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Universal Property Portal Feed!

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  • Universal Property Portal Feed!

    We are currently working to develop a better system for creating property feeds for Property Portals (I know we are not alone). However there is generally quite a wide level of diversity for different portal's.

    We would be interested in hearing the opinions of Independent Estate Agents across the UK on the following points...
    • Best FREE property Portals
    • Best Paid Property Portals
    • Easiest Format to produce a property feed
    • Most popular format for a property feed
    • What Estate Agents would like to see
    • Where do the currently available property software / portal feed systems fail to deliver

    Anyone interested in adding their comments are welcome to do so. We are working towards the provision of an open and freely available system that will cover all major (and many minor) portals.

    We look forward to seeing your comments on this discussion...
    RealtyBase - Investment Property Portal
    FREE Property Listings for Estate Agents / Property Developers and Private Sellers

  • #2
    Re: Universal Property Portal Feed!

    No takers?

    We would genuinely like to build friendly and productive relationships with Real Estate industry Professionals to help build better systems, and to dramatically reduce the costs of marketing your available properties...
    RealtyBase - Investment Property Portal
    FREE Property Listings for Estate Agents / Property Developers and Private Sellers


    • #3
      Re: Universal Property Portal Feed!

      I actually operate from outside of the UK (Turkey), but my site is primarily aimed at the UK market. Last year I manually made my own feed, but it was as time consuming to update it (in all the different formats necessary to meet the requirements of all the different portals) as it was to upload my listings manually, so I gave up on the idea.
      This year I decided to use xml2u to do the job for me.

      The feed they have made for me is in four different formats, one is the Rightmove .blm, the other three are all .xml files. I use portals which accept overseas property listings,
      and most of these use the .xml format. But I understand that in the UK the .blm is very commonly used. It may therefore be that my experiences with these particlar portals is
      different to those of agents who only advertise in the UK. However, I would think that many also advertise on international sites so hopefully what I have to say will still be

      Regarding which are the best free and paid portals, you would first need to define what you mean by best, i.e. in what way. But I can say that not surprisingly, the paid ones
      are more likely to respond to queries and more likely to be helpful.

      Concerning the format, I would say that you would need to have at least one .xml as well as the .blm.
      Unfortunately there is no easy solution to what the feed should actually contain as every portal has their own ideas as to what is important and what isn't, and how many images
      they will accept.

      What I want is a feed that is readily accepted by all the portals, a support system for when things go wrong, and most importantly that my listings are as full and as accurate
      as if I had uploaded them manually. (xml2u only gather the data that they want to gather, and then the portals don't always accept all of what they do have)

      I have only been using xml2u for a month, but have only had one small technical problem which was quickly resolved. But a feed is nothing more than a tool to get listings onto
      portals, and if there are problems in getting portals to accept it then its value is greatly diminished. One month down the road, I have only managed to get about a 50% success rate for this.

      To begin with, I found that of the list of portals who were working with xml2u, some no longer existed, some had special offers which had expired, and some had incorrect terms
      displayed. Not only did this mean that there were considerably less portal options than I thought, but I wasted a lot of time and effort finding out.
      So the first thing I would want new feed provider to have is an accurate up to date list of portals and what they will and won't do.

      The system is that the user selects which portals they want to send their feed to, and xml2u automatically generates emails to a designated person at each one.
      Although this worked for a few of them, mainly it didn't. I disvovered that some require registration at their site first, others cliamed not to have recieved the email, and others just did not respond at all.
      So the second thing is to have an agreement with each portal as to how they will accept notification of a feed. If it is to be by email then it should be to an address that is
      set up specifically for the purpose. The feed supplier should then check with the portal that it has been accepted rather than leaving it to the agent.

      Afrter two weeks of unsuccessfully trying myself to contact a number of portals, I notified xml2u who promise a 48 hour response. Two weeks later, I am still waiting for a number of responses. There is no real support ticket system (i.e. something that allocates a reference to each ticket, and allows the user to update it with new information and to chase it or close it), what they have is an email contact form. This results in copious numbers of emails, and emails being read out of sequence.
      So the third thing is a proper support system, and up to date contact information for each portal. I am quite happy to try to resolve portal problems myself, but I need a real
      person to be available and if I can't sort it out I want to know that the feed supplier will step and help me in a timely way and with some teeth where necessary.

      I have found that many portals will accept a feed with no charge, some want a small set up fee, and some want a silly amount. If I am already paying the feed provider ı don't
      expect to have to pay a portal as well. The very fact the some free to list sites can set it up for free suggests to me that the cost of adding further feeds to an existing
      platform is minimal at most. I am only talking here about a set up fee, not any subscription or pay per lead charges.

      There is probably a lot more I could add but it is getting late in my working day so I think that's enough for now.
      Last edited by ozsubasi; 07-03-2013, 03:50 PM.
      Ozsubasi FMS Homes have property for sale in Altinkum, Turkey and surrounding areas.