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Don’t Have a XML Feed Set Up? Where to Go to Get Started

Setting up an XML feed for your listings is a great way to get added exposure for your listings by syndicating them to a variety of real estate portals.

Since I’m helping support the coming Zillow Listings Feed program, I’ve had conversations with agents, brokers, and technology providers. One thing that I’ve heard is that, while many in the industry already have XML feeds set up, some agents & brokers do not. In an effort to help connect real estate professionals with the technology providers that serve them, here’s a general answer to the question “I don’t have a feed, how do I set one up?

First, you should probably understand what an xml feed is — a xml feed is a means to publish frequently updated data in a consistent data format. With real estate listings, that data is beds, baths, sq footage, listing price, listing status, photo url’s, etc. To really get your head around the notion of an xml feed, here is a sample xml feed to look at. You’ll notice that it contains lots of data in a standardized format. Since the data is in a standard format, it can be used by other sites to populate their databases of listings on your behalf — automating the otherwise manual task of data entry that would be required to place your listings on those sites.

Back to the question of how to set up an XML feed — unfortunately, unless you are a web developer, setting up an xml feed is something you’ll likely need help with. But fortunately, there are lots of technology providers that can help. If you’re a developer, the general idea is to pull data from a database and put the proper tags around that information so that other technology systems know how to interpret that data. I’ll leave the real “geeky” details for a web developer to explain at a later date (if you’re a techie who would like to explain it, shoot me an e-mail & I’ll set you up). For the average real estate professional, the answer is “talk to your technology provider.”

There are three primary scenarios that we’ve come across regarding those looking to get an xml feed up and running — agents with websites, agents without websites, and brokerages. Depending on which category you fall in & assuming you are not a web developer, here are some of the technology companies that you can turn to in your quest to set up an xml feed with your listing data.

Agents with a website. This group is agents who already have websites (or just use a blog as their website), and would like to syndicate their listings across the web to all the free real estate portals without building a feed of their own.

  1. RealBird
  2. Postlets
  3. vFlyer

Agents without websites. For those agents without a website, here are a couple technology providers who can get you all set up with a web presence and XML feed.

  1. Obeo
  2. Point2
  3. VLS Homes
  4. z-57
  5. Advanced Access
  6. Ubertor
  7. Comprehensive list of website technology providers

Brokerages. Brokerages have both many listings and many agents. Therefore, brokerage website solutions are often different than individual agent website solutions. There are many companies that serve brokerages by managing their websites & databases of listings; here are a couple worth looking at.

  1. ListHub
  2. Realty Generator
  3. Number1 Expert
  4. BIRDVIEW Technologies

Hopefully, this helps those of you without XML feeds navigate the technology vendors and get one set up. If you are a technology company who fits in any of these buckets & is not listed, please do two things —

  1. Leave a comment and let everyone know
  2. Accept my apologies 🙂

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

This entry was posted in Listings Syndication, Marketing, Websites. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Our sites are already able to syndicate agent listings to Zillow. Along with Trulia, Oodle & Edgeio. More will be added soon. We are also doing this for brokerages as well.

  • Don’t forget PlugMyListing.com! Still pretty new, but will be right up there with vFlyer in no time.

  • Our free feed service delivers to the usual domestic locations and international ones, as well. (Not just Google Base US, for example, but also Google Base UK and Germany.)

    We offer multi-language support for property located anywhere in the world, priced in any official currency, with simple input allowing either metric or English units of measure — all converted on the fly. Agents need not have a website, but we’ll point (most) traffic to it if they do.

  • Does anyone have a good list of real estate websites that you publish your XML/RSS feed to? I am in process getting my trulia.com and zillow.com feed setup but want other places I can automate pushing my feed to.

  • Great overview! This information can be very confusing. Also, Google has a real estate feeds. Our site http://www.iwantanoffer.com will be accepted feeds shortly, but for now anyone can post unlimited listing for free.

    http://www.iwantanoffer.com
    http://www.google.com/base

  • ARTIS has a program that will automatically create the syndication feeds directly from your database. It’s great for those who want to submit a large number of listings. See:

    http://www.artis-usa.com/Products/RES/RESCorp.asp

  • I was been trying to find the google for such info and just wanted to thank you for the post. By the way, just off topic, where can i find a copy of this theme? – Regards

  • Great round up, i was unsure what XML feeds were before i read this…

  • Robert Lucarini

    Hi Davide, thanks for the interesting post. Do you know where I can find information regarding the opposite? I am setting up a real estate site that needs to process incoming partner feeds. I saw some formats like RELML and REAXML. I just dont know where to get started. Any help will be much appreciated!

  • Robert Lucarini

    Hi Davide, thanks for the interesting post. Do you know where I can find information regarding the opposite? I am setting up a real estate site that needs to process incoming partner feeds. I saw some formats like RELML and REAXML. I just dont know where to get started. Any help will be much appreciated!

  • Does anyone know a wordpress theme that has an Zillow or Trulia XML feature built in? I am not Realtor so I don’t have access to the MLS and only want to automatically upload rental data to those sites.

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