A property website design with a super search facility
Aylesford International is perhaps London’s most experienced estate agency for prime property, with nearly 50 years industry expertise. From the heart of Chelsea they specialise in carefully selecting prime residences, connecting sellers and landlords with like-minded buyers and tenants.
Starberry had its earliest dealings with Aylesford over 30 years ago, and it was due to this good relationship that Aylesford asked us to look at developing an estate agent website which would work well on desktops and mobile devices.
The web design brief: Bringing a strong offline brand to an estate agent website
Our brief was to design and develop the overall website architecture to comply with Aylesford’s brand guidelines. It was important to separate the static content from the live/dynamic content, whilst adding new rich content areas throughout the site.
The property search had to incorporate data feeds provided by Reapit, in order to include sales’ and rentals’ backend database systems. The search results page was required to feature properties and an interactive map side-by-side – a vital tool for an estate agent selling homes around the world to a global audience.
Running throughout the build was the request to bring in more leads, so Starberry set out to address this with clever ‘calls to action’. As well as a high level of functionality and a business edge, this estate agent website design needed to reflect the Aylesford ethos – friendly, trustworthy, knowledgeable, approachable, genuine and honest.
How did we create an estate agent website suitable for the super prime?
“The desire was to create a property website design that was clear and effortless to navigate,” comments Ben at Starberry. “We built in simple yet sophisticated options to view sales and rentals, both in London and on an international basis, complemented by an unmissable ‘Contact Us’ area detailing Aylesford’s telephone number, email address and online form for valuation requests. The push towards clarity also led the Starberry team to create a very clear property display framework, which features location, price and a myriad of property details ” says Ben.
Due to the calibre of properties Aylesford sells and lets, Starberry had the pleasure of creating an automatically-scrolling gallery of images for every property listed. “Aylesford has some beautiful properties that need to be showcased, with the photos frequently becoming the most prominent aspect of the new website, so it was important to create a gallery display that could handle 20, 30 or even 40 photographs per property ” says Ben.
The Aylesford web development process saw Starberry accomplish a first in its estate agency web design, with the properties and the map displaying side-by-side on the search results page. Users click on the map pins on the right to see the chosen property on the left become highlighted with a shadowed box – perfect when trying to marry location and an exact property. It’s a function that works in reverse too, with the ability to hover over a property photo on the left and watch the corresponding map pin change colour on the right.
“Our web design really works in tandem with the prime properties and international reach of the client,” says Ben. “The ‘show on map’ function is great as you can search for properties in a certain area and then once you’re on the property’s page, you’re able to click to see its exact location on a map. It’s a great tool for global home movers who may not be 100% familiar with an area.”
The property search results page has also been set up in such a way that refining the results is simple. Drop down menus allow users to switch between currencies, highest price, lowest price, number of bedrooms and recently added properties, plus there’s a ‘quick switch’ facility to change the property display from a list to a grid.
Adding greater depth to the Aylesford website are 15 key London area guides as well as nine country guides, with Starberry’s in-house seo copywriting team providing content that’s useful, engaging and working hard as part of a digital marketing strategy. “All the copy Starberry provides is seo rich so it helps with Google ranking ” adds Ben. “We write full websites, blogs, landing pages, emails, newsletters, news stories and ‘how to’ articles as well as guides – it’s just a matter of giving our team a brief
Key web design features and functionality built into the Aylesford estate agent website
- Quick search by area and postcode
- Refine search by price, bedrooms, area and specific features
- Google Maps, directions and Street View module
- Full details component
- Dynamic image galleries module
- Featured property module
- Book a viewing / Send to a friend / Enquiry forms modules
- Mortgage and Stamp Duty calculators
- Social wall
- Currency conversion
- Data dashboard
- Search logic based on the Reapit location code
Our Aylesford estate agent website design is worth a look – even if just for the amazing super luxury houses and gorgeous photos. While you’re browsing, explore the features and see if you think your own website can benefit from a few new tricks and features.