Installing and configuring Joomla Estate Agency

Joomla Estate Agency (JEA) is a real estate extension for Joomla. You can manage properties for selling or renting in the frontend or backend. …

PREPARATION
As is true of many extensions, JEA is incompatible with Joomla’s FTP layer. If you are using the FTP layer, disable it. It’s worth noting that the FTP layer really shouldn’t ever be needed. Needing the FTP layer indicates an underlying permissions problem with your Joomla installation, which should be fixed in any case.

If you have a earlier version of JEA already installed, uninstall it. Go to Extensions – Install/Uninstall – Components, select “jea”, and press “Uninstall”. It is not necessary to uninstall JEA’s optional modules.

If you have any Joomla users assigned to group Jea Agent, temporarily reassign them to another group before uninstalling JEA. If you forget to do this, they will disappear from Joomla’s User Manager but will remain in the database, requiring you to manually drop or modify their records directly in the database.

If you have uploaded images associated with property listings, delete or temporarily rename the directory images/com_jea.

INSTALLATION
Download the latest stable release of JEA. There are also optional search and emphasis modules available for download, which when enabled can be placed on your site like any module. The search module is a small property search form. The emphasis module is a “featured properties” item that displays those properties that have the emphasis flag set.

For a multilingual site, download any JEA language pack(s) needed.

Install JEA at Extensions – Install/Uninstall. Click on “Choose” and select com_jea_xxx.zip. Then click on “Upload File & Install”. Repeat this for any language packs or modules desired. I installed JEA 0.9 and Spanish language pack 0.7; I observed no problems despite the version inconsistency.

For a multilingual site using Joomfish, you will have to manually install language tables. To do this:

  1. Download com_jea_xxx.zip to your workstation and unzip it to a temporary directory.
  2. In Joomla, go to Components – Joomfish – Content Elements and select “Install”.
  3. Click on “Choose” and select one of the XML files in the /admin/joomfish directory you just unzipped. Click on “Upload File & Install”. Repeat this for every XML file in the directory.
  4. Done. You may delete the files unzipped in step 1.

Consider adding the JEA project feed to your preferred feed reader or Joomla’s control panel, and from there monitor security updates. Be aware, however, that the feed is mostly support forum posts.

ADD JEA TO A JOOMLA MENU
For a site visitor to see JEA, it must appear in a Joomla menu. For this example we will add JEA to the main menu. Go to Menus – Main Menu. In the upper right corner of the viewport, press “New”. Select as your menu item type “Joomla Estate Agency” and within it, “Properties – Properties layout” (for a list of properties) or “Properties – Search layout” (for a search form). Give your menu item a title (e.g. “Search Properties”). The parameters in the right column can be ignored at this stage, given that JEA has not yet been configured. Press “Save”. Check your work, keeping in mind that at this stage it will lead to an empty page given we have not yet added properties to display.

For a multilingual site using Joomfish, translate the new menu item you just created.

SET GLOBAL CONFIGURATION
Go to Components – Joomla Estate Agency – Configuration. Change values as needed. Press “Save”.

SET PROPERTY FEATURES
Go to Components – Joomla Estate Agency – Properties features. In the “Change table” dropdown box, select a table, such as Properties types. Press “New”. In value, add the name of the new property type, such as “Residential”. Press save. Add other values for Properties types and for other tables as needed. You can add as many or as few as you like, but JEA does require at least one value for Properties types.

Default tables available and examples of possible values are:

* Properties types (dropdown box)
E.g. Residential, Commercial
* Properties states (= property condition) (dropdown box)
E.g. Excellent, Good, Poor
* Departments (= province) (dropdown box)
E.g. Copán, Cortes
* Towns (= municipality)
E.g. Santa Rosa, San Pedro Sula
* Areas (=neighborhood or village) (dropdown box)
E.g. Bo. El Carmen, El Rosario
* Advantages (=amenities) (checkbox)
E.g. Parking, pool, maid’s quarters
* Heating types (dropdown box)
E.g. Fireplace, central heat
* Hot water types (dropdown box)
E.g. Electric, gas
* Slogans (dropdown box)
TODO: Figure out what this is for

For a multilingual site using Joomfish, translate the table values you just entered.

To add, rename, or remove tables, you must edit the files:

  1. joomla_root/administrator/language/en-GB/en_GB.com_jea.ini
  2. joomla_root/language/en-GB/en-GB.com_jea.ini
  3. joomla_root/language/en-GB/en-GB.mod_jea_emphasis.ini
  4. joomla_root/language/en-GB/en-GB.mod_jea_search.ini

The third file will only be present if you have the emphasis module installed. The fourth file will only be present if you have the search module installed. If you have installed JEA language packs for other languages, then similar files in each installed language must also be edited. For example, for the Spanish equivalent of the files cited above, substitute es-ES for every instance of en-GB.

The renaming of a table will be illustrated by the example of changing “Department” to “Province”. Open one of the above files and find the line “DEPARTMENT=Department”. Change “Department” (the lower case value that follows the equal sign) to “Province” (without quote marks). Search the file for similar references, such as “DEPARTMENTS LIST=Departments list” and change them accordingly. Do the same in the other files. Not all files will have the name you are changing. Save your work and upload to the Joomla server.

TODO: Document adding and removing tables.

CREATE AN AGENT USER IN JOOMLA
For ease of use and security, agents should be issued accounts that allow them to add and modify their listings from the frontend without having permission to enter the backend. Go to Site – User Manager and click on “New”. Fill in details as appropriate, assigning the new user to the group “Jea Agent”. Click on “Save”.

TODO: Decide if it would be good practice to create contact details for each agent (Components – Contacts – Contacts), properly categorized, and linked to the user just created. If so, document this. Perhaps the site admin only needs to fill in the contact’s name and encourage each user to fill in the rest of their details themselves, but I see no way for the user to do this in the front end, and I don’t want to give JEA users access to the back end. Perhaps a user management extension such as Community Builder is the answer?

CREATE MENU ITEMS IN JOOMLA FOR AGENT’S USE
The agent user will need entries in the user menu to add and manage listings. Go to Menus – User Menu and click on “New”. Select Joomla Estate Agency – Manage – Add New Property. I used “Add New Listing” for Title. For Access Level, select “Registered”. Click on “Save”.

Click on “New”. Select Joomla Estate Agency – Manage – Manage Properties Layout. I used “Manage Your Listings” for Title, “manage_listings” for Alias, and in Parameters (Basic) I selected “Selling”. For Access Level, select “Registered”. Click on “Save”.

Order the menu items as desired, probably setting the existing item “Logout” as last.

For a multilingual site using Joomfish, translate the new menu and menu items you just created.

ADD AND EDIT A LISTING AS AGENT USER
TODO: Write this section.

REFERENCES
Demo: front end, back end
Support forum
How to rename tables

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About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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22 Responses to Installing and configuring Joomla Estate Agency

  1. anonymous says:

    Leure writes:Nice help for installing. I use JEA since a week an yesterday when i want to make the menu Properties – Properties layout i receive nothing. Other menu's work fine, lik search.The think the problem came after installing com_jea_xmap which i don't know what it is because i receive a blank screen.CAn you help me ?

  2. wpost says:

    I'm afraid I don't know what the problem might be. Perhaps someone on the JEA forums can help:http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/jea/forum/

  3. anonymous says:

    neil writes:Hi warren. Many thanks for this blog . Helped me a lot. I wish to customize the extension, ie adding options to menus | Joomla Estate Agency under either Manage or Properties. Can you point me in the right direction to do this ? Thanks

  4. wpost says:

    That's something I'd like to learn myself but have not yet had a chance to look into. If you figure it out, please drop a note here.

  5. anonymous says:

    Louis writes:Thanks for the great article! Would like to see an update on the edit properties process.

  6. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:Hi Warren,Thanks for the great article! I just have a simple question about the search menu of JEA. Generally, I just want to display the Search Menu of JEA in the frontpage but am not able to do it. Please help.Thanks.

  7. wpost says:

    I set up JEA for a client in 2009 and haven't really looked at it closely since then. Perhaps someone on the JEA forums can help:http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/jea/forum/

  8. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:I am using JEA. I have also created contact details for each agent. Is it possible to display each agents Name and details with the properties created on their profiles / accounts?I still wantr to keep the standard email form but just add the agent for the listing.Can anybody assist?

  9. anonymous says:

    djraptor writes:Hi,What if I want to List Properties by City or Ubication, the EA Agent Improved doesn't have a module or option for this. Any suggestion?Regards

  10. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:I'd like to know if there is a way to filter emphasis module. I mean a way to show just renting o just selling properties.

  11. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:Hi Warren, Thank you for creating this blog. It's been really helpful. I have a couple of questions and wonder if you might have the answer.When entering property details, I would like Floors to say Stories, Number of Bathrooms to say Number of Bedrooms, and Number of Toilets to say Number of Bathrooms.Is this as easy to change as your instructions above for Province, etc?Thank youJohn

  12. wpost says:

    @John: It should be the same procedure, yes. Keep in mind that I set up JEA for a client in 2009 and haven't really looked at it closely since then.

  13. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:Hi Everyone,I have a problem with my Joomla-website. I'm using Jea on Joomla 1.5 and my Squeeze box doesn't work even if it has been enabled in the configuration menù of the jea-module.I remember that it worked few time ago…thanks

  14. anonymous says:

    Deb writes:Hi I have installed JEA but I am having difficulty uploading any pictures in to JEA the thumbnail just comes up as a question mark.

  15. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:Is there way I can translate "Details; Email; Contact: Geolocalization :…" into Chinese?

  16. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:Hi,Is there any good and downloadable equivalent to emphasis module?I'm looking for something more classy for my site http://www.arbor-montenegro.me Thanks in advance!

  17. anonymous says:

    Fida writes:thank u for the great blog. I used JEA for once website and it's working great with joomla 1.5.. now i'm doing a new joomla 2.5 site, I installed Jea 2 but i've a problem creating properties. it keeps giving me the following error: Save failed with the following error: TableProperties: :store failedUnknown column 'dpe_energy' in 'field list' SQL=INSERT INTO `hmtur_jea_properties` (`id`,`ref`,`title`,`alias`,`transaction_type`,`type_id`,`price`,`address`,`town_id`,`area_id`,`zip_code`,`department_id`,`condition_id`,`living_space`,`land_space`,`rooms`,`bedrooms`,`charges`,`fees`,`hot_water_type`,`heating_type`,`bathrooms`,`toilets`,`availability`,`floor`,`floors_number`,`orientation`,`amenities`,`description`,`slogan_id`,`published`,`ordering`,`featured`,`created`,`modified`,`created_by`,`images`,`latitude`,`longitude`,`notes`,`language`,`dpe_energy`,`dpe_ges`) VALUES ('0','001 NF','Property 001','property-001','SELLING','3','','','0','0','','0','0','0','0','0','0','','','0','0','0','0','0000-00-00','0','0','0','','','0','1','1','0','2012-12-20 11:52:35','','874','[]','','','','*','-1','-1')Can you please help me..Thank you very much in advance :)

  18. anonymous says:

    Graham writes:How do I change the wording AMENITIES on the property list and property main page to Property Features?

  19. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:i want to chage department drop down into multiple checkbox and save into want to save in department_id colum in database just like 2,3,4 in which file we need to work

  20. wpost says:

    I set up JEA for a client in 2009 and haven't looked at it since then. Perhaps someone on the JEA forums can help:http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/jea/forum/

  21. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:Installed version 2.3 and there is no configuration option???

  22. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:thanks for info, i use joomla 2.5, i want to add jea agent, but cant found the jea agent on my user group. any help for this.thanks

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