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Major Web Overhaul for Counselors of Real Estate

Highly technical and incredibly detailed dev plan for website revamp - VisualFizz solves “impossible” problem

Every company has that one seemingly endless project that everyone resents. You know the one. It’s the project that goes on way past the initial deadline and elicits groans and eyerolls from your team. Be it an eBook or a website build, these endless projects eat up valuable resources and make your clients doubt the competency of your team.

Burdened by their own seemingly endless project, the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) reached out to VisualFizz for support on a website revamp that had already defeated two development companies. As the third company to take on the project, the VisualFizz team was absolutely determined to get it right.

VisualFizz to the Rescue: How to Save This Seemingly Endless Web Development Project

The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) is an international consortium of credentialed real estate professionals who provide expert advice to clients on complex real estate and property-related matters.

They use their website to showcase the credentials of their counselors and pair users with experts qualified to advise on specific real property and land-related matters. Without it, the consortium would have no way of pairing qualified counselors with the right client.

Website Revamp Project Defeats Multiple Development Firms

Despite its importance to the conversion funnel, the user experience of certain portions of the CRE website was challenging, and did more to dissuade clients than it did to convert them. That’s bad news considering 42% of users will leave a website if functionality is slow or clunky.

Fortunately, CRE launched a website revamp project to modernize their site and make it easier for users to search and find CRE counselor profiles. Their plan to outsource the project to a development firm was a great strategy, as it made sense to bring in experts.

Unfortunately, the development firm they initially chose returned the project after failing to make significant strides. Undeterred, CRE hired another development firm to complete the website revamp, but they ran into similar issues.

After defeating two development firms, the CRE website revamp project had earned a reputation for being challenging and difficult to manage. Frustrated and over budget, CRE reached out to VisualFizz to complete the project.

How To Manage Near “Impossible” Development Projects

Projects with descriptive words like “impossible” or “endless” are common in the digital marketing industry, they’re also a specialty of VisualFizz. With a team of experienced developers and designers, there is no project beyond the scope of the agency. That said, it would have been foolhardy to rush into an “impossible” project without a plan.

Step One: Research Pain Points and Identify Challenges

The first step to managing any project deemed “impossible” by the client or other agencies is to research the project to determine its bottlenecks. This includes interviews with the client and the legacy agency (if permitted) to map out challenging areas, and allocate time and resources accordingly. The VisualFizz team was able to work with the previous agency to determine the issues they faced, in order to plan accordingly during the writing of the functional requirements document.

In this case, the VisualFizz team determined that the largest challenge preventing the successful completion of the CRE website revamp was the sheer number of data points (29,000) that needed to be evaluated and uploaded to the CRE database.

Step Two: Allocate Talent and Resources to Address Challenges

After diagnosing the issue as project-management related, it was easy-enough to allocate project-managers and developers to the project. Yet, therein lay the project’s first pitfall. Unlike similar development projects, the CRE website revamp project required specialty developers with experience managing large data sets.

Fortunately, the unique makeup of the VisualFizz development team ensures that the right developer is always on hand to lend their specialty expertise to any project. VisualFizz project managers are also the best at what they do – allocating talent, time and resources to the benefit of the project and the client.

Step Three: Determine Functional Requirements and Execute on Development Plan

The next step in managing an “impossible” development project, like the CRE website revamp, is to determine the functional requirements of the website and develop a plan to meet those requirements.

In this case, the project required changes to search and filter functionality, member profile updates, a homepage redesign and visual designs. Mobile-friendliness was must, as the client had determined that the site would be viewed regularly on multiple devices.

The project manager discussed functional and technical prerequisites with both designers and developers in order to create a unique recognizable design and a solid development plan. Once this was complete and designs were accomplished, the only thing left to do was to execute on the plan.

VisualFizz Solves “Impossible” Problem for Satisfied Client

The development plan to revamp the CRE website was highly technical and incredibly detailed, including things like:

  • UI Display Changes
  • Very large database restructure and redevelopment
  • Gravity forms
  • Auto-pulled publications, and
  • Visual designs changes to the homepage.

Fortunately, VisualFizz developers are incredibly talented and able to execute on even the most challenging development plans. Ultimately, the success of the CRE website revamp project came down to project management, i.e. the VisualFizz team’s ability to juggle the technical requirements of the website with the excruciating attention to detail needed to sort and upload more than 29,000 data sets.

Turn Impossible into Accomplished with VisualFizz

Needless to say, the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) were incredibly happy with the results of the project. Thanks to VisualFizz, the website revamp that had defeated two prior development firms was completed with little fanfare or management from the client, which is the ultimate goal of every project.

If you’re struggling to manage a website development project or tired of dealing with your own “impossible” project, then contact VisualFizz today. Their talented team of developers, marketers and project managers will wrap up those troublesome projects, so you can focus on growing your business.

 

Quote from Client:

“We hired VisualFizz to maintain and update our website. We recently completed a huge project where they revamped the Member Search feature. The project was very complex as we needed the search feature to have multiple functionalities. VisualFizz was extremely responsive to our needs, setting up as many meetings as necessary and working within our limited budget and time frame for completion of the project. They were at an extreme disadvantage as our previous vendor did not provide thorough documentation on the back end of our website. VisualFizz simultaneously built out the Search feature while creating documentation on our site for future projects. We are very happy with the end results.”

About

The Counselors of Real Estate® is the international organization for the most experienced real estate leaders who provide expert, objective advice on complex real property matters (real estate counseling). Membership is by invitation only. Founded in 1953, the organization serves 1,100 members worldwide, all who hold the CRE® credential. CREs are linked to one another by their commitment to integrity, competence, community, trust, and service; and they adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice.

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