a New MyProperty website is under development
by Adriaan Grove, CEO Entegral
If you follow our Facebook page or Twitter social media accounts, you would have noticed our #NewMyProperty hash tags announcing our plans to launch a brand new MyProperty South Africa website. We’ve decided to do it this way to raise awareness of all the great features we are working on prior to launching the website.
Development is under way and we’ve stacked our kitchen cupboards with enough coffee beans to keep our developers churning out awesome code till late at night. We will first launch MyProperty South Africa with a similar upgrade for MyProperty Namibia later the year.
MyProperty 1st launched way back in 2004 with a few listings. Without any funding, and focussing only on good SEO and great customer service, we’ve managed to organically grow it to where it is today as South Africa’s largest independent property portal. With over 100,000 listings our OMS and other systems are used daily by estate agents to also advertise to other key portals and their own websites, giving our clients the very best exposure possible. Our company is build on innovation and the range of innovative products and features we’ve released in our short history requires a blog post on its own. Everything we do normally has some sort of risk involved. The new MyProperty website also has risk: will people love it or feel alienated? Most important is to ship it, as Steve Jobs said “real artists ship”. Work is art, and at Entegral we are artists building products.
So here is our progress thus far:
1) An industry first new property search. We’ve worked months prototyping various new property searches with the focus on making search a lot simpler but at the same time also more powerful and faster. We then looked at how we can use our cloud architecture to even better use to provide faster search results. After months of playing around with various ideas I think we’ve finally found a winner. But you (and conversion rates) will be the ultimate judge of that. We’ve build amongst other things a POI database that will allow you to search for property in a radius around that point, e.g. a school:
2) A brand new look and feel with new colour scheme. I’m a big fan of minimalist Scandinavian design and try to pull this through to our product development as far as possible. Our focus was to design the entire site around property search outwards. We are aiming for a less cluttered look where pages are easy to read and navigate. The framework is in place and we are busy putting together all the bits and pieces of all the key pages. We are fortunate to have a world class designer in our team which makes things a lot easier. The new MyProperty colour scheme alone is certainly something looking forward to:
3) 25% larger photos (compared to other portals). Aiming for an improved user experience, we’ve also increased photo sizes of listings and yes, we still offer an unlimited number of photos per listing. This sounds easy enough, but with over 5,000,000 photos on active property listings, even a tiny increase in photo size, results in more bandwidth and space consumed and adds to the running cost. Since starting Entegral (and launching MyProperty) we’ve invested every Rand we have back into the business to create more awesome products, and this is simply another step we take. Here you can see on of our client listings with tons of photos on it, and next to it how much bigger 25% photos are:
4) a new sorting algorithm #PropertyRank. It’s like Google rank for property. We’re very excited about this feature. We build a spreadsheet thinking of all possible factors where a listing should rank higher in search results and then narrowed it down to over 20 criteria. Ranking the best results first for users doing searches is key in lead conversion and improving the overall user experience. Although we already have ranking on our current site, #PropertyRank takes it to a completely new level.
5) Improved sorting and faster results. Sort property listings by price reductions, price, property size and various other options. We’re also including a surrounding suburbs option to quickly find properties in neighbouring suburbs. This will be quite useful to buyers who doesn’t know the area, or it can be used for finding great deals on properties that may just be a street or two away from the current suburb borders you are searching in. A lot of focus went into making searches as fast as possible for the end user. We’ll share some interesting stats with you closer to launch.
Want to know more?
Follow our company social media accounts on Facebook or Twitter for continuous updates on our progress. You can also personally follow me on twitter and share your ideas and thoughts on property searches & portals, we’d love to hear from you.