MidWest Property Management is one of the largest residential rental companies in Western Canada. With 30+ properties across 7 cities, they came to us needing not only a new website, but an entirely new way to manage their considerable property portfolio and provide their customers an intuitive way to find their next home.
We designed & built a custom responsive site on WordPress with a ton of functionality. All Midwest’s properties are managed through WordPress, with an Air-BnB-style discovery layer which allows users to find their next home using a user-centred filtered search including price range, location, number of bedrooms and much more.
Key Project Features
- User Personas
- Content Strategy
- Website Design
- Responsive Design [View]
- Customized WordPress CMS
- Map & Listings Discovery Layer
People are at the core of every project we tackle, and Midwest new website was no different. As a property management company, Midwest offers a variety of residential living spaces for rent across western Canada – and it was our job to take those properties and help Midwest’s users find the right one for their needs.
The marketing team at Midwest came in to the project with a great understanding of who their users were, which allowed us to quickly outline personas to guide the whole project. We knew that, primarily, Midwest’s users were researching for their next home – and with that in mind, they didn’t only care about the actual unit and building. There was also huge value in providing supplementary information, like the lifestyle the building and neighbourhood catered to – for example, small families vs. busy young professionals – as well amenities, nearby transportation options, and much more.
Knowing this, it was clear this was a complex problem that required a custom solution. We dove into wireframes and design with the users at the front of our minds, and came out with a discovery-focused interface. Designed to get users interacting with property search as quickly as possible – as discovering their next home is the primary objective – the home page asks the user to choose a city, a price range, and a desired number of bedrooms. That choice gets the user immediately into a combination map & listings view (when on desktop), allowing them to view listings that match their criteria alongside a Google Maps-rendering of where the building is located.
From that point, users can further refine the results based on a variety of over 20 additional criteria that are important to them: suite features such as air conditioning, balcony / patio, and in-suite laundry; building features such as hot tubs, garages, covered parking; and more; and location-specific features as well. This allows home-hunters to find a suite that works for their specific needs, then click through the individual listing-specific page. Each of these criterion is deftly managed, alongside everything else, through WordPress.
The listing-specific pages combine everything a home-hunter needs to make their decision: galleries of high-quality photography – alongside lifestyle photography designed to communicate whom the building might be a good fit for – as well as floor plans, a live map of nearby amenities, and large call-to-actions designed to increase application form completions, viewing bookings, and calls to Midwest’s sales centre. At the end, the individual listings pages are a logical culmination to the home searching process.
As mentioned, all of the (considerable) data for each location is managed in one spot per listing, through the custom WordPress build. It’s a robust implementation of WordPress, if we do say so ourselves – and it makes our clients’ lives considerably easier. Any change made to a listing (for example, pricing range or addition of in-suite laundry) cascades through to the listings view, the map view, and the functionality of the property listings search. That means no duplicate data entry, fewer chances for mistakes in content management, and an overall much more efficient and logical content management experience.
While the Property Listings and related functionality are the real star of the show, there’s a considerable amount of additional features too. The new Midwest site has a fully fledged careers section with individual job postings; a news section; and much more.
Site Performance & Security
Following our usual mobile-first methodology, the result is a blazing-fast site – with a PageSpeed score of 94% and a load time of ~1 second – that works beautifully on all devices. In addition to performance, the site is as bulletproof as WordPress can get from a security standpoint. All best practices for security are followed as per our usual methods, and we further vetted security by firing up Linux and running a huge list of penetration tests to check against injection vulnerabilities in the WordPress SQL database.
In the end, the new Midwest site is a real flagship in their industry, and usage is through the roof. That’s not all though – here are a few KPIs from the new site in the first 6 weeks since launch:
Floor Plan Views: up 874%
Application Form Clicks: up 970%
Book Viewing Clicks: up 819%
Contact Form Submits: up 5,400%
Paper Leaf is just as determined to create a great website as you are.
Midwest Property Management
Let's make something amazing together.
Interested in working together, or maybe just having a conversation? We’d love to hear what you have in mind, and answer any questions you might have. Let’s make whatever’s rolling around in that brain of yours happen.