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    A Whitstable Website to Attract More Visitors

    Wednesday, December 04, 2013

    Having made the move to Whitstable, and keen to share our skillset with local businesses, we were particularly excited to be approached by the proprietor of the Whitstable Cottage Company, Garrie Keeys. The current site, although keeping him busy with bookings, was in much need of a refresh to bring it up to modern standards, to be more intuitive for visitors and to be easier to manage and update, and Garrie came to Bungalow on recommendation.

    Eager to improve the way properties displayed on the site, and also aware of the great potential to be gained by social media exposure, we met to discuss how a new site could look, perform and work smarter. The idea of including a blog/events/reviews dimension to the site piqued Garrie’s interest further, appealing to his journalistic side. This would not only provide key content for local news, events, things to do when visiting etc. - all ideal for sharing across social media - but also increasing the site’s visibility to Google.

    And so, with a blueprint in place, we updated Garrie’s existing brand identity and rolled it out across a Wordpress-based build with new property description pages with location maps and enquiry forms, plus 'featured' properties, blog, twitter feed, Facebook and pinterest integration too. The new backend to the site makes it quick and easy for Garrie to enter, edit and update his clients’ properties, to write his blog posts and reviews, and to add his guests’ testimonials too.


    Whitstable Cottage Company website - on computer, table and smartphone

    We designed the site to be ‘responsive’ - automatically optimised to deliver a different layout according to screen size (computers, tablets and smartphones) understanding how useful it can be to access location maps, local information and late availability deals on the move.

    We’re thrilled with the result - it’s added a new angle to the property-based work we’re already known for, and applying this to a local business promoting tourism to the area… it’s a win-win. Garrie, too, is thrilled with his new website and we wish him and his business every success!

    The site looks so good I got a bit emotional looking at it - bit of lump in my throat.
    I am stunned ......thank you so much!


    If you're planning a short break to Whitstable - pearl on the Kent coast - you know where to find the best accommodation: just click to visit the Whitstable Cottage Company website and start planning your trip!

    Putting Sears Property on the Map

    Monday, March 04, 2013

    You'll have no doubt gathered that we love property here at Bungalow, and when we received a call from Berkshire based estate agent Daniel Sear in need of our help, we were all ears!

    The Background

    Sears Property founded in 2010, has built a strong reputation based on the quality of the service it offers. A truly independent and family owned and run business, it found itself being overlooked in the sea of competition due to its dark, dated brand identity.

    Having met and spoken with Daniel as 2012 drew to a close, it was immediately apparent was that their old identity (a blue and red Pepsi-style logo on a black background) became almost completely invisible on its for sale and let boards during the long dark evenings.

    The Approach

    We prepared a 4-phase strategy for Daniel: a whole business approach, commencing with a rebrand… rolling out across all the required materials (including his low-visibility boards)… through to a full website refresh, and marketing beyond. The prime directive being to increase visibility, engagement, and ultimately market share in this highly competitive part of Berkshire.

    The Identity

    We took inspiration from the freshest new brands appearing on today's high streets – and not just those in the property industry. We scoped-out Sears' competitive landscape, assessing the colours, typefaces and approaches used by other local agents, and crafted a unique identity all of their own.

    Based around the now universally-familiar 'geo-pointer' icon, adding yellow for visibility, a vibrant on-trend blue and a typeface designed to connect to a broad demographic (originally developed for Volkswagen), combined with a selection of positive and affirming tag lines… the new Sears identity was born!

    The Roll-out

    Aware that the property market was moving fast, and Daniel was keen to catch the spring-time movers, we worked quickly to roll out the rebrand across all his materials. Starting with striking new board designs for sales and lettings, property particulars, window cards, property press layouts and advertisements, 20-page marketing booklets, a snazzy suite of stationery… and of course, a brand new website. 

    The Website

    Working to the constraints of the existing website framework provided by Acquaint, we designed and copywrote an entirely new site to fit the template format already in place. Fresh looking, modern, vibrant – a site that truly represents Sears' energy, and their clear, simple approach to property. The site is full of testimonials to reinforce Sears' commitment to quality service, and certainly holds its own when pitched against the sites of their larger competitors and peers.

    Already signed up to social media, and auto-broadcasting properties with no audience, we took Twitter and Facebook to task, designing new page backgrounds, set up new followers and started tweeting and sharing stories to get them on the right road. We wrote an initial blog post for the website all about their new look and used social media channels to spread the word.

    From identity to boards, website to marketing materials, we've worked hard to help Sears communicate and engage with their target market – building stronger connections, and a stronger brand as a result.

    The Office Makeover

    Not content with reworking all digital and print elements, we set about transforming their premises too. We designed new signage and window graphics; provided a schematic for the walls — colours, lettering and artwork, and sourced new, modern furniture: brightly upholstered benches, pods and sofas to complete a truly on-brand look. Sears' 'property shop' is now a real destination on Bracknell High Street. Thanks to Kremer Signs and Barkham Office Furniture for bringing our vision to life.

    Word on the Street...

    We're absolutely delighted with the result, as are Sears – early feedback is very positive from clients and passers by alike, and Daniel's been told that his new boards stand out a mile. We'll be working closely with Sears on a marketing strategy to take this modern property brand forward, having now put it firmly, and visibly, on the map.

    The Right Move for Redhot Property

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    We love property here at Bungalow and were very excited when estate agency entrepreneur Darren Wickes came to us on the strength of our work in this industry. Setting up a new estate agency business, particularly in London, required a complete package and he commissioned us to create a sharp identity, office signage, interior design, for sale & let board designs, stationery, property brochure designs, press adverts & templates, marketing campaign, flyer design, visuals for digital window displays, posters, mini liveries... and of course a website design which we copywrote from top to bottom.

     

    The first matter to address was the name. 'Redhot Property' didn't resonate with his brief and vision for the business and we tried to coax him away from it. Change wasn't to be, particularly as he'd also invested in the key domain rhp.co.uk at not-insignificant cost. We didn't feel it sent the right messages to the customer and so worked to give the identity a particularly soft-edged whilst thoroughly modern treatment to offset any harshness that might be inferred. It not only met with approval from Darren, but also garnered the attention and interest from other agents on his patch.

    During the process, rhp's state of the art office came under fire as it was situated in one of the streets most badly hit by the London riots and it was decided to regroup, refocus, retreat from the high street and concentrate on brand and service.

    Now as a fixed-fee internet-based agent, we designed a revised site and built it in-house. The new site, based on a WordPress engine showcased his brand, the key offers to sellers and landlords, and his level of service. Much was repurposed and updated from the original design, and with strong imagery, simple navigation, intuitive flow, fresh copywriting and our trademark lifestyle hooks, the site was designed, built and launched on time and to budget.

    One key saving both short and long term was to host his property listings solely on Rightmove, rather than design, build and manage a parallel system on his site. Why duplicate what the UK's leading property site already does so well? It's our experience that buyers and tenants head straight to the major portals to find a property – not to individual agents' websites.  We believe that an agent's website should focus on presenting their services to vendors and landlords: showcasing their brand, and quality of service, marketing and materials – these being the key USPs to differentiate them from their competitors.

    The new website went live without any amends: the look, feel, design, imagery, and copywriting all approved without change.  Darren is thrilled to have his agency vision working for him, and to be doing business with a website that doesn't just sell his service… it really hits home.

    Note: We've sadly been made aware that rhp are no longer trading due to personal circumstances.

    Here at Bungalow, brand comes first – it's your most valuable asset in business. Whether you're an estate agency small or large, if you'd like to make best use of your marketing budget to grow, promote and strengthen your brand across web, print, and social media channels, contact us here at Bungalow Industries and make the right move for your agency.

    The Bungalow Journal

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    Settling in after our big move has been no small feat, but Whitstable is a fantastic place – we've already met lots of fantastic people, it's by the sea, packed with independent shops… and the house is a midcentury marvel. All in all, it's right up our street!

    Embracing this vibe, we've been working on a new Blog: the Bungalow Journal — a place for us to post our architecture, design and style inspirations (all with a midcentury slant, of course!) There's much that we're eager to blog about that really doesn't quite fit with this, our business blog, and so the Journal was conceived, designed and built… and has just gone live!

    Starting with entries about our midcentury move, including full details of our Bungalow renovation – and how we sold it privately, and now starting to take a wider look at the Californian architecture of the era that so captured our imaginations, it's very much a work-in-progress.

    Post-by-post, we'll share our inspirations from the mid-20th Century, insights into seaside life here in Whitstable, plus updates on the renovation of our new house, Cambria. (The latter is likely to be a very long process indeed, so it's good to know our virtual notebook won't run out of pages!)

    Jump across to our Journal and check out the first few chapters in our journey!

    Winter Warmer

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Our relocation now behind us, tucked up snug and warm in Kent, we received a winter warmer of a project from entrepreneur and regular client, Damien Knight.

    With the overwhelming success of every venture Damien undertakes, and fuelled by the demand for his gas services, Damien swiftly commissioned us to design not one, but two new brand identities and websites for him. We thoroughly enjoy working with Damien, he's clear about his outcomes and objectives, decisions are made quickly, our designs are implemented promptly by his long standing developers – and he's always delighted with the results. This commission was no exception. 

    The first to be undertaken was 'London Boiler Centre': a simple, friendly and informative website targeting Londoners in search of a new boiler; the second: a sister site offering boiler repairs. Whilst the design work is complete for both, Damien is initially targeting the new boiler market, and the build of the repair site is on the back-burner for the time being.

    London Boiler Centre and Boiler Repair Centre

    We were mindful that the new sites should work well alongside Damien's other venture which supplies gas and electricity testing and certification to the property industry: London Property Inspections. We used our Bungalow trademark approach of clear, engaging graphics, strong imagery, plays on words, simple language, and most of all: a friendly and approachable feel. 

    Yet again the site has been a roaring success, and we are in talks with Damien about moving forward with a pilot for another of his business ideas. Damien is one bright spark!

    www.londonboilercentre.co.uk

    "Single Storey" — the Bungalow features in Midcentury Magazine!

    Tuesday, December 06, 2011

    Back in July of this year when we launched the marketing campaign for the private sale of our bungalow, we were thrilled and flattered to be approached by Tabitha and Tom, Editor and Aficionado behind Midcentury Magazine — the only UK-based publication for fans and followers of the midcentury movement. It was a real honour when they asked if they could run a feature on our ranch-style, Renway 'Type 60a' bungalow… and of course, we agreed like a shot!

    Midcentury Magazine Issue 2 cover

    It wasn’t long before they came to interview us at home, seeing the bungalow for themselves, taking a leisurely stroll around the tree-lined roads in Edgcumbe Park, and hearing some of the anecdotes about the estate’s eclectic residents, past and present — not to mention the parties of the ‘swinging sixties’ in the early days of the development!

    The issue's launch coincided with this November's Modern Show in Dulwich where we caught up with Tabitha & Tom busily subscribing new readers on their stand. We were delighted to see a generous nine full pages had been given over to featuring the bungalow, illustrated by David's lovely photographs, along with a separate focus on the Renway Construction Company's vision behind Edgcumbe Park co-authored by Scott. In addition, there’s a useful ‘get the look’ section with information on where we obtained our key pieces. In all, a very special memento of our time at the property, and hopefully something to inspire others to remodel their homes, midcentury-style!

    Spreads from Midcentury Magazine, issue 2

    Why not subscribe and read all about it?!

    Each issue is packed with interesting and information-rich articles all with a midcentury flavour; the current issue no exception with some fascinating reads about furniture designers & manufacturers past and present; where to source the best midcentury finds (and what to look for —great article by Antiques Roadshow expert Mark Hill), and the best in midcentury media & arts (including author David Christopher's appreciation of midcentury hi-fi equipment, and a lovely background insight into Hergé and his Tintin by Charlotte Luxford).

    If you can't wait for your copy to arrive in the post, click to see a preview of ‘Single Storey: An American Ranch Home in Berkshire’.

    Once again, big thanks to Tabitha & Tom at Midcentury Magazine!

    Update Your Address Book!

    Wednesday, November 09, 2011

    This is just a quick change-of-address blog post to let you all know that we've moved! Our own property marketing campaign has proved a resounding success and we’ve sold our bungalow privately!

    The bungalow, the brochure and the For Sale board... now Sold!

    We're still amazed at how the bungalow and its online marketing have been tweeted about, shared on Facebook and featured on property, design and style blogs around the world — and look out for it in the next issue of Midcentury Magazine too! It's particularly rewarding that our combined talents have not only brought deserved attention to the Edgcumbe Park Development... but also saved us over £10,000 in Estate Agency fees.

    December 2011: ISSUU, the world's leading online publishing platform, has just awarded us the accolade of best application of their product and we'll soon be featured on their blog! (Very chuffed!)

    Once we're settled in we'll be blogging properly about how we put our property know-how and marketing expertise into practise to achieve this thrilling result.

    Although sad to leave the bungalow, our super neighbours and the lovely locality behind, we were in need of more space — and the next challenge...

    ...We’re now settling in to an even quirkier property by the sea near Whitstable, Kent! Keep an eye here on our new journal to see more about our new home: an architect-designed, 1970's curiosity called ‘Cambria’, and our ongoing explorations of the local area — famed for its oysters and creative pursuits. We're very excited and are looking forward to sharing it with you!

    Cambria, front elevation... and seagull's eye view!

    Meanwhile, do please update your address books with our new details:

    Bungalow Industries
    Cambria
    47 Hazlemere Road
    Seasalter
    Whitstable
    Kent CT5 4AW

    If you’d like our help in expertly presenting your property for sale to achieve the best possible price — perhaps even selling privately like us, you know where we are, or call us on 0845 601 1470.

    With house-warmed wishes,

    David & Scott

    P.S. Even though our new home has an upstairs, we’ll always be ‘Bungalow’ ;-)

    Risky Business

    Thursday, September 01, 2011

    Leading light in the provision of Risk Assessment software and systems to businesses nationwide, RiskBase approached Bungalow Industries to rethink the presentation of data and results in their report documents. Not the most glamorous of fields, granted, but certainly of relevance to us (being property-minded) and an interesting opportunity nonetheless with great industry-wide potential.

    We began with Asbestos. RiskBase have devised a unique system for assessors to capture their survey data on tablet devices — such as the iPad — which syncs with their office database from which a report can be automatically compiled and prepared. Experts in user interface (UI) design themselves, their online polish wasn't reflected in their printed materials and they duly commissioned Bungalow to find a new way of reporting the information.

    We took the report to task, firstly having to understand the survey's scope and important legal and technical requirements so we could work out how to present the information in the best possible way. We wanted to give a cleaner, stronger format to the layout, including more visual signals for the key levels of hazard. We even worked hard to understand the algorithms used in the calculations so we could clearly show their customers how raw data translates into risk, hazard… and crucial action lists. Clarity, communication and comprehension were key to turning dry, word-processed documents into engaging, understandable reports.

    Riskbase documents

    RiskBase were delighted with our approach, the format and design we presented and were quick to set us off reformatting their reports for Fire Safety. We went back to basics again, understanding the complexities of the assessments and how to interpret them in order to present the results.

    Again, the layouts were met with approval — and not just by our client RiskBase… but also by the Fire Protection Association, the national regulatory body who will in fact be implementing our formatting into their reports. They requested some subtle customisation to work with their specific datasets, resulting in not just a delighted client but also a step change for risk reporting with Bungalow able to help raise the industry-standard bar.

    Prospect PhD: the higher degree of marketing

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Bungalow crafted the PhD identity for Berkshire-based Prospect Estate Agency back in 2006, elevating their existing Premier Homes of Distinction department to a property brand with refinement, style, a stronger position and larger market share. Originating straplines to hit the sweetspot of its target demographic and a visual style to spotlight properties across web, print, newspress and magazines such as Berkshire Life, our innate understanding of property enabled us to precisely position the PhD brand to target those vendors seeking 'a higher degree of marketing.'

    Having copywritten and designed the original marketing ourselves at the brand's inception - indeed, defining the service - it was only natural that PhD commissioned us once again to give their marketing brochure a makeover: expanding on, and refreshing the content to reflect their now-established approach and the increasing calibre of instructions gained. Flick through the brochure here.

    Prospect PhD Marketing Brochure, Design & copywriting by Bungalow Industries

    With the brand's growing market presence and track record, Bungalow are regularly called in to help present PhD's top-end properties at their very best. From the interior photography to the design, layout, captioning and copywriting, Bungalow's approach to property brochures helps convey the real character of a home. Combining creativity with property know-how, we produce brochures that go beyond agents' standard offerings and provide a more compelling narrative for prospective purchasers to engage with.

    PhD's 2010 marketing brochure has helped provide several £1m+  instructions for us to work with, including Roxburgh, this lovely property in Ascot, Berkshire, valued at £3.7million:

    Prospect Phd marketing brochure for Roxburgh, photography & design by Bungalow Industries

    Our service goes beyond the traditional hard-copy brochure: we also provide a smart online gallery for the vendor to share with their friends and family, along with interactive e-brochures which can be distributed at the click of a button by email or tweet. Click the images to flick through the brochures.

    Prospect Phd marketing brochure for Badgers Wood, photography & design by Bungalow Industries Prospect Phd marketing brochure for Copse Lodge, photography & design by Bungalow Industries

    Premier homes, by definition, are individual and each deserves a bespoke approach to its presentation and marketing. A compelling and engaging brochure not only adds great value to any Estate Agent's service, it acts as a persuasive selling tool to vendors and enhances the experience for vendor and purchaser alike.

    From the brand identity and marketing materials to the presentation of its prestige homes, Bungalow Industries has delivered a unique and market-leading Estate Agency brand in Prospect PhD.

    Read more about our work with Prospect Estate Agency here, and if you'd like to elevate your premier property brand, are interested in our property photography, or would like marketing materials to sell your property privately, call Bungalow Industries on 0845 60 11 470.

    Homing in on London

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    After Bungalow helped property-services entrepreneur Damien Knight breathe life into his PurpleGroup brand and website, demand went through the roof. And not just from other property professionals, but from domestic customers too who were clearly engaged by his brand and its core messages. So much so, in fact, that Damien came straight back to Bungalow to launch another business! Following our advice on a clear, transparent name for the company, London Property Inspections was born and Bungalow set about the brand identity and website design.

    In fairness, Damien was testing the water somewhat with this venture - he knew the demand was there, but was unsure as to where his focus should lie - trade or consumer.  So, given timescale, brief and budget in measures equally tight, Bungalow set to.

    London Property Inspections - website, brochure and van livery

    The resultant site has hit the spot. Conversion rates (#visits with purchase ÷ #visits without purchase) are phenomenal (greater than 50%) and LPI is fast becoming the provider of choice for property services in and around London. In fact, a Trade-only division has since been set up and both sites are constantly being expanded and updated to accommodate the unwavering demand.

    www.londonpropertyinspections.co.uk