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Estate agent trends worth watching

Monday, 26th November 2012

Categories: Sales Lettings Selling Tips

Author: Peter Barry

Looking to buy or sell your home? Time for you to choose an estate agent. In any area there will be many to choose from, but how can you tell which one will go that extra mile for you? Local knowledge will always be key, but how else can they help you make this crucial choice? The last few years have seen many new trends in the property market, when it comes to choosing your next estate agent make sure they’ve been keeping an eye on the latest and best ways to to market your property and attract new vendors.  

Property Portals
Property portal sites have seen a massive growth in the last few years. Sites like Zoopla, Right Move and Prime Location now dominate the internet when you search for ‘homes in London’ or any other area on Google or other search engines. These sites list property from a range of agents, allowing you to compare houses and prices across the area regardless of who they are listed with.

With 41% of the UK population now in possession of a smart phone, it’s a market that can’t be ignored. If you are hunting for a new home you may want to spend every spare moment checking what’s available, and with the apps now around you can do this on your phone.  Many agents and portal sites now have phone apps that you can download. If they don’t have apps they may have a mobile version of their site. With the apps or mobile version you can browse their properties whenever you have your phone on you.

QR Codes

QR (quick response) codes can be seen on printed material all over the place. They are normally square with black and white patterns, similar to a bar code. If you have a QR reader on your mobile device then you can hover it over the code, and your device will go straight to the relevant page online.  Many estate agents now feature them on their property signs, or in their window displays, so you can see more details on the property instantly.

We’ve all witnessed the growth of social media in recent years, with Facebook now having an astonishing billion users. Many of the big chains have their own pages, but how does this help you, the buyer or seller? Through engaging Facebook content, a good estate agent should be appealing to more people. Facebook is also a place where customers can feedback their opinion, good or bad, so it’s worth checking what’s out there about the agent you are using.

Is your estate agent using Twitter? You can easily follow their tweets and find out if they really are involved in the local community. If they are using it well you should be able to see evidence of conversations with local businesses and  knowledge about the area.  You don’t want them to be tweeting about every property on their books, that’s what their website is for, but this is a good place to find out if they really are the local experts they claim to be.

Guest blog by Rachel O’Riordan on behalf of Paramount Properties, estate and letting agents covering the West Hampstead area

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