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digital


TOP LEFT Dean Markall TOP RIGHT Mark Flynn LEFT Geoff Fricker RIGHT Dan Hare


for those smaller clients who struggle with resource in this area, we have a dedicated customer service team,” added Fricker. “This year has also seen a large increase in the use of email campaign marketing to support national advertising campaigns, or to promote individual developments.” Homebuyers are reported to spend


regionally focused site. Mark Flynn of Radarhomes said:


“The agents collectively own the majority shareholding so they have input into how it’s run and the charges. We now have about 600 agent owners who have the option of buying up to five per cent of the shares in the site.” The fledgling portal has a technical


team working full-time on SEO and Flynn hopes in the future that developers will also see its benefits. Rightmove accepts there is competition: “We need to constantly improve and it’s not about being complacent,” said Geoff Fricker, head


96| July 2011 showhouse


of corporate relations. “We’re working on personal relationships and business partnerships with our clients as everything else flows from that. There’s an option to automate everything but we prefer to know our customer.” Although new homes advertised by developers make up only around two per cent of its listings, Rightmove is targeting this sector with the introduction of Development pages, which allow developers to promote their sites as a whole rather than simply listing properties. “The closer we work with the developer the better they benefit and


53 minutes on Rightmove, although that includes people dreaming of what they could buy if only they could get a mortgage and others simply researching the market. But by reviewing developers’ databases to spot matches, they have also identified a hidden market of people who browse online but do not register before going straight to site. “All the portals clam up and never publish the number of leads required per property to get a sale,” says Dan Hare of The Property Academy. “Rightmove is horrendously expensive, but it’s still a given. It’s all the extras which count now and although these generate increased activity it’s hard to know what works without trying them.” Some agents make a feature of appearing on all the portals to gain new instructions, but housebuilders wanting buyers need portals that understand the new homes industry. Smaller developers have to spend


their budgets in a very targeted manner. Dean Markall, sales and marketing director at Hillreed Homes, said: “You can’t do everything, so we’re bringing it back to a core and I’m happy with the balance we’ve reached. Our website was re-done in June with


a clearer structure and we’ve looked at the right keywords and testimonials for the SEO rankings.” The importance of portals varies according to the development type, price and location. “I’ve been really disappointed with the responses of some internet enquiries, who are vaguely looking across several counties. The majority of our buyers retiring are not on digital so I would never come away from local papers and periodicals. You can’t just cut yourself off by going down one particular route,” added Markall. “If people have gone to the trouble of buying the local paper or spoken to an agent they’ve put more effort in and are often more genuine. They’ve done a bit more research than just a casual click of the mouse.” The property portals chasing the new homes market will need to remember it’s not volume of leads developers want, it’s just the right buyer at the right time. That’s all.


sh CONTACTS


Whathouse.co.uk Smartnewhomes.com Barratthomes.co.uk Completemediagroup.co.uk Zoopla.co.uk Visitorfeedback.co.uk Radarhomes.co.uk Rightmove.co.uk Propertyacademy.co.uk Hillreed.co.uk


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