Helping property listings appear fresh by automatically refreshing the main marketing photo on a portal listing can attract up to 40% more traffic, according to the latest analysis by software provider, REX.
The firm's analysis is backed up by research from Rightmove which suggests listings with great photos can attract up to 93% more leads and a FocalAgent study found that properties marketed with professional photographs sell 24 days quicker on average and achieve a 2% higher asking price.
Not all property listings will be snapped up immediately and the longer a property stays on the market, the less appealing it will appear to buyers.
HomeOwners Alliance research shows that homes sold after 14 days of marketing typically achieve 99.4% of the asking price, slipping to 91% after eight weeks and 90% after 12 weeks. With this in mind, it's crucial that agents do everything they can to engage buyers as quickly as possible in order to get the best results for sellers.
Anton Babkov, CEO of Rex, explains: "Refreshing listings is an important part of the marketing process. Changing images and updating descriptions can have a big impact without reducing the price, which is always a last resort.
"When the market is competitive with lots of new properties hitting the portals every week, older listings can easily get lost and the longer they are online, the less interest they will attract."
"Changing portal listing photos for all properties manually can be time-consuming for busy agents, which is why we've automated the process to help agents get the most out of their listings and be able to focus on dealing with the personal side of a transaction."
'Portal juggling' should be consigned to history
A few years ago, it became apparent that a minority of agents were taking listings off the portals and relisting them to make them appear new. This practice became known as 'portal juggling'.
In the intervening years, The Property Ombudsman, The National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team, RICS, NAEA Propertymark and portals such as Rightmove have all addressed portal juggling.
Rightmove introduced a rule stipulating that properties cannot be relisted as 'new' within 14 weeks of being taken off the portal. Meanwhile, TPO revised its Codes of Practice to acknowledge the practice of agents relisting properties to appear as new and NTSELAT described it as a ‘scam’ which consumers should look out for.
Although relisting properties is not as easy as it once was and appears to be a less widespread practice in 2021, some agents may still be tempted to relist properties they are having trouble selling.
Babkov adds: "Action on portal juggling has been well-received by the industry and has hopefully had a big effect on reducing its prevalence.
"Relisting properties deceives buyers and has a negative impact on the public perception of estate agents, something which is vital to a consumer-facing service industry. With innovations such as Rex's automation of changing property marketing photos, there is no reason why agents should consider relisting properties."
"Subtle changes - which can be automated to save time - can be highly effective and help agents to add value without putting a strain on resources or deceiving consumers."