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HOW DO THE FW REAL ESTATE COMPONENT AND PLUG-INS WORK?
The system allows visitors to search and browse through property listings – just like any of the most popular real estate websites on the net. It also allows real estate agents to register their properties on your website for potential buyers to browse.
AGENT AND PROPERTY SELLER FEATURES:
* Subscription facility – option to charge agents to add their properties
* Watermark feature
* Status labels
* Easy Language Manager for multilingual websites
* Currency converter for multiple currency use
* Automated/manual agent approval
* Allow agents to add in-depth property details, gallery images, PDF brochures, videos (FLV/SWT, Youtube, Vimeo) and more with an advanced WYSIWYG editor
* Assign properties by country, state, region, area, city and more
* Assign properties by category (rent or sell) and types (domestic, commercial, 2-4 unit etc)
* Google Captcha
USER AND BUYER FEATURES:
* Favorite list - Add as favourite feature
* Carry out in-depth searches on price, property type, bathroom numbers, floor areas and more
* Comments - option to leave comments on property (Komento integration)
* Apply numerous simple-to-use filters, such as availability filters, lease term filters, ‘order by’ filters and more
* Browse through properties with a user-friendly search system
* Save searches option with advanced notifications system
* Browse expert looking slider galleries of property photos
* Download an array of PDF documents, property images and videos
* Read short descriptions in listings and long, in-depth descriptions on main property pages
* Share via Twitter & Facebook and use the ‘Send to a friend’ option
* Page print option
* Easy to use property enquiry and contact forms
* View ‘latest’, ‘popular’ and ‘random property slideshows with an included module
* Google maps back-end and front-end integration
Customizable, unlimited currencies & sign positions with different price formats for every country
* Google Street view
* List (detailed) & Table (short) property listing layout options
* Very powerful levels of customization
* Front-end management – add, edit and remove properties without logging into Joomla admin
Related address fields based on AJAX
Optional bespoke MLS integration
Supports extra add-ons and other templates
FLASH support in property description
Built in SEO tools
Multilingual support (English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Greek, Arabic, Russian, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Hungarian, Dutch, Chinese translations are included)
JoomFish integration for Joomla 1.5.x & in-built multilingual support for Joomla 2.5.x
Option to install sample data or configure the component manually
Website designers with a moderate knowledge of php, css and html will find it fairly easy to theme the component and associated modules to match your custom joomla template design.
The Support is phenomenal. Whenever I ran into a problem, I simply created a support ticket from the joomla backend and their team was very responsive and effective in resolving issues. The level of support alone makes the cost of the component worth the money.
My implementation was quite complicated in that I added a level of MLS integration into the component. Fastw3b assisted in developing this plugin for an additional cost, but their help was well worth the extra money. The one drawback I found was that the current version of the component is a bit lacking when working with large sets of property data that result when importing an MLS IDX feed (My dataset was approximately 30K listings with photos). However, I'm am confident fastw3b will be working to fix these limitations in upcoming versions. Currently, if you are wanting to integrate large amounts of MLS property data, there may be better, more robust options out in the market than Joomla/FW Real Estate, but for the price (hundred$, not thousand$) this component more than meets my expectations.
For real estate agencies who only want to feature their own listings or want to integrate with MLS and are in relatively small markets, FW Real Estate Pro is an EXCELLENT choice.
While not free, the component is overall worth the cost, considering the included support and unlimited licenses.
The component is easy to install and manage. Feature-wise, it has lots of details you can show for a real estate, which is nice. :) Beyond the poor Italian translation (which I improved), the component may see a few welcome additional features, such as a global map, a city selection dropdown, and especially full titles in each page (category/estate). The only real remark is that the search plugin, t least in the Pro package, should be included and not an add-on cost.
I've been in contact with their support team and it's been a pleasant experience: always polite and open to new ideas. :-D
With my background of Joomla! 1.5, working on this 2.5-ready component has not been a problem at all.
FW Real Estate is a good component.
We had a few questions and they were answered very quickly.
Also, we had a couple of fields which we wanted changed - again, we had an answer very quickly and by the time I came back to the office, the changes were done!
Good product and good service.
1. They have rolled out many new revisions that have taken it from good two years ago to truly great today.
2. I have needed support three times for minor issues, and they responded and fixed the problem within 24 hours.
3. They have a great library of plugins and add-ons and they keep adding to them.
4. For all that you get the price is VERY good.
If you are going to be building real estate websites, I would go for the developers pack, it comes with everything, but your money will be well spent on the real estate pro component as well (many of the plugins are free or very inexpensive.)
Whenever there was a clash in the extension with other modules, the support was immediate to fix the problem. I liked this extension for it’s simplicity and clean look. However, in the end I found that there were some additional features which I needed access to (but are in development with fastw3b), but I did not have the time to wait for. Fastw3b were kind enough to fully refund my funds.
In short - an excellent company to deal with, quick to fix any problems, quick to fix user created problems, excellent support & patience for assistance with Joomla outside of their own extension. Svetlana is a real asset to the team and a pleasure to deal with.
I have to repeat what others on here have said about the support - its been super. In essence the Search module was working & displaying wonderfully in Safari via OS X Snow Leopard but some elements were not displaying in browser (chrome, ie, firefox) on a Windows PC. I let support at fastw3b know - they identified issue as being related to using older version of the component, so they updated it for me thus solving the problem in both a friendly and speedy fashion.
The website owners are also delighted with their new web site, especially its use of google maps to show properties its a UK based letting / rental agents, so reference to "real estate" on the search pages concerned them but I soon changed the words.
What's also good (although no doubt common to a lot of extensions) is the willingness to hear what users think and to see if these can be incorporated into the core system.
The system itself was easy to understand and the ability to let users login from the front end so they can create update / delete properties is very welcome
I'd recommend it to anyone thinking of building web presence for those in property market
Pros: It is quite a good real estate site and is configurable to some degree. The support is brilliant and fast.
Every time they bring out a new version it wipes out your data and any changes you have made so to use an upgrade you have to0 start from scratch.
Some of the CSS leaves a lot to be desired and in the latest version the tabs for the property input all run into each other. This is not a template issue as I have corrected it and tried it with several templates.
A couple of versions ago they brought in a translation feature for the component which now requires you to use joomla translations and makes customising that much more difficult. That being said I don't know why they did that, when there is a perfectly good Google translate module available which does the job so much better.
Up until recently they had a forum where questions about the component could be asked but that has now been removed. It has been replaced by a Premium Support component which sits on your site and you can ask support questions. The problem is that they always want access to your site so that they can solve any problems. That has a downside for me. All I want is to be able to discuss problems with other users without the developers going onto my site and uploading a new version which trashes what I have done.
Another problem is that this component is very definitely aimed at the American Market and requires substantial customising for the European Market.
Overall a good Component but I just get the feeling that the developers are more interested in making money from customising the component than actually solving problems.
Thank you for your review. It's very valuable and we read it carefully. At the same time we found some points where clarifications must be provided so review makes its impact in our services.
Saving custom changes after component upgrade is something we have never experienced to see in programming before. May be you meant database changes which always remain after upgrade. But it sounds impossible to locate while installation parts of code changed and implement them on the fly into updated component.
Translation system is just an option. We had dozens of clients asking us for this update so we did it. There is no need to use it if you find Google Translate option handier. So it's completely up to you what to use. By the way you can paste Google translated text for different languages and then correct it when you find mistakes. You won't have this option if you only use Google Translate.
Forum was closed down as very few people were using it. Most of all requests come to us through FW Premium Support component and contact form on site. That's why we decided to concentrate on individual support making sure everybody gets reply fast and with all details. FW Premium Support is an option and free to use.
Thank you for the note about the markets that our component is the most suitable for. We have been working in this direction and adapted versions will be released soon for European and South African markets.
We would love to have all the features may want to see in our component and that's something we are working for. But often some people need features other people don't need and would consider seeing them in the component as additional complexity. That's why we work individually with every client providing customization for their particular needs for a very reasonable price.
Thank you very much for your review and we hope our customers would tell us all their ideas, needs and dislikes directly so we can discuss and apply them to improve our product.