Researching Real Estate Listing Options

In most instances, Real Estate sites will subscribe to a listing/search service, and the service will allow them the ability to add the code to their site. There are probably two ways this is done. 

Embedded Javascript
- this is the preferred method because most developers will allow the site owner to customize the look & placement of the code. 

Iframe Solution
- this is probably the most common that we will run into out in the real estate world. Because basically, anyone can add an I-frame to a website. The biggest problem with using I-frames, is the fact that we cannot customize the look/design of the entire frame. This is why all many real estate sites will see that the listing engine page doesn't match the rest of the site. It looks like there is a hole punched to view the site beneath, and that is precisely what is happening.

In the BiffWard example below, you will see the top left portion is actually on bifward.com, and the center – content area is served up by an external service, or other creative workarounds to bring in Iframes.

On the following example, I added the ability for the cleaners customers to log into an external site, and using some special code we customized that Iframe to be a better experience. (Click on LogIn or Create Account) http://www.klinkecleaners.com/online-account/ 

However, the added drawback to using Iframes, is the fact that they are not responsive-friendly. In-fact, Iframes are responsive-nasty.

Their size doesn't adapt to the screen-width, so mobile/tablet visitors would need to have something else to view. We can detect these visitors and the screen size and offer a different component for those screen sizes, but it's usually a better solution to find a JavaScript component that is either mobile-ready, or something we can smack into place with a code-hammer.

You could Google to find software vendors that real estate agents are using… or you could just snoop-around a bit (STEPS BELOW)

 1. Visit the site and look/search for properties. 


 

2. Right-click on the search results area and VIEW FRAME SOURCE. At least in chrome, you have the ability to view the Iframe's frame :)

 


 

3. looking at the code, you should see references to the software that's being used. Especially in the I-frame examples, the end-user doesn't have the ability to take any of those references out. So the software vendor will obviously want to keep selling their product by listing their name/app/platform within the code.

 If the code that you see is a JavaScript solution, then the end-user is probably still obligated to keep references to their code within the site. (Additionally, companies will pay a premium fee to remove logos and links to the tech-provider's site.)

 

 

4. In this example, I would bet that Tucker has a national account with Sierra Interactive, and probably many Tucker agents can use Sierra? I'm not sure how these local/regional/national accounts work exactly, but I plan to get to the bottom of it. 

 

Alan Houser

Squareflair, 23390 West Road, Sheridan, IN, USA