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Broadband speed will affect your house saleability

by Andrew Potter

In the UK today, according to the Office of National Statistics, 85 percent of the population are regular internet users. With advances in internet technology, individuals and businesses alike are becoming increasingly more reliant on having instant access to high speed broadband.

“69 percent of UK internet users would be put off from purchasing a home if it did not have a high speed internet connection”

How much of a Factor is Broadband Speed in today’s Property Market?

There are all sorts of factors that a buyer will take into account when choosing a property. Typical factors buyers have always taken into consideration when choosing a location to buy a property are distances from key transport links such as the train or tube station, the quality of local schools for those that are parents, the crime rate compared to the neighbouring towns and so forth.

So how much does broadband speed play a part in determining the price buyers are prepared to pay when you come to sell your property ?

A recent survey by ISPreview.co.uk found that buyers would be prepared to pay more for homes that have a fast broadband connection. The survey discovered that 69 percent of UK internet users would be put off from purchasing a home if it did not have a high speed internet connection. Furthermore, 74% percent of people surveyed considered having access to broadband to be of ‘critical importance’ which shows the growing demand and dependability on broadband in modern times.

How is Broadband Speed reflected in today’s Housing Market?

In March this year, Rightmove, the UK’s number one property portal announced that it would be teaming up with BT to list the internet speeds of all the properties listed on its website later this year. Broadband speed will be listed alongside other key information such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, reception rooms and room size dimensions demonstrating its importance in today’s property market.

It is expected that other major property portals such as Zoopla, Find a Property and Prime Location will follow suit as the demand for high speed broadband connectivity continues to play a key role in the considerations when searching for a new home.

How much does Broadband Speed Vary across the UK?

Currently broadband speed does vary considerably across the UK which is ultimately why is becoming a determining factor in many cases when choosing where to purchase a property. It has been found that in some rural areas internet connection speed is so slow it can take up to 45 minutes to download a music albums compared to a matter a seconds in city locations. It is clear then for people who are very depend on being able to have access to a fast broadband connection at home, that such rural areas where this is not available would may well be excluded by this latest search criteria.

Broadband speed inequality is set to reduce in the future. The UK Government has committed to spending £830 million of public money to ensure that superfast broadband connection is available to every community.  However, for the time being broadband connectivity speed it is an important factor that home buyers are taking in serious consideration and therefore can affect the saleability of your property.

Author Biography

Andrew Potter has worked in the property and finance industry for the last ten years and regularly contributes his ideas and opinions to the online arena. Andrew has recently launched My Online Estate Agent which is one of the UK’s fastest growing online estate agents and offers all the online tools and guides required to successfully sell or let your property.

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The best Online Estate Agent?

by James Cole

Earlier in the year we published How to choose an Estate Agent advising home sellers what to look for in an Estate Agent, and it turned out to be a very popular article.   A large part of this decision inevitably comes down to the personality and perceived ability of the Estate Agent – as we all know people generally buy from people they like – or so they say.

However, what about the new breed of Online Estate Agents?  You don’t really get to meet them before you take your choice, and what exactly is an Online Estate Agent anyway?  What makes them any different from any other Estate Agent?

Comparison of Online Estate Agents

We decided to do a bit of research, and so today published our Online Estate Agent Comparison from which we’ve taken the above league table of Online Estate Agents’ Websites based on a ‘WebsiteGrader’ score (this is explained in the full report).

This league table indicates the quality of the online estate agents’ websites based on a raft of factors explained in our report (Online Estate Agent Comparison 2010).

But what are the important factors for home sellers thinking about marketing their home online withan Online Estate Agent instead of a High Street Agent?

Our suggestions are:

- How established (proven) is the company behind the website?

- Are they a member of the industry Ombudsman scheme?

- Value for money – not just price, but what is included?

- How good is their website, how many clients do they have already?

- What level of service can you expect?

But the last question, and arguably most important, is the hardest to judge without meeting someone face to face and  is one of the most difficult hurdles for online estate agents to overcome, in convincing customer that they are trustworthy, helpful and efficient – that there are real people – professionals behind the website.

Download the full report here

Sell your house for £399

 
 

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Online Marketing for Estate Agents: Pay per Click

by admin

Estate Agency is changing.  The world is changing.  No matter what your stance or perspective you can’t disagree with this basic premise.

However for those at the forefront of the online migration the pace may seem faster than to those Estate Agents whose business model has remained more or less the same for the last 10 years.  For those bringing up the rear the greatest changes will be the use of an online property portal to reach buyers – probably Rightmove and no other – and the use of email instead of fax and post.

I sat in an Estate Agent’s office a few months ago and asked what a secretary was doing – she was entering property details in triplicate – to three seperate systems.  It doesn’t take A level maths to work out that a 66% time saving could be made by the introduction of a smarter system.

One of the simplest online advertising tools for an Estate Agent that doesn’t want to rely solely on Rightmove for it’s online marketing is Pay Per Click.

Essentially Pay Per Click (PPC) is a form of online advertising where you set a budget of say £20/day and your advert is displayed all over the internet – normally alongside search results (for example in Google) and on other websites that relate to your subject.  When a user clicks on your advert and is redirected to your website, you pay for that click.  Hence the name Pay Per Click.

Google Adsense for Estate agents screenshot

Google Pay Per click advertising is displayed above and beside 'natural' search results in a Google search

The most favoured system is Google Adwords – a very clever system which a new user could set up and use in just a few hours, but that has the tools and features that an advanced user requires.

In our next article in this series we’ll show you how to set up a basic Google Adwords Pay Per Click online advertising campaign in a few simple steps.

Sign up below to recieve the next article by email.

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Direct marketing approach from Tesco Estate Agency business isold.com

by admin

Having sold a house recently it was interesting to see the kind of direct marketing that a For Sale sign attracts – having erected both a private For Sale sign and one from The Best Estate Agent in Reading.

Having displayed a mobile number on the Private Board, the first approach was by text message:

We would like to make you a FREE cash offer for your property.  If you are interested please visit (website)

And there was me expecting to pay for offers from people who’d never been inside the house!

Most of the Estate Agents who valued the property but that I didn’t use wrote often to remind me that they were still there, should I need their assistance.  A good bunch in general and I could have selected any one of 3 that I liked (see my previous article on how to choose the best estate agent) so I didn’t mind at all hearing from them.

The approach that intrigued me the most was a postcard from ‘isold.com’, the ‘Online Estate Agency’ (my words), set up as a partnership between Spicerhaart and Tesco this spring.

isold.com estate agents postcard direct marketing

As you can see the card was posted and addressed to’The Homeowner’ and printed and signed with a handwriting font to give the personal touch.

This week, the house having been under offer for the past three, I found another letter on the mat, this time in an envelope but still addressed to the homeowner.

isold are using direct marketing to win business

Actually this is quite a strong proposition from spicerhaart, and the approach gives us some insight into isold’s intentions.  I’ve said for a while that I believe what I term ‘online estate agency’ will be the biggest growth area in Estate Agency and will take more business from ‘traditional’ high street agencies than the For Sale by Owner model offered by websites such as Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo.  Not that the for Sale by Owner model is flawed, just that many people, in my experience, are not ready to fully ‘go it alone’ even if they question the traditional method.

The winning proposition that Online Estate Agency offers is the low fees, due to the lack of High Street office, but with the comfort of having a professional Valuer/ Negotiator to value the house, draw up floor plans and support you through the process.  That and the ability to put your advert on the Estate Agent only portals like Rightmove and Primelocation – which do not accept listings from individuals or private property sales websites.

Looking at the isold.com website they have launched in only three UK cities, Reading, Bristol and York.  Since the announcement in spring 2010 the business has received little media coverage however and most articles refer to Tesco’s last attempt at entering the property market (in 2007) which ended when Agents and Portals refused to list their adverts with the Supermarket and the business was challenged by the OFT on whether they had become an Estate Agent.

Consumer reactions to the latest offering  (such as those posted under this York Press article) vary from a bit of estate agent bashing and hopes for reduced selling fees to concerns over Tesco’s apparant monopoly over everything.

The original Tesco proposition was sold to Spicerhaart in 2007, who now seem to be running the business (isold.com is registered at the spicerhaart HQ in Colchester) and despite the prominent Tesco branding on direct marketing and the isold.com website I challenge you to find the isold page on Tesco.com without using google.

So this does seem to be a softly softly approach this time around, perhaps looking to build franchises in areas that are void of a Spicerhaart office. One assumes that the Tesco involvement is mainly the use of the brand and direct marketing to Clubcard members.  But we’ll see…

What do you think?  Leave your comments below…

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