We see a lot of people using Joomla! to build Property or Real Estate websites, and it's a common topic of conversation on the SEBLOD forums. There are a number of third-party components that have been written to specifically cater to this need, however, SEBLOD can give you all the tools you need to build your own custom Real Estate website easily. The advantage of using SEBLOD is that the functionality is built by you, so you can build on it as your site grows. In this way you aren’t restricted by a suite of pre-built features of a stand-alone product.
In this post we’re going to take a look at a number of great sites that serve as best practice examples of building real estate sites with Joomla!. Of course, all of these sites are powered by SEBLOD functionality.
Our in-depth focus will be on a website built by the team at Octopoos for a France-based real estate collaboration: Osimmo
. The site showcases a whole range of property listings from 4 different realtors. It manages different access control levels for each of the separate realtors, the ability to post new listings and edit existing ones, different options for defining what type of listing you are creating, search functionality and an enquiry feature.
After landing on the home page of
you are greeted with an easy search function. This is the backbone of a successful real-estate listing site. To be successful and user-friendly, you need a search function that gives the user the control they need to filter by different parameters and narrow down a search to find a property that suits them. This is the SEBLOD advantage. Through SEBLOD, you can create any number of custom fields to define your listings. For example, a very simple listing might have:
- An upload image(s) field
- A field to define the number of bedrooms
- A field to define the number of bathrooms
- A field to define the number of parking spaces
- A field to mark the location (and then show the location on a map, using longitude and latitude coordinates)
- A field to toggle for rent or for sale
- A field to enter price
- … and so on.
These fields comprise what we call a Content Type. Joomla’s default Article content type doesn’t really lend itself to building a Real Estate site well, because you don’t get all of the separate fields you need to really define what a Property Listing is. Instead, using SEBLOD lets you create your own custom content type so that your information can be entered correctly and accurately.
Build it yourself! Here's what you’ll need to do to build this sort of functionality so far:
- Start by creating an Application folder. This will keep all of your features nicely packaged
- Create a new content type, called “Property listing” or something similar, and save it in your application folder.
- Create your fields, as you need, and add them to your Admin Form
- Now, when you go to the Joomla! Article manager and click “new”, you’ll see a modal window that says “Property listing”. Clicking on that will take you to your form where you can enter the information for each of your properties.
The next advantage of SEBLOD gives you the ability to utilize all of the fields you created in your Content Type in your Search functionality. While you may not want to show all of the fields to a user all at once for UI considerations, you may use the Search Generic field as a broad, keyword-based search and then show the fields only to users who want to perform an “advanced” search. You can see on the Osimmo website that the interface lends itself well to a number of crucial search parameters that make searching and finding listings easy.
After clicking through on a listing, you can see a full content view of all the information about that property. The location is embedded on a map
, there are large clear images to showcase the property, and there are clear contact details to make an enquiry. For convenience, there is a contact form
embedded on this page which is sent to the Realtor which automatically tells them which property the customer is enquiring about.
How to build a search function and assign content to the Content View
- Go to the SEBLOD List & Search Type Manager and click "New"
- Create a new Search and List Type and save it in your application folder
- Assign the fields from your content type as you wish to the Search Form view. These fields will then be filters for users to refine their search.
- Assign your preview content to the Item view. This is what users will see for each listing in their search results. You'll probably want to add the property name, a short description, some images and the price
- After saving your changes to your search and list type, go to your content type and toggle to the content view. Assign the fields you want to display on the full content page for each listing here.
As this website is a collaboration between multiple Realtor companies, the back-end of the website needs Access Level Control to ensure that each company can only edit their own listings. With SEBLOD, this functionality can be built and integrated in to a “front-end” admin login section
, without the user needing to perform their content updates in the back end of Joomla.
Finally, to enable streamlined and easy content management from the front-end of the website, Realtors get an admin panel when logged in so they can manage their content easily from anywhere in the website. Each button takes the user to a different content manager (powered by individual SEBLOD apps): Ads, Agencies (Realtors), Pages, Contacts, Banners / Background images, Marketing Taglines, and Users.
Overall, SEBLOD gives you the tools and control to build a scalable, flexible and customized real estate website using Joomla. The customizability goes even further that being able to tailor your own content types and search features; integration with third-party property software like Pericles is also possible. Octopoos are currently working on integrations that allow Realtors to automatically update their SEBLOD + Joomla! powered property sites through Pericles; an update on Pericles will automatically update the listing on the SEBLOD + Joomla! site through an xml file.
Check out these other great property listing website built with Joomla and powered by SEBLOD:
If you've built a Real Estate or Property website with Joomla! and SEBLOD, we'd love to see it. Leave a link in the comments or tell us on Twitter: @seblod.