Breaking the mould

Breaking the mould with award winning websites

27th April 2016

A lot has changed with website design in the last few years. Most companies have a website, but if the design hasn’t been looked at in a while and the website hasn’t kept pace with evolving consumer demand, it may not be presenting their brand in a positive way.

As the last submissions are being sent in for the ‘Estate Agency of the Year 2016’ awards we thought we would look into the winners of last years ‘best estate agency website’ and what makes them worthy winners.

Gold winner: Daniel Cobb

This London-based estate agency looked outside of the property industry to identify with businesses that were leading the way online, adopting a new approach for their website.
They carefully considered what the most important action was that they wanted a website visitor to take. In this case, that was to contact the agency. This has led to a number of calls to action across the site.

The other things that Daniel Cobb was praised for last year were there Social Wall and areas guides. They demonstrate real local knowledge and are very useful to house hunters. It’s all helped to make them more than just a place to view property.

Tip: Know what you want your website to achieve

Carefully consider what your main goal is before creating a new website design and don’t just consider what your immediate competition is doing. Be aware of what’s happening in the wider digital market.

Silver: Pygott & Crone

The responsive design uses latest digital trends, starting with a mobile design and ensuring that it works across all devices including tablets and desktop computers.

The driving force behind this website was analytics. Using carefully identified reports the firm is able to identify which properties are being viewed and perhaps, more importantly, which ones aren’t. This allows the sales team to spring into action.

Tip: Ensure your website is responsive.

This means that your website will adjust to the different devices such as desktop, tablet, and any smartphone. Not only do web users expect a seamless and inclusive experience on their mobile, Google also now ranks mobile friendly sites higher than those that aren’t, meaning a responsive design is very important. The major benefit to you and your technical team means that only one website has to be maintained as opposed to a desktop and mobile version.

Bronze: Portico

Following a rebrand at the start of 2015, the firm have worked hard to enhance the customer experience and was praised for the high end, fresh feel that they’ve created online. They also worked hard to link their offline and online marketing activities, with offline pushing the valuation page and generating an extra 250 leads each month!

Personal opinion

On my trip to London last month I came across a very different For Sale Board with only the name of the agency and nothing else. This really made me stop and think. I didn’t know if the board was to sell the house or for another reason: was this a genius or mad design? Whatever you think they caught my attention and when back in Scotland looked them up, meaning the concept works.

Whilst their brand choices will not be for everyone, they have had a large impact on the industry. It just shows that you don’t have to stick to the rule book.

Tip: Knowing who you are designing for will provide maximum rewards.

Don’t just jump into designing a website that you think will work. Research your customer and the journey they will take to buy or sell a property. Then use this information to evaluate the brand and website together to enhance the overall experience.

Now we have seen and evaluated the best estate agency website of 2015 the challenge is on to look at your own and see if you could be on this list in 2017! Every company has the opportunity to make themselves the best and attract the right customers and attention to their firm. This could be your year!

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