We started working with Davidson Homes in 2019, initially helping them relaunch their website with a look and feel to better reflect their size and ambitions. As their business continued to grow across multiple states, their requirements drastically changed and together we identified that a new approach and a more powerful backend was needed to handle all of the data. We identified that this required not only a new platform, but a headless approach the architecture – opting to decouple the CMS from the frontend to maximise performance while allowing for the sheer amount of data needing to be processed.
Transitioning one of America’s fastest growing homebuilders to headless
Headless sanity website
6 Months + ongoing
Since 2009, Davidson Homes has been one of the fastest growing homebuilders in the southeastern USA. Their focus on customer satisfaction and offering a fully integrated home buying experience has enabled their rapid growth, but even now their developments span 5 states, they’re still driven by delivering an outstanding customer experience.
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Jack Parrish, Digital Marketing Manager at Davidson Homes, sat down with our engineering team to chat about the impact of transitioning to a headless Sanity website.
Powered by Sanity
Due to the nature of the US real estate market, properties have to go through a number of multiple listing services (MLS) – so the backend infrastructure had to be powerful enough to handle all the data flowing to and from it. We opted for a Sanity CMS backend, due to its better handling of complex relationships. Working with Sanity allowed us to create our own custom data structure, enabling the site to handle data faster and in turn improve performance.
The headless architecture combined with the Sanity CMS has helped us see massive improvements in the speed and performance of the site. The previous site was constantly running a property import, so decoupling this from the frontend has enabled us to achieve consistent Google Core Web Vitals scores in the high 90s across the board. In addition, all states, regions and communities are now split into different post types, allowing for a much faster and easier content editing experience.
The website features complex search functionality enabling users to search by address, city, community or state, with the ability to filter by multiple criteria. The React.js frontend that prefetches data provides a smooth and seamless search experience for users.
We worked with Davidson Homes through a series of agile product sprints, working directly with the client to plan out each sprint backlog and to prioritise feature development across several releases through alpha, beta and live, allowing for scalability in the platform to reflect the continued growth in the business.
The website property data is powered by a range of bespoke API’s from different MLS’s, across the states that Davidson operate in.
Interactive site plans
Interactive digital maps of Communities allow home buyers to explore specific plots, linked to detailed overviews of the floors plans available.
A simple mortgage calculator was added to every available home and community, to allow users to get a rough idea of costs.
“The final product and the results that we’ve seen… we would never have been able to achieve that without you guys.”
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