Custom RETS PRO Real Estate Websites Using MLS® Board Data Feeds
First things first, when a real estate professional or 3rd party hires us to develop a custom website with real estate property listings, we need access to the raw data feed provided by their MLS Board(s). We can assist clients in accessing this raw data feed, however, it is not RETS PRO that makes application for the feed. It is the sole responsibility of the real estate agent/broker.
(Please Note* – THE easiest way to get through this process with your local Board of Realtors is to NOT mention using our software solution – Why? Because anytime you present something “New” other than what they are already familiar with, then you’re just opening yourself up to more Q&A as well as possible delays while they “look into this” etc – SO – We recommend to telling them that you are going to be using a free software called “RETS Connector” and by doing this you should “Glide Through The Red Tape Process!” )
- A real estate agent/broker should contact all pertinent MLS boards to request a RETS data feed.
- The MLS board will provide a contract/application to the agent/broker to sign in order to become an “In-House Vendor”.
- The agent/broker will be responsible for any fees, and proper filing of paperwork. When the MLS board approves the request they’ll provide you with your RETS login credentials, typically via email.
Important Questions you may want to Ask Your MLS Board:
- Do they provide Sold data? and if so is there any additional fees? This may be an important item to you as not all MLS offer it and those that do typically charge extra to have access to that data information.
- Do they offer VOW? and if so is there any additional fees? This also may be important to you as not all MLS offer it and if they do its typically an additional fee to have it and also requires additional requirements to be met as well, such as requiring customers to be registed and logged in in order to see the information.
Parsing, Compiling, and Styling MLS® Board Data Feeds:
RETS data feeds are provided in only one way and that’s via a live server connection. Each MLS® board will be different from the next. The first task is to verify your connection to the RETS server using our plugin. After connection to the RETS server is validated then we can begin the process by which we map the raw listing field data into an organized database listings field names. Once we’ve successfully mapped all of the listings data, we work to seamlessly integrate property listings into a fully responsive, searchable and user-friendly interface. Depending on the quality and efficiency of each MLS Board feed, and the number of boards requested, this process can take a couple of business days to a couple of weeks.
In order to update new, and delete old listings, we develop a chronological script (cron job) to ensure listing data is always available, and current. The script can be set to request updates at any specified interval, however, each individual board may have specific criteria or limitations regarding update frequency and/or times.
Real Estate Property Listing Search Features:
- Basic Search
- Basic Listings
- Full Listing Page
- Basic Map Search
- Basic Lead Management
The basic search page is where visitors go to enter criteria for property searches. Basic searches generally include options for: area/location, property type, minimum and maximum price, bedrooms, bathrooms.
The basic listings page is where property search results are displayed . This page displays clickable thumbnails of each property and a summary of the details: Price, Area, Beds, Baths, MSL#, and a link to view the full listing.
Full Listing Page:
This page provides all of the available information and a map of the location for a selected property. The main photo is displayed in a larger format, and if multiple photos are available, thumbnails of additional photos are displayed as well. This full listing page will also contain links for saving favorites, calculating payments, and a link to inquire about the property.
Basic Map Search
The basic map search page provides a Google map that enables visitors to search for properties based on area, property type, min and max price, beds, and baths. Users provide the criteria and click “update map”. The selection of available properties will display on the Google map (NOTE* Due to load times, property search results are limited on the map. We recommend no more than 50-100 properties at a time.
Basic Lead Management
The basic lead management portal is the password protected administration back-end where the IDX system captures, and stores leads. By default, the lead capture system will email the visitor’s contact information directly to the agent/broker, as well as save the lead to a secure database. There are a variety of additional features and functions that can be developed or integrated.