How It Works
The short version
- You order a feed by completing a simple online form
- You enter the web address where we can find your listings
- We configure our software to read the listings displayed on your site
- (We can collect your listings from an existing feed, if you prefer)
- Our software imports the listings from your site to our system
- (Note: we do NOT access your database)
- We convert the listings into a data feed and make it available in multiple versions to satisfy as many receivers of the feed as possible
- We email you with details of your feed and how to have it distributed
- Top 5 Questions Price details
- Frequently Asked Questions - The Full List
If you have a few minutes you REALLY ought to read this ...
Why is there XML2U?
Some years ago XML2U's founders identified a problem and sought to find a solution:
Real Estate Agents (in particular) wanted to publish their properties on other websites to increase the opportunities of those properties being seen by the larger and larger numbers of property seekers using the internet to find what they were looking for.
The problem was the time it took to enter each property one by one to each site.
As a consequence, agents only tended to upload their properties to a few sites and even those did not get updated very often.
The solution was an automatic ‘feed’ of the agent’s property listings - so that when he added a property to his own website, it was picked up and copied across (or fed) to the sites he wanted it seen on (often referred to as syndication).
XML2U developed the systems necessary to ‘collect’ the property listings from the agent’s website, turn that data into a form that other websites could import, and ‘feed’ it to them.
As a result, real estate agents are now able to have their properties ‘syndicated’ far and wide, on multiple websites, at the flick of a switch (or a mouse click).
Since then, we have identified the same need in the automotive, recruitment, boat, and other eRetailing industries, and have further developed what we do for real estate agents to provide these businesses with the same facilities.
What XML2U does –
By configuring our software to the layout of the client’s website, we create a data extraction robot to ‘crawl’ the site (much like Google would crawl a site to index it in their search results) and copy the listings (properties, cars, job vacancies, boats etc) across to our database.
The copied data is then transferred to our feed generator which transforms the data into a variety of formats which other websites can read and import. We create multiple versions of the feed so that 95% of the world’s portals are able to work with it. Once the ‘feed’ is created, it is ready for delivery to whomever you want it sent. To keep the feed up to date, our ‘robot’ revisits the source of the data (your site or export file) each day to collect your latest information, refreshing the feed with the new data. In this way, receivers of the feed are able to update their systems automatically with your latest information. This applies to new listings, removed listings and amended listings, each day.
Benefits to you:
Massive time-saving – the more sites or other locations your feed is sent to, the more time you are saving - and time is money. We make everything as automatic as possible. All you have to do is decide who is to receive the feed - we provide the means to identify and select suitable recipients and send the feed to them.
Widest distribution network and other uses –
- more than 1000 national and international portals (websites that will promote your listings) to choose from, 60+ of which are entirely free
- an RSS add-on to update the agent’s own site visitors;
- uploads to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for a potential worldwide audience of more than a billion;
- powering a smartphone app, a mobile website or a digital TV display;
- automatically converting your listings to video and posting them on YouTube.
Reaching markets not previously accessible – it is one thing for you to get your listings seen in your own country, but quite another to get them seen by overseas buyers. In the current economic climate, it is increasing important to attract buyers from other countries. However, the websites and portals that serve one country are often not very visible in another. So, to be seen by Chinese, Russian, British or Asian buyers, for example, the listings need to be published on the portals most visible in those territories. The portal selection in XML2U includes the important and most highly visible portals in all parts of the world.
Deals & discounts for XML2U clients – many portals offer special deals and discounts to clients who have an XML2U feed. (Run a portal search and click the ‘XML2U Offer’ links). We've also negotiated special prices on mobile websites, smartphone apps and the conversion of your listings to video for upload to YouTube and other sites.
Major boost to your SEO – search engine optimisation determines where on the major search engines your website appears and, therefore, how many people find and visit it. Many portals provide links back from each of your listings direct to the listing page on your own site. This contributes to a higher ranking on the important search engines and as a consequence more visitors to your website.
A very modest cost – Because we have automated so many of the processes we can make the facility available to you at a very modest price. A typical feed (whether for real estate, cars, jobs, boats etc) will cost £15 / €17,00 / $18.00 a month (to include daily updates for up to 500 listings - more by arrangement) regardless of how many sites are sent the feed; plus a one-time setup fee of £30 / €34 / $36.
No long term contracts - there is a 3 month minimum term but, thereafter, you can cancel without notice at any time. To cancel a feed, service or recurring subscription, for details of the procedure contact us at cancellations@ xml2u.com and we will reply with details of the procedure.
Will you be pleased with what do?
Try Googling "We partner with feed creator XML2U.com" (use the " marks to get an exact match). You'll find thousands of links from portals and marketing platforms all over the world that are very happy to refer their clients to our services.
(i) If you are planning to feed Rightmove or another site where you are only allowed to advertise a specific number of properties, please tell us that number on the order form.
(ii) If you want to be selective about which properties to include in the feed, you can add an identifying character to each property on your site (say a *, to the property ref number, or at the beginning of the title or description). Then just tell us on the order form that we are to only collect those so marked. Or, you can ask us to use the search facility on your site so we only collect the properties returned by specific search criteria, (eg. Houses in 'a town' up to €500,000). To clarify this, one selection = one feed. If you need more than one different selection, you will need to order more than one feed.