Functionality is the term we use to describe how our web site design for real estate enables you to dynamically manage information. It most often involves user input and the storage or display of information (into/from a “database” - you can think of a database as an electronic filing system).
Example #1: if a visitor to your site is required to enter his name and email address into a form, the Web site software might store/save that information into a database and send an email.
Example #2: a visitor to your site chooses specific search criteria and clicks the “Search” button on your search page. The Web site software interprets the visitor’s criteria and displays the matching properties from the database.
Example #3: a visitor clicks on an individual property detail page. The Web site software uses a specific identifier in the link to retrieve the proper database record and displays the page showing that property’s specific details.
In each example above, the software provides specific functionality as it acts upon visitor requests or input. In contrast, some pages on your site may only display static text or images (not from a database system) that are fixed and will not change unless the change is written directly to the page. Since, this is a functionality document; it describes how your site will work. It does not cover design or “look-and-feel” aspects of your site or additional static content pages you may wish to add.
IDX (Internet Data Exchange) Website Functionality
When a user visits
the Web site, they are able to search and view home listings anonymously.
When a user decides to “request more information”,
“save searches” or “save homes” they are
required to register as a new user or log in as a registered user.
A new user is required to enter his basic contact information
only. Upon registration completion, the new user becomes a “registered
user”. The registered user is logged in automatically and
taken to the page of their initial request (Example: they want
to save a home, now they are registered and the home they wanted
to save is added to their saved homes list). The newly registered
user is also notified via email with instructions on how to access
their account in the future. You, (the “Site Admin) also
receive an email notifying you of the new registered users contact
information and the details of their first search. When the registered
user returns to the site, they are not required to log in to search
home listings. They are only required to log in when using advanced
options like saved homes, saved searches and requesting information.
The listing data is loaded via a direct data download from the
MLS/IDX provider and loaded in a local database on a scheduled
basis. As required by the data provider / MLS, pages display any
additional notices or disclaimers.
The IDX Main User Screen - provides navigation choices
Save New Search, Saved Searches, Saved Homes, Featured Listings,
Edit My Profile, Change Password, Mortgage Calculator, Contact
Us, Sign Out
allows registered users to use a search query form to choose specific
criteria that narrow the list of real estate listing results.
Upon submitting the search form, the registered user is presented
with rows of home listings, an option to save their current search,
and the following links which allow them to perform specific functions
on each listing:
Request Info, Show Details, View Map, Zoom Photo
allows users to save specific home listings to their Saved Homes
list (stored into database)
Request Info allows registered users to associate
specific home listings in their Saved Homes list with an individual
email information request sent to you, the Realtor.
Show Details allows users to see more detailed
information on a single home listing.
View Map allows registered users to see
a map based upon the address of the home listing via an external
link popup window to Yahoo! Maps.
Zoom Photo allows registered
users to see a larger version of the home listing photo.
Save New Search allows registered users to use
a search query form to choose specific criteria and save that
search with a unique name.
Saved Searches allows registered users to edit
their saved search criteria, delete specific saved searches and
perform their specific searches. It displays each search in rows
and show the users search name, the date the search was last modified
and the date the search was last run by the user.
Saved Homes allows registered users to view a
list of their selected homes. Each home row displays the date
the home was saved and the date, if any, the user requested information
on that home. It displays a basic thumbnail picture of the home
and short descriptive details. It includes a link to the property’s
Featured Listings Homes that belong to the Realtor
are displayed by default. Each home row displays as noted in Perform
Search. It displays a basic thumbnail picture of the home and
short descriptive details. It includes a link to the property’s
Edit My Profile allows registered users to change
their name, email address, home phone, work phone and address
information. When a user updates their profile, you (the “Site
Admin”) receive an email with their updated information.
Change Password allows registered users to change
their password and verify their new password by making them enter
Mortgage Calculator allows registered users to
perform basic PITI mortgage payment calculations by specifying:
principal, interest rate, loan length in years, yearly taxes and
Contact us allows registered users to send general
email inquiries to you, the Realtor. It pre-fills their name,
phone number and email address. They can specify the best time
to reach them, a message subject and a detailed message.
Sign Out allows registered users to stop their
active session so another person could use the computer and the
registered users account is safe.
The IDX Site Admin Screen - provides navigation choices
Log in, Search
Listings, Virtual Tours, Featured Listings, New Buyer, Edit
Buyers, Edit Profile, Change Password, Lead Requests, Send Mass
E-Mail, Signup E-Mail, Signup Text, Signup Admin E-Mail, Autosearch
E-Mail, Autoresponder, Mass E-Mail, Profile Updates, Template
protects the admin section and allows you to enter your admin
user name and password to access the admin functions.
Search Listings allows you to enter search criteria
and find specific homes.
Virtual Tours allows you to add/edit/delete virtual
tour URL web addresses and corresponding MLS numbers. This feature
is made available if your MLS data provider does not include the
virtual tour information in their IDX data download. It allows
you to display the tour with your listings.
Featured Listings allows you to add/edit/delete
MLS numbers that should be included in your public Featured Listings
page. You use this when you want to include listings that are
not your own in the Featured section.
New Buyer allows you to add new users (“Buyers”)
to the system and send them their welcome email (optional checkbox).
It includes fields for the user’s name, email, home and
work phones. It also allows you to specify their first saved search
Edit Buyers allows you to filter your list of
registered users (“Buyers”) by first name, last name,
email address, phone number or status. You can page through the
results displaying rows of buyers. Each buyer row contains their
first name, last name, email address, phone number, and status.
Each row also includes an “Edit” button and “Delete”
button. Deletes must be confirmed before deletion. The “Edit”
button allows you to change the buyer’s contact information
(name, email, phone, work phone, address), add/edit/view notes,
change their password, change status, view their requests and
edit/delete their saved searches.
Edit Profile allows you to change your admin
profile information including your name, address, email, phone,
fax, mobile, pager, address and portrait photo.
Change Password allows you to change your admin
Lead Requests is a report that displays rows
of lead requests with the newest first. It includes a date filter
that allows browsing month-by-month. Each row contains the buyer’s
name, email address, date of request, referral host/search engine,
key phrase they used to find site, total number of pages they
have visited and their host name and IP address as applicable.
Signup E-Mail allows you to customize the email
that is sent to each buyer upon registration.
Signup Text allows you to customize the web page
message that is displayed to buyers when they successfully register.
This is usually an explanation for them to check their email and
instructions on how to return back to the system to see their
Signup Admin E-Mail allows you to customize the
email you receive containing the buyers registration information
when a new buyer registers.
Autosearch E-Mail allows you to customize the
e-mail text sent to buyers in their daily search results email.
This template may have the following fields: email, password,
first name, last name, phone and work phone.
Autoresponder allows you to customize the email
sent to the buyer when they request information on a property.
Template Editor allows you to customize the text
displayed on your home page and add, edit or delete other content
pages within the site (Example: you want to add some buyer articles,
so you create a new content page for it and enter your text.)