- Feature Release
Feature spotlight: map view
Reading Time: 4 min read
Published: July 15, 2015 by Siteloft
The old real estate adage ‘Location, location, location’ is as true as ever – so that’s why we give visitors to your website the option to browse listings based on their whereabouts rather than attributes with a fancy map view.
The map view provides context. It saves buyers the hassle of driving out for an inspection and arriving only to find their dream home is on the fringes of the badlands, ten thousand kilometers away from the nearest Woolworths, and that the children will have to be sent off to boarding school. All in all, it saves wasted time and fuel – for both buyers and agents.
When using the map view, you can see exactly where the property you like is, whether or not it’s close to shops and other facilities – and even use Google Street View to check out the surrounding neighbourhood! Let’s have a closer look at how it works.
Once you’ve turned the map view on (see the end of this post for a how-to) you’ll see a small icon on right hand side of your listings page – clicking this gives you the option to browse using the gallery or map view.
Once you’ve selected the map view, the map slides in from the right showing the locations of all the properties you currently have filtered via pins on a map.
Filtering properties with the map
You’ll notice that the map has both ‘pins’ and ‘clusters’; single properties and groups of properties too close together to be represented by individual marking respectively.
Clicking a single property pin takes you to that property’s page, whereas clicking a cluster zooms the map down to show the properties within that area, while also filter your card view.
Clicking a cluster overrides the search preferences you’ve already entered, and vice versa. Filling out search fields overrides whatever you have shown on the map.
When using the usual search functionality, the map automatically resizes itself to show all properties you’ve filtered for. This works especially well when searching for properties in a particular suburb, for example.
Full screen map view
There is an arrow tab on the right hand side of your property cards. Clicking this hides the gallery view, allowing the map to take the full screen.
This is great for utilising Google’s ‘street view’ functionality. Your buyers can have a look at the property as though they were standing in the driveway. This is something they would no doubt be doing on Google maps anyway – so it’s far better for user experience to simply include it straight from your listings page.
Feel free to try out this new feature on one of our demo sites to decide whether it’s right for your agency.
Tablets and mobiles
We make completely responsive real estate websites, so the map is, of course, also available on a tablet and mobile.
On a tablet, you’ll notice the layout is still very much like it is on desktop; with the [advanced search] (if you have it enabled), card view and map view lined up across the screen.
On a mobile we had a lot less space to work with, so we had to arrange things a little differently. The map view is available – but not along side the property cards. When you click a pin on the map, a pop-up will appear at the bottom showing you the properties address and basic details. You can click this to be taken to the property’s page for a better view.
We believe the map view adds significant value to your website. It creates a far better user experience for house-hunters, especially those primarily concerned with the area into which they’re moving.
Turning the map on or off:
- To turn the map view ‘on’ log into wordpress.
- On the left hand side of your dashboard you have a ‘Siteloft’ tab – click into this. This will open up a new page with a few tabs across the top.
- Click ‘Search settings’.
- You’ll see ‘List View Options’. You have two options; ‘Galley view’ and ‘Map view’.
- To turn the map view on, simply highlight it alongside the ‘Gallery view’ option.
- Click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the page.
Although users can easily switch back and forth between the Map view and the Gallery view when the map is turned on, you have the option to decide which view is already loaded when a visitor clicks onto your listings pages. This can be easily changed from the same page.
- As well as ‘List View Settings,’ you’ll also notice an option to change the ‘Default’; this changes what will first appear when a visitor opens your listings pages.
- If you wish to have the map automatically appear on your listings pages, choose ‘Map view’.
- If you want the map hidden until requested by a user, select ‘Gallery View’.
- Click ‘Save’ at the bottom of the page.