For as long as I have been using WordPress—for both myself and my clients— I have found niche themes to be very useful. Although most of them were created for a industry, they often can be used for other sites as well. But for realtors, who have specific needs, I always recommend one that is created just for them. In the long run, it saves them time and headaches.
The Bellaina Real Estate Responsive Theme
When it comes to addressing realtor’s unique needs, the Bellaina I Real Estate theme from TemplateMonster has it all. As you can see from the demo homepage, it’s a dynamic theme.
This theme comes with both a parent and a child theme, which is great if you need to do code customizations. Once you have installed it, it’s also easy to install the plugins needed for functionality. I suggest installing all of these and deciding later if there is something that is not needed.
As with many themes these days, there are a variety of ways to customize your content by looking through page builders, the customizer and other options. Let’s take a look at Bellaina to get a better idea of its features.
The theme uses a Power Builder or what you may know as a page builder. This is how the homepage is created, as well as any other pages you might want to choose for a custom layout.
To create a new template, just click on Power in your dashboard and will get this first popup window.
There are several template types. To give you a taste of the flexibility, I am choosing the layout template.
As with page builders, it’s filled with tons of options for you to choose from as you create your custom layout.
Section Module Settings
You can start by clicking on the gear in the upper right corner to customize this whole section.
If you click on the row settings, you have three options for each row:
Advanced Design Settings
Once you have customized your row, you can insert columns for that specific row. You can choose from several for a new row or add from your library, which might be something like your categories.
For each column, you have the same three options that you saw above with your rows: General Settings, Advanced Design Settings and Custom CSS.
After you have added your columns, you can start using the modules. There are several that are useful for any site, but also some great ones for realtors. It would take a ton of time to go through each one because each has its own settings. But you can check out the Template Monsters site to learn more about each.
If you returned to the top, you would see the green buttons that allow you to add another section. The standard section is no different than adding another row as already demonstrated, but the specialty section gives you some other unique layouts.
As with a lot of themes, you will find many of the options built in to your WordPress customizer. Some can sit in both the dashboard and the customizer, such as menus. For demonstration purposes, let’s go through the customizer.
The one thing to remember when using any theme these days, is that though there are certain areas in the customizer that you will see in all of them, such as Site Identity, it’s always good to check them out because there are often theme-specific options too. These are the features we will focus on throughout this post.
Customizer – Site Identity
Here there are three more nice options. The flexibility to hide/show the tagline, show a ToTop button, and the loader. I found it interesting that you can turn them off and on.
Customizer – General Site Settings
Here you have four options: Logo & Favicon, Breadcrumbs, Social Links, and Page Layout. Most of these are pretty standard, but you have some options to show your social links in a few areas. YUnder page layouts, you have the choice of having full width or boxed. (I know from experience that people have their preferences when it comes to that.) Also, you are able to choose from a couple of sidebar sizes, which can be useful if you have very little in your sidebar.
Customizer – Color Scheme
Here you find not only a place to change colors, but, interestingly enough, a choice between a Regular Scheme and an Invert Scheme.
You can also change your background color.
Customizer – Typography
Here you can change your body text, your breadcrumbs and all of your headings. Each one comes with several options, including a lot of Google fonts available for the Font Family.
Customizer – Header Styles
As you see from the settings, you can make some unique customizations in the header.
In the above screenshot, I’d like to point out the Layouts for the header. You have three styles,which gives you built-in variety for your header layout.
Header Style 1
Header Style 2
Header Style 3
In the header settings, you can change background color. This is your top menu that shows above the header I just shared with you. That color can be changed and that portion can also be hidden.
Customizer – Header Main Menu
With the header options you have some show/hide options as well.
You have an option for a More button or tab. This can be used to help organize your menu a little bit differently. It comes with the option to use either text, an image of your choice or simply an icon, which allows you to get more creative.
Menu and SidebarLocations
There are four menu locations, a main menu, primary menu, social menu and top menu, the latter I touched on in the header customizations section. Also, you can choose to have your sidebar on the right or left.
Posts, Pages, Custom Post Types and More
There are several custom post types and options scattered throughout the dashboard. Let’s take a quick look at them.
On the homepage of the demo, there is an area called Projects.
If you go into the settings, you will see that you have several layouts and more features to choose from.
Once you click through on a project, each one has more options.
You can create a nice listing for each property you add. The following are the global settings for all listings:
A bit of styling for any data attached to a listing.
Where listings will appear as a global setting and your choice of layout:
Here you will connect to Google Maps, which of course you will want to do.
And the notifications for your contact form.
Creating a Property
Creating a property is like creating a post, but of course with special fields. Again, they are using a post type here and once you fill this out, it will create a nicely displayed page of your property details. As you can see, there are a lot of options when creating a property and they can be organized using property types and tags, and features can be added as well.
As a realtor, you will want to be connected to IDX. I am not going through the explanation of this because for anyone interested in a real estate theme, they are more than familiar with the IDX. But in a nutshell you will be able to add live MLS right into your site.
You will be using the service to connect via dsIDXpress. Once you have activated this, you will also get some IDX widgets.
And you will be able to create IDX pages.
Widget Areas and Sidebars
There are several widget areas unique to this theme. It also gives you the option to create custom sidebars, which I’m a huge fan of. In a real estate site, it’s incredibly useful to be able to match your sidebar content with specific listings. An example: If you had a listing in a specific neighborhood, you could list details based on the location of the property.
There are some custom widgets that come with this theme as well. The search widget alone is pretty powerful because it allows users to narrow down their search results.
Responsive – Mobile-friendly
We all know how important it is to have a mobile-friendly site. When it comes to Real Estate sites, this is crucial. Every realtor needs to make sure their site is mobile-friendly, especially on smartphones. If you have ever been looking for a new home, you probably did a search while on the road. The fact that this theme is responsive makes it perfect for the realtor.
This theme is a powerful one for your Real Estate site. I have covered a lot of its features because I wanted to give you a fair idea of your options—and how you are able to build out your site without knowing code.
The documentation for the theme is good and it comes with 24/7 support. If you are a realtor, you will find that it covers all bases and aspects of a site that you would ever need. To get a real feel for the full theme and what it could do for you, I recommend that you check out the site for a live demo, Again, if you are a realtor and looking for a quality theme to showcase your business and profession, in my opinion, Bellaina Real Estate Theme is an outstanding option.