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Commercial Property Portals lag behind Residential online

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When it comes to searching for a new home most people are aware of the various offerings of the internet.  The residential property portals such as RightMove, Primelocation, Fish4Homes have, as the recent OFT (Office of Fair Trading) report says ‘changed the face of (residential) property search’

It could not be easier for users to search for residential properties and rich features from 360 degree tours to virtual refurbishment options add to the experience.  Residential property portals are used all through the market from high-value sales to low-value lettings.  However, the commercial market has not been so receptive to online developments. There are portals that are available to those looking for commercial property, however, they are significantly less advanced than their residential counterparts.

Quartermile One in Edinburgh uses a website to promote the site

EGPropertyLink, NovaLoca and Focus are the market leaders, but compared to the residential property portals only provide the most basic of information such as photos, maps, and property description. The only steps that have really gone beyond these are individual property websites such as Quarter Mile One in Edinburgh.

But the use of the internet by the commercial property market has and continues to lag behind that of the residential market.  The reasons for this include the differing liquidity of the respective markets.  In the case of residential lettings, properties will sometimes be on the market for only a matter of days whilst it is not uncommon for commercial properties to be on the market for many months or even years. It is therefore more suitable to make use of more permanent advertising mediums as they are less likely to date.

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 extrensive background in commercial property.

LinkedIn – Tim Denny

Twitter – @tim_denny

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One response to “Commercial Property Portals lag behind Residential online”

  1. Miranda Munn says:

    If the information available for commercial property does not seem as extensive as for residential this may not be the fault of the portals. Certainly includes virtual tours, videos, multiple images & unlimited documents, but ONLY if the agent chooses to include them (and if the images/tours etc. are available).

    In fact I would argue that the functionality of NovaLoca would be at least as good as many of the residential portals with multiple property search maps, birds eye imagery, streetview imagery, search alerts etc. NovaLoca even allows agents to embed mapping functionality in their own site. We have also worked really hard on site useability to make sure that the experience is as easy as possible with the minimum registration requirements and fewest clicks to get to where you want.

    We would love agents to make their listings appear ‘more advanced’ but the reason they don’t is not necessarily the fault of the portals. In fact, we are grateful for this article for raising the importance of making listings as complete and engaging for a potential occupier as possible.

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