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Portals remain ‘valuable lead generators’, says housebuilders

With more househunters than ever now searching for their next home typically looking online on one of the major property portals, it is not just crucial that estate agent maintain an online presence that goes beyond simply listing properties on their own website. Senior housebuilders have concluded that they should be listing homes on the portals too.

A recent gathering of senior professionals from the UK new home building industry raised a healthy debate about the future of portals and online content accessibility for new homes available to consumers.

Thirteen senior figures, representing 80 per cent of new homes currently being developed or in the pipeline in the UK and with an estimated portfolio value of £1 billion, concluded that portals are still valuable lead generators. It was agreed that portals serve as a critical central resource of whole market offerings in one place for consumers who are not necessarily brand loyal when it comes to a new home purchase.

The London Lunch was hosted at The Ivy by New Home Finder and facilitated by Dave Bexon (left), Group Sales and Marketing Director of Redrow Homes. It was attended by Redrow Homes, Bovis, Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Linden, Kier Living, Miller and Strata with representation also from residential agent Carter Jonas and media firms Space and Time and Amplifi.

Bexon commented, “I enjoyed the debate enormously and in particular the opportunity to exchange ideas with old friends and peers across the industry.  Portals are old school now but do have a place. The future will undoubtedly be about creating and sharing in addition to seeking and finding and New Home Finder should be applauded in opening the debate and our minds to the possibilities.”

Martin Hoyle, CEO of New Home Finder, said, “The discussion gave us an extremely valuable insight into the thoughts and visions of highly accomplished marketeers in the new housebuilding industry. New Home Finder has been borne out of demand for a dedicated new homes portal that can deliver tangible results for both the developer and consumer and, as we roll out the proposition to a national platform, we must take heed of what the industry experts are predicting.”

When it comes to listing new homes online, Zoopla is currently the number one portal in the UK for national consumer brand awareness, according to a new study by Harris Interactive, on behalf of the Zoopla Property Group (ZPG).

The research, conducted in mid-October by questioning thousands of  consumers across the UK, revealed that Zoopla’s national spontaneous brand awareness amongst all adults stood at 38 per cent versus 35 per cent for Rightmove and 2 per cent for OnTheMarket.

 

“The levels of national awareness of the leading portals as household brands known by over three quarters of all UK adults is the result of many years and hundreds of millions of pounds of marketing investment,” said Lawrence Hall of ZPG (right).

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