Redevelop Estate Agency Website

Sometimes a website needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.

The challenge

Our client is an award-winning local independent estate agent based in Leytonstone, East London.

They had a website built some years ago which had gone out of date. It looked tired, dated and was not mobile-friendly. We came to the rescue!

The main problem was that the website was built before the time of mobile responsive websites. Their site was very difficult to use on mobiles. Around 2017 Google started penalising websites which are not mobile friendly, deprecating such sites in the search results. This was causing our client increasing problems as traffic to their site was dropping away.

The website had automated feeds of the houses and flats from the website to property portals including Zoopla, RightMove and Guild Property. The software used to handle these daily feeds was developed using old, insecure technologies. It was becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to update the software and keep it in line with the ever-changing requirements of the portals.

Additionally, our client wanted their own staff to be able to easily update the website's properties - adding new houses and flats, updating them, adding blog articles and testimonials. There were a large number of custom features that had been built into the website over the years, all of which needed to be replaced.

We decided, through conversations with the client, that the time had come to rebuild the website from scratch, whilst keeping its look-and-feel, which our client wanted to retain.

The solution

There are many ways to build an estate agency website. After examining all our options for software platforms, Content Management Systems etc., we decided to advise our client to go with WordPress as the Content Management System. This would give them the ability to add/update and remove properties.

We also found the Property Hive plugin and add-ons would meet the basic requirements of the property management system. Property Hive allows estate agency owners to build a property management system on WordPress as well as integrated their properties with the major portals, Zoopla, RightMove etc.

What then remained was to rebuild the website infrastructure whilst retaining the original look-and-feel.

The impact

The new website was mobile friendly, enabling the increasing numbers of mobile users to use the site with ease. This is especially important for estate agents as many people use their websites in the street, on public transport etc.

The other major impact was the integration of the "real time" feed of properties to Zoopla. Zoopla had deprecated their old-style property feed system in favour of a new real-time system running using their API. Now our clients properties would be updated in real time every time there was a new property to go on the market.

The RightMove and Guild Property systems continued to use their old non-real-time systems, and these were successfully integrated into the website and tested.

All the bespoke features of the original website were retained.

Now our client's team could update their site easily and quickly and display their properties beautifully on their own website as well as on the property portals.