Zoopla plans to speed up the property buying and selling process with the introduction of its new My Home website, which allows homeowners to view and edit a page dedicated to their property, and track other homes they might want to buy – even if they are not on the market.
Powered by Hometrack, each address in the UK will now have a homeowner hub – that is about 29 million unique portals providing unparalleled insights about every home in the UK.
Zoopla’s CEO, Charlie Bryant, told the Mail on Sunday: “Just over one million people move home every year, but that pales into insignificance compared to the ten million people who are active on property portals every month.
“If we can help equip them with the information they need to turn that aspiration into a transaction, then that will play a massive part in driving this industry forward.”
Homeowners will be able to claim their own “My Home Profile”, subject to validation; a unique dashboard that will aggregate key information relating to the property – from home value to area stats. It will also monitor ‘marketing temperature’, notifying the owner when their home is becoming “hot property” based on buyer demand, with a view to driving market momentum and stimulating greater activity.
Homeowners will be able to update the platform with photos and renovation improvements – assembling all the essential information ahead of putting the property in the market, and more importantly for Zoopla and its agents – providing a reason to keep them engaged with the website year after year, throughout their ownership.
By increasing consumer engagement, Zoopla aims to monitor behaviour patterns to identify “warm prospects” even before many people are aware that they potentially want to move home, “and that is where the new digital prospects in technology kicks in”.
‘The Digital Prospector’ tool aims to make accurate predictions and identify ‘warm’ leads, providing agents with notifications as and when a property could be about to come available for sale or to let, giving them a chance to pitch for an instruction.
Once an agent has been instructed, the vendor’s ‘My Home’ file will be unlocked, making it easier to produce a listing using Zoopla’s ‘listings’ tool kit.
‘My Search’, the consumer search platform, provides users with a bespoke dashboard with real time alerts, search features and a ‘watch list’, allowing them to tag properties they are interested in ‘on and off market’, prioritising the ones they are most interested in, helping to provide agents with high quality applicants.
The ‘Progression Portal’, part of ‘Mission Control’ is the final element in Zoopla’s ‘ecosystem’, allowing the agent, buyers and vendor to interact with one another. The instant status updates provided will allow all parties to track progress and communicate with conveyers and solicitors, with everyone involved in the sale having access to their relevant section on the portal, helping to create a smother process through to completion – at least that is the aim.
Bryant said: “This site will provide encyclopedic knowledge of everything a homeowner, or prospective homeowner, needs to know about the house they own, or would like to buy. We will also let people track properties they are interested in, so they can come back to them time and again, and see what is happening in the neighbourhood.
He added: “Currently it takes around 14 weeks on average in the UK to sell a home,’ Bryant says. ‘We need to speed up this process and in the years to come, My Home, with other Zoopla products such as those enabling faster mortgage underwriting, will play a role in this.”