This is the final post in a series highlighting what we think are the Top UK Estate Agency and Lettings Agency Web sites out there at the moment.
We are praising a variety of innovative sites that distance themselves from the standard agency template sites we see so often and show a little bit of style in their efforts to appeal to buyers, renters, sellers and landlords.
Today we complete the countdown with numbers 5 to 1
Sneaking into the Top 5 and the only web site in the Top 20 to break our rule that says you shouldn’t have to click beyond the home page to begin your property search, is the unique property company. Some experts don’t agree with having a flash intro to a web site, saying that it can put visitors off when they first arrive and that it has a negative impact on SEO. However I like the fact that they have taken a key moment, the initial visit of a client to their web site, and used the opportunity to make a big statement that reflects their brand and their specialism. Further in to the site you will find great styling and design that makes the site pretty unique.
The Finders Keepers web site is simply an exceptional site that has had another lift recently with their 40th Anniversary re-brand. The home page has a very clever and intuitive property search tool along with an additional search by school or school type and a property reference search.
Beyond the home page there are so many layers to this site, but one that stands out is their school catchment tools. Finders Keepers identified that 85% of their properties over £1,750 are let to families and these are their most valuable/profitable lets. So they have developed a tool to attract and keep these visitors on their site for longer. This development has been hugely successful – in one month the school buttons had 6,304 clicks with a 12 min average user time and a bounce rate drop from 34% to between 2-3%.
A firm with a strong pedigree in property innovation, Foxtons are a fitting Top 5 finisher with one of the cleverest property sites in the UK. No less than 4 search options on the home page lead you through to individual property pages with more functionality than you can shake a stick at and multiple bright yellow call to action boxes.
If one day people will buy property without having ever set foot inside, it will be down to the level of detail provided by sites like this. Their recently added ‘journey time heatmaps’ add a new twist of innovation which no doubt will be copied by other sites in the same way that their marketing has been for many years.
Haus are the baby of the bunch in our Top 20 having only launched in late 2011. The home page is very well set out and feels stylish and crisp, using great images to convey their ‘sell – pack – move’ service. The words they use throughout the site and the clever use of video, both for individual properties but also to explain their unique service offering, is well executed and keeps visitors on the site for longer. The whole feel of the site simply puts you at ease and puts across the dynamic yet homely feel of this agency that are attempting to be a little different.
So sitting at the top of the tree in our Top 20 Estate and Letting Agency web sites is Domus Nova, the estate agent specialising in exceptional West London properties. If you are going to break a few rules then you have to do it in style and Domus Nova do not hold back.
Domus Nova have for many years used full page images on their web site and their recent site change has continued down this theme, both for their properties and their Explore Locally pages. They don’t sell property, but rather they sell lifestyles and the web site conveys this incredibly well.
Attention to detail comes acros in the words they use through out their site, such as their consistently correct use of the terms Rent/Let and the way in which they communicate their passion for the local area. Each time we visit the site we discover another superb features, such as the clever side bar to the right of the page which changes it’s focus depending on where you are in the site.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the run down of what we consider to be the Top 20 Estate and Letting Agency web sites in the UK and whilst you may have your own favourites not included here, we hope they will have provided some food for thought and maybe inspiration for your own projects. Please feel free to share any other sites you like in the comments section below.