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The Ultimate Guide to Property Portals

July 19, 2014 by Michael Shelley

Property portals are a pretty big deal in the world of bricks and mortar. A whopping 98% of people begin their home search online, which typically means heading to a portal to find a new home. Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket – these are all primary property portals people use to find their next place.

Whether you're a first-time buyer, moving to your next home, or looking for an investment, there's a high chance that your property search will start on the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla. But how do they work?

If you're new to the world of buying and selling homes, you may have a few questions about online property portals. In this guide, we're bringing you the lowdown on everything you need to know with our ultimate guide to property portals.

Major property portals, explained

When you instruct an agent, you'll want to make sure they do their utmost to advertise the property. Every agent has their own tactics and methods for finding buyers, but they all share one thing in common: property portals.

A property portal hosts properties advertised by estate and letting agents, for sale and for rent. As a property searcher, you head to the portal and input the area that you want to live in. Once you've found a property that you're interested in, you'll likely fire-off an enquiry.

That enquiry then goes to the agent who is advertising the property, and they will contact you to arrange a viewing. There are many different portals where you can advertise your property, meaning vendors have plenty of options for increasing their home's exposure.

Others include:

The primary portals are Rightmove and Zoopla. Rightmove, for example, is one of the most popular websites in the UK – and that includes every type of site going. More than 12 million people search for a home on Rightmove every day. While Zoopla is also a huge draw and gets 50 million property searchers a month.

How to sell your home on Zoopla

Zoopla is the UK's second-largest property website, with the majority of estate and letting agents using it for advertising their stock (the properties they have on their books). It currently has just under one million properties listed.

You will need an estate agent to advertise on Zoopla, as individual vendors can't add properties themselves. Advertising on Zoopla is usually included in the estate agent package and won't cost you extra.

The portal offers a range of search functions that let home buyers narrow down their property search. That means an estate agent should highlight key features if you think your home has something that seems particularly appealing, such as a balcony, fireplace or garage.

Read our official guide: "How to sell your home on Zoopla".

How to sell your home on Rightmove

Like Zoopla, you can only sell your home on Rightmove if you instruct an estate agent. Rightmove is the UK's largest and most popular property website and claims to advertise around 1.1 million homes. It's the best place to advertise the sale of your property.

Rightmove is the true pioneer of digital property sales. Launching in the year 2000, Rightmove has grown to become one of the UK's largest brands. Many have argued that it has too much influence over the property market. As things stand, however, it's vital for selling your home.

The portal works much in the same way as Zoopla does and offers extra features that can give your property a boost online. Bonus features (which usually come at a cost) include Rightmove Premium Listing and Rightmove Featured Listing.

Read our guide: How to sell your home on Rightmove

Should you take advantage of a Rightmove Premium Listing

Extra features can help give your property a boost on the sales market. Rightmove's features, such as The Rightmove Premium listing, can increase demand by as much as 25%, and premium-listed homes often sell up to 30 times faster than normal ones.

Benefits of the Premium listing include more images for your listing, access on desktop, tablet and mobile, and a decorated box with an icon that stands out from the regular property adverts. Having more photos, for example, can significantly increase interest from potential buyers.

While most agents include a Rightmove listing for free, a premium one comes at a cost. Expect to pay in the region of £120 for a Premium listing. It might not be for everyone, but if you think increasing demand by 25% is appealing, it's worth exploring the Premium listing option on Rightmove.

Read our guide: Should I take advantage of Rightmove's Premium Listing?

Advertising your home on Rightmove Featured Listing

A Featured Listing on Rightmove is the most significant boost you can give your property. A Featured listing ensures that your property appears first in searches that match its criteria and can double its overall visibility.

With a Featured Listing, you get the same benefits as a Premium listing, plus a styled grey box so that it stands out. For many, the opportunity to increase the exposure of their property by 50% is highly appealing.

Most Featured listings cost around £240 and can act as a smart way to speed up the process of selling your home. You will be guaranteed to have your listing near the top of searches, meaning potential buyers see it before they view other properties.

Read our guide: Advertising your home on Rightmove Featured Listing

How to make the most of your property listing

No matter where you're advertising your property, the listing process is your chance to make a strong first impression. That's why it's crucial to get your property advert right so that it stands out from the crowd.

Having professional photos that highlight your home goes without saying. But the description and key features are also important for attracting interest. Are the rooms spacious? Is there a garden? Does it have charming period features? Is there a garage? These are all key elements that you should include if they feature in your property.

The property description doesn't need to read like prose from Shakespeare at his best, but it should provide accurate and fascinating details of your home. However, there are property description tools that can help you create a compelling property advert.

Read our guide: How to make the most out of your property listing

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