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How to Create a Real Estate Directory Website with WordPress for Free!

CEO Khai Intela
Did you know that 70% of licensed realtors had a website in 2021? And an astounding 97% of buyers search online to find their desired real estate property. These numbers clearly indicate the importance of...

Did you know that 70% of licensed realtors had a website in 2021? And an astounding 97% of buyers search online to find their desired real estate property. These numbers clearly indicate the importance of having a strong online presence in the real estate industry.

Especially during this pandemic, more and more people are turning to real estate directory websites. If you're thinking about creating one for yourself, now is the perfect time to give it a shot. However, building a real estate directory is not as easy as it sounds. You either need to have a good command of web programming languages or hire a developer. But don't worry, we have a solution for you.

In this tutorial, we will show you a free way to create a real estate directory using WordPress and Directorist. So let's get started!

Create a Real Estate Directory Website for Free

Assuming that you already have a WordPress website up and running, there are two things you will need:


  • A directory plugin (Free)
  • A directory theme (Free)

For this tutorial, we will be using Directorist, the most scalable and versatile directory plugin available in the WordPress repository. It offers a range of free features, including a drag & drop page builder, unlimited custom fields, page builder integrations (Elementor & Gutenberg), maps integration, ratings & reviews, and more. The plugin also has a whole range of premium features for those who want to take their directory website to the next level.

As for the theme, we recommend using the OneListing theme, which is specifically designed for directory websites. The free version of the theme is sufficient to give your website a sophisticated look, but you can always upgrade to the premium version for additional features and customization options.

Now let's move on to the steps:

Step 1: Install & Activate Directorist

To install the Directorist plugin, navigate to your WP Admin Dashboard > Plugins > Add New. Search for "Directorist" and hit the "Install Now" button. Once the plugin is installed, activate it and configure the setup wizard to get started. You can refer to the official documentation for detailed instructions on how to set it up.

Step 2: Install a Free Directory Theme

To install the OneListing theme, go to your WP Admin Dashboard > Appearance > Themes > Add New. Click on "Upload Theme" and select the 'onelisting.zip' file. Install the theme and activate it to apply the changes. After activating the theme, you will see a notification to install some supplementary plugins and tools. Make sure to install them using the "Begin Installing Plugins" option.

Step 3: Create Categories & Tags for Your Website

Creating categories and tags will help you organize your directory website. Visitors can easily find the listings they are looking for by selecting relevant categories and tags. To add categories, go to Directory Listings > Categories and fill out the necessary fields. You can also add images, descriptions, icons, and colors to enhance the category listings. Similarly, you can add tags from Directory Listings > Tags.

Step 4: Add New Locations

Adding locations is crucial for users to find real estate properties in specific areas. To add locations, go to Directory Listings > Locations and enter the necessary details such as name, description, and directory type. This will help users filter their search results based on location preferences.

Step 5: Listing Submission by Users

Allow your users to upload their listings by creating an "Add Listing" page. This page will contain a submission form where users can fill out the required fields to submit their listings. Once you start receiving listings, they will be displayed on the "All Listings" page in a visually appealing manner.

Step 6: Adding Advanced Feature: Monetizing Your Directory Website

With Directorist, you have several options to monetize your directory website and generate revenue. Some of the ways include charging for listings, featured listings, allowing businesses to claim listings, charging for viewing private listings, and more. You can refer to our article on "How to Monetize a Directory Listing Website" for detailed information on these monetization strategies.

Step 7: Adding a Free Payment Gateway

Directorist's free version supports offline bank transfers as the payment method. To receive payments through your bank account, navigate to WP Admin Dashboard > Directory Listings > Settings > Monetization > Offline Gateways Settings. Insert your bank account details and save the changes. Keep in mind that this payment gateway requires manual action to complete an order. Alternatively, the premium version of Directorist offers online payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net.

Bonus Tips

  • Directorist is fully compatible with Elementor, so you can use its widgets to enhance your directory website.
  • The Gutenberg block editor is also supported by Directorist, allowing you to create pages using its blocks.

Wrapping up, Directorist is a powerful tool that enables you to build a real estate directory website quickly and with great control. The free version offers features that are often sold as premium ones in other directory tools. If you're interested, you can try out the demo version before downloading and using the plugin permanently.

We hope this tutorial has provided you with a comprehensive guide to building your real estate directory website. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to leave a comment below. Don't forget to share your thoughts and experiences if you're already using Directorist. And make sure to subscribe to our blog for more informative posts.