It isn't necessary for their website to show up in the first or second page of search results for general real-estate related terms for a business to be successful. And these days you pretty much need to have a website if you want to be taken seriously as a business.
As others have said, there are plenty of other marketing channels that don't involve the "free" organic search results. Explore those. If budget is a real issue, try frugalmarketing.com; you'll find a lot of ideas/tips for free and low-cost marketing.
Slightly off topic, but here's my take on why you should host your own business website instead of going with one of the "free" hosted alternatives (like wordpress.com). I think those are fine for personal use, but I would always put my business site on a domain I own, on hosting I pay for. (I don't have a problem using free Wordpress software for the site; I just thing the underlying server space/domain name should be "mine".) Here's why:
As cheap as decent shared hosting is these days, and given that the WP software is free -- along with tons of free themes and plugins -- you don't save that much by hosting on those "free" services, and you give up a lot of control. I never forget that any "free" service out there is not there to help promote me. Their primary focus is (as it should be) on making themselves successful. If their path to success happens to coincide with my interests, that's good for me -- but it might not always be so. They will always, always make decisions about their service with their own survival and growth first in mind, and I might not always like what they decide.
It's not always about account cancellation, either (although that is an issue -- and one that I've experienced myself in the past). My concerns include things like placing ads along side hosted content (can I eliminate the ads? whose ads will show up on my site? etc. etc.), changes in privacy policies that I (and my visitors) might not like, limited ability to customize my pages, restrictions on the type and amount of content I can post, etc.
Call me a control freak, but when I own the domain and I host the software, I get to be the one to make those decisions, and that's the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I like it (uh-huh, uh-huh).