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Digital Product & Marketing Website
We designed and coded a brand new property analysis tool, then transformed the modern marketing website into an irresistibly high-end consumer journey.
The Challenge

SoldNest is a high-end real-estate brokerage in Silicon Valley that was previously operating on a low-commission model. However, that model was limiting the growth of the business. Instead, SoldNest decided to focus on matching homeowners with expert local agents through a brand new home analysis tool.

The original website design was strong, but didn’t position SoldNest as a high-end market leader and real estate brokerage built on the best technology.

We worked with SoldNest for over a year (and through multiple business pivots) to design and code a new marketing website and proprietary home analysis tool.

(Original website and analysis tool design)
Updating the Brand

Our first major task was to make SoldNest feel less like a modern start-up and more like an established, high-end brokerage. To do that, we made a few minor adjustments to the logo and added a new dark blue color to the brand palette. Finally, we moved away from a modern sans-serif font and chose 3 new fonts, the primary being an elegant serif.

These simple changes collectively transformed the SoldNest brand identity and established a solid visual system for the entire project.

(before and after logo comparison)
(new brand system and color palette)
Redesigning the Marketing Website

Once we updated the brand, we began to redesign the marketing website with the goal of making it more sophisticated, elegant, and high-end without losing the modern, technological feeling. We did all of this while accounting for a total pivot in the content and marketing proposition.

To ensure SoldNest could easily add, remove, or change the content of their new custom website at any time, we created a modular, component-driven layout. Any section can be re-ordered without breaking the design and sections can have any combination of predetermined properties:

  • Dark or Light Background
  • Slanted Top
  • Vertical Offsets
  • Left or Right Image/Text
  • Two-Column Bulleted List
  • Tabbed Content

That means SoldNest doesn’t have to come back to use every time a change needs to be made. Their website feels completely custom, yet remains easily scalable and won’t need to be redesigned in the foreseeable future.

Designed to Convert

When we designed the primary landing page for the Nestimator (SoldNest’s proprietary home valuation tool), we had to make sure it would convert. To maximize conversions, we created a totally custom header image that showcased the various data the user would see after completing the onboarding process. You can’t miss it and the signup box couldn’t be more compelling.

After having trouble with other designers, I was hesitant to pay for such a large project upfront without having worked with Matt in the past. However, from our first conversation, every interaction I had with Matt made me feel more comfortable. He communicated clearly, effectively, and often, provided client references, and had plenty of successful projects to share.

Eventually it came down to gut instinct. After just one week, I felt extremely confident that I had made the right decision to hire Matt for this project. He delivered high-quality work on time and it felt great to focus on the business goals rather than tracking hours. I'd highly recommend working with Matt on your next big project.

Re-Imagining a Property Analysis Tool

SoldNest’s goal was to rebrand and redesign the current web application to be more approachable, powerful, and scalable to shift customer perception, drive more leads, and increase revenue. We needed to help the team capitalize on expensive marketing efforts and position SoldNest as a high-end market leader — all without decreasing the current conversion rates.

When we began to redesign the property analysis tool, we followed the same systematic and modular approach that transformed the marketing website. Each section of every page was intentionally designed to be modular and responsive (mobile-friendly) so that as user feedback was gathered, the layout could be easily adjusted.

Powerful Data, Simple Interface

After a user enters the required information about their home, SoldNest’s proprietary algorithm crunches the data and presents the user with unique and insightful data such as their current home value, comparable properties, recommended improvements, local market trends, top performing agents, and more.

The most important KPI (key performance indicator) was user account creation, so the “Save Home Valuation” call-to-action buttons throughout the interface were strategically placed with that in mind.

We worked hard to make sure the interface (UI + UX) was even simpler and easier to use than notable competitors such as Zillow and Homelite. We were able to achieve this goal by making tough decisions about what data to show, when to show it, and where to show it. Not everything needs to be visible on every page.

Making Responsive Feel Native

In the world of mobile design and development, there are two main options: create a “responsive” mobile-friendly website or create a native mobile app that you can download in the app store. Mobile-optimized websites are relatively simple and cost-effective to create while native mobile apps are significantly more expensive and difficult to maintain with little benefit.

We decided to make the SoldNest mobile experience feel like a native app, even though it’s accessed via a web browser. The clean, simple, and modular design helped tremendously in our efforts to achieve this.

(SoldNest website on an iPhone X)
Component-Driven Development

Once we finished the designs, we geared up for a lengthy development initiative that would bring our designs to life. SoldNest already had a few talented developers ready to work on the project, but our team handled the initial front-end HTML/CSS development for a few main reasons:

  • to ensure the designs were implemented perfectly
  • to create the interactions that make the product so easy and delightful
  • to save SoldNest time by letting the back-end developers work in tandem with us
  • to save the developers weeks of effort, which is extremely valuable on a project of this size and scale

To make sure the integration between our front-end code and their back-end code was as smooth as possible, we used the SASS pre-processor and wrote our CSS in components. Then, we structured our HTML to closely match the structure they’d need in Vue.js to minimize any re-work or adjustments.

The result was a very smooth handoff and the SoldNest developers were quite pleased with the quality head-start we provided.

(preview of our HTML & CSS structure)
Project Launch

It’s hard to capture everything we did for SoldNest in a few images, but it was one of the most exciting projects we’ve worked on to date. Although the product has changed a bit since we handed off our files, we’re proud to say that the new website and analysis tool successfully launched at the end of 2019!

The future is bright for SoldNest and we’re glad to have played such an important role in their journey.