People Exchange: A functional guide

A detailed guide as to how People Exchange enables your website and software to synchronise.

This article lists the information that the full Homeflow People Exchange (HFPE) specification enables your website and software system to synchronise.  Reading it will give you a detailed explanation of which bits of applicant and vendors activity can be transferred between your site (where a lot of intelligence is gathered and contacts are nurtured) and your back office software (where you need that data to do anything useful with it).

The specification, is designed to be completely extensible so that further events can be added to it over time.  Further, if either side doesn’t support any given event, the system is designed to be able to gracefully ignore those events, until the system expands to support that later.

This document is not intended to be technical documentation (software developers should contact our development team for the technical API documentation) – instead this is a detailed functional guide.

Full list of current capabilites in the specification:

  • New web customer > software

As a new customer comes to the website – their details are passed to software to create an account.  This may well be stored in a web prospects holding tank for approval into the main applicant database.

  • New software customer > website

As a new customer comes into branch of phone – the software system passes their information to the website to create them a website account, the website emails them their welcome and passwords etc.

  • Customer visits website > software

When an identifiable customer visits the website, their visit event is notified to the software system (including the date stamp), including their total cumulative number of visits.  This enables parsing of interest level and recency of customers in the software – to generate call lists and so forth.

  • Customer performs a search > software

When an identifiable customer performs a search (though doesn’t save it), we call this event an “implied search”, and we pass this event, including the price bounding, property types, a full package of geo-json, defining the text name of the search area, the co-ordinates of the search centre point, the radius, and the full polygon file for that search.  This information can be consumed by the software system to add a search profile for the users.  We recommend this is treated as a soft search requirement, to inform / guide negotiators, and perhaps even drive matches in software, but not treated as a hard search criteria.

  • Customer saves an explicit search on website > software

When a customer goes further and SAVES a search, or sets up an email alert, the website will inform the software of this hard search criteria (same format as above).  This is safe to treat as a full requirement, for matching, call lists, etc.  The system will also pass information on the email alert status for this search, as well as edits and updates.

  • Customer saves an explicit search in software > website

When a customer is given a search / match criteria in the software system, this is a reverse pass (including the same data on customer, price, type, beds, and Geo-JSON for full search area info) up to the website.  Edits and email permissions should be notified.  Ie this is completely symmetrical to the web > software call.

  • Website property view by known customer > software

When an identifiable customer simply views a property detail page, this event is passed backwards into the software system.

  • Website property save by known customer > software

When a customer saves a property (a stronger signal of interest), this event is passed backwards into the software system.  Likewise all associated unsave / edit events, clearly.

  • Customer interest in a property in branch > Website

If a customer phones or talks to a negotiator to register interest in a property, request a brochure, goes on a viewing etc. then the software system may record a linkage of interest between that customer and any given property (this is a plus, thumbs up, or a saved property, in different systems parlance).  This event of registering interest, can be passed back to the website, and which will treat the interest as equivalent to a saved property.  The website can optionally be configured to send batched emails welcoming the user AND noting their new saved properties.

  • Customer adds a star rank / note to a property > software

When a customer saves a star rank score, or a note to a property, these events are sync’d in an extension to the saved property event notification.  NB, different agents will have different “social contracts” with their users about whether these notes are openly shared with the agent, or are their private (unread) notes on the website only.  Both types may be created in the future, for now all are treated equally.

  • Customer makes an enquiry > software

All types of leads (there are 7 or more) that can be generated on a Homeflow website including, property enquiries, branch enquiries, mortgage enquiries, staff enquiries, etc. are passed, in a similar fashion to initial customer registrations back to the software system.

  • Customer is part of a househunting group > Two way sync

If a customer is part of a linked group of customers (husband and wife) then some software systems support the concept of a househunting group.  The website will send a linkage to the group (which will always exist, even if the group is a group of one individual).  It is safe for software systems which are not architected to support the concept of groups to ignore these calls.

  • Customer claims to be a vendor of a property > Software

Where a customer on the website claims to be the vendor of a given property.  This claim will be stored as a soft linkage, until they are confirmed as the vendor.  It could sensibly be added as a note and to do to the customer record in the software system, and works in tandem with the event below.

  • Software confirms a vendor of a property > Website

When a customer contact is associated as a firm linkage as the vendor or landlord of any given property, as signal can be sent to associate this customer as the owner of that property.

  • Notes on viewings / reactions – Under development

Deeper sync of notes and reactions to properties are not currently supported, though they are envisaged in the future.  Some software vendors have established APIs in this area, and these will be respected / used wherever possible.

  • Calendar events – Under development

Likewise, any form of sync of calendar events between people and properties are not currently supported, though they are envisaged in the future for vendor areas.  Some software vendors have established APIs in this area, and these will be respected / used wherever possible.

(Technical note:  Homeflow refers to all customers and properties by both the software vendors ID (foreign key) and own (domestic) IDs.  The software companies system can refer either using their own IDs, or ours, we work with both).

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