Question Details

Graham Davis, Real Estate Pro in Durham, NC

XML Feeds to Trulia and Others

Asked by Graham Davis, Durham, NC Mon May 19, 2008

Last week I was contacted by an agent who wanted to send his database to a whole list of internet web sites including Trulia. I understand that each aggregator(as I think they are called) have their own set of requirements for how the xml files should be structured, which means he will have to create a different xml file for each site he wants to submit to.

So what I would like to know is how other agents are doing their submissions. Is there a computer program he can buy that will create the xml files for him? Or is it something most of you are "doing by hand".

Your guidance would be appreciated,


Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Max,

As it turns out, my search for an automated program came up empty, so I went out on and limb and created one on my own. At present, it will create feeds for both Trulia and Google. If there is enough interest, I will move forward in creating feeds for others.

The test version is available at

I would appreciate it if some of you could give it try and let me know if your listings are accepted by Trulia and Google(I have no way to verify this on my own). I also need to know what type of data sources you are using to create the feed(Excel, Access, Oracle,etc)

In short, I envision the final product working something like this:

1. Agent Identifies the source of his listings (database, spreadsheet, etc)
2. Agent identifies the required fields from his database( i.e. This is may Name, this is my address, etc)
3. Program Creates all the xml files for the syndicates (Truila, Google, etc)
4. Program sends the xml files to a folder on the Agent's Web server using FTP
5. Agent tells the program how often to automatically run and keep the xml feeds updated (hourly, daily, etc)
6. Agent is done with feeds. All he needs to do now is keep his computer turned on, his listings up to date, and his properties moving.

Thanks for your help,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 28, 2008
Also - if you need to speak with someone about this - contact a firm in NY called Team5.

I used to work for them, and I *know* they have the ability to create these things (cause i wrote a bunch of 'em while i worked there!) They do a lot of work with real estate clients, and are very familier with the industry.

As far as the eastern european coders - honestly, that's a crapshoot. The problem is there's very little guarentee as to the quality of the product you get back, and you have no idea what they will do with your information once they have it (unfortunately I know this first hand).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
Ahh - finally, a question about my area of expertise... :)
Short answer, you don't even want to try to do it by hand. Nightmare....

There's a variety of ways to make this happen. The most simple is to have your DB guy (or whoever manages that for you) create an export for each feed/format. What this will do is take your database - and spit out an XML file in the proper format. Really - it shouldn't take terribly long to create, or cost a whole heck of a lot.
What they should be able to do is create a single script or program to do the transformations - and then create a bunch of XSL files - one for each feed you want. What these XSL files (or XSLT) do is take your data, and shape it the way it needs to be shaped. If it's done correctly - all it takes to create a new feed, is creating a new XSL file. (Creating the new XSL file should take all of 30 minutes or so).

THis is really the EXACT same thing that eCommerce sites have to do to get thier products listed on amazon, froogle, pricegrabber, etc etc. Each of those sites has thier own specific format they want thier data in - and you have to take your data out of your DB, and make it jive with that format.
It's all pretty standard stuff now - so finding someone to do it quick/cheap should be pretty easy. A lot of people have this code floating around from the eCommerce side, and it's really no different.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008

this is a really interesting question. About 2 years ago I had a similar problem, - I needed to syndicate listings to multiple websites, including Trulia, on monthly bases. On my list I only had Trulia, Google Base, and CraigsList (2 years ago there wasn't such a big choice of aggregators to syndicate to). Anyway, the only automated feeds I could create (at that time) were for Trulia and Google Base. I believe Google Base doesn't require XML format - you should be able to upload in CVS or tab delimited.

I'd like to see if you find solution for this task. If you already have all the XML requirements from all the web sites you would like to submit - I would suggest to check out freelance services like eLance or similar... freelancers from Ukraine and Belarus should be very reasonable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 27, 2008
Thank you for your answer Pam. A direct feed from XML Files is exactly what my client is trying to create. He has over 2000 listings which are maintained in a database. What he wants to have them taken directly from his database and posted to over 20 different websites accross the internet. I could create a custom solution to do this for him, but the time and cost required would be far more than what he is ready to spend. So we are now going to "Plan B", which is trying to determine if a tool for this already exists . . . . Something that will take the listings from his spreadsheet or database, regardless of "how many" and create 20 different xml files for 20 different websites.

I have been combing the internet for more than a week now, but without success. I did find a couple of sites, but most of them required some kind of manual entry, which is not acceptable at his volume. I also found a couple of services that would do it for him, but the monthly cost for them was also not acceptable. He prefers not to be "managing any middle men".

So my questions to the community are these:

1. Does a tool like the one we are seeking exist or are we looking for a pipe dream?

2. Is this an appropriate question to be asking on this site or should we be asking it on another? Which ones?

3. What methods are you using to get your listings posted? What would your recommend for him?

My thanks again,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008

If your company has a direct feed that would be the way to go. If you you can individually post but be sure to keep any changes in status current. Here is the direct feed link.

Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in ,
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer