Online media used more in property selling

Prospective home buyers still rely on estate agents to give them everything they need when looking at buying property, but there is a growing trend of using the internet as a research tool.

The vast majority clients now do a preliminary investigation via the electronic media, says Anne Porter Knight Frank’s (APKF) managing director, Lanice Steward.

Today, she said, 75% of those with whom APKF deal have used their iPads, PCs, Smartphones or laptops to see what is on the market and to compare prices.

“This,” said Steward, “is a trend all the more sophisticated agencies have welcomed because it cuts down on the time we take to introduce them to the areas and the price ranges that actually suit them.  Much of the vagueness and indecision have now gone out of house selling and buyer recruitment.”

The growing use of electronic media, said Steward, has also resulted in buyers being more market canny and less likely to consider bidding above the going rate.

To many people’s surprise, she added, social media, launched originally simply as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family, have now become important property marketing tools:  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other “chat media”, she said, are now used daily to impart useful information, to build brands and to attract buyers.

“I would go so far as to say that if your agent is not using social media, it probably means that he is less innovative, less enterprising and less determined than the frontrunners in the residential property marketing field.  Here at APKF we have been very pleasantly surprised by the response that this more intimate, more informal marketing can elicit.”

Asked if this means that in time printed media will become redundant in property marketing, Steward said that they still form the bedrock on which all other advertising builds – and they retain a credibility that the “unvetted” online media as yet do not have.

“Highly professional property editors and the Advertising Standards Authority have ensured that by and large over-the-top claims and false information do not filter through their net.”

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