With more home hunters than ever turning to the internet to find their next property purchase, estate agency websites are flourishing.
With an array of easy-to-use Joomla extensions, setting up your own Real Estate website is budget and brain friendly.
But which extension is the right one for your business?
This guide will walk you through the top 6 Joomla Real Estate extensions currently available.
An excellent choice for an Estate Agency which needs both good looks and varied functionality.
Feature-rich and robustly coded, this extension surpasses expectations and effortlessly provides the majority of what a Real Estate company needs, including support for MLS/IDX/RETS feeds (please note there is an additional charge to set up the automated feed).
All features (it's a long list) are available at the $125 option (grants 3 months access to upgrades), and longer packages are available at $175 (6 months access) and $225 (12 months access).
Just some of the many features: Featured agent/company/property, random agent/property, new listings (random or not), recently sold, recently viewed, related properties, popular properties, property slideshow, Zillow and Trulia feeds, currency converter, driving directions, Walk Score, Street View and CO2 Emissions plugin, amongst others.
If you need to sell listings space, iProperty seamlessly integrates with Akeeba Subscriptions or AEC Membership Management. This allows Agents to add and maintain their own listings via a front end management panel, and you can create a variety of different subscription levels which have varying numbers of maximum listings, agents, and featured items. Payments are handled through a variety of gateways including Paypal.
The forums are vibrant, fully stocked with solutions to any questions you might have, and are also well used and well moderated. In the rare event that the forums don't already hold the answer to your question, the support itself is second to none. Responsive, helpful and considerate, the developers go out of their way to provide answers to your queries.
For those who like to customise, there is a wide range of easy customisations you can make via the Admin area (no code required). If you do end up delving into the code, it is well commented and structured, with a vast resource of easy-to-implement changes available on the forums.
The look and feel of iProperty is intuitive, attractive and polished. It also uses tabs in the property view to keep a large amount of information tidy and easily digestible.
This component is geared to handle the needs of both small Estate Agents and large companies alike.
All in all, excellent value for a good looking, robust and professional product.
At only $29.99 OS Property is a suitable option for those on a tight budget.
Whilst it isn't as feature rich as some of the other components, it still includes useful functionality, such as a CO2 emissions graph, Walk Score, bulk CSV imports, front end agent login panel and featured properties, as well as integrating with it's own set of products (OS Membership and OS Calendar) and Jom Social.
Templates are available from the OS Property team to improve the look and feel, however at close to $60, they are all almost double the cost of the extension itself.
Even though the look is not as polished as some of the other options, there is a decent amount of functionality here, especially when you consider the cost. If you need a solution which is budget friendly, then OS Property might be a great solution for you.
For those who require a hands-off approach, FW Real Estate offers an option which includes installation and configuration of the extention for $672.99 (currently $449.99), which might be helpful to those who are not comfortable with setting up FW Real Estate themselves.
Whilst certain functionality (such as Slideshow Module, Map View Module and Mortgage Calculator) is not included with the Basic price ($206.99), they are included at a higher price option ($361.99 - currently $249.99).
Looks-wise it's a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the side modules look nice, whilst other aspects are less polished.
A bonus feature is that life-time extension updates are included as part of your purchase.
There's no forum, so there tends to be a greater reliance on support from the developers. If you prefer to find your own solutions and like to be more self sufficient, then you might want to choose an alternative component with an active forum.
For $139.95, you get a range of features with EZ Realty including a PDF brochure generator, the ability to upload a QR code and EPC certificate support.
The included modules are: multidisplay module, map module, thumbnail carousel, content slider, panorama slideshow, patchwork wall, lists module (which allows you to display lists of categories, suburbs and states - as well as a recursive layout which contains country, states and suburbs), search module, and an EZ calculator module (incorporates borrowing capacity, load repayments and a units of measurement conversion calculator).
A nice feature (for those Realtors dealing with selling properties in multiple currencies) is the ability to chose the currency you wish to sell a property in, and define this on an individual property basis.
Whilst you don't get a front end agent login panel with EZ Realty, the developer has created EZ Portal to cover this, which you can get in a bundle purchase (which includes EZ Realty and EZ Portal) for $199.95 for a 6 month subscription.
There is unfortunately no forum, so for support you are reliant on submitting tickets to the developer via their ticketing system.
If looks are your thing, then JomEstate PRO is well worth considering. With it's chic layout and responsive design, you're likely to have one good looking property website using this extension.
JomEstate PRO includes a front end user panel, for users to manage their listings, and includes most of the standard items such as Street View, an image gallery, and property search.
One dissapointing item is that the lovely Ajax map isn't included in the price. Considering this is already one of the pricier Real Estate extentions it's a bit of a shame to charge extra for this, considering most users will want this as standard. You'll have to pay an extra €29 for the Ajax map. And if you want the Slideshow PRO module for JomEstate, that will be an additional €29 too.
Price-wise, it's certainly not the cheapest option (note that these prices are in Euros, whilst the others are in US Dollars), however you can get the basic package for €149 (3 months access) as long as you're happy with a JomEstate PRO link on your website. If you'd prefer your website link-back free, you can opt for the €199 link-free plan (6 months access) or for €399 you also get a quickstart package which helps you to get set up with minimal fuss (12 months access).
If you just need something very simple (Multicategories, Google map, SEO plugin, Real Estate gallery, reviews, lend management) and your budget is tight, then this might be a great solution for you.
Further functionality (such as Email Notifications, Multilingual Support, Import/Export functionality, Extended Search and Free Support) is available for an additional cost. The "PRO" option (includes Advanced backend and frontend configurations, frontend property management, Rent and Buy Request management, Extended search, Email Notification, Import/Export, Multilingual Support, Advanced menu options and Advertisement module positions) is available for $39 and the "PRO Package" (includes 8 PRO modules for Real Estate Manager, Real Estate Manager Manual PDF and Free Support) is available for $69.99.