There is traditionally a post-Christmas boom in housing activity, hitting a peak in February and March as buyers and sellers seek to push deals over the line.
And, if it’s anything like last year, the middle of February will be the time when things really ramp up. Rightmove, the biggest portal in the UK, recently revealed its busiest date of 2018 – with February 19 winning out.
With this coming February set to be just as busy – even with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit – it’s a good idea for agents to target new sellers now so you can help to get their homes ready for the uplift in interest to come.
It’s well known that most people now start their search for property online, and the figures back this up.
Rightmove generates an astonishing amount of page views throughout the year, with people turning to the property website in their droves to hunt for their dream home.
On February 19 2018, page views to the site surpassed 40 million. Meanwhile, Rightmove’s assessment of 2018 as a whole revealed that its busiest day of each week was a Tuesday and the busiest time of the day to search for properties was 8pm – typically the time of day when people have got home from work, sorted dinner and putting kids to bed, and have time to themselves to deal with life admin such as looking for a new (or possibly first) home.
By contrast, big national events (which in 2018 included key England World Cup matches and the Royal Wedding) tend to lead to a noticeable dip in traffic as people’s attentions are focused elsewhere.
In recent years, the festive season – and in particular the period of time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day – has become a hotbed for activity on the portals. And Christmas 2018 was no different, with Rightmove tweeting that it experienced more than 25 million views on Boxing Day, while Zoopla also announced that it enjoyed peak viewing at around 9pm on the evening of December 26.
Outside of London, Rightmove revealed that Bristol was the most searched-for destination. The city, which has become particularly popular in recent years among hip young professionals priced out of London, benefits from house prices which are cheaper than the capital and other parts of the South East.
What’s more, while it may have developed a reputation in recent years for being a trendy, artsy, eco-friendly and alternative hub for creatives, it’s also home to one of the major financial hubs outside of London and tends to score highly in quality of life surveys.
York, meanwhile, was the second most searched-for place outside of the capital, with Manchester in third. Glasgow, an increasingly popular and desirable location thanks to significant regeneration and a flourishing cultural scene, motored from outside the top 10 in 2017 to the fourth most searched-for area for buyers last year.
Whichever location you happen to operate in, though, there is a good chance that interest in properties and activity will both increase in the next couple of months. As a result, sellers need to list their properties and be ready to sell to ensure they don’t miss the boat or lose out to rival sellers.
That’s where you can help, using your experience, local knowledge and expertise to list homes, advertise and market them effectively, set fair and realistic asking prices, and ensure as many eyes are on your clients’ properties as possible.
To help your sellers take advantage of the increased numbers of eyes on their property at this time of the year, it’s vital that all your processes are in fine working order, bouncing off each other seamlessly to give your customers the best possible experience.
With browsing for properties online now so commonplace, your website needs to look the part – smart, attractive, user-friendly and interactive – and also needs to integrate effortlessly with the major portals and the main social media platforms.
An all-in-one software system which allows you to manage all aspects of your business, at the click of a button, from anywhere in the world, will also be vital to allow you to give your clients maximum attention and the best customer service.
If you can be safe in the knowledge that all parts of your business – from your staff and office to your accounting, website and social media presence – are working as they should be, it gives you more time to focus on the bread and butter of agency.
Our package also includes client portals, which enable you to give your customers 24/7 access to all the vital information they need.
For sellers, this customer portal allows them to track the progress of their property, with things like viewing feedback, sales progression and live offers. You can also improve your chances of closing deals online 24/7 with SMS and email property alerts and the ability to book real-time diary appointments.
To find out what Gnomen can do for you, you can call 0208 123 9019 or book a free demo here.