View Full Version : A Few New open-realty Sites

03-15-2005, 02:58 PM
These are a pair of client sites I decided to show because one was a custom interface and the other was a purchased template. Both are open-realty sites.

# MLS / IDX Site:
This site featues a custom PHP interface for MLS/IDX (which was a punk to get to work because I needed to hide the links to the IDX) The import from the REAL MLS is an option but we decided not to implement into this site. The mod-rewrite was an issue because it was causing havoc with the MLS/IDX stuff. I resorted to <iFrame> rather than framed pages. (Framed pages are ugly)

http://www.jaredsdesigns.com/alpha/thumb1.jpg (http://www.jaredsdesigns.com/alpha/example_b.jpg)

# Rental Site:
Features cusomized PayPal script that updates database for various membership types. Also features custom PDF documents that allows landlords to receive applications on-line. Features customized landlord pages and down-loadable rent realted documents. Also the client opted for a slide out "LandLords" link menu as opposed to a dropdown.

http://www.jaredsdesigns.com/alpha/thumb2.jpg (http://www.jaredsdesigns.com/alpha/example_a.jpg)

Some Reviews (http://support.open-realty.org/showthread.php?t=5241)

03-16-2005, 01:58 AM
" potential security loop-hole " - Is there a thread for this?

When/where did you hear about this?


03-16-2005, 07:23 AM

Which security risk would you be referring to. I'm not aware of any real threat. I heard there was a potential threat.


P.S. Thanks for the compliments on these designs.

03-16-2005, 01:04 PM
Nice designs, although it is difficult to comment without seing the sites... Can you not link to them? Would your customers not agree to that? My customers are only too happy when I post links to their sites here and there...

PS : on the secnd design I'm not keen on the grey rounded bit at the top...

03-16-2005, 04:26 PM

Thanks and yes;

Yes, I intend to do just that in the next few hours or so, just protecting some of the code and securing a couple of wide open directories. I will also update the images above and turn them into links to the live sites.


03-16-2005, 07:30 PM
Just let us know with a message when you do rather than just editing! Looks like good work though, I don't think we'll be able to give too many critics!

03-27-2005, 06:29 PM
The first link is our project - so I thought I should tell you about my experience. First of all - Jared is AWESOME. In my albeit somewhat limited experience, computer types tend to either tech-talk me out of the conversation, or don't understand enough about a standard business model to really "get" what I need. From the first moment, it was clear that Jared wanted to understand what our business was trying to accomplish with our website before he started anything. He didn't have that "used car salesman" approach to getting my business - it was clear that he actually wanted to EARN it. He worked with us through everything we thought we needed vs everything we actually needed to develop a site that was exactly what we were hoping for. We wanted an understated, not-flashy, high-class website without a lot of fluff. We didn't want a lot going on the front page - we wanted the front page to give a more self-assured message without the appearance that we were frantic to get the visitor's attention. We work with a lot of wealthy clients who don't want to waste their time with fluff. They just want to know that we can get the job done and represent them the same way that they represent themselves every day - with intelligence and class. This site is perfect for that. Jared did an awesome job. We are still uploading formal agent portraits, agent information, and listings; and Jared is currently working on a seamless integration of our MLS data. But it's clear that the end result will be consistent with the high level of responsiveness and performance that we've seen so far.

03-27-2005, 07:21 PM
As promised;
The above site images have been replaced and the links to those sites are as follows;


As with all websites, these are an ever evolving work in progress. Today, March 27th 2005 we are updating some features in the Elite Idaho site and changing some layout stuff along with customization of the PHP core with the Section 8 For Rent site. So if giving feed back, please be forgiving of this.

Section 8 For Rent is a unique project for us in that its target audience is HUD Housing. Therefore we have a spank of stuff that will be going into that site to make it as feature rich as possible. The final membership module is currently being tested by my partner Mark, which when completed will feature;

A means for landlords to become listing agents on the site via PayPal or 2Checkout. The final result will update the open-realty database according to the appropriate characteristics of the Membership.

Although not new to us, this is the first real estate site that we have used a payment system with. Under most circumstances we design such systems for forums, paid download sites, and eDating sites. This project was certainly not without its troubles in making it all work. But we are confident in its success.
When the Elite Idaho site is complete we hope to have a simple or relative drop in solution for MLS/IDX. We are working with people at FNIS who are the developers of the MLS software called "Paragon" to fine tune our design approach. Initially this was not part of the project objective but I manage to talk the site owner into letting us do this.

Putting listings in the site wont be the problem. Its gathering it from the MLS daily archive, extracting it, formatting it, and then plugging it in to the site.

This will create a site with thousands of listings which Elite Idaho visitors can search, thereby increasing sales for their office.

SEO is our next major project for each of our customers and my team is moving on to the outline for writing manuals and guides available for free download in coming weeks. SEO is anyones game and albeit true that "Appearance is Golden, and Content is King" SEO certainly fits in there as an essential element we now dub "SEO is guerilla warfare"

We now say "Appearance is Golden, and Content is King, but SEO is Guerilla Warfare"


03-27-2005, 09:17 PM

Have you ever considered CURLing the mls framing page then parsing it into the page itself? It is really quite easy once you do it a time or 2.

03-27-2005, 09:24 PM
I'll be honest with you tombones;

I have never done that outside VB for a chat client I wrote a year ago. Naturally the method is handled a bit differently but It allows VB applications to integrate quite nicely with PHP driven sites.

So now that you mention it I'm going to look into it.


03-27-2005, 09:32 PM
P.S. tombones;
I forgot to mention XML & XHTML are weak points in my knowledge and experience.


03-27-2005, 10:24 PM
site is complete we hope to have a simple or relative drop in solution for MLS/IDX. We are working with people at FNIS who are the developers of the MLS software called "Paragon" to fine tune our design approach. Initially this was not part of the project objective but I manage to talk the site owner into letting us do this.

I have been building FNIS-based IDX sites all over the US for 2+ years, and they do not adhere to their own data integrity standards from 1 MLS to the next.. Unless they are willing to open-up a RETS feed for you, you will need to adjust any IDX solution you create for each different MLS that uses FNIS.. But, FNIS documents all their different IDX repositories pretty well, so at least you'll have a good blueprint.

In other words don't expect things like Bedrooms and Bathrooms to always be a number, also, don't expect FNIS to only allow 1 spelling of a city, county or street name in their data.. e.g.

Pine Falls
P. Falls
Pine F.

(all the above could be "Pine Falls")

The fact that anyone at FNIS is willing to talk to you about their methods is astonishing, you should definitely try to keep them talking as long as you can.

03-27-2005, 10:33 PM
Very nice designs/layout on both. I like the navigation buttons.

03-27-2005, 11:36 PM
Thanks for that much needed wisdom; I've discovered that with FNIS the formats vary considerably in some cases. The solution we would like to make available to open-realty members is a "FootPrint" format of the procedure for doing this.

I know that some people in the forums make their living on setting this up for Realtors. So out of respect for them and fear of stepping on toes, I plan to just offer a guild line to de-mystify the process.

Its a real migraine taking data in compressed format and then formatting it for input into MySQL in a simple process. Not to mention, indexing will always be a custom job for guys like you who do this professionally.

If you have any summary pointers I should be aware of I'd appreciate it.
About the person talking to me at FNIS, I'd share that with you if you so desire but didn't feel it appropriate to drop names in open-forums.

In fact I'm going to PM you with the name now.

Thanks for the feedback, those nav-roll-overs are a bit slow for my liking. The sites are entirely CSS (not dropdown) and the way that you have to reference images in the CSS file, may be slowing things down. Open-Realty makes its reference to the images using the {template_url} and PHP in the CSS.

Until we can get everyone to use FireFox, all we can do is advocate IE as a national tragedy second only to SPAM. "Have you looked at greengiants use of CSS rounded corners in the ACP" Thats a Mozilla only feature. Which sucks.

03-28-2005, 12:00 AM
Thats a Mozilla only feature. Which sucks.

"NOT if you use Mozilla!" - Sun tzu

03-28-2005, 02:51 AM
Jared...just looked at your http://www.eliteidaho.com site and wanted to give you my first impression. I guess the overall feel I got was that it's not symmetrical. It looks like you have all the information that a user needs it just doesn't seem to flow together.
I think what causes that is the Elite Real Estate image. It seems to be too dark and covers too much of the houses that are within it.
- The image with the street name is too big and the site would probably look better without it.
- Why don't you have the 'Search MLS' link as part of the vertical menu ?
- The horizontal menu should be centered
- The text starting with "You deserve ..." should have a border on the left as it seems to be too close to the feature listings.
- May even want to move feature listing to where the street name image is.

I may be totally off but wanted to share my thoughts as they may be useful.
Take care...Bill

03-28-2005, 08:47 AM
Good catches really; I'll look again at the layout and see how changes might affect the site.

A couple of things though;
The MLS in the vertical menu has been removed only temporarily until I finish the MLS/IDX feature I'm working on.

The position of the drop down menu was tested many times in different positions. Centered looks like poop. We decided on right alignment for balance.

Every element on a web page is assigned numeric values and then placed into a custom script we have written for symetry and ballancing. I really should make the scheme and Excel version of our script available for others to examine and use. So...

When you consider the fact that the page is a Two Column layout, you can see why heavy elements would be placed on the left side. For my development style, its a game of numbers in a layout.

I hope that makes sense.

Thanks for your reply, its greatly appreciated.


03-28-2005, 12:35 PM
Jared....did you say Excel :D ??
My all time favorite program. If you get some time would you let me know conceptually how you use it ? I am always looking for a reason to tie a program into Excel but never thought it could be of use in designing web pages.
I'd be glad to write and post some spreadsheets - let me know if you need any help...Bill

03-28-2005, 12:48 PM
I sent you a PM regarding the layout tool in excel.


04-18-2005, 01:30 PM


06-06-2005, 05:24 PM

Have you ever considered CURLing the mls framing page then parsing it into the page itself? It is really quite easy once you do it a time or 2.

how about a tutorial on that tomb :)

06-07-2005, 03:20 PM
Hello Jared,

Excellent designs and good colour scheme with the "section8forrent".

However when I look at listing view and select an image to view it larger it throws the page out once displayed. The margins are out to the right and the image displays below the adverts.

I had that problem when I did a couple of test templates using OR2. I had to adjust the display full image size or in some cases make adjustments to the style.



06-09-2005, 01:42 PM
Features cusomized PayPal script that updates database for various membership types.

How did you make it update the script? I am using the PayPal mod for 1.1.4 and I can't get it to update the database after a purchase. I know that the code may be specific to 2.0, but I will try my best to see if I can port it to 1.1.4. Nobody seems to be commenting on a fix for this, until I saw your post.

I'm not asking for the whole code, maybe you don't want to give that out. I'm just wondering how you updated the database after a successful purchase.

Thanks alot,

Jared Wein

06-09-2005, 01:51 PM
That particular site has a new template that I've yet to put in. I've been booked solid with work and I'm just now clearing my schedule. The section8 site has many new features going in later in the week. One of which is a new means to communicate with its members and a fix on the template to stop the images from busting out the side.

jaredwein Another Jared, things could get ugly. http://jaredsdesigns.com/alpha/Axe_anim.gif

Just kidding; As to the PayPal IPN and 2Check Out, I'm using a php script that was customized for that site specifically. Its not a drop in solution. No determination on ORCommerce and how that will proceed for release. Things are being worked on now, just no decision on how to best represent the product.

I'll keep you posted.