I planned an entire staycation around purchasing and setting up a site using a theme from Gorilla Themes. At the time I was searching for a first home and I realized that most real estate ads were just inadequate. They lacked the extensive information and photos needed to really get a potential buyer interested.
What I also realized during my house hunting is the personal website real estate ads (123main.com, 456center.com, 789lakewood.com, etc.) really peaked my interest, and I often looked at them when I got back home even if the homes were out of my price range. I started to think that offering this service would be a great idea, especially if I had a template (theme) set up like I wanted and all I had to do was plug in the specific home data for each new domain.
I used a theme from Templatic as the main website, but I set up a subdomain called “Demo” and used the Gorilla Themes theme called Homeowner customized with a fictitious piece of property for sale to display the “product”. There are some really nice looking premium WordPress real estate themes out there, but not only did Gorilla Themes have the most, I thought they also had the best looking ones too.
Most sites have one or two real estate themes, if any at all, but as of this writing Gorilla Themes offers a whopping ten real estate themes. Check out the list of them below with links to the demos.
- Smooth Real Estate – Smooth Demo
- Smooth Pro Real Estate – Smooth Pro Demo
- The Vistas Real Estate – The Vistas Demo
- The Bel Air Real Estate – The Bel Air Demo
- Real Agent – Real Agent Demo
- Residence Real Estate – Residence Demo
- Main Street Real Estate – Main Street Demo
- Broker Real Estate – Broker Demo
- Homeowner Real Estate – Homeowner Demo
- Open House Real Estate – Open House Demo
As with a lot of my ideas, this one fizzled out as quickly as it began. I think I lost interest when I ran into a couple of small issues with customizing and I started worrying what would happen if my future customers wanted me to make simple changes I didn’t know how to make. I realized I was setting up a business that was geared more towards a designer than a Hack with a premium theme.
I spent that whole week on that website and loved every minute of it, yet I never moved past that initial set up stage. This is just more proof that this OpenSourceHack website was the way to go. I may not keep most of my other websites very long, but I’m always messing with something and that gives me an endless supply of stuff to share and write about here.
I invite someone with more php/css skill and focus to pick up this idea and run with it because I still think it’s a great idea. Go open a HostGator resellers account, throw up a website and offer the service of setting up these targeted websites for real estate agents to use. All you’ll have to do is buy the domain of the customers choice, set up WordPress, install the real estate theme of their choice, and input all the relevant date to the home. (pictures, descriptions, agent info, etc.)
You could pitch the idea to both agents and individuals in your local area, and for the price you could charge, you’d probably cover your entire years reseller hosting on your first sale. For most of these sites, they wouldn’t even be needed the entire year if the home sold, but in the event it didn’t simply means another opportunity for income. Second and subsequent years could be offered at half price since all you’d be paying for is the hosting of an existing static site.
If any of you jump on this one, or have already been doing something like this, I’d definitely be interested in hearing about it in the comments.