDX plugin. I don’t recall the exact plugin or IDX company they used, but I know we tweaked the standard Han’s style sheet (css) to ensure the IDX results matched the rest of the website and theme design.