We get asked a lot of questions from estate agents all the time, but one of the most popular is: What is an XML feed?

Well, quite simply put, an xml feed is a bridge that connects one website to another, and allows information to be exchanged between your website & the other website automatically.

So, if you are in real estate and you have lots of sites you want to upload property on, you can use an xml feed to do it, rather than having to upload manually. It also works for any updates, including deleting properties. Depending on which property portal you are on generally feeds will update every 12 -24 hours.

There are 2 ways that an XML feed can be built, the first is via a remote connection to your database, and the second is a scrape of your website, and the time it takes to build your feed, will depend on which one is chosen.

You need to also consider what properties you want on the portals compared to what you have on your property website. If you only want a selection, then you will need a tick system to select the ones you want, or you will need to supply a manual list each week to your provider. If you don't, then the portals will go with the newest listings first and remove an old one when a new listing comes on.

Lastly in terms of a cost - well this depends of course on who you go with, but, in most cases there will be a setup fee + a monthly maintenance fee - for example with Property Portal Marketing it's a €50 set up fee + €25 per month (up to 3 feeds).

XML Feeds – What are They?