Your website is a vitally important part of your business. It’s as important as a second branch if you are an independent, and numerous branches if you are a larger agency. It warrants taking very seriously, as getting your site right, properly right, can make a very big difference to the level of instructions you win, and indeed to the fundamental value of your business in years to come. If you are a larger agency group, responsibility around business continuity issues becomes an important consideration too.
We at Homeflow have a background in enterprise scale engineering, so we are focused on scale and quality considerations. We believe this is as important for the network with 150 branches as it is for the single office independent in the local high street. These underlying building blocks of business solidity, continuity and product quality differences constitute a somewhat invisible, but crucially important, set of factors contributing to your success and reducing your risk.
If you’ve seen our advertising campaigns, you may have noticed our theme this year partly revolves around the term: “be better”. We mean this across a number of areas: better hosting, better design, better speed, better SEO, better usability, better functionality, better support. All of which are related to the topic we are discussing here, and form an over-arching theme of being better by having an enterprise approach. You spend so much time and energy building up your customer relationships, and your website is a vital part of contributing to your customer interactions – so you need to get it right today, and for the future.
We think the topics merit exploring further on a few fronts. Here goes:
(1) Enterprise Portal Scale
Clearly by choosing to work with Homeflow, we believe you get a properly reliable and enterprise grade solution for agency websites in the UK. Any commercial, financial or technical due diligence (documentation we would provide as requested for large projects) will reveal that quality, as we come from a high scale portal engineering background. We can demonstrate material ways in which this quality benefits your business.
(2) Large data infrastructure
Our data infrastructure is pretty high scale. It’s double backed up, in Rackspace (a “tier one” provider) and into Amazon Web Services (where many of the world’s most successful internet businesses host).
We handle over 700,000 consumer records, we process over 480,000 properties nightly, we store over 80 million property photos in our archive, and we have 20 million in the active serving records at the moment. This infrastructure operates across around 16 parallel servers. In the UK online property world, only the very large portals benefit from this kind of infrastructural scale, and enjoy the same kind of resilience, redundancy and speed.
(3) Enterprise scale clients: instill trust
Among our client base we are happy to count:
- Country Life magazine – Part of Time Warner Inc.
- Move with Us PLC – with approaching 200 estate agent sites in their own right
- Moveto Newspaper group – with over 2000 agents advertising on the site we power for them
- Tindle Newspaper Group / Latest Homes – similarly large volumes of clients advertising
- Radarhomes – owned by about 350 estate agents themselves
- Leaders – with 85 branches
- Arun Estates – 120 branches (mobile only)
- Stags, Bradleys, Seymours, Oakleaf, Green and Co and several more in build (all over 10 branches)
As you can imagine, these business look for more reassurance than most that their web provider is a robust, innovative company, so they should instill plenty of confidence. Some of them run detailed due diligence processes against main market (non estate agency specialist) enterprise grade IT providers before choosing Homeflow.
(4) Profitable. And that’s important.
We’re profitable, and have been for 5 consecutive years. For our larger agency group clients, this is a standard check. It is an important question to ask, and so often one that is overlooked.
(5) Reference us widely
We HIGHLY recommend referencing our clients, and we are happy to provide contact details for any of them once you are serious in your process with us.
(6) Deepening software relationships
Interestingly, with a few of our larger clients right now, we’re doing some very interesting integration work with several of the bigger software groups. We’re integrating in some ways that bridge the “software to website” divide very meaningfully, akin to how big corporates with bespoke systems integrate their website front end and back office systems. It opens up some very interesting possibilities for our clients – our approach to continual evolution (another important difference) means everyone of our existing clients will benefit too.
(7) Clients who understand and care about this
And if you’ve read this far, we’re interested in you. Homeflow is looking for clients who understand and care about this stuff. We want people who are pushing their own businesses, and looking to drive the boundaries of what we can do. The kind of people who understand the importance of enterprise quality and solidity, and the attention to detail that comes with that, are the kind of people we need to work with. With the right platform and support, those kind of people really go places, and we want to go with them. So, in short, we’re eager to work with you.
So, what next?
Please do get in touch. We’d welcome the opportunity to start engaging with you personally. And that all starts with a quick, informal chat to say hello.