Oftentimes, bigger is not better, especially when it comes to real estate websites. The key is getting users the exact information they need to book a tour in the fewest number of steps. The original Hampton Lake site was big and burdensome to its users. With a Google site speed of zero (out of 100), mega menus, and hundreds of pages, the site performed poorly and lacked information hierarchy. The user was presented with numerous options upon landing on the homepage while being virtually followed by a salesperson in a chat window. Many prime opportunities for conversion were dead ends, providing no way for a user to reach out or request information. Past digital efforts led users to landing pages that were lacking the information to drive interest and convert on page. Needless to say, we had opportunities to improve the user experience so we could also improve conversion.
Our strategy began with the solid basics of good UX. We focused our user personas on our target demographic of pre-retirees and retirees. We made the real estate options available within the community easy to navigate by organizing them into three categories: Custom Homes, Pre-designed Homes, and Listings. Our goal was to clarify the clicking options and orient the site around these categories. We also wanted to ensure the community’s abundant amenities were able to shine through rather than bury them. Lastly, to ensure an easy and effective user experience through our digital campaign, we concepted a strategy to reach our target demographic, mixing both display ads and paid search, leading users to a simple, compelling campaign landing page with multiple conversion points.
The site redesign included a simplified main navigation and breadcrumb menus throughout the site to ensure no one ever got lost. The three real estate categories were quickly presented, allowing users to select one based on their personal home criteria. And to bring the amenities and activities to life, we created a dynamic, interactive page called “Lake Life,” which reﬂected the vibrant lifestyle at Hampton Lake using new videography, photography, and animation.
The ad campaign landing page was the biggest improvement, seeing a 250% increase in conversions, as well as a 34% decrease in cost per conversion, all within the first three months of performance.
2020 brought new and different challenges to the real estate market. With COVID, we saw an increase in leads from big cities considering a new home in the Lowcountry and, therefore, created an excellent dreaming tool: a cost of living calculator that helps people visualize just how within reach a coastal home really is. On the flipside, touring potential clients, particularly those who live in the northeast, was obviously a logistical challenge. FUEL created hamptonlake.com/openhouse for bi-monthly open house listings and hamptonlake.com/virtualtour for virtual amenity tours to provide a taste of the community to those who couldn't physically visit. Both landing pages received excellent engagement and positive feedback from the sales team.
In the first three quarters of 2020, Hampton Lake directly attributed 33 sales to FUEL’s landing page and supporting digital campaign. Roughly estimating their average house price at $450,000, that equates to revenue of $14,850,000, or 20% of their total sales.