Working with American property feeds
After our launch of the American home builder Davidson Homes’ new website, our relationship has gone from strength to strength. This was demonstrated with our latest project with Davidson Homes.
We were tasked to create an integration that would seamlessly send their properties automatically from their website to the major American property portals.
We created a property feed that lists all the homes available to buy and the accompanying information. The feed is sent to a platform called Builders Digital Experience (BDX). BDX is a listings platform which takes property listings and distributes them to some of America’s leading real estate websites including realtor.com and New Homes Source. Not only does the feed we created send property listings, it also sends development information and the available house types in that development to help build a development overview on the property portals.
How does this benefit Davidson Homes?
The new integration is a huge time saver for the Davidson Homes team. The properties are now entered in one central location which means the benefit is that there is no need to enter properties in multiple places on multiple sites.
As part of our original project with Davidson Homes, we also built in the ability to pull all new available homes directly into the website from multiple MLS’s (a project we wrote about previously). With the properties now being saved and displayed on the website, our integration simply allows the Davidson Home team to add the properties in one place which then populates all the relevant locations.
As part of the integration we also built a logging system that makes a record every time the feed is uploaded to BDX. This helps us keep track of activity and log any errors that may occur.
The Technical Side
The property portal integration works by sending a validated XML file to the BDX server in order for BDX to process the data and push the changes to the relevant property portals. After reading the extensive BDX documentation we realised that there was no “one size fits all” solution and that the project required a custom build. BDX has a lot of strict validation requirements therefore the data needed to be structured in a certain format that required a lot of manipulation to the existing data within the WordPress backend.
We created the original feed in JSON and then convert it to XML at the final stage just before it’s uploaded to the BDX server. We felt JSON was a better format to work with and it allowed us to create an endpoint so the feed could be viewed by us and the Davidsons team for feedback.
One of the BDX requirements is the feed is uploaded to their server by a certain time each day. To ensure this happened we created a CRON job that will generate the XML file, validate it and then upload it to the BDX server. This happens seamlessly but logs all actions so if anything did go wrong, we have a record of it.
The aim of this project was to create a solution that saves time and automates the whole process. We feel we have achieved this and the client is now seeing their property stock being updated daily on multiple property portals across the USA. The Davidson team can now better spend their time, not having to manually enter data on a daily basis.
Tied in with the work we completed with our first project with Davidson, we feel the Davidson team has the perfect solution to pushing their property content around the web. This solution can also be expanded when new property listing sites are needed to be advertised on.
Although this project was centred around US based property portals, this type of work would also be possible with UK property platforms like Rightmove and Zoopla. If you’re a developer and would like more information about expanding your homes to a wider audience, contact email@example.com