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Old 10-08-2001, 09:48 AM
rmoss rmoss is offline
VT Support and Training
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: VisualTour Corporate Office
Posts: 739
Default Adding a Search Page: Allow Buyers to Find Tours Based on Criteria They Choose

If you have a website that allows you to create your own custom pages (as opposed to a template based website that allows only slight customization to a predefined format) this memo will show you how to add a search page that will allow visitors to your website to see an inventory of only the tours that meet their needs.  By eliminating the properties that are the wrong size, price range, neighborhood, or a host of other criteria, your potential buyers will not get bored sorting through a long list of tours that do not meet their needs, so they are more likely to stay on your website and see what you have to offer.

To create a search page on your website is easy since we provide all the HTML code for you. All you have to do is make some minor changes to customize the search to fit your needs.
  1. Locate the search template file at http://www.visualtour.com/inventory_search_template.htm.

  2. Right click the page, and choose View Source to open the template in a text editor. You will notice it is well documented with comments explaining what to customize.

  3. To start the customization of the template, you must tell it whose inventory of tours it should be searching, so scroll down approximately 90 lines to locate the following section.

    <input type="hidden" name="qBrokerID" value="">
    <input type="hidden" name="qUserID" value="2296">
    <input type="hidden" name="HomePage" value="">


    You must fill in either the qUserID value (change from 2296 to your ID) or the qBrokerID value. Do not fill in both. If you do not know your Broker ID or User ID, log into your account at VisualTour.com, and click "My Profile."  The ID will be the Account Number at the top of the screen.


  4. If you wish, you can fill in a URL for your home page (i.e. http://www.mysite.com/default.htm).  Doing so will add a home page link to the bottom of your search results window.


  5. Immediately below the section you just edited, you will note an example of two different ways to gather data. In our example, we allow a person to type in a city name, but we also show you how to create a drop down list of city names. Most people find a drop down list to be more advantageous in that it avoids the possibility of tours not being displayed just because of a typo or alternate abbreviation of the city name. Nevertheless, we include the samples both ways so you can apply the methodology to any field you want.


  6. Add, remove, and rearrange the search criteria items as desired. Each item is in its own section (separated by table rows starting with <tr> and ending with </tr>). You can include as many or few criteria as you deem appropriate. Keep it simple by allowing a search only by price range and size or make it very detailed using all 15 available fields (Click Here to see a list of all available criteria).


  7. If you are using the Property Type field, you will note it has several options.

    <option value="0" selected>Single Family Home
    <option value="1">Condo
    <option value="2">Townhouse
    <option value="3">Manufactured/Mobile Home
    <option value="4">Commercial - Office
    <option value="5">Commercial - Retail
    <option value="6">Apartment/Multifamily
    <option value="7">Vacant Land
    <option value="8">Vacation
    <option value="9">Property Management
    <option value="10">Community Tour
    <option value="11">Other


    Feel free to leave items off the list if you do not handle those types of properties, but do not renumber them.  The values must remain as they are, for example:

    <option value="0" selected>Single Family Home
    <option value="2">Townhouse
    <option value="6">Apartment/Multifamily



  8. Just a few lines up from the bottom of the template file, note how we used the User Field 2 field, which is filled in when tours are uploaded, to create a search criteria for the type of garage. There are three user definable fields available for such customizations.


  9. Save the customized template, and add the code in it to your website. Many people like to add it to a frame, but it can also serve as a standalone search page. Add graphics and a splash of color to make it integrate with the rest of your website.


Last edited by rmoss; 05-14-2007 at 07:58 AM. Reason: removing reference to example that has been taken down
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