Building a search engine for Brookfield

CLIENT
GGO and Brookfield Properties
SERVICES
UI/UX, Web Development, Analytics, Architecture, Ongoing cloud management
TECHNOLOGIES
JavaScript, Elasticsearch, Python. PostgreSQL, Lambdas, S3

In a Nutshell

Brookfield Properties, one of the largest real estate companies in the U.S., approached CURTIS Digital with the goal of improving their online presence and customer shopping experience. With over 115 websites and a presence in 161 areas across 42 states, managing and updating their online content was a challenge. Previous efforts to revamp the websites and upgrade the search function had been unsuccessful, leaving Brookfield Properties in need of a reliable solution. CURTIS Digital stepped in, using our strategic thinking and technical expertise to deliver a custom search feature in just 60 days. The result was a convenient and efficient shopping experience for users, leading to an increase in online conversions for Brookfield Properties.

The Challenge

Brookfield Properties manages, leases, and develops an extensive number of retail properties. Though our client was aware that a strong online presence could give them a competitive edge, there were challenges. 

  • The 115+ websites that Brookfield Properties owned had obsolete information.
  • The websites weren’t intuitive. 
  • Online visitors couldn’t find what they were looking for, and hence, left with a not-so-pleasant digital shopping experience. 

Brookfield Properties decided to reverse the situation.

The Journey Begins

The client set out to evaluate the websites and their performance. The company embarked on a journey of revamping, redesigning, and relaunching all of the 115+ websites. The goal was to enable a better shopping experience for visitors and prospects. There was an urgent need to upgrade the search experience too. This would also enhance sales for Brookfield Properties.

As traditional website search solutions did not support implementation across domains, the client opted for a custom search solution via a search vendor. Unfortunately, the search vendor wasn’t able to live up to Brookfield Properties’ expectations. The team worked on the project for months at a stretch but wasn’t able to produce the agreed-upon solution or any tangible results.

The client set out to evaluate the websites and their performance. The company embarked on a journey of revamping, redesigning, and relaunching all of the 115+ websites. The goal was to enable a better shopping experience for visitors and prospects. There was an urgent need to upgrade the search experience too. This would also enhance sales for Brookfield Properties.

As traditional website search solutions did not support implementation across domains, the client opted for a custom search solution via a search vendor. Unfortunately, the search vendor wasn’t able to live up to Brookfield Properties’ expectations. The team worked on the project for months at a stretch but wasn’t able to produce the agreed-upon solution or any tangible results.

What did we do?

At CURTIS Digital, we put customers first and focus on addressing our clients’ concerns. Having worked on other aspects of Brookfield Properties’ web migration project, the client reached out to our team for delivering a functional search experience. We understood the challenge. Putting together our strategic thinking, design expertise, and technology experience, we developed a roadmap and began working on the project. 

CURTIS Digital delivered a custom search feature for Brookfield Properties in 60 days! A project that was delayed for over a year was brought back on track.

A Fully Functional Search Solution

Web analytics services and solutions such as Google Analytics offer valuable insights based on website traffic flow, impressions, best-performing landing pages, etc. However, Brookfield Properties needed something more — an intelligent analytics solution that covered the 115+ websites so the organization could leverage derived insights in their search engine.

We, at CURTIS Digital, developed a custom search feature that offered detailed analytics data. The fully functional solution, delivered in just 60 days, has been helping Brookfield Properties tap into customers’ minds and understand what they are looking for based on their searches.

CURTIS Digital took care of all related pieces that would ensure smooth functioning of the client’s websites after go-live.

Webpage Indexing

Many of Brookfield Properties’ websites were not indexed on Google. Indexing them would help drive more traffic to the web pages, improving performance. Hence, we got all of the client’s websites indexed. Now, every time new content is published on the websites, indexing has made it easily discoverable.

Technical Integration

To fully achieve Brookfield Properties’ vision of refreshed websites with a modern, fully functional search engine, it was important to address silos and user interface challenges. The new features, tools, and solutions had to be compatible with the client’s existing IT infrastructure. Hence, we took care of Brookfield Properties’ technology integration needs.

Live Dashboard

Brookfield Properties’ websites now have a total search volume of approximately 1.5 million every month. In such a scenario, having access to this data, user search terms, etc., can positively influence business decisions. Insights derived from changing patterns and user behavior can help the client make appropriate changes to meet evolving trends and user expectations. Hence, we delivered a powerful dashboard with real-time user information. Through the custom dashboard, the client can see where users are and what they are looking for. 

To ensure the transition was smooth and users enjoyed a seamless search experience, we continued monitoring the solution and refining the process for three months after go-live.

Key Benefits Delivered

Though data was available even before engaging CURTIS Digital, it wasn’t tapped into. CURTIS Digital facilitated a refreshed beginning for Brookfield Properties and its website users.

A Delightful Property Search Experience

Shoppers are able to view results as they type — information on relevant stores, restaurants, sales, events, etc. The search feature has transformed their shopping experience. It is simple, easy, and quick. Users are able to find exactly what they are looking for without the hassle of navigating complicated menus and without having to browse through inappropriate, irrelevant results.

Improved Online Traffic

With the launch of the custom search solution, the total search volume on Brookfield Properties’ new websites has increased to approximately 1.5 million searches per month. Data speaks volumes and the number proves that users are finding the search feature useful. 

Better Content Delivery

The client’s editorial team has been able to refine content served on the website based on user searches and trending keywords. With real-time information and insights, no more guesswork on what keywords and content would work best. The team is able to offer more relevant content with the exact text input that users type into the search boxes.

Actionable Insights for Retailers

The business development team is able to pass on valuable data and insights to potential tenants so they know when users are searching for them or their products. This can take decision-making to a whole new level — especially when retailers are looking to lease space or properties in a locality where they presently do not serve.

Finding Answers with Real Data

With the new search feature and intuitive dashboards, leasing agents are able to access concrete, real-time data. They know the exact number of times visitors searched for a company that wasn’t available. They are aware of the locations or localities with the highest demand. Leasing agents have accurate answers at their fingertips.

A Happy Client!

“The CURTIS Digital team introduced the mindset that if data exists, we need to be able to audit it. They provided that function for every feature they implemented. We now have a culture of measuring our performance and their work introduced that focus to our marketing team.”

– Sean Thomas, Senior Director, IT Digital Real Estate

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