Century 21 Tucci Realty Gets a Website Facelift
Century 21 Tucci Realty is a local, family-owned and operated, Syracuse real estate firm that has been helping families buy and sell homes in the region since 1974. They came to Cowley in May to help them revive their website and give it a new sophisticated design, an easy-to-use content management system, and fully integrated real estate listing search capability.
Century 21 Tucci Realty realized their need for a new website after Syracuse Media Group, Cowley’s partner throughout the project, gave them a heuristic evaluation of the site. A heuristic evaluation is an examination of an interface in which comparisons are drawn between its functionality and a recognized set of usability principles, or heuristics. This evaluation showed Tucci just how confusing their interface was, and how poorly the user experience was designed. It also gave Cowley the perfect starting point.
“Syracuse Media Group’s heuristic evaluation opened our eyes to what our website really looked like to our target audiences,” said George Tucci, Jr. “So, instead of trying to patch it up, we decided to start fresh and it was one of the best decisions we’ve made.”
Perfecting the Design
Once Cowley determined the goals Tucci wanted to achieve, and crafted the layout of the sitemap, we got right to work on design. “The look and feel had to be modern, and the navigation seamless and easy-to-use,” said Jesse Clayton, Cowley’s Art Director. “The design needed to connect users and the frame of mind they were in once they got to the website, hence our use of bold colors and large pictures. The images we used on the home page and the large buttons, really achieve what Tucci needed, and speaks to the concept that simple is beautifully functional.”
Cowley alsodesigned the Tucci website to have a responsive layout, a SEO-friendly framework, clear call to actions, limited external links, and an easy to follow path tocontacting a real estate agent. A major point of emphasis for Century 21 Tucci Realty was the exposure of their agents and ease of contact to them. They also needed the site to function well on mobile devices for users who are house hunting on the go.
Programming was another area of complexity within the Tucci website. “We had to combine imported listings from the MLS database and Tucci’s highlighted listings into one seamless search function,” commented Chris MacSaveny, Cowley’s Web Developer. “To achieve this, a fair amountof programming went into the site to ensure that everything showed up on the Tucci site and not on an external one. We also had to balance speed and performance so that every user has an amazing experience.”
The Century 21 Tucci Realty site will allow users to search for homes from any address and then refine that search from several criteria. The search functionality links Google Maps and a connection to over 20,000 MLS listings for the most up-to-date and accurate information. This connection to the MLS also allows us to show individual listings of homes, which will allow frequent users of the site to favorite they love most.
“This is one of the most impressive sites we’ve ever built,” said MacSaveny. “From the sophisticated design that Jesse created, to the programming functionality we were able to construct, it all leads to a seamless user experience from start to finish.”
Century 21 Tucci Realty will be completely independent in operating their website as well. With Cowley’s use of Drupal Content Management systems, we were able to give Tucci the ability to update and maintain their website independently.
Match Made in Web Design Heaven
“From day one the entire staff at Century 21 Tucci Realty were a dream to work with,” noted Cowley Project Manager, Tracey Gregory. “They planned ahead, making it easy for us to implement the elements they needed most. They made themselves available throughout the entire process, which made for a smooth project end-to-end. They were always flexible and open to suggestions and feedback. And, they had such an enthusiasm for the project that clearly showed and it was contagious.”
“Using Cowley Associates and Syracuse Media Group together was a perfect combination for us,” said George Tucci, Jr. “We couldn’t be happier or more pleased with our website. It’s everything that we wanted and needed for our business.”