HOMM THE HOME BROWSER is a new and unusual form of property-search website, providing powerful tools to help people find homes by showing information from the other main property search sites in one place and in a single format.
It was built as a tool to help us personally find a special property, I built it initially as an intellectual exercise and to save us having to switch from portal to portal.
We enjoy browsing properties all over the place, in the UK and Europe, we aren't really bothered where we look, we're searching for a really special property that has more to do with character, content and situation than location or even price.
The main portals are great for most people, who know where they want to go, but for us, we needed a different interface - and so HOMM was born. I think it will be useful for some other people too.
HOMM works by using logic to interpret how the source sites work, by knowing where information is on those sites and how they interface with the user. It reads the standard places directly from the portal web pages where links to and lists of properties and images and text are coded. It even visits multiple pages automatically in the background to provide better information.
It queries the user forms on the portals to search for the kind of property the user has selected and interprets the results they return,
On HOMM, users can interact with the portals and click on their dedicated functions and special links. It tries to interpret any web page that is provided on the /url?... parameter [please note, this is all work in progress, please expect wierd and wrong results when you try this!!].
All the information shown on HOMM is downloaded at runtime directly from the portal pages and is optimised and formatted to ease and optimise the property-finding experience.
HOMM only uses a small database containing static data - no property, listing, user or image data is stored by us except, for example: links when users save a properties or add additional details about properties or classify or tag individual images.
At any time the user can click to launch the source page so that they can use the features of the source sites.
HOMM does not do complex mapping or the other functions that the source sites do very well.
It only outputs property descriptions and avoids text or links which might confuse search engines.
Using a powerful but friendly interface on HOMM, Estate Agents can categorise and tag their best property images thus making them more interesting to users and search engines alike. [Please note that when this is done those extra image details are stored in the HOMM database.]
The Rules Engine at the heart of HOMM can quite easily be adapted to being fed from any property website or portal based anywhere in the world, so if you run such a site and want your properties listed here let me know.
HOMM is still in development, if you or your company would like to participate or cooperate with this project or you have any questions, issues or suggestions please contact me:
Created by Jon Castle, Ah Ha!! Software.
© March 2020 - November 2019