I’d like to build / host a pro-bono or at-cost site for a real estate broker friend who’s come upon hard times. (Yes, it happens even to people in that profession). He’s an older guy and by no means a tech maven, but he’s not an idiot either. He should be able to master something with a reasonably intuitive UI.
I don’t know much about the real estate industry, so I plan to use something already out there as a framework, either FOSS (preferred) or commercial (if worth the money). My scripting language of choice is PHP and the site will be hosted on a CentOS 7 (for the time being) LAMP setup running Virtualmin.
At a minimum, my friend needs to be able to list properties and accept contact requests, of course. I’ve asked him to think about other things he’d like the site to do. I suppose some sort of CRM-like functionality to follow up on leads would also be desirable, in addition to whatever my friend think of. My scripting language of choice is PHP.
I’ve been casually browsing the Interwebs, and I notice some WordPress plugins that claim to be tailored to real estate agencies. Though not an expert by any means, I have a passing acquaintance with WP; so a plug-in for that platform would be easiest for me to implement and help maintain.
Because I know nothing about the real estate agency business, however, I’m reaching out for advice from anyone who hosts real estate agency sites. If there’s something out there that’s much better than a WP plugin, and intuitive enough for my friend to master, I’d appreciate a heads up.
If the CRM-like functionality is important then it would be best to find a suitable marketing automation system (Goldmine / SuiteCRM) which has a plugin for real-estate listings, else the WordPress plugin approach is perhaps the simplest way forward.
I have a few real estate brokers as client in India and I suppose the business model is the same across geographies. If you like, I could do an online demo of the solution that I have provided to my clients here.
Please do the demo only if it’s no trouble for you because I don’t know what my friend expects / needs the site to do beyond listings and contacts.
I will look at the others you suggested, as well. Thanks again.
Hi @RJM_Web_Design, I’d like to invite you to our system. Let me know if you’d like a demo as well. Our system has SMS and it allows you to capture Leads from FB/Instagram ads, Google, website contact form, Landing pages and more. You can communicate with prospects instantly, among other things. We’re more geared toward marketing. https://intrelligent.com.
Thanks. I’ll take a look and run the ideas by my friend once I know what he needs to narrow down the demos.
My suggestion is to check out Joomla. I am certain I have seen real estate template out there.
I have one client running a cabin rental business, and set them up on Joomla.
Thanks. I’ll take a look.
@RJM_Web_Design curious to know what you found or if you’ve gone with any specific CRM?
We’re looking for one for work (when time allows…) that’s potentially open source that we can host ourselves. I’d imagine that Zapier should have to potential API integrations, so that’d be a good place to start, IMO.
Nothing yet. I’m waiting for my friend to get back to me with his requirements. I don’t mind doing the work for free, but I’d rather just do it once. Until he tells me what he needs and wants in a site, I’m pretty much in a holding pattern on this.
I did install OpenRealEstate on a sandbox, but I really don’t know enough about the real estate business to know whether it’s any good.
I also found out that he has an MLS listing page, so maybe all he needs is to forward his domain name there. Or not. I really don’t know until I talk to him again.
Look into Zapier first. I don’t think they work with OS CRM’s. You’d have to get a subscription with one. If you’re looking for OS to save on funds, both Zapier and a subscribed CRM will cost you. Both can get expensive. Don’t let the $29 deal fool you.
Look into realgeeks.com but they’re not OS…
If you guys need an OS, I suggest checking out vtiger.com and suitecrm.com. Download and isntall or if you’re running Softaculous, just install. Vtiger will offer you all the tools necessary to run a company, while Suitecrm would need to purchase some modules, for example, if you want the capability to send SMS, you’ll have to buy a $399 module…
I installed YetiForce just a bit ago and have been playing with it. Put it on my shared hosting plan, which some times does NOT play well with certain APP’s, we’ll see.
It does appear to be a tad resource hog-ish, may need to move it to my AWS instance if that’s the case.
I’ve been using Yetiforce more, but it definitely doesn’t fully work on the shared plan and it’s giving me some trouble getting installed correctly on either of my AWS instances, which means I’m not doing the install correctly.
All of the tutorials are based on command line installs and the documentation that I’m finding (or NOT finding) is VERY lacking, which is the main complaint for the CRM.
I’ll get it eventually, perhaps anyone here has installed it via Virtualmin with success and has pointers they can lend?
I gave my friend’s secretary a list of various suggestions. I’m waiting for her to narrow them down to the ones that seem to do what they need.
Someone asked me about the same but I had the feeling things will get more complicated than the short brief.
I created a real estate solution based on Tiki so it was flexible enough to integrate the “many” changes that comes after (like get data from XML feed, automation of tasks, …).
I’m not sure if publishing the URL would be considered as SPAM or Add so if you want you can contact me privately and I’ll send it to you.
Update, I went with SuiteCRM and it appears just right for our needs. YetiCRM was a bit to complex and/or complicated. SuiteCRM is running on my shared plan (read: NOT either of my AWS instances) and so far so good.
Next step will be to use the API to automatically pull over certain info from one system to the CRM, that will come later, but I do think I’ve found the right CRM APP in using SuiteCRM.
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