We were approached by Sam Ashdown and Phil Jones as they were rapidly approaching the launch of their new estate agent business, AshdownJones. They had been working with a web designer without success, so with two weeks from our first meeting until the official launch of their new venture, they were keen to have a website in place within a tight timescale.
It was clear from the off that AshdownJones was to have no ordinary estate agent website, with a focus on high-end properties and a unique feel. Sam and Phil had clear requirements, and wanted to ensure these were encapsulated in the design. Being an estate agent it also meant property listings which was a relatively new area for us at the time. A lot to do in a short space of time!
Our first step was to put in place a sleek holding page to ensure any early birds to the AshdownJones brand were met with professionalism. We then worked closely with Sam and Phil to understand their specific requirements. Wanting something completely unique to them meant that looking elsewhere at other estate agents websites was not the solution. Instead we listened carefully to the client, having an open dialogue about what was and wasn’t working. It really was a case of thinking outside the box in designing a website which was entirely fresh.
As a Lake District estate agency, we used photography of the Lake District as opposed to traditional property shots. Unusual for estate agents a black and grey colour palette was used. More subtle terminology was used e.g. Our Homes instead of Properties. We used a sticky header which changes quickly in colour and style as you scroll down the page. Image boxes with very specific hover over styles were used for a sleek finish. It was a case of heavy customisation to achieve Sam and Phil’s vision. As a result it is a high-end, stylish website which works perfectly with their brand.
Our first estate agent website, we also had to work on the property feed using specific WordPress plugins to manage and perfect the import prior to setting up a Cron job relating to their specific XML feed. This has not been without it’s hiccups as we’ve learn to adapt to the various import fields and how these can impact on layout and design. Working with Sam and Phil there has been a team effort in getting this right and now it runs fairly seamlessly. We also styled up the property listing, using gold accents to fit with AshdownJones and their luxurious properties.
Overall we loved working on this project. The website looks terrific and is entirely different from the sites of many estate agents. It’s been used to inspire and has led to other estate agent clients including V Move… so watch this space.