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Expert opinions, profiles, market trends, debate and the latest news in an ever-changing sector

INDUSTRIAL • RETAIL • RESIDENTIAL Thursday 17th April 2014

THE LISTINGS LIST

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Does your listing provider understand the market?

Online listings may be driven by technology, but it’s vital to be working with a provider who understands your area of the property business. Their level of understanding will influence everything from the functionality of their search engine through to the way they market the listings platform.

How easily can my listing be found?

Remember that most traffic will come to your listing through keyword searches (via Google, Bing etc) or as a result of the listing platform being promoted in the right places online and also having various points of access.

For example, listings on Completely Retail are typically accessible via the actual listing site itself, the website of the leasing agent, the website of the propco owner and also on the Retail Week website.

Having multiple points of access dramatically improves the chance of enhanced traffic.

It’s also useful to be able to group all the available units on a particular scheme or development to minimise the duplication of data and maximise the user experience.

Is the platform’s audience relevant?

It’s no good if your listing is seen by thousands of people if none of them are actually interested in what you’re marketing. Get audience figures and breakdowns from your provider. Similarly, make sure that the platform enables you to tag your listings so that they can best reach the audience you’re looking for. Imagine if you searched for shoes online and a page of hats came up. It’s essential that properties are effectively tagged in a search engine.

How comprehensive are the listings on this platform?
No online platform is going to be 100% comprehensive in terms of the type of property being listed, but users do not like ‘shallow’ listing sites where they are only searching through a few dozen paid-for listings from a small cross-section of property agents.

Sites with more listings attract more traffic and a bigger audience for your property.

How much content can I upload?

Content is king. Don’t skimp on online property information and invest a bit of time entering all the important property details into search engine-friendly text fields. Not only will it make the listing more engaging to users, it will be more likely to rank highly on search engines. You can also add more depth and interest to listings with interactive scheme plans, GOADs, 360-degree photography etc.

The site should also provide the ability for users to download brochures for the property. Users are hungry for information.

How much time is this going to take me?

If you’re in charge of marketing many properties you don’t want to spend your life data inputting on your own website and then your client’s site and then the listings site etc.

A good listing platform should only require one data input which then populates other linked sites (agent, owner etc). Your provider should power your corporate site with an automatic feed from their site, but be aware that some don’t. Get a bespoke feed that works off multiple databases and conforms to your corporate guideline. If you prefer doing deals instead of tapping away at a keyboard, choose your provider carefully.

How will my listings be promoted?

Make sure your provider is driving traffic to your listings. Pay-per-click is the lazy – and expensive –way. Featuring high on the results page of an ‘organic’ search is what you should be looking for.

Find out what your provider is doing to engage with your sector. Are they ‘known’ in the business and what are they doing to raise their profile.

What’s the return on my investment?

Online property listing is part of the marketing mix. If you secure an occupier or a buyer as a consequence of them finding your property online that’s clearly the best indication that the listing platform is working.

However, you should also be receiving from your provider regular user stats about the traffic that’s seeing your listings. You should also make sure that enquiries you get about properties are monitored and quantified. Make sure you ask where people saw the property.

You’ll soon build up a picture of which listings are effective and which are less so, and where the leads are coming from.

The Completely Group own and manage the UK’s fastest growing commercial property listing network for UK retail, office and industrial property.

If you would like to discuss how to effectively market your property online,please contact Dom Millar on 01483 238 920 or dm@completelygroup.com.