There are several themes available to manage property listings, many do offer a variety of options. Still there are several issues people face after setting up there sites with Real Estate Themes. Following are some points that will show you why we should use a plugin for real estate instead of a theme.
The lock-in problem
The lock-in problem is when a user is forced to continue using a specific theme because their real estate data would be lost to them if they switched to another theme.
Let’s face it. User’s switch themes. That’s the beauty of the WordPress theme and plugin system. A user can continue using the same plugins (functionality) and switch themes (presentation) daily if they want to.
If a user creates property listings using a specific theme and then loses access to all that listings after switching to another theme, that’s a major problem.
When we talk about “data portability” in the WordPress community, we’re primarily talking about being able to keep and access your data regardless of the theme you’re using. Now suppose you have created property listings using a theme, that theme may registered a custom_post_type for that purpose. What happens when you switch to a different theme without the same, exact post_type defined? Suddenly, you can no longer access your Property Listings. It doesn’t show on your site. Your Property Listings aren’t in the admin. They simply disappeared.
Let’s suppose you did find another theme that had a listings post type after switching from the old one. You might think that it would allow you to use your data. That may or may not be true. It actually depends on the post type name. Suppose, you may also succeed to find and change that post_type name in the new theme files, still its not guaranteed that you can still use all the existing data, because you will no longer have the access to custom post meta (means data of listings other than title and content).
The solution is simple, use the plugin for managing real estate sites rather than theme. You can change the themes whenever you want, without losing any real estate data (because all the data is managed through that plugin). I’m not forcing here to use a plugin, you can also use those themes who uses plugins to register post_types for property listings. But again, you have to make sure that all the functionality is also being handled through that plugin. Always take backup before switching themes and ask the developer to be sure to make your data safe.