Property companies can do more to engage with online customers

Property companies can do more to engage with online customers

Giosg, which helps clients do better business by engaging more successfully with their online visitors, analysed data from around 2.8 million visitors to UK property companies’ websites.

 As well as delivering raw data, it also suggests that companies could do more to be in synch with the needs and demands of their online visitors.
Giosg already works with eight property companies including Knight Frank, Connells and Savills, and analysed the visits of 2,710,592 individuals looking for properties across these eight websites in a period of one month (May 2017). The busiest company website accounted for over 40% of all these visitors. Follow on rankings included:

o   2nd:  38.4%
o   3rd: 22.4%
o   4th: 18.8%
o   5th: 14.4%
o   6th: 5.69%
o   7th: 1.32%
o   8th: 0.08%
Ville Rissanen, CEO at Giosg, had this to say: “What’s interesting, is that once visitors arrive at the estate agent’s website, more often than not via a click through from a property portal site such as Zoopla, they are very loyal to that estate agent’s website. Just 4.6% of the visitors we monitored go on to browse other estate agents’ websites."

On average, visitors view 8.8 pages during a browsing session, although results vary between the best performing site which generated 14.9 page views per visit and the worst with only 2.8. This demonstrates that the best site is performing more than four times better than the worst.
Rissanen continues: “Implementing live chat can be a timely and effective solution as it gives visitors a channel to ask for help with navigation and to find what they are looking for. It's also a popular route with estate agencies who are looking to engage more with their visitors to gain stronger insights into what they want and which aspects of the customer experience could be improved”  
Property companies have most online visitors during the working week between 6am and 7pm, although their chat operators (the average is three per company on a weekday, although the range is from one to 15) are most online between 9am and 6pm.  Rissanen comments, “This means there are three hours a day which accounts for 720,000 unique visitors and indicates that a significant amount of potential additional business is currently just ‘walking away’”.
Chat conversations, which have become an increasingly common feature on property websites - combined the eight property companies have over 1,000 chat conversations per month - were about:

· Booking a valuation, 30%
· Property enquiry, 28%
· General enquiry, 20%
· Technical issues and site content, 5%
· Branch contact, 2%
· Recruitment, 1%
· Other, 14%
Weekend online visits accounted for approximately 850,000 visitors in the month.  Whilst weekend visits fall (perhaps because people are actually out visiting properties) by 30% on Saturdays and 34% on Sundays, the number of chat operators ‘on call’ drops by an even bigger 51% and 69% respectively, and by 73% for one of the companies.  Five out of the eight companies have no one on chat duty on Sundays.
Rissanen says: “Property companies have been one of the early adopters of online chat but there is more that can be done, watching potential customers’ ever-changing habits and actions.

We know that today’s consumers expect to get a response from property companies around the clock, not just between the hours that most customer service representatives are in the office. To ensure there are no ‘black holes’ in the communication flow when teams are enjoying a well-deserved rest, our clients such as Connells Group, whom we work with to deliver new revenue sources from its websites and to improve online customer service experience, have implemented our Giosg semi-automated instant messaging service.

This targets their website visitors at the optimum point in their online journey, regardless of whether that happens to be at 10am or 10pm. This has resulted in a more than 20% increase in the number of property valuations booked through Connells websites.”

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Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 09 Dec 2017

Linking professionalism to limited company borrowing is a flawed concept. Despite S24 etc., limited companies are the most tax inefficient way of running a property business and leave borrowers seriously...

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

It's normal. If you plan to buy a house in one of the most beautiful spots in the country you should pay a high price.

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

I think that the situation will be the same at December.

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Scott Garnet
Scott Garnet 06 Nov 2017

If you have a patio or a porch it is important to make sure that any connecting doors are secured. Good advice for sliding glass doors is replacing the panels with storm resistant glass and getting heavier...

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richardrawlings 01 Nov 2017

What has not been mentioned here is the effect of not only higher interest payments, but also that these payments are less likely to be offsettable as a business cost due to the scaling back of mortgage...

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Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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