A few weeks ago, I released Prudential Steamboat Realty’s new site into the wild. It is my first (but not last) large site built in Django to go live. As usual, ashwebmedia did a great job on redesigning the site and building the user interface.

Prudential gave me the opportunity to scrap their existing property search and build a new one from the ground up. When I’d used local real estate searches in the past, I found them to be pretty poor from a design and user interface standpoint. I took my insight as an end-user along with Prudential’s input to create a more pleasant search experience for their visitors. The initial feedback we have received has been very positive.

In order to keep the search easy to use while still giving “power-users” access to lots of options, I used quite a bit of unobtrusive JavaScript (via the jQuery framework). Simple sliders to choose price ranges, square footage, and acreage degrade gracefully into text boxes with JavaScript. The integrated Google Map is feed via JSON from the backend and I used some Ajax to allow users to sign up for email alerts without being directed away from their search results.

Listings are downloaded nightly via FTP and parsed into the database by a Django script that also handles geocoding on the fly for every property as it goes.

Lots of other features on this one, all built in a fraction of the time it would have taken me without using Django, including, a CMS, blog, RSS Feeds, community calendar, and CRM.

Prudential Steamboat Realty Screenshot