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Thread: I need a few websites....Real Estate related

  1. #1
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    I need a few websites....Real Estate related

    I apologize if Im posting in the wrong place.

    I'm in the Real Estate industry and I have a few website ideas I want to try out. These are just ideas so I don't want to hire a full blown web designing company just yet. I don't know anything about web sites or web designing.

    Basically I need like a 1 page website with IDX search capabilities. Are there any economical online freelancers or companies that specialize in small jobs.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErickV View Post
    Are there any economical online freelancers or companies that specialize in small jobs.
    Sure. India's full of "web designers" who'd love to slap your logo on a template for $4/hr.

    A website is an investment in your business, not a commodity. You'll have to come up with a respectable budget if you plan on it getting done right.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Ron just busted your chops, Erick. You probably don't like what he said, either.

    Here's the thing, though...he's absolutely right. You used one of the "customer caution" words (i.e. economical). What that says to us, whether you intended to or not, is that you want to do something on the cheap. No one wants to spend more than they have to, but building a one-page site to test out an idea you may have isn't going to give you any indication whatsoever of the effectiveness of the idea. One-page sites generally don't work because they're one-page sites...how useful can a single page site really be?

    On top of that, you need someone to integrate an IDX search into that. Ron is one of the smarter people on here, and he probably has never done that before. I'm reasonably intelligent, and I've never done that before either. The number of people who actually have is relatively small. It's a niche market. So you're going to have to allow some time (and some budget) for someone to research, find whatever code is necessary to get the search to work, and integrate it. It may be a simple form that you have access to as a realtor. It may be more complex. It's pretty much a coin flip as to which of the two scenarios plays out, and if the latter is the case, your "small job" becomes at least a medium-sized one.

    Here's your take-home on all of this...your simple request may very well have a difficult answer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGAME1264 View Post
    Ron just busted your chops, Erick. You probably don't like what he said, either.

    Here's the thing, though...he's absolutely right. You used one of the "customer caution" words (i.e. economical). What that says to us, whether you intended to or not, is that you want to do something on the cheap. No one wants to spend more than they have to, but building a one-page site to test out an idea you may have isn't going to give you any indication whatsoever of the effectiveness of the idea. One-page sites generally don't work because they're one-page sites...how useful can a single page site really be?

    On top of that, you need someone to integrate an IDX search into that. Ron is one of the smarter people on here, and he probably has never done that before. I'm reasonably intelligent, and I've never done that before either. The number of people who actually have is relatively small. It's a niche market. So you're going to have to allow some time (and some budget) for someone to research, find whatever code is necessary to get the search to work, and integrate it. It may be a simple form that you have access to as a realtor. It may be more complex. It's pretty much a coin flip as to which of the two scenarios plays out, and if the latter is the case, your "small job" becomes at least a medium-sized one.

    Here's your take-home on all of this...your simple request may very well have a difficult answer.

    I appreciate your reply and Ron's reply.

    I know I said "economical" but I didn't say below typical cost. Maybe what I consider 'economical' is just enough for what Im asking.

    I think integrating IDX is very simple as Ive seen DIY instructions online.

    Actually it wouldn't be one page only because once you search for properties on IDX, the search result will jump into another page. Like I said I dont know anything about websites.

    I know a website is an investment and its like a tattoo artist - if you pay cheap you will get a crappy tattoo.

    So how do I know what the budget would be?

    I want this website solely for people to search for properties (locally).. not like Trulia or Zillow. I'm thinking small and local for now. And I want to generate leads.

    I already know the layout/design I want.

  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    To answer your budget question, you really don't. It depends on several factors:

    1) Who you hire.

    2) What you hire a person/persons for.

    3) How much that person/those persons charge.

    4) What type of IDX integration you want (whether you want it in a frame or whether you want the IDX results in your own site). I did a quick 5-minute search on IDX integration and didn't find the DIY instructions you did, although it probably doesn't matter all that much since the instructions would depend on your IDX vendor and what they do/don't allow you to do. Usually DIY instructions for integration fall under the "here are a few general guidelines, not hard and fast steps to follow...adapt as necessary since at least half of this stuff won't apply to you."

    This alone can cause quite a bit of variance as far as the price is concerned. Integration of a service such as IDX is very much a vendor-specific task. Sometimes vendors have great tools and it's relatively easy to interact with them and get support when you're stuck (e.g. eBay's merchant tools, PayPal's payment processor APIs). Sometimes they're completely useless, poorly documented, inconsistent and support is pretty much non-existent as no one in the company has a clue how their tools are even supposed to work in the first place (e.g. Amazon's Merchant Web Services). Most of them tend to fall somewhere in the middle...decent, an experienced developer may need a bit of help the first time or two, takes a few hours to do what is ultimately required, but it works eventually.

    The local search vs. the national search doesn't really come into play here because the scope of the search isn't a significant integration factor.

    5) The layout that you have in mind. Is it a simple layout? Is it complex? Are you concerned about mobile users?

    There are probably some I haven't considered, but this should suffice. The only way you find out is to find people you may be interested in and speak to them about it. I know it's trite, and I know it doesn't set you a conclusive budget, but that really is the best answer I or anyone else is going to be able to give. It could be a couple of hundred bucks. It could be several thousand, possibly even in the tens of thousands depending on what exactly needs to be done. And it could be anywhere in between those two points. So you need to ask.

    This also becomes more challenging as even experienced developers generally won't have experience with your particular niche. You might find someone that has worked with and integrated third-party tools before, but not this specific one. That's why I said you'll need to allow some room in your budget for mistakes...not that any developer wants to make them, but any honest developer will tell you mistakes will happen with any new integration.
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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Search for what?
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)

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    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    This internet you speak of, just what exactly is it?
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

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    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    Erick,

    Do you have access to the IDX MLS (multiple listing site) database? Or any of the IDX databases?

    I didn't know much about it, so I looked at this website:
    What is IDX : real estate data for the web explained | Diverse Solutions

    It seems like you have to be a member, or pay for a service to access the database(s). If for example, you are a client of "Diverse Solutions", they will provide you with some sort of API KEY to use with server-side scripting to access their database. Diverse Solutions system costs $1K per year plus $200 set-up fee. You would pay for a webhost account with some shared webhost, and pay for a programmer to do all of the PHP scripting.

    It sounds like you already have IDX access? Who do you have it with, and do they provide any API documentation? If I could see the API documentation, I could give you a good idea about what it would take to create some PHP scripts.


    EDIT:
    This looks like some sort of IDX system where you create your own database?
    http://custompathidx.com/custom-idx-api.php

    Not quite sure if this actually goes out to other databases or not. They have a monthly fee for their service.
    Last edited by mlseim; Jan 10th, 2014 at 10:51 AM.
    TheGAME1264 likes this.


  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlseim View Post
    Erick,

    Do you have access to the IDX MLS (multiple listing site) database? Or any of the IDX databases?

    I didn't know much about it, so I looked at this website:
    What is IDX : real estate data for the web explained | Diverse Solutions

    It seems like you have to be a member, or pay for a service to access the database(s). If for example, you are a client of "Diverse Solutions", they will provide you with some sort of API KEY to use with server-side scripting to access their database. Diverse Solutions system costs $1K per year plus $200 set-up fee. You would pay for a webhost account with some shared webhost, and pay for a programmer to do all of the PHP scripting.

    It sounds like you already have IDX access? Who do you have it with, and do they provide any API documentation? If I could see the API documentation, I could give you a good idea about what it would take to create some PHP scripts.


    EDIT:
    This looks like some sort of IDX system where you create your own database?
    Advanced IDX ?

    Not quite sure if this actually goes out to other databases or not. They have a monthly fee for their service.
    Yes I do have IDX already. It is provided by the Realtor association I belong to. I can link the IDX I have into any website I create or even Wordpress if Im not mistaken.

    See this link Internet Data Exchange (IDX)
    Internet Data Exchange (IDX)

  11. #10
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    On the surface, that looks like fairly straightforward documentation...at least for the framed page. Based on what you told me in PM, all of that is fairly easily doable.

    The problem you'll run into with framed pages is mobile devices, specifically phones. I haven't played with frames on a phone myself (or frames at all other than iframes since the early 2000s), but from what I've read they don't work well with phones and there's a good reason for that...the screen's just too small. But if you're okay with testing your idea on desktops / laptops and then adjusting to read the feeds afterward (more complex), then that's something that can be done. But understand when you make that choice that you may be cutting off a significant portion of your audience, particularly if you sell residential real estate.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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