Wordpress Dominating IDX Websites :(

marty.true's picture

I left Wordpress behind 9 years ago when I transitioned to become a Drupal developer. I would love to work more with realtors and real estate agencies but it seems that most all of them are going to Wordpress now, and with good reason... It seems that all the great IDX plugins are being developed for Wordpress and the only IDX solution that I can find for Drupal is drealty and with it showing only 210 sites using it, that is not a great indication of having a solid IDX solution for Drupal.

I know that Drupal is more than capable of just about anything and I'm sure that a Drupal developer working directly for a large real estate agency could build a one-off custom module to pull IDX feeds in and map to fields/nodes but that is not good enough... We need not one but several IDX solutions for Drupal!

Real Estate is an industry that still has many opportunities for website redesigns and new agencies and agents coming online every day. So will our Drupal community just give this abundant industry to Wordpress without a decent fight?

I love Drupal but it seems we've become a community of "single solutions" when it comes to several major components of CMS web development... (e.g., Drupal Commerce, DRealty, etc.).

My Drupal development skills are great but not in complete module solutions like this, so for those that are skilled in this level of module development, I'd love to see something new and exciting come out for this (and others) industry!

Comments

Drealty

shauntyndall's picture

@marty.true

That is interesting feedback. My team has been sponsoring development of the Drealty module for years now. Quite frankly, we aren't really up-to-date on what plugins are being used for IDX integration for Wordpress.

What are some features available in Wordpress IDX integrations that aren't available in Drupal?

If anything, using Drupal as a real estate platform is not an economical solution for smaller organizations / individuals. There isn't really a "pre-packaged" real estate solution. So, I could see value in developing a Drupal distrobution for the real estate vertical....thoughts?

Hi Shaun, Thanks for the

marty.true's picture

Hi Shaun,

Thanks for the reply and let me just say that I am in no way stating that DRealty is not a great module. I am just stating that from a standpoint of "plug-n-play", we (Drupal) are kind of getting knocked out of the small organizations in real estate. And honestly, you can classify most all real estate agencies or individual agents as "smaller organization".

I know that one of the historic differences between Wordpress and Drupal is that WP is more "plug-n-play" while Drupal is more modular and made for developers - one thing I love about Drupal. But there is a point where having a single solution like DRealty proves very limiting.

Many of the Wordpress IDX plugins, when installed, create everything for you and all you need to do is put in your IDX account credentials. While the one single Drupal solution (DRealty) allows you to map IDX fields to Drupal fields, it takes a lot of dev to create the nodes/fields, to map to...

So yes, in the end, I agree with you that a full Drupal distribution would be fantastic. The distribution could simply be created from an existing site that uses DRealty, with some generic elements built-in and a Bootstrap-based theme that is easily customized. I would also love to see more choices for IDX modules.

Drupal distro

shauntyndall's picture

@marty.true, I'm all on board with producing the distro. However, the main issue we've always run into is mapping each IDX's RETS implementation. When you see a Wordpress solution like: http://www.ihomefinder.com/ they already have the mappings produced for a majority of the IDX providers. Where do we capture all those mappings?

That seems like the only real barrier. Pre-configured field mappings would reduce 80% of work needed to setup Drealty.

Here is a WP plugin that

marty.true's picture

Here is a WP plugin that might help to answer some of those questions: https://wordpress.org/plugins/simply-rets/

I'm going to setup a WP site and give the plugin a run through to see if it's possible to dig in the code and see how they're doing it. The company, SimplyRETS, has an API that might also be usable in Drupal: https://simplyrets.com/services

Drupal + dRealty + RETS + idx mapping

wokndadog's picture

I am not a developer, but instead a REALTOR and a bit of a hobbyist who has built a number of Real Estate websites with MLS integration using... vieleRETS, phRETS etc., (never used a prepackaged commercial solution). For me, there was no big issue with mapping fields from my MLS (from Paragon5), other than that it was a bit time consuming. Once once I had fields mapped for my site, it was easy enough for me to clone the mapped fields in order to create separate sites for a couple close associates within my group.

It has been years since I built those sites and I have probably forgotten more than I remember. Still, I started paying attention to Drupal and dRealty +/- 3 years ago with the intent of building a new drupal based site, but have not yet done so. Due to some looming changes on the horizon, it appears I am going to be forced into taking action as a result of MLS mergers in our region which will result in a single MLS that covers six states. The point here being, with this merger MLS Rets mapping will become uniform for this six state region with tens of thousands of agent members.

I am starting to work on this now to see what I can do to get a jump on all the other agents in my area who will also need to update their websites.

Guess the whole point of my post/response is that mergers like this will continue in the future and as they do, the long term goal of a uniform RETS standard is one step closer to being a reality. Now might be the time to give attention creating a reliable Drupal integration.

I commend all working on Drupal and dRealty and welcome your thoughts, comments.

Any progress on this?

pwb's picture

Hi Marty,

I'm curious to know how far you got with SimplyRETS. It is quite pricey isn't it. I think a standalone open source solution to the RETS mapping problem is worth investigating but I'd like to do it as part of a team.

BTW, I wrote about the limitations of WordPress for real estate sites here. You might find it interesting:

https://smallbusinessforum.co/why-an-alternative-to-wordpress-is-needed-...

Cheers,

Ed

Hi Ed, I've not gotten into

marty.true's picture

Hi Ed,
I've not gotten into much progress in this as things shifted for me. Now actually though, I am shifting back around to this but in a different way. SimplyRETS is good for providing a uniform JSON output of all the (different) MLS feeds across the country. So for the purposes of being uniform and needing to pull MLS feeds from many regions (or nationally), they seem to be the "Go To people" for that.

Because of how commoditized real estate websites have become, I'm shifting my efforts to solving other real estate-related problems, with digital solutions. Some are Drupal-based and some mobile with a Drupal back-end or other back-end env.

I'm still up for working on this in some way. A fellow Drupal agency here in Miami has actually developed a SaaS product, built in Drupal, that allows realtors to spin up their own complete (IDX) website in about 20 minutes.

Lots of variables to come up with a solid solution. Until the (extremely flawed) MLS system is fixed or replaced, it is a huge challange.

solving other RE problems

pwb's picture

Hi Marty,
Thanks for the reply. Interesting to hear that that you are shifting to "solving other real estate-related problems".

I too started off building real estate websites but now realise that its not very profitable. I decided to open source my previous work though and I want to use that as a basis for earning money by providing value added services. An example might be integrating with 3rd party products or telephony services.

It could be interesting to collaborate with you or at least exchange ideas. I'll send you a PM so you can get in touch if you wish.

This is my open source project if you're interested:

https://github.com/etewiah/property_web_builder

Sass Drupal Product

barikan's picture

Hi Marty,

I am realtor in New Jersey.
Can you give me some more details on the Saas product that is spitting out a drupal site within 20 minutes?

Thanks,
Burak