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alfiejohn (7563)

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Journal of alfiejohn (7563)

Friday May 18, 2007
09:32 AM becomes

[ #33305 ]
The real estate website market in Australia was just too big to compete in. So I figured (with the help or others) I would focus my energy on somewhere I know would be more accommodating.

It's amazing what focusing on a niche market can do. FreeHouse was online for 3 months and barely got 30+ ads online. After targeting a niche (share housing) i've seen 10x traffic and have 100+ houses within the first month!

I learned a lot from FreeHouse and I hope that the people who downloaded the source code got a chance to really appreciate how HTML::Mason and Class::DBI does things nicely. ( Regardless of some of my sloppy code ;)
I really haven't been fussed with all these new frameworks (e.g. Ruby on Rails, Catalyst) and wanted to push the boundaries of my Perl + Class::DBI + HTML::Mason skills. Share-House was completed in under 3 days. Not bad for non-<insert-hyped-techonology-here> coding... But that's for a future post :)


If you're still looking for the source code to, you can find it here. I will still help out people on getting FreeHouse running on their servers. I'm just an email away.
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  • It's a nice start, but an important missing feature is your search. Full text search and the ability to restrict on location and price would really help to increase your visitors coming back.

    The browse option doesn't work for everyone. If they have to click through every page they are very unlikely to reach the end.

    • Search was the next thing on my list of todos. Just ran out of time :)
      • A friend and I wanted to do something similar here in the UK several years ago, but some of the local estate agents started doing it too. It was mostly aimed at students as Birmingham has a huge student population (3 major unis and several colleges). I think you've gone the right route of covering more than one city. Good luck with it all.