Our website showcase for Grisdales Property Service
New website launched May 2021
I have known Rachel Ritson, the owner of Grisdales Estate Agents – based in the wonderful Lake District covering Cockermouth, Whitehaven & Workington – for almost a decade. We met as members of the Marketing Group of the Property Academy, and formed a strong admiration, both agency owners running very busy businesses, having both been single mums of children of similar ages.
After I sold my agency business, I was delighted to be asked by Rachel, to take on a lettings consultancy role at Grisdales, visiting many times, and helping to streamline the rental side of the business. At that time, we discussed, at length, the potential for a complete overhaul of the offices, the brand and ‘the website’…! During the years that followed, we remained strong friends, and Rachel’s son Joe came to work for me, moved in with my 2 children in their home, and really became one of our family. Of course, Rachel and I spoke often and I was so delighted that Grisdales was going from strength to strength, and that the offices had started their reformation!
It was great to be offered the opportunity to pitch for the re-brand and build the new website, when, during the COVID pandemic, Rachel phoned to say “she was ready”! We both discussed that, because we were friends foremost, we wanted the process to be totally fair and transparent, so Rachel asked me to pitch my ideas and costs to her in a formal way, along with 2 other well-known industry web designers.
Now, you could say that I had an insiders chance, as I knew Rachel, her style, her vision for the business, and her impeccable taste – but a website is not all about the look – in fact the colour scheme, the branding, the ‘front-end’ of a site, the part that the audience sees, is a little like the top of an iceberg, because it is the part behind the scenes that really matters!
So I pitched, waited, and jumped for joy when I was chosen for the project – not just on my friendship with Rachel and the Grisdales team – but because they loved my proposal.
In Rachel’s words:
Why did you decide to update your website?
Our website was very out of date and didn’t reflect the personality of the business or the services we offered.
What process did you go through to choose who to work with on the new website?
I researched website designers and picked 3 I felt I would potentially want to work with. JPG had some great ideas, it was a company I felt matched our values and was also best value for money.
So we started on a 6 month project, beginning with the design for the re-brand. Here is what the website looked like BEFORE we started work:
GRISDALES OLD BRANDING AND WEBSITE
The initial round of zoom meetings – we were in lockdown at the time – went from a choice of new brands ideas and colours, along with our graphic designer Nikkie Warnock, myself, Rachel and her marketing manager Lauren Lister. After a lot of discussion and quite a few amends, we decided upon this lovely new logo and the brand guidelines were produced and felt that the new website would truly showcase the style and professionalism of the Grisdales property team.
So next we needed to plan the website structure. The home page is priority one, as all other pages will follow behind this one, and most of the home page is hard-coded, so we need to get that right. Banner styles, menu types, the structure of the grid all comes from the home buttons, which will send users off to the relevant areas in accordance with their needs. It has to be slick, speedy and very easy to navigate!
Once the home page is planned and the framework is built – using all of the variety of templates available on a WordPress platform, which is the content management system that we favour here at JP Gardner & Associates – then we start to build the inner pages and fill them with content and images. Of course, we always ensure that our sites get the very best start on organic growth, so we are incredibly particular about our SEO work – we use RANK MATH as a plug-in, and we geo-tag all of our images using GEOIMGR and make sure they are optimised for speed and alt-text is added for Google.
GRISDALES NEW BRANDING AND NEW WEBSITE
What Rachel thinks of the new website
and working with us!
How did you find the process for the design and build of the website?
This was an enjoyable and collaborative process of sharing ideas and agreeing the right solutions that fitted our overall aims.
What advice would you offer to another estate agent looking to change their website?
Do your research first and have a clear plan and set of objectives as to what you want to achieve from your website.
How pleased are you and your team with the new website?
We’ve had some amazing comments and compliments both from the team and customers.
How would you rate the experience of working with JP Gardner & Associates?
I would highly recommend Jane and the team… they listen to your needs, mix it with their expertise and technical know how, and work very hard to produce some fantastic results!
↓ Look through Grisdales site for yourself ↓
If you are considering a new website, want something bespoke to your business, maybe you won’t have the time to generate all of the content needed, or would want guidance on best SEO policy or how to really stand out, then why not enquire?
Our promise is that you will get a new “online shop” that will last you for years. It will constantly grow and adapt from the day you go live, it will be easy to content manage, easy to change details in seconds and it will cost you WAY LESS than most of our competitors!
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