Need a Property

Responsive, technical property portal

Need a Property is one of the UK’s largest property portals. Cyber-Duck was appointed to lead their new digital strategy: making their website responsive, stabilising the back-end and integrating advanced technical features.

 
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Objectives

Need a Property (NAP) helps customers discover their dream home, from thousands added by estate agents every day. Previously launched by another agency, the original portal was technologically unstable. It had low conversion rates, and wasn't search- or mobile-friendly. 

We were appointed to lead their new digital strategy. Transforming the technology and user experience of the portal could drive business growth. We packed the portal with innovative features, delivering a better experience for customers as a competitive differentiator. Our objectives were:

  • Overhaul NAP’s existing backend system (based on iFrames), replacing it with robust, scalable technology that supported their growth ambitions.
  • Integrate innovative, technical features that can support customers’ decision-making process: narrowing down the millions of properties indexed in the advanced search engine.
  • Become the first UK property portal to have a fully responsive web design and achieve high usability metrics for end-users.

Strategy

Drawing on our accredited user-centred design process, detailed persona research fed into the design and features chosen to support users’ property decision-making process.

The advanced search engine is capable of indexing over a million properties, and can rapidly return pages filtered by location (geo-search), price, rooms, and other features; these direct users towards carefully designed property profiles, featuring high-quality images. The technical build is robust, and can support future growth, using a hosting infrastructure with load balancers, auto-scaling, and a continuous integration framework.

The portal is packed with new, advanced technical features, as a unique differentiator in their competitive market. By pulling open-source data from Yelp, Eventbrite and the Government, the portal can also analyse surrounding schools, transport links, and events; integration with a third-party API also allows us to show relevant house-sold prices and trends. Combined, these features help customers to make more informed decisions about their next home.

Outcomes

We met NAP’s varied requirements by developing a highly accessible, engaging property search portal. By building completely unique technical features into the portal, we ensured NAP could deliver a better user experience than its competitors. Most notably, we drew on INRIX’s driving intelligence to build the first UK ‘Travel Time’ search; this means users can search for available properties within a ‘driving time’ radius of their workplace, for example.

The new portal helped NAP become one of the most recognisable brands in the crowded marketplace. In the first ten months, they gained an increase of over 460% in monthly unique visitors, and traffic from mobile devices rose to 47%, in comparison with 22% before the retrofit.

The notable usability improvements meant that over 150,000 property details were requested in the same time period. The portal has even been featured in The Metro, The Express and Cosmopolitan. It was a finalist for the ‘Best Use of Tech’ at the Wirehive 100 Awards.

best tech

Best Tech

Wirehive 100 award nomination

visitors

460% increase

in monthly unique visitors

conversion rate

74% increase

in conversion rate

Scott Green

“I believe we now have the most user-friendly and informative property portal in the UK, thanks to Cyber-Duck’s user-centred design process and the technical features they integrated for us.”

Scott Green

Need a Property

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