There is a difference between a website and property management software

Created: Thursday, 02 October 2014 Written by Saskia

Designing and developing a website is not the same as developing property management software.

The (design of the) website is driven by user friendliness. You design your website for your visitor to stay and click on as many pages as possible. To contact you to show him a property. To come back to your site to see if any new or price reduced properties are added.

The property management software is designed to serve your needs as an estate agent.You need to be able to add descriptions, property specifications and seller information, the way you think is best. The software needs to be as user-friendly as possible, but also needs to work flawlessly with the website. The interaction between sofware (back-end, staff only) and website (front-end, mainly visitors) needs to run without hick-ups and faults. 24/7.

 

The good news is that you don’t always need to change your property management software in order to re-design your website. Any estate agents website can be generated upon an XML from any system.

There are different paths to a new estate agent website to show your visitor your portfolio of properties in the best possible way. 

  1. Have a website and property management software with one supplier.
  2. Have a website that is fed by a XML from another source.

I will try to explain differences and advantages of both options below. If you would like to discuss your situation and feel that the below is not covering this, than please feel free to contact me? I would really like to talk to you and analyze your situation to find a solution that works best in your company.

 

Option 1. Have a website and property management software with one supplier.

This means that you will have your own cloud based data base with all your properties in them. The website and the property management software act as if they are one.

The advantages of having all with one supplier is that:

  • You are in full control over the data in your database and on your website.
  • The property management software can be customized to any extend, so you are completely flexible to add or delete property specs, languages, sellers information. All can be designed as you wish.
  • The design of the website is flexible and can be as complex or simple depending on your budget and company size.
  • You are flexible when, after a while, you want to change specification of the properties.
  • List views and detailed views can be customized in to great detail.
  • You can add a community to your website, in order to give your users logins to their own space where they can keep their favourit properties.
  • Every change you make to your database is shown immediately on your website, no time delay because servers needs resetting.
  • You can have as many languages in your website as you want to manage.

It is important to remind yourself that in this option you need to be sure that the web designer and software developer work well together. Developing a website is not the same as developing a software application.

Also if you want a complete tailor made software management system than you will need to pay huge amounts for the development of it. A much better option is to use a ready-made component and customize this as much as necessary and possible. This means you will have the advantages of a system that is ready made (cheap and you are sure it will work) with the advantages of a tailor made system (customized to your needs and specific wishes).

To give you an idea of this option, please visit the site of La Porte Property or Ma Maison Immobilier.


Option 2. Have a website that is fed by a XML from another source.

The website can pick up the feed with all its information from any existing property management software to generate your website with its list views and detailed views. This is very helpful if you have a contract with for instance Cosmosoft, Expert Agent, Property Pro, etc.

It works basically like any other XML feed you use, like for instance for Green Acres or French Entrée. The website picks up a tailored XML and loads that in to the website data base. Therefor it will show in the website, but you need to make any changes in its original software..

The advantages of picking up a XML from your current database are the following:

  • You don’t need to change basic software systems. This saves money and training investments because the basic system stays the same.
  • You can have a custom made website to stand out from all the generic templates that are used by your database provider. All parts of the website, including list views and detailed views, and search options, can be customized.
  • Time needed to develop a website is much less than development of a property management software as well. So you can have your new template design online in weeks.

An example of a website based upon a XML feed is the site of Beaux Villages Immobilier. 

 

It is really up to you, your budget, your time and your willingness to change which of the two options suits you best.

Your web agency is the person to talk to in order to make a complete list of pros and cons in your specific situation. Remember that there is a solution for every problem! 

 

 

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