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There are literally hundreds of property portals and online options for promoting your latest development, but until recently new homes have been given short shrift from the big property portals focused on estate agents’ listings. Finally their spotlight is turning to new homes with a handful concentrating solely on new. What House? is one of the latest portals to climb the Google rankings, already widely known for the annual What House? Awards, dating back 30 years. Specialising purely in new and affordable homes, the website presents buyers with information uncluttered by millions of second hand and rental properties (whathouse.co.uk is owned and run by Globespan Media, publishers of Show House magazine).


Whathouse.co.uk managing director Joanne Davies-Jones and her team are focused on aligning the portal services closely to developers’ needs. “It’s all very much to do with their CRM systems and quality is much more important than quantity. With developers wanting to track every


single lead, we send leads through to their own CRM systems as well as site sales operations,” said Davies-Jones. New homes portals help promote the industry, explaining terms, like FirstBuy or Affordable Homes, to the buying public and their goal of generating promising leads to gain and retain housebuilders’ custom means objectives are closely aligned. Head of marketing at Smart New Homes, Steve Lees, said: “We are interested in developing high quality at low cost per lead, including delivering referrals to the developer’s own website.” Portals that do not allow this direct link can irritate information- hungry homebuyers. “Developers should include special offers like part-exchange which buyers can use as a search filter and make sure good customer satisfaction scores go on. These things tick a few extra subliminal boxes,” said Lees. “We advocate using strong imagery,


fly-throughs and downloadable brochures. The more you use, the better and just by rotating the main image with others of the development can improve the click through rate by


up to three times.” Whathouse.co.uk has also introduced video, with films costing around the same as an email campaign, which can feature on the site, as well as the developer’s own website. “We want the site to be very visually appealing,” said Davies-Jones. “If you click to play a two minute movie you can actually see the size of the rooms which is so much easier for most people to understand than reading a list of dimensions.” As an accredited news source for the


likes of Google, the What House? ranking and visibility is climbing and taking housebuilders with it. Gary Ennis, southern regional managing director for Barratt, said: “The editorial aspect that Whathouse.co.uk offers is certainly one that adds great value to its online offering. It ranks very highly in the Google news pages and so when we do have customers who search for our developments, they will very often be able to find us in the top couple of new stories, even above the BBC in some cases.”


“The editorial aspect that Whathouse.co. uk offers is certainly one that adds great value to its online offering. It ranks very highly in the Google news pages


94| July 2011 showhouse


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