A "Gateway Page" in summary: You need to create a page that has the property code as a parameter to redirect to the appropriate property card on your website - basically creating a gateway page. No other changes are required to your website.
PCHomes Estate Agent Software allows agents to send mailshots and property lists out with links to properties on their website. However, when Estates IT does not build your website, you may need to discuss what your options are. PCHomes knows how to interact with an Estates IT built website but will not know how to interact with your custom built site.
The custom site may use URL rewriting and SEO optimised pages to display properties and so it may not be obvious what to link to. PCHomes will not know by default the page name on the website that has been made to display the property.
If you receive a feed of data from Estates IT then the information that is required is contained in the feed, the unique property code. The format of this code may differ between the BLM format and XML file outputs, but is known.
So, a simple method of connection between PCHomes and your custom site is required called a "gateway" page. A typical link from the PCHomes software to a website would be like this:
where DEMS4_000089 is the unique property reference for the property in PCHomes and online.
The page that the user ends up on is as below:
The page "pchomes/propertyview.asp" has acted as a gateway to the real property details page.
For the 3rd party web developer a page will need to be provided to Estates IT that allows this gateway.
Typical formats are, but not limited to:
Where XXXX will be the unique property code supplied from the PCHomes software and contained in the feed supplied by Estates IT.
Typically the 3rd party website developer will code how the page handles the conversion of this link call to the actual page that will be displayed for the property. The gateway link supplied should not contain any SEO written URL text and this cannot be made up by PCHomes, as it will not know the rules to which the text has been made. It is the unique property code data only that will be supplied.
Once this gateway link is supplied to Estates IT, the clients installation of PCHomes can be updated.
Additional technical note on codes. When the unique property code/reference is supplied in a:
- BLM file it is usually supplied without any underscore character.
- XML file it is usually supplied exactly matching the code in PCHomes.