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Neville
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HELP

Advice appreciated

We are using FM4 in our real estate office to maintain our listings, print window cards, do contracts, listing reports etc etc in fact everything to run our office - Great.

Vaughn and others have solved several problems and provided helpful advice. Have been using for about 5 years. (we could not operate our ofice without it!!)

We also have an internet presence (www.cynthiadykerealty.com.au) which is home pages and links to our listings. The home page (developed by me with Frontpage 2000 - any better suggestions for a novice?) and links to our listings. Both are hosted by our local industry body, the Real Estate Institute of QLD - reiq.com.au. (realnet.com.au) When I update our home page I zip and e-mail to them (Real Institute of QLD - REIQ.com.au. We continually get acolades about our home page (not your usual stuffy busines pages!). Updates to our listings I email from FM (print preview, copy & paste to WORD, save and e-mail word doc. Plus photos) to them.

All this works great if a bit cumbersome. We have previousl requested a capability to update our own listings directly online (or from FM)with no luck. I have just requested again and this has caused REIQ to rethink its Internet strategy. The result? They are going to dump realnet because of lack of support from other Queensland offices. This will give us a big problem as 80%+ of our business now comes from the net

We now have the choice of finding a new host from all the real estate "providers" and get locked into them (corporate flying banners advertisinge etc etc, big monthly money) and paying a motza for the priverlidge for this or doing our own thing.

ADVICE

Me thinks (always an optomistic) that I might be able to achive the same result from FM.

Should I spend the money (how much??)upgarde to FM5 and associated software or whatever, invest in our own server FM software etc etc, fast line and set all our stuff up on it linked to our listings or give in and go with one of the big Real estate hosts. Maybee a mixture of being hosted by a large ISP and not having to worry about the server, firewalls etc. They look after the firewalls etc and the listings come off our server. How do they host the FM part or is the FM part on our server?

I have been in IT for 35 years so heave plenty of experience (in fact what I do everyday giving IT advice for a living) but a long time since I hacked the code. Now days a Business Analyst and Project management consultant. So can do some of the hard yards myself but am I taking on too much?? I generally work consulting and do the real estate stuff weekends or when I have no contracts (like now). I don't mind doing the work but a bit aprehensive about the limit of my skills in the Internet area.

Our office is the market leader in the area (52% market share) mainly due to the "technology" that we use (ie FM) and our internet presence.

Would appreciate some sound advice. The money doesn't phase me as suspect would invilve big money for the latest FM software plus gear, but might be cheaper than paying Mr Murdoch or simiilar for the privelege.

If the answer is "you are joking, go with realesate.com or similar, fine, but love the idea of being in control of our own destiny, ie with FM.

When yopu all stop laughing at the idea, some sound advice appreciated

Neville

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Your idea of maintaining your own site is quite reasonable. You can use CDML, Lasso, or JDBC to create your own site linked directly to your FM databases, independent of any real estate conglomerate. You could build it (or have it built for you) relatively quickly and inexpensively.

Post some of your technical requirements and folks in this forum can direct you to the best software/middleware combination and appropriate web hosting companies.

Tom

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Seems like you have a couple of choices. 1. Have the database hosted by an FM hosting service with static pages and images hosted by whoever the realestate group decide to go with. or 2. Do most of it yourself.

Are you able to install ADSL in your area? If so, this is the most economical way to go. You can get a permanent IP and setup your own server.

Hope this helps.

Garry

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