Fasw3b team has come up with a new solution to FW Real Estate data management - backup and restore functionality. Backup and restore functionality is an efficient solution for real estate websites to easily backup and restore properties, agents, and images data within a short time period.
Saving backup files on a regular basis is an efficient web maintenance practice for real estate websites. Backup files can be easily restored if anything goes wrong. It is highly important to do backups in the following cases:
- When there is a need to make a backup copy to protect your data against loss, corruption or human error.
- When there is a need to move data from one website to another.
- Before any major work of your real estate website.
If you need to apply bulk changes to all properties on your website without configuring each particular property individually, you can use CSV import/export functionality. CSV import/export allows to easily export properties data, apply changes to the required data, and import the changed data back to the component.
If you need to keep your website up-to-date with the latest properties listings on the marketplace, MLS/IDX/XML integration
is a sound solution for you. MLS/IDX/XML integration allows to easily synchronize your properties listings with MLS/IDX database.
FW Real Estate provides you with a range of data management tools and functionalities. Backup and restore to ensure the security of your data, use import/export functionality to apply bulk changes to your properties listings, and automatically synchronize with properties database to keep your content up to date. Get familiar with FW Real Estate documentation
to find more information about our product.
Real estate IDX or MLS integration is a proven way to automate listings population online. Such integration allows to have many content rich pages with actual property information 24/7. What can be better than a website with auto-populated rich content pages, right? But there is a detail on how integration is done, which may totally ruin search ranking benefits for your website.
In this review, we will consider Joomla extension services. In particular: an extension for the FW Real Estate plugin. Its task is in automation of the import and the real estate objects synchronization using external databases (MLS / IDX) or XML feeds. For this purpose, special settings and fields updates are used.
MLS / IDX / XML Integration service includes:
- Integration of standard FWRE fields with external MLS / IDX / XML source. Any extra fields can be added at additional cost approximately $50 per field. Adding special conditions for the processing of certain fields.
- Existing fields format adaptation to match MLS / IDX / XML source format.
- Cron setup for regular (daily/hourly) one-way MLS/IDX/XML synchronization and the site with FWRE.
- 30 days maintenance support to ensure that synchronization works as expected.
Data exchange with MLS is as follows:
Itegrating systems details
Real estate MLS integration helps real estate brokers share information and deliver a proposal to clients. This is the advantage of agents over private individuals. Multi-listing is an electronic base in which all the objects for sale are located. It is not available to anyone, only market experts can use it. As a rule, the base is collected at the city or regional level.
Real estate IDX integration is necessary to expand the MLS possibilities: properties search in the base, the common network control and more. For example, IDX allows you to configure the receiving data from MLS in XML form.
RETS is a set of standards to simplify software with MLS data. However, not all MLS / IDX providers adhere to RETS standards or do not fully adhere to them. For this, it is important to integrate individually and ensure that all configured fields are synchronized correctly.
Installation and Configuration
Joomla development services integration is a complex process requiring technical skills. Therefore, the module is not obtained out of the box, but is just a custom plugin for FW Real Estate.
During installation, various custom search and filter parameters are added. Everything that is necessary for the client is integrated. When the installation is complete, all functions will be tested to ensure that the components work as expected.
The most important parameters will be configured in the FW Real Estate control panel. The list of important parameters is discussed with each client individually, so as a result, each client receives the product that is necessary for his/her business.
You need to have access to actual MLS / IDX / XML channel or file server so the MLS / IDX database works. An XML news feed or a CSV file of a specified format can be used for this. Your account should be allowed access to current properties of the real estate.
For the work we need:
- Website with the latest version of FW Real Estate, access to the Joomla administrator panel, as well as access to FTP server.
- Integration service payment. You will be sent a link to the transaction upon request. The integration price will be 799 USD.
- MLS / IDX / XML working access to the properties database. This is needed only for testing purposes to configure the integration and make sure that the product work. This can be a test account or a developer account.
FW Real Estate MLS / IDX / XML integration will allow the real estate site to reach a new orbit. The interoperability with a common real estate agents base will favorably highlight the site in front of similar resources, where relevant ads from individuals and organizations are collected. Big win in the plus column would be the constant maintenance of the site in the current status, and to provide visitors with information about off-the-shelf real estate properties.
The help of experts during installation and configuration excludes possible errors, and the 30 days of the support period allow you to make sure that there are no any bugs.
Any Broker or Agency real estate website requires the most actual information reflected in the listings. Some time ago, the only way to maintain the most up-to-date information was manual listings editing. As technology evolves, any real estate website can benefit from a reliable and zero time-consuming MLS/IDX integration for 24/7 information update.
Technically, Multiple Listings Service (MLS) refers to property listings provider, while Information Data Exchange (IDX) is a protocol that defines interaction between listings provider and real estate website. Despite the fact MLS and IDX are incomparable definitions, MLS has become so popular in the US, Canada and Australia, that these words are often used as synonyms.
The biggest challenge with MLS/IDX integration is a protocol used for access and synchronization. There is the RESO (formerly RETS) standard, which seems to be popular in the US only... to a certain degree. In most cases types of integration varies from modern REST API protocols to old school XML files accessed on a remote password-protected account.
The key elements of any MLS/IDX integrations are:
- Listing provider account.
- Property website.
- Cron job script on a server.
Listing provider account is access to a remote database or file that has the most actual information about properties on the market you require.
Property website is your online website that is already built and has some listing presentation. In other words, there must be a place where data will be imported and then shown to your customers.
Cron job is a so-called script that will run synchronization on your website's hosting account to fetch the latest information and update your website with it. The cron job is usually configured to run synchronization once a day, but you can change frequency up to your needs.
MLS/IDX integration process is not a simple procedure, but the result is well worth the effort. Having actual property listings and focus on dealing with potential clients is what real estate business is about. When property presentation is designed and general information is published, MLS/IDX integration will keep your website up-to-date further.
Our FW Real Estate product has all benefits of a great presentation, flexible search and Custom Fields editor required for any property listing website. We have a special Real Estate MLS/IDX/XML Integration service that take up to 5 days to complete integration and never worry about outdated listings on your website again.
If you are in a real estate business or need to build a website, we will be happy to consult you on any questions in this regard. All consultations are free. Even if you made your choice, you can always get an alternative expert review of your plan with suggestion on what needs closer attention.
In this article, we will explain the key differences between realtor and agency website, highlight what is needed to keep a real estate website up-to-date, and outline the required features for a successful property listing website.
There are two traditional models in real estate business - independent and agency model. An independent model implies a realtor who is licensed to sell properties and not affiliated with a real estate company. This business model is more commonly known in some parts of the United States, Canada, and Australia. An agency model implies multiple agents working for the same company and it is a common case for Europe. These two business models stand behind our FW Real Estate product and are communicated via its two versions - FW Real Estate Agency and Realtor. Let’s review the main differences between a realtor and agency website and key real estate data management principles below.
Realtor vs Agency website: common base and differences
When it comes to a common thread, both realtor and agency websites should have up-to-date property listings, which is a matter of MLS/IDX integration described below. Except for MLS/IDX integration, a good real estate website should have a bunch of features:
- Multiple fields allowing to specify property information - specification details, floor/room plans, amenities, interior/exterior details, specific terms, etc. The more information you can provide about the property, the better your chances to succeed.
- Advanced search functionality enabling your users to search for properties by multiple criteria such as location, status, price range, property type, and more.
- Map view enabling your visitors to visualize the properties and neighborhood boundaries giving all information they needed to buy or rent with confidence.
- Rental functionality allowing to specify lease terms, dates, pets friendly/not friendly information, utility costs, etc.
- Social sharing features allowing to share your property ads on social media and, in such a way, expand your online presence.
- Interactive and informative media elements such as 3d virtual and video tours, engaging slideshows, PDF brochures, multiple images display, etc.
All of the above-listed features are crucial for a professional and competitive real estate website and they are all available in both FW Real Estate Agency and Realtor products. However, there are certain conceptual differences between realtor and agency websites. These differences are basically centered around multiple agents functionality which is present in the agency website and absent in the realtor website.Thus, a good agency website should provide the following basic things:
- Property listings associated with particular agents. In other words, each property ad should display the agent who is in charge of it so the user could immediately contact the agent directly from your ad.
- Agents user pages, where agents can publish and edit their property listings and present their bios and qualifications as well. It is also important that your agent users could interact with the website directly from the front-end, without having to access the admin panel.
- Pages displaying all agents working within the company so the user could choose and contact the agent they like. If you don’t provide agents listings, your visitors may leave the website to search for an agent and chance are low that they will ever come back.
- Pages displaying all properties from a particular agent. Once the agent is chosen, the user can go to the page with all properties from the agent they like.
- An eye-catching agents promo functionality allowing to position your new or popular agents in the best possible light.
FW Real Estate Agency offers a full range of agents functionalities so you could create a consistent and working real estate agency website.
How to keep your real estate website up-to-date effortlessly
Real estate business is constantly changing. If your properties listings respond to the ongoing changes on the real estate marketplace, your potential buyers will more likely find the property they want and come to you when it’s time to buy or rent. There are three different ways to keep your real estate website up-to-date:
- Manually, when each property is added and edited manually. This method is free but time-consuming.
- Export/import, when properties tables are exported, edited, and imported manually. This method is less time-consuming, then the manual one. However, it is suitable for the websites with a small number of properties updated once in two-three days. The more property ads are updated using this method, the better chance of making mistake in properties tables.
- Automated, when integration with a properties database (MLS/IDX) is handled via API calls or XML/CSV technology. All properties coming to the marketplace get automatically to MLS/IDX database. Once a property is sold or rent out, this information is instantly reflected in the MLS/IDX database. So it is not surprising, why it is so important to keep your real estate website synchronized with MLS/IDX database. This method is effortless and time-saving. MLS/IDX integration allows to automatically pull broker's listings from the MLS/IDX database and get them published directly on the website.
As you can see, it depends on your business needs, which properties update method to choose. We offer automated properties update service in the form of a custom-developed plugin. The plugin gets integrated with MLS/IDX provider via XML technology. To learn more about our integration service, review our MLS/IDX/XML integration service page.
Review our FW Real Estate demo website
to find more information about FW RE Agency and Realtor. Get familiar with FW Real Estate documentation
to learn about FW Real Estate installation, configuration, and settings. Please use the comments section at the bottom of each documentation page to comment and suggest improvements that will make the product experience better.