The UK property sales’ and rental industry is changing again. While over 80% of people still choosing to use traditional, High Street Estate Agents to manage the process, the introduction of web-based portals over the last fifteen years have changed the game with expansive selections of properties now instantly searchable via downloadable mobile web portals and applications. This search process looks set to change again, with The House Shop offering a free of charge, ‘classified’ listings service. While the Brighton property market is enjoying a growing amount of first-time buyers – usually in the purchase of flats, the city also enjoys a large rental sector. Trends of average property prices are on the rise, in some cases rivalling the ‘London Premium’.
Last year most property sales in Brighton involved flats which sold for on average £271,424. Properties in a terraced street went for an average price of £464,001, while semi-detached properties fetched approximately £388,549.
Nick Marr, founder of The House Shop explains how the launch of his free-to-advertise properties comparison site is inclusive to all, describing how the branding and design of this innovative portal keeps up-to-date with the latest, technological online trends.
What Are Your Core Values?
Do You Analyse “Trends” In The Rental And Ownership Markets?
“We are constantly monitoring and analysing the latest data and research on sales and rental markets in the UK as this information is critically important for our business. House price indexes and rental indexes offer a rare insight into the general tone of the market and can help us get a sense of what are clients are thinking and feeling.
As well as helping to shape our business model, this kind of information offers great opportunities for our PR activity and allows us to maintain a solid presence in national press by offering our unique insight on the latest market trends”.
How Do You Keep Abreast Of What The Potential Homeowners In 2017 Are Looking For?
“Just like many other property-related companies we are constantly keeping an eye on the market and keeping up to date with the latest property news. We also regularly commission surveys to ask potential buyers, tenants, sellers and landlords what they are looking for, what their concerns are, and what more we could do to meet their needs”.
How Important Is Engaging With Your Online Audience To Your Business?
“As an online business, engaging with our online community is absolutely essential. We have a dedicated social media following and a comprehensive blog where we regularly publish posts on the latest property news, home décor and interior design stories, practical tips and advice – and of course the odd fun, silly post to lighten the mood!
We know that the majority of our audience view our site and view our content on smart phones and tablets, so we have put a lot of effort into making sure that The House Shop is easily accessible on any device, allowing our customers to engage with us no matter where they are.
We also work within the accessible housing market and we regularly collaborate with other disability-focused blogs and online communities to share advice and start discussions about disability and housing”.
Do You Use Any Interactive Or Video Content To Engage With Your Online Audience?
“We find that video content performs much better than static or pure-text content when it comes to user engagement, so we try to use videos to get our message across wherever possible.
The only problem with this is that video production can be extremely time-consuming and costly, so we have had to come up with innovative ways to create more interactive content. For example, we promote all our private seller/landlord properties on our social media accounts – but posting a single image and a description didn’t seem to get the levels of engagement we were hoping for. However, we then started creating animated GIFs for each of our listings, which gives us the benefit of engaging visual content, without the hassle of full scale video production”.
Where Will You Be Looking To Take Your Business In The Future?
“As a relatively new company (TheHouseShop.com launched in March 2015), our main aims for the future are to expand our user-base and to encourage more and more people to explore the DIY route to selling or letting property.
Over the next year we will be focusing heavily on the services we offer for private landlords, and we hope to be THE place to find and advertise private rental properties.
Many homeowners don’t realise that they don’t have to hand over a hefty commission fee to their local High Street agent to successfully sell or let their property, and we want to help as many people as possible do it themselves and take back control of the process”.