Online Property Sales
We were delighted to read an article in Property Week on friday about online property marketing referencing The Big Property List:
‘Piggy backing on google…the latest nationwide listings portal’
Read the full Property Week article below or if you’re a subscriber you can also read the Property Week article online.
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions that should answer this question, if it doesn’t or you have further questions then please get in touch.
How do I upload my properties to thebigpropertylist.co.uk?
The property adverts listed on The Big Property List come from Google Maps.
You may have heard that you can now see properties for sale and to rent on Google Maps – well, we take a feed from Google so if your adverts are displayed on Google Maps (and you opt in to ‘re-syndication), they will be displayed on The Big Property List too!
How much does it cost to list my properties on The Big Property List?
Nothing, it’s free. Free to list and free to receive enquiries. We do ask that you link to our website and display our logo on your website to show that your customers that you are marketing their properties on The Big Property List. You can download our logo here. We will shortly be sending out marketing packs with window stickers too – so if you want one please send us your postal address.
Adding property adverts to Google Maps
This can be done manually or by setting up a regular ‘feed’ in the Google Merchant Centre – the file types accepted are tab delimited (text or Excel spreadsheet), RSS and Atom files – these feeds can work in a similar way to the Rightmove feed but are not the same. Your Estate Agent software provider or other partner portals may already be sending your feed to Google Maps, but it’s worth checking the quality of the information they are sending. It is free to submit property adverts to Google Maps.
I’m not very technical, how do I send a feed to Google Maps?
The simplest place to start is to talk to your existing IT support, software vendor or portal about sending your feed to Google Maps – this may be just a click of a button for them. If you do not have this support and would like us to help you set up and manage your feed then we can do this for a fee. If you would like to know more about our feed set-up and optimisation services please get in touch.
Which property portals and software providers already send a feed to Google Maps?
These providers already send a feed to google Maps:
- Web Dadi
- Property Pal
Why do my property adverts show incorrect prices/ have missing information/ few photos or lack detail?
The property adverts at The Big Property List contain information exactly as provided in the ‘feed’ sent to Google Maps. So if the feed lacks a price or contains only a one line description and no photos – this is what will appear in the property advert at The Big Property List.
This is why we recommend a full review of your feed – to get the most out of our free property portal and to maximise the number of enquiries you receive, include as much information in your feed as possible – this means a full description and lots of photos and an uploaded floor plan as a minimum!
If your feed does not contain enough information please get in touch with your IT support/ software provider to discuss it with them.
When I click ‘link to vendor’ on my adverts I don’t get taken to my website – why?
Whoever is submitting your feed to Google Maps (maybe an outside company such as your software provider or another portal) is not using your website address in the feed and may be using their own – so any enquiries and customers may be directed through their website instead of directly to you. You should get in touch with them and request that the links in the feed correspond to the relevant property advert page on your website and that your email address is used as the main contact.
If you have further questions please do not hesitate to ask – we have been overwhelmed with enquiries since our recent launch and I hope you will understand that we will try to respond to everyone as promptly as we can.
In my last article I commented that commercial property portals were a poor relative of their residential property family. However, I would like to clarify that the reason for this is not necessarily the portals themselves, more the fundamentals of economics – supply and demand.
The principle users of these portals are surveyors, many of whom still make great use of traditional networking and are well connected within their respective market places. There is little need for these professionals to view the interactive capabilities of a property on a website when they will frequently be aware of the property having spoken to the agent in the past or attended a property launch there to know of the offering available. In addition the key information on the deals that are on offer will come from communications with the agent marketing the property as the factors that influence such a deal are many and subject to complex negotiations.
Many commercial property deals are done “off market” and no amount of property portal advertising will change this. However, the important point and lesson is with the next generation. There is a growing feeling that the use of the internet in commercial property is improving as that younger generation, who have been exposed to and grown up with the internet, move up to the higher echelons of property companies. As this demand for new technology develops, it is thought that the complexity of that on offer will be also improve and the pricing which is also seen by some as a barrier, will reduce accordingly.
One such example is the laser scanning of buildings in 3D. Such technology allows a fully interactive, virtual, three dimensional property to be explored by the user at will. The detail and level of accuracy is remarkable. However the costs are currently prohibitive and the memory required makes website hosting a near impossible nightmare.
With the possibility of technology that can truly add value to property marketing its adoption by property professionals will improve and this is also true of the use of social media. It is thought that the two go largely hand in hand.
There is nothing wrong with the traditional methods of property transactions but you are either part of the revolution or against it. Those companies and surveyors who do not engage with the new IT platforms could well find themselves left behind by it. The Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook world is here to stay and intelligent use of these mediums could prove highly lucrative in the future. Commercial property will never be at the cutting edge of technology but it cannot avoid the technological developments and those who embrace the potential will reap the rewards.
Author Biography: Tim Denny is a regular contributor to The Inside Edge. He is currently a Commercial Property Asset Manager for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and has an extensive background in commercial property.
LinkedIn – Tim Denny
Twitter – @tim_denny
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.
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.
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Ever since the property industry made its first bold steps online, the possibilities offered have been a gift for sellers and buyers alike. From basic search to widgets, from Google Maps integration to social media engagement, pioneers in the property world have seized upon digital developments to reap the benefits of their “revolutionary” vision. But how much of this has truly been revolutionary?
Every so often, we’re promised a real game-changer, but in almost all cases the changes are superficial and the game seems to stay the same. Recently, there’s been a lot of excitement over both Google and Tesco venturing into the industry. Again, we were led to believe this would herald a new era in online property sales. Again, we were disappointed.
For as long as the big players in the property world (old and new) invest their time and money into window dressing, we will always fail to address the issues that really need our attention: significantly reducing the stress and hassle people experience when buying a home, making the whole process quicker and easier, restoring trust in estate agents, dragging intimidating property auctions into the 21st century, and ending gazumping forever.
These issues cut to the heart of what matters to buyers. They should also make us question how we, as an industry, use the Internet not to simply promote properties but also to close the deal.
This is what I had in mind when I created Click to Purchase – a transactional platform that enables people to buy property online at the click of a button or via real-time auction. There’s no excessive haggling or negotiating. No recurrent visits to the agent’s office. No back room deals after an offer has been placed. As soon as a bid is accepted, the contract is immediately exchanged online. It’s like e-commerce for property.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I was told “no-one will ever buy property online”. But the platform has already been active in the commercial market for several months. During this time, it has generated sales in excess of £15 million and thrived despite the financial squeeze. There is obviously a hunger for this kind of innovation from buyers and I’m now hoping for this success to be shared across the residential market.
Very soon, all estate agents across the UK will have the option to invite their customers to buy via Click to Purchase. Now, I believe this really is something special. A game-changer. Dare I say, revolutionary?
Author Biography: Neil Singer
Neil Singer has worked in the commercial property industry for over 25 years. In recent years he has been inspired by the power of the Internet and its use in business. His passion for applying new technologies to traditional processes led him to create the Click to Purchase platform. Please visit the Click to Purchase website (http://clicktopurchase.com) and follow him on Twitter.