Realtor Lisa Barton's initial template website just wasn't helping. Not only was she losing business from potential leads (traffic to the site was very low and search engine listing were non-existent), the website didn't help reinforce her brand. Clients knew Lisa for her extraordinary customer service, knowledge, integrity and quality. Yet her initial site wasn't able to reflect this or her knowledge about the local real estate markets.
One of the perks with working with numerous clients is meeting great people. When Lisa and her husband visited our office we immediately knew that this was going to be a great relationship. Armed with industry research and notes on what she wanted to do, together we started the process of creating detailed requirements as well as tangible, definable goals so we could track the success of the site.
From the beginning it was clear that Lisa wanted a website that would be a resource for home buyers and sellers, not just a static marketing piece. Website requirements were developed and included, among others, Integrated IDX listings, advanced MLS search features, the ability to save properties of interest, MLS email alerts when a property matches a users specific requirements, map-based property search, thorough community and neighborhood information and a personal blog so Lisa could share her real estate expertise. In addition, Lisa needed a way to easily update the website as her time is very limited due to the personal services she provides.
Once the project requirements were set we began researching Realtor websites and services, analyzing the good and bad. The vast majority of Realtor websites we researched just didn’t provide the tools users were really looking for. While many provided basic listings, tools to help users save and analyze properties were scarce. In addition information about their market and expertise was minimal, and most websites looked like they were created as an afterthought instead a central part of the Realtor’s business.
After developing a series of site maps and graphically laying out various requirements using gray-box wireframes, we began designing the core sections of the site: the featured properties, Ponte Vedra Beach communities. Once the organizational structure was in place design elements and colors were introduced. Knowing Lisa wanted to reflect the upscale yet relaxed environment of the area, a natural beach scene was designed for the header and warm earth-tones balanced with fresh greens and blues were added to pop important information.
Due to Lisa’s hectic schedule, updating the site had to be an easy and time efficient process. To help in updates IDX was integrated with the NEFAR MLS. This allowed Lisa to use tools she was already comfortable with to update the various property listings on her new site. In addition we integrated ExpressionEngine, a powerful yet flexible content management tool, so Lisa and her team could easily create communities, add blog posts, as well as update content throughout the site.
Gist Create also provided Lisa with a series of email templates allowing her to send out specifically designed announcements matching the design of her site. Of note, email templates were created for new listings, sold properties, as well as an information newsletter sent to users that have opted-in at the site. Now Lisa has complete control and can notify users whenever needed without having to hire outside help.
Lisa has been ecstatic about the results the site has been providing. In the first week of its launch the site brought in new leads. Traffic to the site has gradually increased as search ranking have started to improve on a number of key terms. In addition a number of leading real estate blogs have recognized Lisa’s website, including Geek Estate Blog and Onboard Informatics.
We really enjoy our relationship with Lisa and her team and are always pleased to get an exciting phone call from her telling us she just got a new client. That never gets old.
— Lisa Barton, Broker Associate at Prudential Network Realty of Northeast Florida
Gist Create effectively listened to my wants and needs and developed a plan for putting together a fantastic, user-friendly site. They met all deadlines, stayed within my budget, and most importantly, were very supportive and easy to work with throughout the process. Jon Livingston and the Gist Create team are very knowledgeable about web design and search engine optimization. They are also very creative, which certainly made the site a marketing tool that I’m very proud of. I have the highest regard for Gist Create and would highly recommend them.