Property Place is a Facebook application that allows users to search, share and sell property via their Facebook account. It offers consumers and selling agents a more intuitive and efficient marketing alternative to existing channels. The application aims to be the number one Facebook property application, and although the app is focused on the UK market at present, it has global ambition and capability.
Property Place required a Facebook application that acted as a property portal. It needed to operate by taking a data feed from a 3rd party data provider, and then allowing properties to be searched, liked and shared within the Facebook website. Some of the key requirements were:
- Full Facebook API integration
- A slick design that sat well with the Facebook surround
- Be capable of handling large amounts of traffic
- Search functionality that allows users to filter based on certain criteria (property type, price band etc.)
- Allow users to generate lists of their favourite properties and then share them with their friends, both Facebook and non-Facebook users.
- Users need to be able to contact estate/letting agents through the site
- Allow users to upload and feature specific properties
After reviewing the requirements and understanding the implications of having to deal with extraordinary amounts of data, we suggested that a Drupal 7 implementation would be able to meet the requirements. There were some massive challenges along the way which you can read about in our Property Place case study over at Drupal.org, but after several months of development we delivered the first version of Property Place.
- Drupal 7 implementation.
- Usage of the Migrate module to keep the site up to date with all the latest properties. This is achieved by processing some 2GB of property data held within CSV format, twice a day.
- The site is able to comfortably handle the 400,000 approx. properties that are on sale or for rent at any one time, with a data churn of about 10,000 new properties a day, up to 30,000 updates to existing properties, and about 10,000 deletions.
- It deals with some 350GB of property images held in 2,000,000 different files, and dynamically creates multiple sizes of each.
- To handle searching this volume of data, Apache Solr was integrated with Drupal as it provided the enterprise grade performance and features that were required.
- Facebook API integration.
- E-commerce integration with Drupal Commerce
- Auto suggestion when searching
- Google Maps integration