Fitzalan Partners own a network of lead generation websites selling property law related services including conveyancing, buyer’s surveys, remortgage and equity transfer assistance. Arbor Digital have supported the company since it’s inception in 2011. Before that time, we built and supported the original software when it was owned by another entity, from which Fitzalan acquired the first lead generation website www.fridaysmove.com.
NAHL acquired Fitzalan Partners in February 2015, and decided to keep Arbor Digital on as their development supplier.
Overview of the problem
The network was originally setup as a single website which drew customers looking to buy property services online. Leads were fed directly to the company owners, and later in the company’s development to sales staff.
Initially the company employed their own solicitors, to who the deals were passed, once the leads had been converted. Quickly though, the model moved toward outsourcing to a panel of solicitors, once their website leads began to outperform the speed at which their in-house solicitors could process the deals.
After purchasing the original site, Fitzalan quickly built more lead-generating sites with us, that followed similar proven SEO strategies. Over time those strategies changed as the SEO world moved with the ever-evolving algorithms of Google’s search engine.
Fitzalan had become at its heart a call-centre with extended post-sale service, and from the original Google document, which was used to process leads into converted deals, they commissioned new deal tracking software which could help them become more efficient in that task. Beyond that, the company moved into white-labelling their lead generation, and again, more software was needed to answer that need.
In 2015, when NAHL bought Fitzalan Partners and asked us to stay on to support the software, they further explored new income streams, and methods of lead processing. The account therefore, is far from static. The software has had to evolve in many logical directions over the years, and elements of it have had to be entirely rebuilt as the methods and technologies used to build them became outdated, and unsafe.
There are two major components to Fitzalan Partner’s lead generation network:
- Traffic acquisition on their public-facing websites.
- Lead generation, conversion and processing
SEO and the quoting engine
Our solution initially included search engine optimised websites built on the open source content management system Drupal. We worked together with the original owners of Fitzalan, who were themselves very experienced SEO and digital marketing practitioners, to build and mould the lead generating sites into efficient traffic catching tools. Using custom techniques we were able to move homewardlegal.co.uk up the search results at a staggering rate to the point where in the second quarter of 2016, the site brought in an average of 5614 leads per month.
Initially, all sites held a custom-built Drupal module which provided the forms and the engine to generate quotes for services to the unauthenticated site visitor (no user account required). Those modules, on building quotes, emailed the visitor and also sent the lead to the call-centre software to be processed and followed up.
Later, we added the quoting engine in between those Drupal websites and the call-centre software. We did this to centralise upgrades, control and maintenance on the system. Putting a barrier between the public sites and the lead tracking software also brought with it security advantages.
Lead tracking call centre
Fitzalan’s in-house sales team work efficiently on our software and are able to, with the aid of our scripted forms, convert a high volume of leads for both Fitzalan and their white-label business partners. In the second quarter of 2016, Fitzalan’s team were able to process 35409 leads, an average of over 380 leads processed every day of a 7 day week.
Our web-based software provides real-time reporting to upper management, and includes an abundance of features from statement creation, to template emails, which empower the team to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
NAHL are constantly testing new income streams. This means that on top of small adjustments and maintenance tasks, we have to constantly add new elements to the software. The base, therefore, needs to be highly extensible, and we have to respond quickly and flexibly to all requests.
What did they have to say?
Following the acquisition of Fitzalan partners we were delighted to secure the continuing support of the team. During this time we have undertaken many different projects: quote engines; mobile journeys; customer journey; telephony integration to name but a few. We have found the team not only to be skilled and knowledgeable but also highly dedicated and flexible. We consider them to be a critical part of our business and are delighted to have secured a long term working relationship.
Richard Rickwood, Managing Director