AccommodationforStudents.com, the UK’s most visited student accommodation search website, has experienced a 73% year-on-year boost in student property enquiries in the first month after a complete revamp of its website.
The upgrade, delivered by digital agency Code Computerlove, has made it both easier and faster for students and landlords to view properties and make enquiries both on desktop and mobile.
Launched in 2000, AccommodationforStudents.com was the UK’s first student accommodation search engine and quickly became established as the market. Today, the site is visited by more than 3 million students every year and advertises properties for 32,000 UK private landlords, 1,200 letting agents and more than 500 private halls of residence.
Originally built in classic ASP (active server pages) the site required a major overhaul to ensure its versatility and longevity. Entrepreneur and director of AFS, Simon Thompson, bought out his business partner one year ago, before raising capital to re-invest in the site’s redevelopment.
Thompson said: “This re-launch has been a long time in planning. We have considered every aspect of the website and its functionality to make it as appealing for landlords and letting agents, and as simple for students, as possible.
“In terms of new features, students can now see blended search results, where previously they had to visit different areas of the website to see different types of properties. Now they can search and compare the various options like-for-like. For landlords and agents, the key improvement is better visual representation of the properties, leading to more enquiries, which is clearly working given the boost of activity we’ve seen already. Coming soon will also be automated property feeds for letting agents and optional rent collection services for landlords.”
Rob Jones of Code Computerlove said: “The site has been transformed by taking an iterative approach, focusing on key user journeys and interactions, the areas delivering the most value. We tested every release, so were confident that the site would deliver exceptional results from the start of the roll-out process. In addition to the impressive increase in enquiries, bounce rate has also dropped by almost half and conversion is up.”
Established in 1999, Manchester-based Code Computerlove works with clients including Hillarys, Manchester Airport Group (MAG), the BBC and Bentley. The agency became part of the MediaCom North group in 2016.