Launch day is always fun here at United WebWorks. When our customers' online marketing presence goes live it's a champagne-bottle-cracking, 5-4-3-2-1-0-ignition-blast-off start of something brand new! We love Launch Day for many reasons, mostly because it marks the beginning of our favorite phase of the buying cycle: Customer Delight.
How It All Started
One of our recent launches was for Savannah-based Judge Realty. Two months prior to Launch Day, our tennis-playing founder and Chief Experience Officer Andrew Reilley, got to talking courtside with fellow top-spinner.
Lori is the multi-talented Principal Broker of her eponymous real estate "boutique." Since it's genesis in 2005, she has focused her talents on cultivating a full service brokerage featuring careful individualized attention from over a dozen accomplished agents.
You can't miss Lori's strong commitment to all things Savannah, environmental issues, fashion, the vibrant arts scene here in coastal Georgia and of course… tennis.
Back on the court, ideas and possibilities began to bounce back and forth. Along with the appeal of serving a Savannah institution, Andrew got excited about some particularly interesting problems unique to standard residential real estate website design.
Residential real estate searchers expect up-to-the-minute information on what's available in their market. We internet users have become accustomed to accessing up-to-the-second information about everything from scores to stock prices to symptoms. Finding houses for sale is no exception.
If you sell houses, current information is the air you breathe. Correct and frequent updates to listings are crucial, yet many real estate website designs struggle to get real-time data to feed into their pages. That was Lori Judge's problem, so United WebWorks took the case!
Real Estate Website Design ChallengesFirst up, individual agents' listings. On the Judge site, each agent has their own personal page with a photo and short bio above thumbnails of the homes they are currently showing. Two problems were annoying the agents: first, not all of their listings would show, and the data regarding them were frequently stale, for example, inactive properties would continue to show up as current. Simply updating the back end database did not solve the problem.
Second, getting multiple content management systems to play nice was a challenge. The wizards at United WebWorks had to research the odd tendencies of Drupal and Wordpress when they combine. Combining data from two popular listing services was another challenge met and solved.
After two months of planning, design, development, troubleshooting, experimentation, database inspection and server environment adjustments, judgerealty.com was go for launch. A sitemap was developed based on Lori's business logic and functional requirements while United WebWorks' ace designers enhanced the look and feel of the entire brand.
"We're really pleased with how we found a way to integrate two completely independent listing services that now update accurately and automatically," said Andrew when asked what he was most proud of about the project.
Testing showed that inactive properties were filtered out, active ones appeared where they should be, the site was easy to navigate and the design looked great. On launch day, the text-based content, like Lori's blog and individual page updates was handed off to Judge Realty to enter directly while United WebWorks handles the back end.
Speaking of Lori's blog, it's unique among realtor websites. She's a key player in the city of Savannah, involved in the success of several Savannah museums, Davenport House, Savannah Tree Foundation, Georgia Conservancy, EcoBrokers, Flannery O'Connor House, Historic Savannah Foundation, US Green Building Council, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Downtown Neighborhood Association, and Downtown Business Association. Clicking on her agent page or blog shows just how connected Lori is, and how her personal passions illuminate her business through her excellent website.
There's much more to real estate web design than you might think, so if any realtors out there are thinking about staying on the cutting edge, ask Lori Judge how she does it with "Judge Realty, your local property shop." http://judgerealty.com/
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