Websites – Off The Shelf v’s Bespoke?

When designing and developing a website it’s tempting to get an affordable, standardised template site that on the surface of it covers the basic things you need. Ultimately though, you have to consider what your website says about you and your brand (if it’s cheap and off the shelf, why would your customer service be any different?). Estate agent software has typically been slow and clunky but with the property market on the up, more estate agents are becoming digitally savvy and going bespoke!

In the digital world your website is often the first point of contact a potential customer has with your brand, with that in mind, your website should be as unique as your company. Worth more than £500 all inclusive don’t you think?

When it comes to spending money it pays to think in terms of return on investment rather than initial outlay. A cheap, poorly functioning site won’t get results and will be detrimental to your brand – eventually costing you money. Once you’ve gained web traffic the aim is to convert leads and get results, your website is a key tool for your sales team. Cheap to buy and easy to set up template sites simply don’t offer the options required for customising content to your needs. By using a template site, your website will look the same as all your competitors using similar template-style sites. In a cut throat profession differentiation is key!

The estate agent industry in the UK is specialist and faces unique challenges, therefore it’s important your web development company know what’s different about your sector and don’t treat it the same as doing a job for a new restaurant or second hand car company. Previously there was a feeling in the sector that estate agents didn’t need to spend money on their own sites as portals such as Rightmove handle the selling aspect. Now those leading in the sector want and expect to develop a website which convert leads and generate money as well as being a shop window for their services. Industry leaders we’ve worked with such as EweMove are an example of this, requiring continual data capture throughout the site which a template version simply couldn’t handle.

Whilst the houses you sell often needs a makeover and spruce up before being market-ready, so does your website. It’s important to understand a website needs to be kept up to date and current, reflecting your brand at any given time.

In a fast paced, ever changing industry you need a site which can offer strategic call-to-action points throughout, optimising your rate of conversions.

Here’s a few things you might want your site to do to get the best results that a template solution can’t offer:

  1. SEO – Template sites often use outdated code which can have an impact on your search, making finding and indexing keywords more difficult, as well as being incompatible with some browsers.
  2. Stand out – as mentioned you want your website to stand head and shoulders above the competition, not look the same!
  3. Integrate – you will want to update your properties in one place so the ability to integrate with Zoopla and Rightmove is key. Other useful value adding features include instant valuation tools and survey forms for lead capture as well as Google maps to ensure users can locate desired properties effectively.
  4. With bespoke sites more time is spent to ensure your site and its various features work across multiple platforms such as tablets and mobile, this is critical as a high percentage of web traffic is carried out on mobiles and tablets. With over 40% of web traffic coming from mobile usage that’s a captive audience you can’t afford to ignore!
  5. Effective user experience – you want your target audience to access the information they want as quickly and effectively as possible, a bespoke solution is built around the specific needs of your audience.

Also it’s important to remember that your website is only as successful as the marketing behind it – once you’ve started gaining lead conversions, what online communication do you have? social media, email campaigns, SEO for more targeted activity? Look for a website development company who manage this for you too.

Here’s a few sites that we have developed bespoke/customised solutions for to help meet their individual business objectives:

EweMove From 3 to 90 franchises – this site has grown and evolved with the EweMove brand!

Meyers Estate Agents A site design to provide the best possible result for property sellers and landlords they dared to be different, it worked and they now have their first franchise!

McDonald Property Rentals  As a top regional letting agents McDonald have gone for a brand that’s friendly and local whilst still being unique and cutting edge

You May Also Enjoy

Estate Agent Talk

How can Cash House Buying Agencies thrive in 2022?

Like many other industries in the world, the UK property market is constantly evolving. Industry players therefore need to keep a keen eye on the key markers that define the state of the industry. As 2022 ushers in new changes and realities, industry players like cash house buying agencies need to arm themselves with current…
Read More
composite gates
Home and Living

Composite Garden Fencing / Gates – Pros & Cons

As much as many of us enjoy great relationships with our neighbours, we do also relish privacy between our properties / boundaries. Years ago I remember rows of gardens with no more that a wire fence with wooden posts separating each with some having missing sections and even those totally without. Many neighbours would have…
Read More
Breaking News


Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.   Zoopla names new members of its Lettings Advisory Board, selected to support its goal to help inform how industry responds to a fast-evolving policy environment for agents, landlords and renters Zoopla, the UK’s most comprehensive property destination, is pleased to announce new members of…
Read More
Estate Agent Talk

Why Your Multifamily Building Needs An Access Control System

Being responsible for a multifamily building requires keeping safety a priority. Security can be a concern in a building with multiple people coming in and out, which is why your multifamily building needs an access control system. There are many reasons why an access control system can be of use to a dwelling with more…
Read More
empty property uk 2022
Estate Agent Talk

How many empty homes are there in England?

The total number of empty dwellings as at 13 September 2021 was 468,000 – a decrease of 11,000 or 2.4% on the previous year as quoted on the official government website: Local Authority Council Tax base England 2021 Long term empty homes are dwellings which are unoccupied for a period of 6 months or more…
Read More
Breaking News

New Research from TwentyEA Shows Available Stock Has Almost Halved Compared with Five Years Ago

Despite the fact that UK inflation has hit a fourty year high of 9%, agents across the UK are still seeing demand for properties outstripping supply, with new instructions largely flat during May, according to a recent RICS survey in June 2022. The RICS survey also suggests there is little prospect of more homes coming…
Read More