Radar Hill Blog

New VREB Plugin

Over the last few months the team at Radar Hill have been working on a new plugin for the Victoria Real Estate Board. They began by evaluating what already existed, which was a plugin that Radar Hill created in 2013. It was great when it was built, however technology changes at such a pace that it became necessary not just to update the plugin, but to create a whole new one.

To build the new plugin, Roger, Ken, and Mike proceeded to create a mock-up of the end goal, which allowed them to easily rearrange items and preview the functionality of it before completely building it.

It is not just the look on the outside that changes, but all the behind-the-scenes coding that requires development. The technical details will not be elaborated on in this post, but if you would like more information, feel free to ask Roger. Suffice to say, this new plugin is awesome!

The initial interactive wireframe before more stringent internal review

What it Does

Most importantly in this plugin, the user experience has been improved. There is easier navigation, a better hierarchy of information and elements, a clearer breakdown of information, and it is just generally much more enjoyable to use. Instead of blocky tables to display the information which can get really strict and overwhelm your eyes, the layout for the content is now seamless. With data displayed in a more readable manner, it doesn’t get all jumbled up or confusing.

Schema has also been incorporated by default. Read here for more info on Schema – essentially it is coding that will make your listing more aesthetic on search engine results, and will help with ranking on search engines. By getting this plugin, your properties will be found more easily on Google and other search engines, as they will be displaying the most relevant information available.

The New VREB plugin:

  • Takes advantage of new large images provided by VREB
  • Displays more clearly the share icons
  • Does away with modals (pop ups) for forms and mortgage calculator
  • Has a better mobile view and better display on large screens

It should be noted that information has been moved to the forefront, doing away with the previously hidden tabbed content. This makes it easier to use, as you don’t have to click and click and click to get to the page that you want.

An example of listing data on the previous VREB plug

The same listing data as it is displayed in the new plugin. As you can see it is much easier to read, even at a quick glance

Why You Should Get It

Making difficult things looks easy is a skill that acrobats, artistic athletes, and artists require, to name but a few. These professions are where all the work is meant to look effortless and graceful, and websites are similar. All the backend coding and numbers are there to create a smooth user experience. Not that all websites succeed at this – have you ever left a website frustrated because you couldn’t find the information you wanted? People want easy information, and this new plugin helps them do just that.

With Schema as mentioned above, a property will be attractively presented in the search engine results. Once they click on the link, the user will expect a similar experience of easy information. This plugin has an easy to read display, so easy that you don’t really notice, because it is that subtle and modern. If prospective clients aren’t frustrated in getting the basic information that they want, it can lead to more conversations, as there are no barriers between them and the content.

Another notable feature is that we have left room for future add-ons to the plugin, which will add a functionality not possible with the previous version. In the future there will be a listings map that will be available to add to this plugin, and after that, a comparison property addition. As technology progresses and more cool new features become available (and expected), it will be simpler to add them to this new plugin, rather than onto one that is many years old.

The above picture is an example of how a listing is displayed within our new plugin

I Want It

This plugin provided the best possible listing display for our clients, which in turn means the best possible display listing for your current and prospective clients. The previous plugin is nearly four years old, which means that everyone could benefit to upgrade from it. At the moment, we can install this new VREB plugin on our real estate websites created in the last three years, or as part of a general website upgrade.

If you are interested in having this on your website, please get in touch!

About Caitlin O'Hara

Shawn’s daughter, Caitlin has been around Radar Hill since its inception, and working with them in a professional capacity since 2016. After 1.5 years of being in the office, she moved to the beautiful city of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, where she at first continued to be a remote employee. She soon evolved into a virtual assistant, and began the Scottish branch of Radar Hill, by joining a BNI chapter. Overseeing a wide range of tasks, she is helping to further the growth of the company, from writing blogs, compiling website content, audio transcription, and client communication.
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