For 30 years, Zephyr Real Estate has continually improved the home buying and selling experience in San Francisco. When we designed their site in 2002, the company’s web presence was considered the model for the industry. However, with the advent of new web technology, Zephyr recognized that updated features and functionality could provide even more value to their clients. With the combination of our industry knowledge and web development expertise, Zephyr has set the industry standard once again.
Based on extensive meetings with Zephyr stakeholders, we determined that the new site needed to deliver an inspiring, interactive experience - one that would make the buying and selling process easier than ever before. And because Zephyr is unique to San Francisco, the site had to be a single, one-stop source for everything real estate-related in the city by the bay.
We developed a requirements document that defined which functionality would align with the company’s goals. 40 unique wireframes detailed the information and interaction design, as well as interactive functionality. In addition, 40 individual designs, including an update of Zephyr’s brand identity, assured that the new look was also consistent with the site’s objectives.
The new Zephyr.com accomplishes the company’s goals with an array of rich features not found on any other real estate web site. Buyers and sellers can perform nearly any task imaginable: there’s an interactive and dynamic school finder and house price and cost of living comparisons. Users can even drill down into specific neighborhoods and find statistics on median sales price, average days on the market and units sold.
Other features include mortgage calculators, a complex property search and interactive Flash maps for searching properties and open houses. There’s video education for each neighborhood, plus a heat map that displays property sales information. Logged-in functionality tracks and manages property searches. Best of all, everything is dynamically driven – the system pulls information from a variety of data sources including the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
With so much functionality at their fingertips, buyers and sellers now have the ultimate real estate tool. But Zephyr’s new site benefits agents as well. New features allow them to track clients and post to blogs; the system also delivers automated e-mail alerts and status updates. Most importantly, increased SEO rankings drive more visitors to the site which, combined with the new functionality, converts more prospects and increases the company’s market presence even further.