Fair Oak Resources sought to become the Midwest’s leading Distressed Commercial Property Resource. The company was formed to connect buyers and sellers of distressed commercial properties. The intent was to locate and present overlooked properties to investors who sought them, thus expanding the market for owners wishing to sell their properties. Unfortunately, the company was dissolved before it found traction in the marketplace.
This project began as a request from the client to evaluate the proposal of a competitive web development firm. After writing a two-page, detailed critique pointing out numerous problems with that firm’s proposal, the client asked me, “Will you do it?” I said yes. We moved through the development stages described below.
- Identified the business goals and requirements for the site.
- Built a prototype site map using Xmind mind mapping software.
- Established an account with a commercial web host. The hosting account provided two servers, running separate instances of WordPress: a staging and a production server.
- Selected a responsive WordPress theme.
- Recommended a logo design service to the client. The logo design sub-project resulted in the logo used on the site.
- Designed and implemented multi-level navigation scheme with fly-out menus.
- Consulted to the client and performed final editing on all textual content elements.
- Imagery was a problem. Various stock photo sources were considered, but none provided the range of images of depressed commercial property that the client desired. To solve this problem, I visited and photographed over 40 distressed commercial properties in my area. These photos were edited in Photoshop® and subsequently published on the site.
- Created an integrated blog for the site.
- Built a Facebook business page for the client.
- Implemented social sharing capabilities for the site.
- Designed a FileMaker Pro® database for the client’s general business use. Integral to the database design was determining the identity and relationship of hundreds of business data elements, which I subsequently documented in Entity-Relationship diagrams created with Microsoft® Visio®. Given this design, I coded and delivered a prototype database in FileMaker Pro®.
The client was extremely satisfied with the final project deliverables. In fact, at the end of the project Mike Mueller, Fair Oak’s Chief Operating Officer, commented:
“Phil Block provides far more than he promises! He has built Fair Oak's highly functional website and led us into the initial stages of a social marketing campaign. Given our modest technical skills and drawing upon his experience as a trusted mentor, Phil has patiently and professionally guided us through our many challenges. As a committed life-long learner and sensing when we most needed it, he has also routinely forwarded links and other information pertinent to our work. I enthusiastically and confidently recommend Phil for development of your website and your social marketing efforts.”