Framing the Challenge:
As Millennials overtake Gen X as the primary home buying demographic in 2016, expectations are changing about how to buy or sell a home. Buyers are spending more time searching online and going to fewer open houses. And agents need to prove their value more than ever. Long & Foster, the nation’s largest independent brokerage, needed to revitalize its brand and create a modern website experience that would push past commoditized home listing sites like Redfin and Zillow, to truly connect all of the people involved in the process.
For almost 50 years, Long & Foster’s value for both consumers and agents alike has been their human approach, based on personalized service and local knowledge, something purely online competitors could never match. We needed to bring that value to life for a new generation of home buyers through digital experiences that are driven by personalization, social sharing and conversation.
We started by repositioning the brand and giving it a more confident, genuine persona and voice. “For the love of home” became the rallying cry to unite the organization, and prove to consumers why working with Long & Foster is such a unique and rewarding experience.
Next, we completely redesigned their website to reflect the new brand, making it clean, fully responsive, and optimized to work with the latest browsers and devices. We paid careful attention to mobile in particular, making sure the experience is extremely usable and loads quickly. Standard listing data was customized to encourage sharing. And we added helpful, interactive tools for both agents and buyers to facilitate conversation and allow for personalized interactions throughout the process.
After years of actively telling clients to avoid the existing site, Long & Foster’s agents are extremely excited and engaged. In fact, many are already volunteering to contribute content to the community pages to help raise their profile in the neighborhoods they serve.
The site launched in May, 2016 and unique users have already increased 151% versus the prior year. Even more importantly, the site is generating 4 times as many leads to agents as before.
After almost 50 years, the full story of what makes Long & Foster special is finally being told.