How to create a real estate website for your hometown – introduction

Introduction

Creating a real estate website is extremely easy when you are creating it only for the city or hometown where you live. When you come to a real estate website that serve the users on a national or international basis, the first option is to choose the city. Choosing a location requires additional technical work because the developers need to provide a ‘search’ function.

Without an additional step of ‘search’, a local real estate website can be created easily by using WooCommerce.

So here I will illustrate how you can create a real estate website using WooCommerce without functionalities for ‘search’. After that, I will add ‘search’ functionalities so you can see how a website can expand to be a national basis like Zillow.com or an international basis like Airbnb.com.

How to create a real estate website for your hometown – step 25

Step 25: All other business considerations and technical structure considerations:

As you can see from the links on the top, if you click Rent, I don’t have a page for it. For this website, I can make it houses ‘or sale’ only, or ‘for rent’ only, or both.

There are three ways I can categorize houses ‘for rent’ or ‘for sale’:

  1. Add it in product categories
  2. Add it in product attributes
  3. Add it in product tags 

There is no right or wrong way no matter which way you choose. There is, however, the best way.

Note that when selecting one of these options, it will also affect your permalink (URL), and how your users will filter the houses.

Here I will illustrate what it looks like when choosing each option.

  1. Add it in product categories

Here I would change ‘Categories’  depending what I plan to do. So I would need to have a Parent category ‘For Sale’, and under that, have sub-categories such as Beverly Hills, Newport Beach. Then Have one more parent category ‘For Rent’ and put Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and other cities as sub-categories.

Video: Add ‘For Sale’ and ‘For Rent’ to product categories

2. Add it in product attributes

Here I add an attribute ‘Condition’ and created ‘for sale’, ‘for rent’ as attribute terms. Then in each product, I assign an attribute to it.

Video: Add ‘For Sale’ and ‘For Rent’ to product attributes

3. Add it in product tags

Here I will create product tags called ‘For Sale’, and ‘For Rent’. And in each product, I can add it.

Comparison of three methods:

All of these three methods can create an archive of the houses ‘for sale’ or ‘for rent’. The major difference is URL name.

Let’s see what the URL is like in each of these options:

  1. Use category: The ‘For Sale’ URL will be : https://www.laretreats.com/homes/for-sale/
  2. Use attributes: The ‘For sale’ URL will be https://www.laretreats.com/condition/for-sale/
  3. Use product tag: The ‘For Sale’ URL will be https://www.laretreats.com/house-tag/for-sale/

These URL are set in ‘Settings/Permalink’ page.

Now I set my product category base as ‘homes’, product tag as ‘house-tag’, and I change the default archive for all products from ‘product’ to ‘house’. These changes will affect my URL.

Since the ‘category’ URL looks nicer as it use ‘homes’ so I decided to use this in menu link.

However, note that categories can be added in our ‘filter’. So now let’s look at what the filters will look like in each of these three options if I add ‘category’ to my filters.

Comparisons of Filter look:

Filters when using ‘product category’ as permalink:

Filters when using ‘product attribute’ as permalink:

Filters when using ‘product tag’ as permalink:

When looking at each these options, I decided that filters that does not include ‘for sale’ in categories make better sense. So I would remove ‘Condition’ from Filters and rename ‘category’ to ‘Locations’ and use first option – using ‘product category’ as my permalink and place it in my menu.

This is my updated version of filter when users click ‘Buy’ in menu which I use ‘product category’ as permalink.

One word of caution is that, at this moment, if you go to my shop base which show all of houses for sale and for rent, the filter will show both houses for sale and for rent.

If you go to a product-tag, for example, ‘open house’, you will also see the product categories show on the left filters.  But you can determine which filters to show on the left filter section and name the attributes depending how you think can help users to find the information they are looking for.

As you build your own website, you will find that categories and attributes play a vial part in determining a website’s success since that is how the content is organized.

But if you know what you want to achieve then as you can see, there is nothing technically challenging.

How to create a real estate website for your hometown – step 24

Step 24: All other small details

  1. Social Icons: Since every website has social icons, adding these icons will make my site look more complete. Here I will add some social icons by using plugin “Social Icons” published by “ThemeGrill”. After install and activating it, I go to “Appearance” “Customize”, “Widgets” “Footer Column 1” and add a social icon widget.