The process for uploading to property portals is mostly the same across portals, and indeed if you have your own agency website you may wish to feature available properties on there using the same mechanism.
Rightmove's RMv3 Property Feed
UK’s Rightmove property portal initially introduced the Bulk Load Mass (BLM) file format which is used to exchange property data and forms the basis for Rightmove’s RMv3 specification. This was used to upload property data from third-party systems into its portal platform. However, it has since become widely adopted as the de-facto property data format and is used by most portals. The full RMv3 feed specification is attached to this article.
The BLM file is a delimited file similar to a Comma Separated Variable (CSV) file which is often used for data export and import in commonly used applications such as Microsoft Excel, but uses the caret (^) character as the field separator and the tilde (~) character as end of row separators. The file has a number of header records to define the format and the number of rows enclosed. Full details are available in the RMv3 specification (attached).
At specified intervals during the day we generate the feed which comprises the BLM file with property data for all properties designated for upload within Solo and Origin, and all accompanying media such as images, brochures, EPCs and floorplans. These files are compressed into a single ZIP file which is then transferred to your server for collection and processing. You need to provide us with the following details for the server to which we will transfer your file:
- FTP server address
- Upload folder
A sample zip file is attached to this article for analysis.
Integrating Data into Your Website
Your website developer will be able to retrieve the ZIP file from the specified upload directory and process it in whatever way the project requires. This typically involves parsing the BLM data into a generic array structure and then loading it into a local database which the website can then access. Images can be moved to a custom folder and file structure also. Implementation of the website’s browse, search and list functionality is then is fully under the control of your website developer.
We often receive requests from agents whose existing websites have been built with the popular WordPress content management platform, and who wish to incorporate our property feed into that system.
While we have no affiliation with WordPress or the services below, there are plugins available from independent third-party software vendors which will process the BLM feed and load these into your website for management. Some sites to consider are listed below, and if you aware of any other good solutions then please let us know and we'll include them in this list.