Property portals have completely changed the process of buying, selling, renting and letting property over the last few years. In this post we’ll try to decide which is the best property portal in the business.
First of all, what exactly is a property portal? Property portals aren’t estate agents as such. A property portal is essentially a listing site for houses for sale and houses to let. Estate and letting agents list their properties on the property portals and buyers and tenants can search for houses and flats to buy or rent.
Property portals have proved to be big disruptors in the sales and letting market and have caused a dramatic change in the way people buy, sell, rent and let property. Research by one property portal Zoopla claims that 77% of consumers now use property portals to carry out property searches. So, while the portals haven’t completely taken over just yet, that means that estate and letting agents pretty much have to use portals (and pay to use the portals) if they want to sell and let the properties they have on their books.
So what are the main property portals and which is the best one? Here we’ll look at each of the largest property portals:
Rightmove dates back to 2000 when it was set up by several large estate agency groups. It claims to be the UK’s number one property portal and the UK’s largest property marketplace. Rightmove say that they have over a million property listings and 141 million visits to their website every month.
Zoopla was founded in 2007. Zoopla is part of a group that owns a number of digital brands including the separate portal Prime Location and property data and software brands.
Zoopla says its goal is to become the UK’s premier property destination for consumers and the preferred partner for real estate professionals. Zoopla says it has over a million property listings, around 55 million website visits per month and covers 70% of UK residential listings.
On The Market
OnTheMarket is a portal that is majority-owned by estate and lettings agents and was launched in 2015. It says that it is one of the largest portals in the UK residential property market in terms of visitor traffic. OnTheMarket says it has 237 million annual website visits and is used by around 12,000 agent branches. OnTheMarket says that it offers full functionality and value-adding services to agents at sustainably low pricing.
Boomin is a new arrival to the portal's business. It’s so new, that it isn’t even open for business yet, so probably shouldn’t be in this list! But all the signs suggest Booming could become one of the biggest property portals in future.
Boomin says it will transform the property market for everyone. It says it will be a powerful new property site that provides a much richer search experience for customers, a better long term relationship between agents and customers, and fair and transparent fees that will create more revenue for agents than they pay Boomin.
Boomin has no property listings at the time of writing although it has recruited a number of large estate agency brands as founder members. Boomin may well launch sometime in 2021.
Here’s one of our recent blogs posts which looks at What Booming Will Mean For The Property Business .
So which is the best property portal? It’s probably fair to say that in terms of footfall through the door Rightmove is the biggest property portal. But biggest is not always best. Which is the best property portal probably depends on who and where you are in the sales, buying, letting or renting market.
Which is the best portal for agents? This is the million pound question when it comes to portals! Agents have mixed opinions on property portals and, more than likely, many agents wish they didn’t need to use them at all. Which is best probably depends on which portal brings an agent the most leads at the most cost effective price.
Which is the best portal for buyers or renters? Property portals can make things a little tricky for those searching for a property. Not every property is on every portal, so you can’t rely on using just one portal. If you’re looking for a property to buy or rent the best approach is to try them all, and find out which portal has more of the properties that might suit you in the area you want to buy or rent.
Which is the best portal for sellers or landlords? Sellers and landlords can’t list directly on these property portals themselves, only through an agent. So if you’re selling or letting a property you’ll want to choose the best agent to sell or let your property. And that probably is the one who can sell or let it fastest at the best price – regardless of what property portal your property might eventually be listed on.
So, in many ways, if you’re a seller looking for a buyer or landlord looking for a tenant it is kind of irrelevant which property portal is best!