Category Archives: Blog

Joomla and WordPress Real Estate

Open source projects such as Joomla and WordPress have taken the web market by storm. With outstanding security and flexibility it would be a huge mistake to start a new web project without Joomla IDXusing one of these popular CMS systems. The numerous amount of plug-ins and components for these open source systems is simply amazing.  In addition updates are offered many times a year making these systems future proof. Proprietary solutions have there place in technology but when you are providing websites to agents and brokers its important that they have a good building framework. Building on open source, Joomla & WordPress, can be one of the most important decisions that you can make when starting your online presence. Read more about our web solutions.

Why do companies offer template websites.

In the past many idx solutions built systems to use one core IDX that was than wrapped or framed into a website. These systems are referred to as template websites. In most cases the idx solution cannot be customized, and the SEO factor of the idx is null. However the cost of these sites in most cases are just a monthly fee of 29.95 per month. Setting up these sites can be achieved in under 5 minutes, and sites can be setup by the thousands. Great opportunity for the company but what about the client. Many agents are running from these websites today. They want more control and flexibility, and they want a system that can grow with them. The agents today have become incredibly knowledgeable about web sites and technology, and the template web site is on its way out.  If you are looking for a turn key solution that has the ultimate flexibility give us a call today and let us show you how to build your new online presence.

Custom Vs Template

Many agents have asked us if the $29.95 per month sites are of any value and if a custom website is different.RETS

Choosing the right idx company can be extremely confusing, especially when there are thousands of companies offering idx services. Template websites have there place in the real estate industry and have been part of  it  for many years. They are cheap, fast to deploy and many don’t require much thought. However as many agents know template sites are a dime a dozen and they do not offer much value for the website visitor. There are two main components that a successful website must follow, Content – Features, and Marketing. SEO costs a minimum of 400 per month and a six month commitment is necessary to see meaningful results. This is a fixed cost no matter if you site is template or custom. However there is another factor that is important and that is content and bounce rate. Pay for SEO  and get the hits but watch your bounce rate hover above 50 percent on template web sites. ( Bounce Rate – the rate at which visitors exit a site after the first page visit.)  You have seconds to present value to a visitor and without the value proposition you can kiss your visitor goodbye.

Why build a Custom Website ? To present a value within seconds

By building a custom website you will have the power to add new functionality whenever you want and you will not be held hostage by companies offering a package.  Galtlinedesign offers very unique features not found in other idx systems. However the biggest advantage is the you are able to grow with technology and continue to build on your own framework. These custom systems are virtually future proof.

In addition because Galtlinedesign is built on open source, Joomla – WordPress the options are endless. There are literally thousands of free plug ins for your system.

WordPress Plug-Ins

Joomla Plug-Ins

Cant find the free desired plug-in, give us a call and within a few hours you will have it. Galtlinedesign is a supported open source solution, you do not have to walk the road alone. Your system is your own and if you want to integrate an api such as Zillow, Altos, or demographic data  it is as simple as building a custom plug in. Also it is not necessary that you know anything about Joomla or WordPress Galtlinedesign offers full training and support with your new custom website. . We like to think of ourselves more of a development company than just an idx solution. Galtlinedesign is truly the only Future Proof system available for agents and brokers.

Should I manage my own development ?

There are many agents and brokers who have thought about managing their own websites due to the lack of service with previous IDX development companies. Before you think about stepping out on your own take a few minutes to read how Galtlinedesign can help you.

How are we different from all the other IDX -RETS Providers ?joomlaidx

A)    When you become a customer of Galtlinedesign you get all of the updates and new functionality free.   Forget about the good, better, best concept all new development is free as long as you remain a client of Galtlinedesign.

B)    Galtlinedesign offers an open source CMS system. Why buy into a product that is proprietary. The majority of real estate technology companies offer proprietary systems.  While these system might offer nice features many custom features cannot be built . By using and open source CMS you have the ability to control your future. Have an idea, we can build it !

Common responses from proprietary IDX development solution’s:

1.    The owner of xyz real estate technologies was previously a real estate agent and he or she knows what you need in your system. – This is the most absurd excuse anyone can give to a working professional. Experienced agents and brokers are the ones with the brilliant ideas, and if they want something custom they should be able to get it built. This is what creates competitive advantage and makes ones site stand out among another.

2.    Many IDX providers cannot build custom functionality . Propriety systems were developed from the ground up to run as a single unit. Many companies cannot change or add to the property system or search because if they do they get the ripple effect to all other agents sites. This type of site is called a Template Site. They sell a system that everyone uses and one site is almost identical to another. Run from these companies at all costs !

C)    Tap into the open source community and thrive on existing development. Joomla and WordPress have literally hundreds of thousands of free plug-ins and components already built to do a specific task. Looking for a sophisticated CRM, no problem load Sugar CRM and have one of the best CRM systems used today throughout business. Try having your technology company build that for you ? Proprietary systems just can’t compete, and the cost of these plug-ins is relatively inexpensive.

D)    Some agents might be thinking of managing their own development but before you do make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

1)    We believe in order to succeed in business owners should do what they do best – focus on their core competency. Real estate agents should be focusing on working with buyers and sellers not building web sites. Take my word for it, we work at this business 7 days a week 10 hours a day at times and there is a huge amount of work that goes into keeping up on new technology and building out new ideas. Stick to what you know best, selling, and let us handle your technology, you will thank us for it.

2)    A few Fixed expenses you should think about if you do decide to take the plunge on your own

Dedicated Server hosting $ 150.00 per month this is one server and is well below average
Redundant backups $  75.00 Per month
Network and firewall assistance $  75.00 Per month
Rets and IDX  data setup $ 2,000 – $5,000 one time charge
Updates on Rets Server $ 500 –   $1500 yearly

Your total monthly fixed costs for running your own web system  $508 – $841 per month

This doesn’t even include the development costs for implementing the system. Starts at 10k and up

At Galtlinedesign you pay 125 per month for hosting and updated features!Real Estate IDX