The Bel Air Real Estate Theme

the-bell-air-theme-thumbJust to prove how versatile WordPress themes can be along comes ‘The Bel Air Real Estate Theme‘ This is not just a theme but a complete setup for any property based company wanting to reach a wider audience. All the features you could need for sales or property rental are installed with the theme, including an impressive payment or mortgage calculator (easily converted to any currency), photo galleries for each property and even profiles for the ‘agents’ who do the selling.

In essence you will be able to start selling straight away, the backend or ‘CMS’ admin area is very easy to use so entering and publishing each properties details is painless, making it a powerful piece of real estate software. If you or your client are a real estate agency then this theme should be a serious consideration.

Bel Air comes with a choice of five different colour schemes and it is easy to add your own branding. It is also advert ready with a built in ad banner management system so you can monetize your site or if thats not your cup of tea then use these areas to promote featured properties and services. There’s the obvious areas where details of different rooms etc can be entered. But what really caught our eye was the auto thumbnailing of images (when clcked they open in a lightbox style gallery), and the ‘no custom fields’ ease of use when publishing. The authors of this design have gone to a lot of trouble to make sure that publishing is a breeze and that you (or your client) never have to deal with code or anything tricky.

Features

  • Five colour schemes built in (sea blue, red, navy blue, gold and black)
  • Easy to brand and change the colours (if you don’t like any of the above)
  • Mortgage / payments calculator
  • Image auto thumbnailer
  • Lightbox style photo galleries for each property
  • Featured properties rotated on home page
  • Easy search drop down menus (price, location and type)
  • Advert ready
  • Ad banner management

Click to see pages and features of this site
Click to see pages and features of this site

Our only frustration with this theme is that it is not yet using google maps, which is not exactly new technology and would be a perfect addition to its features. The sites authors WP-Realtor are currently considering adding google maps into a future update of the site. Our advice would be to use one of the many Google Maps plugins availible for WordPress until this update is ready to avoid frustrated customers. Actually there is another ‘bug-bear’ with this theme, you have to by either buy a ‘single agent’ or ‘multi agent’ version. The latter being more expensive. Ok so we haven’t had that much experience with real estate software, well actally we’ve had none at all!! So maybe this is normal in the world of property (let us know below if it is!!) but it does seem strange. However neither ‘agent’ version will break the bank and if you find that you need to upgrade then you can do so easily.

Although The Bel Air Real Estate Theme is limited to estate agents, realtors and property companies (public and commercial) we couldn’t resist featuring it. We think this theme is a fine example of how to turn WordPress into an individualised e-commerce platform, something which WordPress developers and designers have been getting better and better at over the last few years (thanks to amazing advances in WordPress itself) and it is finally blasting the fated osCommerce out of the water, not only in aesthetics and functionality but most importantly with innovation.

WP Full Site

WP Full Site is a free theme which aims to turn WordPress into a free CMS (content management system) for small businesses. According to the makers of this theme, every small business should have at least:

  • An obvious way to be contacted, hence the phone number and email link at the very top of the website
  • A clear, concise call to action accompanied by an attention grabbing graphic
  • The option to have or blog or not have a blog

Ok pretty obvious stuff but their wp cms theme does realise all three of these options and allows you to implement them.

The advantage of having a CMS is that you get a nice backend area of your website that only you or your staff can access. Once there you get some very simple but powerful tools to change the content of your site (no more difficult than using Microsoft Word), allowing you to keep it nice and fresh and always up to date, this is very important to your customers as it projects the feeling of a legitimate business, stale sites with old or out of date information very often have the reverse effect!

Click to see the full size home page
Click to see the full size home page
Although the look of the theme itself is basic it does what it says on the box and once your company logos and colours are in there you should have a very nice looking site.

Your contact information is always kept visible at the top of the site which is also very important for potential customers, the email link can easily be changed into a link to a contact form if you prefer. The theme also offers the chance for your company to run a blog (or latest news / current projects… etc) this also helps prevent the ‘stale site’ syndrome and helps your visibility and rankings in search engines.

If you do go for this theme then make sure you bookmark the demo page and keep checking back (or RSS it) as there is a promise of future tutorials and updates which you wont want to miss out on.

One word of warning to those who have never encountered WordPress before (or simply arn’t techie) or if you feel that this would be too tasking or if it is the only thing putting you off using this site then we do offer an installation service and would be happy to install and set-up this website for you. Please see ‘Install Info‘ for more information or click the ‘Install’ link at the bottom of this page if you would like this service.

WP Full Site offers a free download here

You need to install this theme first

Or use the INSTALL option below