Keeping pace with the evolving digital landscape
Andy Marshall is chief commercial officer at Zoopla
Digital marketing has long since shaped how consumers interact with brands and this is even more pronounced in the property industry.
Agent engagement with buyers, vendors, renters and landlords often takes place – at least in part – in a digital environment.
The results from our recent State of the Property Nation survey of 6,000 consumers and 650 agents confirms a desire amongst buyers to use digital platforms when searching for a home.
Our findings also revealed that more agents than ever are embracing digital marketing methods to keep pace with consumer appetite.
53% of agents plan to boost their digital and email marketing credentials this year, while nearly two thirds (65%) plan to harness social media to promote their listings this year.
With 12% of house hunters using Facebook to browse homes, up 50% from the same time a year ago, agents are increasingly targeted when it comes to reaching clients.
Despite these developments, email marketing remains key to reaching committed home hunters.
To remain abreast of new properties coming onto the market, almost half (47%) of consumers set up email alerts via property portals.
Reflecting the increased competition for homes in the capital, over six in ten Londoners (64%) are signed up to receive new homes alerts.
Perspective on portals
While social media is on the rise, property portals remain indispensable to agents and house hunters alike, and almost six in ten (59%) agents use portals as their primary marketing tool. This reflects consumer preference, with over three quarters of people (77%) using portals to conduct their property search.
Two thirds (65%) of the leads agents receive from renters and buyers originate from a portal.
Property apps are integral to the property search experience. A fifth (20%) of consumers have a property app installed on their digital device, whether active in the market or just browsing.
Property apps are in frequent use, with consumers searching on average 4.8 times a week.
However, digital innovation in the property industry goes much further than using an app, which is why we have developed a range of products and tools to empower agents to reach house hunters, vendors, landlords and renters.
A good example is our newly launched Zoopla Valuation Tool (ZVT), an online widget that agents can integrate seamlessly into their websites, using their logo and company branding.
Powered by Hometrack, the ZVT provides industry-leading estimates, extracted from the data used by many of the UK’s biggest lenders.
Consumers are presented with a house price range and encouraged to speak to a trusted local agent for an exact estimate.
What is clear from our findings is that tech will continue to sculpt the property landscape.
Whether agents want to reach buyers and sellers in a more targeted way, or if consumers want to stay up to date with current market trends or new listings, digital innovation remains invaluable.
This is why Zoopla continues to innovate in this digital space to give agents and consumers access to information and insights when and where they need it.