Monday, November 30, 2009

New property geo-coding launched

Exciting news is that Geo-coding is now available in the OMS when loading new property listings or editing existing ones.

The location fields now include a Google Map with a red marker that pinpoints the location of the property. When loading a new listing, simply enter the address, select the town and suburb and click on 'update map from address'. The system will then use the address (including street number) to pinpoint the listing.

Should the marker not be on the property, you can always drag it with your mouse and place it on the property. Click on the 'Hybrid' view to show a satellite image and the zoom controls to get a more detailed view of the street/area as per the screenshot below:

We have also added a new option 'Make exact map location & address available on web'. If you tick this you allow the system to show the exact location with address on your own website and portals like MyProperty.
Please note: Updates will be loaded this week on MyProperty to reflect this, watch our blog for the announcement.
If you would like this map view with exact property location on your own website please let us know via email (to our Support Department). Due to current workloads we will need to schedule implementation and may not be able to assist immediately. Note that upgrade costs may be applicable depending on when your website was developed.

We are also set to launch the new GIS explorer by Tuesday/Wednesday. This will provide you with a map displaying all your current listings and the ability to filter the listings on the map.

New brochure functionality including custom design offer

Printing more customized brochures through the OMS is now a breeze.
New functionality include:
  • The ability to to show or hide an address on a brochure by simply selecting a checkbox;
  • The ability to display a different agent on the brochure other than the original listing agent by selecting the name from a dropdown list;

The brochure layouts have been redesigned completely plus they are a bit smaller in size too.
As before, brochures are automatically exported in PDF format. We are currently working on a number of new brochures, including more customized versions for commercial properties.

Want your own custom brochure designed?
We are now also able to offer custom brochure designs to all clients and not just our national clients. This is ideal if you want brochures design in a specific layout and colour scheme. Please send through your proposed design in Word or other format to our support department. Our design & development team will then review and provide you with a quote. Custom brochures will have a minimum development and design fee of R450 and can use any of the fields captured on listings. We can provide A4,A5 landscape and portrait formats. It can also include multiple pages, e.g. showhouse brochure with first page the cover, followed by the property details page(s).

Please note that we are currently working on more standard brochures for the OMS.

New: updated stock reports

The stock reports received a major makeover. You can now set various parameters including:
  • Select a specific Agent or All Agents;
  • Group by a selected field and sorting by a selected field;
  • Export to PDF, Excel,Tiff image or CSV formats;

The reports have been restructured and now also includes:
  • Days on market and Days to expiry (calculated from listings/expiry dates)
  • An icon next to the listing showing listings about to expire and new listings loaded

We are currently working on various other reports, including agent and office performance reports.

Friday, November 27, 2009

OMS updates this weekend - stock reports, brochures & geocoding

We've been extremely busy the last 2 weeks with preparations in upgrading key functionality in the OMS, including some major database upgrades. We're getting ready to start loading the new functionality and changes this weekend. Here are some of the things we're planning to update:

New brochure functionality is being launched and new template brochures will be added over the next week. We are also now able to offer custom brochures at more attractive prices and faster implementation time. The brochures will be sleeker and offer functionality such as an option to show the property address or not.

You will be able to geocode all your properties through the OMS. The exact location of the property will be displayed on a Google Map with the option to make this location available on portals and your website. You can even drag the marker location on the map!

Stock reports:
A much improved stock reports section will allow you to select a specific agent, or office as well as grouping and sorting criteria from dropdown lists. Export to PDF, Excel, CSV and a few other formats will be available.

We also have agent and office performance reports planned, tracking for instance number of new sole mandates secured, show houses done, enquiries generated etc. This will be very usefull for agency owners and national real estate groups.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Step-by-step instructions on how to create your own Google Custom map for your real estate website

Google Maps allows you to create your own custom maps with place markers and areas that can link through to specific pages on your website. The possible applications for this are endless, but as an example, you can create a map showing the Soccer World Cup 2010 stadiums and where you have properties available around the stadiums.

Here is what our example looks like, it only took a few minutes to create. The map can be placed on most websites (and blogs as we demonstrated here):

View Entegral Real Estate Sample Map 1 in a larger map

Step 1: Get a Google account
If you don't already have one, go here to sign up - it's free:

Step 2: Create your Google map and click on 'My Maps'. Click on 'create new map':
Step 3: Name your map
Enter a title and description, and mark it as 'public' - since you want everyone to see your map
Step 4: Insert a placemarker
Zoom in to your location on the map. Click on the marker icon and drag it to where you want. A popup window will appear.

Step 5: Copy link from your website
Copy the URL from your own website where you want this placemarker hyperlink to go to. So you would perhaps perform a property search for a certain area. Here we are using a sample from MyProperty to display Fish Hoek properties.

Step 6: Insert placemarker title and linkInsert the title and the description. Here we will use the description to insert a hyperlink to properties on our website. Click on 'rich text' so you can insert a hyperlink.
Now highlight your text e.g. 'view properties for sale' and click on the hyperlink icon:

Now paste the link from your website from step 5 in here:

Step 7 : Insert area links
You can also draw areas on your map and link this to your website in the same way you linked placemarkers. Simply click on the 'draw a shape' link and draw your shape on your map with mouse clicks (double click to end shape draw). Now you can give it a title and hyperlink as with the place markers we did earlier.

Step 8: Get the code for your website
Set the correct zoom level and location that you would like your visitors to see.
Now click on 'Link' and copy the 'paste html to embed in website' code as highlighted here. You can also click on 'customize and preview embedded map' to refine various settings.

Step 9: Place in your website
This code can be placed in your blog our website.
If you host your real estate website with Entegral, send us the code, and where you want the map to appear.
Note a small setup fee may be applicable to correctly fit the map into your website, or create new custom pages for this map. Entegral can also assist you if you want us to create a custom map for you.

If you've created your own real estate map, let us know, post your link in the comments section.