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Drew Aitch

Hello From Mr. Roomfinder Dot Com

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Hello everyone.

My name is Aitch (AKA Mr. Roomfinder!) and I'm the webmaster of the all new site MrRoomfinder dot com. We've just partnered with Thaivisa to create this new forum which I hope will be of benefit to us all.

For those of you who don't know the site, Mr. Roomfinder is a free information service with a primary purpose to help the home hunters of greater Bangkok find that perfect pad. There are also plans to add a national database soon but this will obviously take a bit of time before we get any real listings in there.

Mr. Roomfinder has hundreds of actual contact telephone numbers and address details with every single submitted property. We're not real estate agents so there's no need to go through us, mention us, or slip us a drink in order to arrange a viewing. Just log on, look around, take what you want and leave the rest. That's it!

Although the site has ambition to list all property types from the cheapest of the cheap to the most costly penthouses, there is always going to be a focus on the low to mid range properties as it's an area many people feel is neglected.

Also for consideration at a later date, is a plan to build some kind of 'members rated' list of properties and tie a search facility into that.

We've attempted to cover as many points as possible in the construction of MrRoomfinder, but obviously there are some areas that would have been overlooked, so just bear with us as we persist with continual progress.

We're dedicated to updating and improving the site periodically, and most of these changes and amendments will be on the recommendation of the site's members, so user feedback is essential to the future success of the site. All updates and or amendments to the site will be posted to this forum as and when they occur.

Obviously it's not possible to implement every good idea that is made by an individual member but all suggestions will definitely be reviewed for consideration and all mail will be answered. You can either contact me via the site or through this forum, as I expect to visit here daily.

Don't forget, in addition to the apartment lists we also have an impressive search facility, articles on housing issues, online interactive polls and other bits and bobs aimed at keeping the site interesting.

That's it for now. We hope you enjoy the site and will contribute to its development.

Thanks for reading

Edited by Drew Aitch

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Great site, I actually found it many months ago and just checked in on it recently and was impressed by the extra work that had gone into it.

There was a fault somewhere on the site though, in one of the search by area sections. Since it was such a nice site I was going to join the forum to mention it to you, but forgot all about it.

I believe the fault was the area listings in the huay kwang area. I'll have a look now, perhaps you have already corrected it.

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Ok dude, I think I found it.

If you go to Zone 3 and go to the check boxes you are missing the huay kwang area and the din daeng area though they are on the map. They are actually found in the check box part in the Zone 2 section of your site. :o

I assume they are not meant to be there, take a look at it yourself.

Again, great website, especially for the lower priced places. Well done. :D

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Ok dude, I think I found it.

If you go to Zone 3 and go to the check boxes you are missing the huay kwang area and the din daeng area though they are on the map.  They are actually found in the check box part in the Zone 2 section of your site. :o

I assume they are not meant to be there, take a look at it yourself.

Again, great website, especially for the lower priced places. Well done. :D

Hi bkkmadness,

Firstly, thanks for the compliment. It’s always nice to get a bit of positive feedback. It makes all the effort the designers and I have put into the project worthwhile.

What an eagle eye you have. I can’t say I’d noticed the error in the district zones. I’ll get it fixed as soon as I can.

Once again, thanks for the feedback and I hope you find the site useful as it continues to progresses.

Cheers

Aitch

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Not really an eagle eye dude, I was looking for an appartment in that area just a couple of months ago and was using your website so it was pretty obvious to me.

Of course there is a quality control fee incurred for me checking this for you, I will PM you my bank details in a moment. I believe you owe me 37 baht which is coincidentally the price of a large Chang. :o

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I agree, great site. I've been looking for the past month or so and found some good possibilities.

Two problems - the vacancies aren't always current, so I phone up or go visit the apartment block, only to find that the place has been rented weeks previously. How about a field stating when the ad was last updated, and a quick and easy way for a landlord to mark when the room has been taken (and again unmarking it when it becomes free again) and/or a date when it will become available?

The other oversight is that I am also considering a townhouse, and these aren't advertised at all.

Great site. Please advertise it to landlords currently advertising in the local classified magazines (with Thai/English translation service??)

Wishing you every success, H.

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I agree, great site. I've been looking for the past month or so and found some good possibilities.

Two problems - the vacancies aren't always current, so I phone up or go visit the apartment block, only to find that the place has been rented weeks previously. How about a field stating when the ad was last updated, and a quick and easy way for a landlord to mark when the room has been taken (and again unmarking it when it becomes free again) and/or a date when it will become available?

The other oversight is that I am also considering a townhouse, and these aren't advertised at all.

Great site. Please advertise it to landlords currently advertising in the local classified magazines (with Thai/English translation service??)

Wishing you every success, H.

Thanks very much for your post Orish,

You’ve raised some good points. I'll try to answer them the best I can.

Firstly, the site opened with an initial database of just over 400 places. These properties were submitted over time by individuals, taken from publications, and found around the internet for those with their own web pages.

We actually started with 560 places and one of the first jobs in hand was to call every single business to verify that the contact details, property descriptions, and prices were correct. This was a time consuming task and by the end of it we had to discard around 150 apartment buildings from the list in order to make it accurate.

So the first listings then, were all apartment blocks and not individual vacancies, so it's always recommend to call first to see what's available at that time and to inquire about any current promotions they may have.

The vacancies that have been added since we opened the site a couple of months ago, have mostly been rooms posted by individual as opposed to apartment buildings in general. The point you raise is especially valid here because the minute these places are rented out the entry needs either deleting or disabling until such times as the property becomes vacant again.

What I've done here is to set up an auto responding email that goes out to landlords every 30 days. This mail reminds them to update, remove, or leave their entry as it is, depending on the action necessary at that time. The email contains a direct link to their property so it's a very simple procedure. Obviously, there's nothing Mr. Roomfinder can do to physically get folk to do this.

TOWN HOUSES - The Roomfinder Add Apt is for apartments and apartment buildings only.

The reason for this is to keep the search facility simple and specific for all users. If we mix houses with apartments we’ll have to include additional search options to filter one or the other out from the results.

We’ve added a category for houses in the Free Ads section simply named ‘Houses’. Users can also add pics of their property in there if they have any.

The houses section is not on fire yet, but then again we're only a couple of months old. There are a few in there though and these ads are on countdown from the day they're submitted. This means they will be automatically deleted after a set period unless the user logs in to extend the life of the ad.

Here's a link to the 'Houses' section of the site.

http://www.mrroomfinder.com/classifieds/in...set_add_ad_cat=

I can post any new additions to the Houses section in this forum as and when they arrive if it's agreed by Thaivisa. I've already been asked to update the forum when new apartments are submitted to the site.

ADVERTISING: I wish I had the answer to this one. There doesn't seem to be a single journal or publication that the landlords of Bangkok/Thailand subscribe to. If there was, I'd be in there at least to try it out. I don't think English newspapers such as the Bkk Post or the Nation will reach many landlords either.

Mr. Roomfinder is a free information website for landlords and tenants. Should any revenue get generated by site sponsorship and the like in the future, it will be reinvested into the continual growth of this project whether that be paid advertising or technical development.

Hopefully, we should have the major pages in Thai version pretty soon . The aim is to encourage the local landlords to submit their vacancies into our database. Not all property owners have the time to interpret an English websites in order to find how they go about submitting their vacancies. It is hoped that by having their own pages to guide them through the process, it’ll make for a more ‘user friendly site and show a degree of respect for their contributions. If the theory works in practice, it can only mean good news for both tenants and landlords.

Yesterday, we finally got submitted on the Thai Sanook.com (Web index) so ole Roomie should start to get known around Thai circles a bit more now.

Please remember this is a very new site and the aim is to make it into the best home hunting website in greater Bangkok and beyond - period.

I/we appreciate all the feedback and we shall continue to commit to making this a useful website for all of us.

Phew! That was a bit of a longwinded reply but perhaps it'll prove an informative read for you and others Orish.

Cheers for now.

Aitch

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Great website! Obviously a lot of work has gone into it, and I am sure you will be successful.

I have a suggestion- for your "Additional Search Options" page. If it is possible, you might want to make some (or all) of the "room features and facilities" and "apartment amenities" available as search criteria.

With these available, a customer could easily seek out apartments with swimming pools, fitness centers, etc... and apartments with aircon, cable TV, balcony, etc.

My 2 satangs worth! Other than that- great website overall.

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I have a suggestion- for your "Additional Search Options" page. If it is possible, you might want to make some (or all) of the "room features and facilities" and "apartment amenities" available as search criteria.

Hi Bino,

Thanks for your kind words and feedback.

One of my first thoughts when designing the site was to have the 'perfect' search facility. I thought users could tailor make their requirements and it would be the best apartment finder ever.

I tried exactly what you suggested and what happened was this:

The more search options there were, the more times I ended up with 'zero results found'.

I wanted a pad that was big but not too big, it had a sizable balcony capable for small parties, cable TV of course, 2 bedrooms, wooden & tiled floors, direct telephone line, quality furniture, swimming pool, gym, sauna, mini mart, salon, Soi taxi and all for 15,000 THB/Mo in a great location.

So that's the problem with offering to many search options I'm afraid. Folk get fed up with looking in the end.

It's a great idea in theory but testing proved it was a non-starter. Perhaps we can reach a compromise at a later date so let's not say 'This we will never do'.

Hope that makes some kind of sense and please continue to give us feedback whenever you feel like it.

Kind regards

Aitch

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Drew, your site is excellent, I will certainly use it next time I spend a few months in BKK.

> The more search options there were, the more times I ended

> up with 'zero results found'.

There is a pretty elegant solution to that (and not terribly difficult to implement).

- Order the criteria by importance (price, location, ... doormats) -- the admin does this once, not every user.

- When a search is to return 0 results, the system should just remove or relax the least important criterion, and re-run the search (repeat until there are 1+ results).

- When the search comes back, just say "no results with your criteria, but here are some similar ones", and list the removed/relaxed constraints at the top.

Another super-cool feature would be to integrate it with a mapping site (When is Google maps coming to Thailand?), and show results on a map.

I hope you'll make decent money out of this -- it's really cool and useful.

I think it'd be fun for me to work on your UI :o Unfortunatly, I'm stuck in the bad old USA for now, coding for the Evil Empire. Actually, I'd be very happy to offer some advice (and maybe limited coding) for little or no money :D Inbox me if you're interested.

Edited by crocodilexp

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Thanks for the feedback crocodilexp and I’m glad you like the site. A bit of constructive feedback every now and again makes all the hard work worth while.

Actually the site is in the middle of a major update at the moment. The home page is neat but not really functional. New visitors have to look around and read a bit before they can get started.

Anyway, we'll soon have a cleaner, leaner Home page which will include the following updates:

* Quick Search facility at the top.

* Left side navigation rearranging and moving above the fold. (I will also be deleting the big fat search button image thingy!)

* Recently Added apartments table will be moved below the new quick search so it’s visible on arrival.

* Generally less cr*p down the center and more whiteness.....

* The Thai version will hopefully be on line very soon (again!)

* There’s to be a National Search Facility so that all of Thailand can get involved.

* New replacement categories are going in the Free Ads so that it is mainly focused on housing, land, office space etc

* And a bunch of other bits.

BTW, we had a good Bkk interactive street map tied into the Apartment details page but it got broken so will need to look into resoling that one!

With reference to you ideas on Additional search options, I’ll pass it on to the new designers and see what they say.

All the best crocodilexp and thanks once again for your feedback

Aitch

Edited by Drew Aitch

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Mr Roomfinder,

are you aware of your competition?

www.thaiapartment.com/Result.asp

Some good ideas - but sheit all listings

Hope this helps

Stefan

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Mr Roomfinder,

are you aware of your competition?

www.thaiapartment.com/Result.asp

Some good ideas - but sheit all listings

Hope this helps

Stefan

Hi Stefan and thanks for you feedback.

Thaiapartment.com is quite a good site and there are many more out there too. I actually know of about 12 Thai and 30 English, property related web projects out there. Just do a Google and you’ll find heaps of them!

Mr. Roomfinder’s not really in competition with sites like this as we’re more of an open house, or a free-for-all if you like. In fact we openly encourage anyone and everyone to advertise on the site, and that includes Real Estate Agents and Letting Agencies, along with Project owners, and private landlords.

The idea behind it all is to get as many vacancies on Roomfinder from whatever means possible so as to increase the choices for our visitors..

Cheers and thanks once again for your feedback

Aitch

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I love mrroomfinder.com!

I was introduced through ajarn.com and I have found a few Apts that I am going to check out once I nail a job. Have you considered doing a more in depth search for ammenities? I would like to be able to cross reference price ranges with apartments that have ammenities that I like, such as hot water and A/C. I know they are listed in each Apt but if it could be used as a search criteria it would be much more efficient I think.

Edited by Lilred510

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