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Villawood Properties

Villawood Properties approached Salsa Digital in early 2013 with plans of revitalising their digital brand; their ultimate goal to completely disrupt the market with a web experience that was like nothing their competitors had ever done before.

The background

Villawood Properties approached Salsa Digital in early 2013 with plans of revitalising their digital brand; their ultimate goal to completely disrupt the market with a web experience that was like nothing their competitors had ever done before.

This involved drawing all their satellite sites - for each development, or “Community” - into the same powerful branding, and overall provide a unique “journey” experience for their users. In fact, their target demographic demanded it - young couples and families who were probably just as used to using their mobiles as their tablet or laptops to research property ownership.

The challenge

Villawood provided a lot to sink our teeth into - we were tasked with designing and building a site that...

  • Was rich in striking imagery, informative text, downloadable plans and brochures, promotional campaigns and registration forms
  • Provided a back-end that a non-IT specialist could use to upload and manage all of the above
  • Had searchable, filterable databases of house and land
  • Incorporated immersive maps that the user could use to ‘explore’ in and around the community they were interested in
  • Balanced the best of both worlds in providing community-specific branding while maintaining the benevolent presence of the corporate brand
  • Provided a user journey that allowed the user to dive into, and navigate freely

The solution

We launched the project with our Strategic Scoping process, bringing together Villawood’s key stakeholders with our digital experts to talk ideas. By the time we reached the other side we’d identified the high-level critical success factors as well as the practicalities of exactly what we were designing and building - and of course making sure it was all achievable within time and budget.

We also came out with plans to take the concept of a “journey” and run with it, presenting Villawood’s offering not as an unappealing “property development”, but as a destination.

The features

Multi-site

The platform has been architected to support multiple sites from the one platform. New communities can be easily added and re-skinned with minimal fuss, removing barriers to launch a new campaign community.

“Wow” Factor

A cliche, but important nonetheless - big imagery and bold colours immerse the user in the personality of the community immediately on landing, evoking the emotional response needed for “destination” marketing.

Flexible Design

We built a design framework that supports not only the corporate branding, but individual communities’, balancing a consistency of corporate brand with the wide variety of community styles.

Maps

Riffing on the concept of the “journey” through the site to the user’s destination, the use of maps actively allows the user to explore the communities on various scales and for various purposes. While pulling in different assets (including the Google Maps API), the style and branding of Villawood remains constant.

House and Land Search

The user can search for plots of land or house and land packages with user-friendly and highly customisable search filters, and infinite scrolling on the results. Once more, content is king in this part of the site: images in the foreground, while all detail is still provided in the fine print.

Responsive

The site adapts to the size of the viewing screen, displaying a mobile- and tablet-friendly view when displayed on those devices, as well as utilising the swipe and tap functionality typical of touchscreen devices.

Efficient Content Management

In the back-end, content assets are created at a single entry point and are available to be re-used throughout the site - further anticipating and customising the user journey while ensuring data quality and a more efficient content-management experience.

The benefits

We’re confident that the final design and development of the Villawood site achieves both organisational goals and the optimum experience for the Villawood customer. And the numbers speak for themselves:

  • 56% increase in visits 
  • 38.03% increase of unique visitors 
  • 176.64% increase in time spent on the site 
  • Increase in returning visitors from to 34.7 %
% of people accessing through mobile and tablet 
  • 25% increase in time spent on community (gold) sites.

Note: Mapping data over same period YOY: Sept 15 – Jan 13
*No acquisition drive investment made in this period. Increase attributed to referral traffic from community sites ** Bringing the house and land finder tools into this site has increased time spent.

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