South West-based chain Marchand Petit has a customer profile that is more than 75% out-of-town buyers. A strong web presence is therefore vital for the business to ensure these buyers find their properties. Like many companies though, a few years ago Marchand Petit found itself with several separate web sites and lots of headaches in maintaining them. But the arrival of a new marketer with a fresh vision resulted in change. “We have been using MRI Sales & Lettings for residential sales since 2002 and the impetus really came from the team there to trial a new gismo. It was perfect timing and with a bit of mutual back scratching our new site was launched,” says Marketing Manager for Marchand Petit, Justine Andrews. “There were a few teething problems but we could go to the people at MRI and make suggestions; they always listened and the support from them was brilliant.”
There are different ways that data can be extracted from MRI Sales & Lettings for use in websites. Access can be opened to raw data via an XML feed that means you have complete autonomy on querying data and how you display it. Alternatively, if you have the knowledge you can have the data in HTML format which gives you the ability to put the data into fields within your site, or we can provide templates for you to use. This was the option that Marchand Petit chose. The company felt so confident with the software that it didn’t even look at other options. “The fact that we could now use MRI Sales & Lettings to integrate with our site just seemed like too good an opportunity to miss,” says Justine.
Keeping it simple
Marchand Petit MD Marcus Lucock says: “People looking for property want to find things easily and since the launch of our site, we have received e-mails stating that we have won instructions on the back of our website alone.” For companies looking at website development, cost is an important consideration. “Websites are something you just have to invest in,” says Marcus. We had an associated cost with the design element but the main cost was our time as we managed much of the work ourselves.” And like many MRI Sales & Lettings clients, Marchand Petit do not intend to stand still with their technology. “The great thing is that even if the software can’t support it at that time, the team will go away and look at it and if they perceive it to benefit all users, they look to develop the idea into the product,” says Justine. “We are pushing ahead of other agents which is great for us, for MRI Sales & Lettings and for the industry.”