New Mobile Site And Multi-Screen Portfolio For William Means Real Estate

We recently helped our long-time client William Means launch some new projects to help them address the “multi-screen” consumer.  Along with a new mobile site / web app, we upgraded their portfolio tool to allow real estate searchers to create a simple account (email address only) that can be used to save, share, and access their favorite properties across devices.

William Means real estate mobile site screen shot 1

Project Background
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a meteoric rise in mobile traffic to the William Means site. This alone would be justification to develop a mobile site. However, we’ve also been following Google’s great research on what they call the “multi-screen world.” It’s a simple consumer behavior model that proposes a couple key points:

  • Consumers use multiple devices – tablets, desktop, phones, and TVs – both sequentially and simultaneously
  • The device we use is driven by context (time, goal, attitude, and location)
  • Portable screens allow us to move easily from one task to another (search being the core “bridge” between devices)
  • Mobile devices are the “backbone” of our daily media interaction

The real estate purchase decision process fit this model perfectly. Consumers may be researching a home during work, on their desktop, and want to look at some of their favorite properties when they get home from work – maybe on their tablet while watching TV. On the weekend, they may go out for a drive to see the properties in person. In this case they may just have their mobile device with them.

A Multi-Screen Portfolio
The previous portfolio application for William Means worked well in just one of these scenarios – not all of them. You could save your favorites on one screen, but it was tied to that screen or device. While portfolios or favorites aren’t new in the real estate world, we tweaked the implementation a bit beyond the standard setup:

  • Only an email address is required to save & access your portfolio. By skipping the password, that’s one less thing for searchers to remember, and will hopefully boost usage and decrease “friction.”
  • We developed a lead routing system from scratch. The William Means team can control which agents get notified when portfolios are created, and depending on the communications preferences of the searcher, can follow up accordingly.
  • We’re using Google Analytics custom variables to track signed-in vs non-signed in users. This should give us some insight into the usage patterns of the new application, and allow us to refine and adjust our approach over time.

William Means real estate mobile site screen shot 2
What’s Next

We’re working on another exciting addition to the William Means website that should roll out next month, but in the meantime we’ll be monitoring how visitors to the site and mobile are using the new applications and continue to make adjustments based on their feedback.