The new website we created for the Acorn Group was a one-of-a-kind challenge from a web design & development point of view.
Read on to find out how we integrated Acorn’s multiple lines of business into a single umbrella website, allowing each of them to operate as stand-alone agencies while offering users a unified brand experience of the whole group.
Acorn is London's leading multi-brand independent estate agency group. The website that they instructed Starberry to create needed to reflect just that: showcase Acorn’s 8 property brands and their individual USPs, while creating a consolidated, scalable web presence for the group.
As part of our Discovery, we had to scope out the backend functionality required to achieve this objective, as well as how the user experience would work best in a multi-brand environment. A key step in this process was to have extensive interviews with all stakeholder groups within the business - residential, commercial, new homes, estate management, HR, customer services etc. - to understand how they operate and their requirements for the website.
After agreeing the wireframes and the content architecture that would allow us to present Acorn’s brands and services in the best possible manner, we moved on to designing the user experience for each one. The key to offering a unified brand experience was to build in right from the start an easy way for users to jump to other brands and find out more about the group.
From a web development point of view, we created a system that would allow custom content to be delivered across the 8 businesses, with each brand sitting on a subfolder of the same domain and having their own navigation menus, property search criteria, content modules and page layouts.
Property search was a key piece of functionality across most of the Acorn brands, that’s why a lot of our efforts went into implementing real-time feed integrations with Acorn’s property software, which means properties are displayed on the website as soon as they are added to Acorn’s books. On the front-end, we created different search modules & filters to cater for the needs of each business and added powerful search features on top, such as Draw Search and Travel Time Search.
Other unique functionality we created for the website include: multiple social media feed integration for different brands, a Careers portal that allows Acorn’s HR team to manage openings and applications online, custom-made calculators for mortgages, stamp duty and Help to Buy, management & display of individual new developments (available & coming soon).
The end result is a robust responsive website that enables the Acorn Group to show a consolidated brand presence across the web and that will help the group scale their operations even further in the future.
Designed to offer a seamless user experience across multiple brands, to engage users with powerful yet easy-to-use features and capture leads at the right touch points, Acorn’s new website has helped the business take their digital presence to the next level and has seen a continuous rise in traffic and conversions since its launch.