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Digital is the next battleground for estate agencies, says leading supplier

Ben Sellers says social, online advertising and estate agency websites will be key area of competition in housing market.

Nigel Lewis

estate agencies marketing online

More estate agencies are moving their marketing spend away from portals to their own websites and social media, it has been claimed.

Market-leading digital platform supplier Starberry, which was recently acquired by the Guild’s parent company Epropservices, has reported a five-fold increase in spend by agents on digital during the first three months of 2021.

The company’s founder Ben Sellers says this growing trend is driven by estate agencies looking for more cost effectively ways to gain both instructions and sales or lettings leads.

Portal reliant

“Because estate agencies were not focused on their own digital presence in the past, they were heavily reliant on portals to generate leads,” he says.

ben sellers The 54-year-old claims digital advertising is the new shop window and that agents are spending more on their websites.

“We are also seeing agents increase their spend on their communication channels and digital marketing campaigns,” he adds.

His claims are backed up by data published earlier this week by lead qualification platform Homehere, which showed that 39.4% of leads converted into viewings came from agents’ own websites, 35.9% from Rightmove, 19% from Zoopla and 5.7% from OnTheMarket.

“We have been in the digital sector for several decades and have always had to convince agents about the digital transformation we believed was coming, however, now we are inundated with agents who are realising the potential of their own websites and how leads generated from their own digital channels are actually better quality and cost less than portals,” says Sellers.

May 6, 2021

One comment

  1. Totally agree with Ben sellers, portals and CRMS are important but agent websites can generate 50% of revenue, yet most are just like the plate glass windows of agents offices, rather than Amazon front end funnels of client delight. Given also about 65% of the time clients visit agents sites when agents are not trading – outside their core hours and you see why clever agents are having a material advantage. UX is all, brick walls and static displays return minimal gains. In a nation of digital natives, it is madness to be an analogue agency.

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