‘Read my lips: Just being on a portal does not cut it for agents’ says Zoopla boss in first column for EYE

The way agents operate has changed significantly over the last five years: you are no longer solely reliant on the portals for marketing homes.

This is as it should be.

Digital marketing has empowered agents to take matters into their own hands to a far greater extent.

Different audiences will also respond in varying ways to the myriad of communications channels now out there and often a message needs to be seen or heard across multiple platforms to resonate.

There is a whole range of digital marketing strategies agents are increasingly exploring and deploying to their benefit, from paid Instagram promotion to reaching out to local bloggers to leverage the clout of a key influencer, to simply making sure their website is seamless to use and ranked highly by Google’s algorithm.

The role of portals, with agents as their core clients, should be to offer a service that complements and amplifies agents’ marketing strategies, with a strong focus on always seeking out and driving forward the most innovative digital marketing techniques.

In May, Zoopla surveyed 2,000 people who have either sold their property in the last 18 months or who were currently looking to move or sell over the next year and a half.

An overwhelming proportion of these house-hunters (70%) told us that they use a combination of estate agency websites and property portals when searching for their next home.

This reflects the savviness of the general consumer in the digital age. Incidentally, it also shows the great work many agencies are doing to build brand loyalty, with certain agency websites becoming a real ‘go-to’.

Ultimately consumers have a range of information sources right at their fingertips and they aren’t afraid to use this to get the best outcome for them. Pushing your message out across multiple channels can be a strong method of reinforcement.

Just 20% of home-hunters surveyed revealed they only used property portals to search for their next home and 7% browse estate agent websites alone.

Just being on a portal does not cut it – and I expect you thought you would never see those words attributed to me.

This research demonstrates that a hybrid strategy when marketing a home is key to maximising eyeballs to ensure it is sold or let out as quickly as possible and for the best possible price.

The mix of channels agents can use to market a home is in flux with innovative social platforms, and changes to Google’s algorithm are emerging all the time. The strategies that are successful will depend on the demographics moving into, and within, an agent’s stomping ground.

The most innovative agents will have their fingers on the pulse of their key local target demographics, what motivates them and the communications channels they are using.

And they will be willing to test marketing strategies and take risks. In this ever-changing environment, the best possible property portal imaginable is not really a pure portal, instead it is a collaborative partner that helps agents reach the widest possible, relevant, audience and complements their own marketing strategies.

As mentioned earlier this week on EYE, I firmly take the view that portals should no longer have a stranglehold over agents.

Instead, I believe portals should rather work as a valued business and marketing partner with agents, enabling them to service their clients across the full range of marketing channels rather than simply digital property listings alone.

From a Zoopla perspective, we are increasingly seeking to provide agents with the freshest insights and services to help them start and develop their digital marketing journey, and there’s more to come soon on this front.

Being just a portal risks being dispensable; as a true partner to agents, traditional portals can become so much more.

* Charlie Bryant heads up Zoopla and will now be a regular columnist for EYE

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24 Comments

  1. GeorgeOrwell

    * Charlie Bryant heads up Zoopla and will now be a regular columnist for EYE

    How do I switch off the PIE filtering content feature?

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    1. Bless You

      Be more interested to know his views on allowing fake pay any way agents on the site. Zoopla are part of the acceptance culture that is allowing our industry to be destroyed.

      Get rid of pay any way and I will leave rightmove for you.

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  2. GeorgeOrwell

    Ah Yes, the “Unsubscribe” link

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  3. AgencyInsider

    No fan of Z or any other portal but at least this guy is apparently being up front and recognising some realities. Which is a bit of a breath of fresh air.

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    1. GeorgeOrwell

      Hard to see beyond the usual PR motivation, however each takes their own view, fair enough. 

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      1. JonnyBanana43

        It’s a sales pitch. 

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  4. smile please

    Contact Charlie or his team if you want a new website or any other clumsy attempt at products he will be trying to sell you in the coming weeks.

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  5. JonnyBanana43

    READ MY LIPS.

    I will never rejoin Zoopla.

    So basically this chap has just launched Zoopla’s digital marketing business to us.

    Zoopla moved away from portals being their core business when OTM introduced the “two portal rule” thousands of agents left. The share price took a tumble and has only recovered after ZPG started buying software companies and U SWITCH. This is just another part of that diversification.

    EYE, I’m very disappointed that this chap is getting regular airspace, but perhaps he can respond to some of our comments below?

    Also, little tip for you, Charlie. Telling your portal reps to ring agents pretending to be from their software provider isn’t clever. Phone slammed down. YES, EYE readers Zoopla salesman called me posing as a technician from Expert Agent….. Not clever Charlie.

     

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    1. AJP123

      But you said it was free the other day. Did you say ‘no I dont want free marketing for my clients homes’ before you slammed it down or did you just slam it down all rude when the word Zoopla was mentioned?

       

      You’re still an OTM rep!

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      1. JonnyBanana43

        Yes. Once again you’ve busted me.  I’m Ian’s boyfriend. Shall we go through this again? Are you a Zoopla rep? Or are you a letting agent in Middlesbrough? We know you don’t like OTM. And I’m still waiting for your call…

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        1. AJP123

          Nope I’m the OTM rep.    Shall we go through this again, anything that is zoopla rightmove or PB you’re there singing the virtues of OTM, making false statements like getting £3m in sales because of new and exclusive. How advertising property in london really helps you get twice the rate of any other agent in a city that has 53 other agents. But any other story you dont have an opinion?  It’s like you have an agenda against the 3 biggest otm competitors and nothing else.
           
            I have no issue really with OTM, I simply dont like reps hijacking the posts.

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          1. JonnyBanana43

            You’ve never answered the easiest question. 
            Are you an estate agent? 
            Yes or No. 
            Awaiting your reply. 

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            1. JonnyBanana43

              You must be out doing your “viewings”

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              1. AJP123

                Told you above I’m the OTM rep. 
                 
                You answer my question, were you rude when you slammed the phone or did you listen to the offer, seen as you said it was free?

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                1. ARC

                  He must be out doing his “viewings”!!

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  6. padymagic

    Dear Mr Bryant

    Good to read your article, I just cant remember (I am properly old) how we managed before t’internet.

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  7. MD85

    Next Charlie will be telling us that we don’t need their software either (and we don’t lol) but the reason we’re getting all these regular Zoopla posts is that for years they never advertised on PIE and now they do… They spend the money, they get the air time. It’s just a shame that with all their resources they can’t make them useful or at all relevant. It tells you everything really, “were listening to our customers” we here, they respond with this nonsense editorial. The last one was telling us when leads are most viewed! We know that thanks, we’ve been using portals for years, no revelation for us, shock they’ve only just realised themselves.

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    1. Nick Salmon, M.D. Property Industry Eye

      MD85 – No company or individual can purchase editorial space in the news column of EYE. Our editorial stands entirely separate from advertising and is not influenced by it. 

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  8. ARC

    The best agents have and always will use the old art of talking to people, be that face to face or on the phone. That will never change.

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    1. Woodentop

      Absolutely, lost count of the number of sales made and saved from using the dog and bone. The web is nothing more than reactive advertising … waiting for others to do something and has its place but far too many people believe its the only way and all they need to do …. just look at all the on-line only agents failures.

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  9. Knowitall

    In other news….

     

    Kenny Bruce has left PB!!!

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    1. Woodentop

      and share price is falling, so far today dropped to 99p

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      1. J1

        98p

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  10. J1

    Charlie

    I have not heard from your company in over two years

    I have no other supplier that offers such shoddy service.  Oh hang on; apart from Rightmove.

    You are all the same; take the cash and give little other than a digital shop window.  A necessary evil.

    Welcome to PIE

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