A WordPress specialist web build for an established UK estate agency

A centrally managed WordPress website solution for a commercial estate agency

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Promoting commercial properties for sale online

The challenge

A large firm of chartered surveyors and commercial property consultants needed to launch a responsive website that enabled prospective clients to search a database of available properties. The new site had to be visually appealing, easy to navigate and user-friendly, allowing users to find what they were looking for quickly.

  • Collaboration with partner agency to deliver web build
  • Custom, user-friendly WordPress CMS
  • Engaging user experience
  • Clear signposting to listings
  • Integration with Agency Pilot CRM and Google Maps

A WordPress CMS that enables property search

The solution

WordPress specialist, Feel Created worked with a partner branding and design agency to deliver a simple-to-use WordPress content management system (CMS) with added-value functionality to ensure that the original brief was met fully and on time. Integration with third-party systems was a core requirement of the brief, ensuring that the system interacted with the latest property management solutions to give the agents the tools required for success.

A user-friendly specialist WordPress CMS development

A flexible solution, no coding or branding required

The WordPress-based website, a custom development by Feel Created, was built using Gutenberg Block Editor. In Gutenberg, the Feel Created team developed a framework that was easily updated and previewed by agents. This functionality ensured that users could make content updates without the requirement for coding or branding experience.

Users could preview what updated blocks or pages would look like (functionality built-in by the team) before setting items live. This method is ideal for users who prefer to control what the page looks like, safe in the knowledge the elements will output on brand.

Centrally controlled CMS system

Effective use of automated content duplication

Features such as 'Meet the Team', testimonials and guides were created to be centrally controlled from one location and managed by easy CMS controls for use throughout the site. The Feel Created team developed this functionality to make content updates quick and accurate. Utilising duplicate content (where appropriate) saved the estate agents time on re-inputting and rechecking data multiple times.

Property software integrations supported this methodology too – no information pulled through the property systems needed to be duplicated or maintained on the website. The company could rest assured that their preferred property management solution data fit seamlessly into the custom WordPress development. Feel Created can work with any property software that provides an application programming interface (API), making the data work for the website without being limited to the search functionality offered by the API.

Advanced property search functionality

Custom Google map integration for better usability

Custom Google Map integration lets site visitors filter results quickly based on various pre-determined settings, showing all the agency’s physical property listings.  Advanced Google Map integration permitted users to view each property on a Google map, with custom styling to the pop-up info box, including a link to the property.

A locally saved copy of the property data allowed Feel Created to develop a more advanced search engine with filters providing fast, efficient and relevant property search results. The Google Geocoding API converts property addresses into geographical coordinates for better accuracy. Maps integration also made custom ‘info boxes’ possible with helpful pop-up cards on each property plotted onto a map (meaning a user could quickly view the name and price of a property as well as an image), making for an improved user experience.

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Integration with property management solutions

Efficient data handling for a better user experience

Feel Created designed the website to integrate with the property management software Agency Pilot CRM (Alcium Software). Feel Created’s integration with Agency Pilot facilitated up-to-date property listings and relevant information from the external solution to be applied to a custom localised database. A localised database gave more control over search parameters and made searches faster because the website did not rely on the search functionality or responses from the Agency Pilot database.

For the Agency Pilot integration, full access and control of the raw property data permitted Feel Created to build advanced search filters that could handle different unit measurements (such as square feet and square metres) in a single search request. The metrics were appropriately compared but presented the original data as intended by the estate agency.

In addition, direct live calls were made to the API when loading in an individual property page. This functionality ensured the property was a live view of the most up-to-date information, including pulling the latest images, virtual tours and drone videos as they were published to the agency’s central property system.

Further value from integrated systems

Getting the most out of relevant integrations

Feel Created was able to help the client understand the limitations of the API and how it could work with the website. For example, identifying unused data fields could provide additional marketing and promotional material onto a property (such as embedded virtual tours and drone video footage of feature properties).

To ensure the agency was getting the most out of their integrations, the Feel Created team set up automated scripts that downloaded brochure documents relating to properties and saved them locally to the website. Each property brochure then benefitted from a domain-specific URL rather than redirecting users to the property-software-hosted version of documents. The scripts also checked the publication dates of brochures to ensure any updates to brochures were downloaded, providing the user with the latest information.

Further value from integrated systems

The result

Integration with the client’s chosen property management system was an essential requirement of the initial brief. Feel Created not only met this requirement but ensured that the website was developed to get the most of the available information, transferring it over to the website quickly and accurately. By saving the agents time and providing users with all the up-to-date information they need (including location-based searches), the website is high-performing as a promotional tool for available commercial properties in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire area.

Did you know...

Property websites can be a springboard to other platforms

Whilst most property management solutions already offer integrations with major players such as RightMove, Feel Created can also offer these integrations should they not already be available.

Whether you manage your properties directly on your website or through an external system that imports into the website, Feel Created can develop integrations that automatically list your properties on other websites such as Zoopla, Rightmove and many more. In many instances, it can be a more cost-effective solution than the hefty annual licence fees charged by property management software providers (in which Rightmove integration is often charged as an extra, rather than included as part of the standard system).

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