A first look at the new Property Finder! It goes live at 12:00!

We got an early look at the new website and we have to say it’s impressive. Here are our thoughts, before it even launches! You can see it live at noon UAE time on March 24th for yourself. Here’s a preview of the main new features.

The Home Page – Old vs. New

Gone is the flat dated look of the old website. The new home page has a fresh look, very Web 2.0 and with emphasis placed on the right areas. You can see where the features have carried forward from old to new, but each feature is much better ‘weighted’, with importance placed in the areas where users need it most. This is especially true with the new search box which is fun and easy to use.
The OldThe New

The new Search Box

The search has improved dramatically and we must say, rivals even the best of websites in the western world. You can enter any combination of search filters, for example:

As you type the search auto-completes with the relevant text and is just intuitive and fast. It saves a lot of time in what would normally be a selection of drop downs and a tedious process.

One thing we did find strange in this is that the webid or reference isn’t included in the main search. There’s a small link to click, then a new box to type the ID in to. This seems strange when you have so many other choices on the main search, I would think merging the two would save users from looking in two places.

Find an Agent

What looks to be a promotional page for agents is actually a great indicator of how we’re doing in the market. 14 out of the 39 companies listed use Masterkey to manage their listings and we’re in talks with many more.
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As a feature though the ‘Contact by phone’ starts as a button then when clicked changes to the phone number. That’s a neat way of both tracking number of leads as well as giving the phone number to the customer quickly and without hassle.  Measuring the number of leads generated is a vital statistic with any portal.

Social Media & Sharing

The social media integration is pretty basic. You can share a link via facebook or twitter. None of the advanced features that you find on western websites, but that’s to be expected in this area. I’m not sure how much that would be used as usually it would be the agent who wants to share a property, not the end customer.

“Make an Offer” looks good, but what does seem to be missing is the "email this link to a friend". That would be a useful addition.

Market Price

A neat feature that gives you some indication of price. This existed on the previous version but has had the interface improved. I do think the layout is a bit confusing. The search box is below the results while it should be above, and when you click search a mysterious box appears, then disappears then gives you the result. I think that can be improved with a little bit of work, but overall it works.

Conclusion - two thumbs up!

The new design brings to the forefront of portals in the UAE. Definitely a company to consider when you’re listing your property. Hopefully Property Finder will share their statistics on how many visitors have come to the site since they launched. We wait to see if the general public likes it, but from our initial perceptions it definitely will be a hit.
More screenshot goodness:

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