Homely.com.au’s focus on user and agent reviews maybe transforming the way people search for property. According to Homely’s National Sales Director, Rocky Bartolotto, “Reviews have always been a factor when people search for homes. Offering collaborated reviews on neighbourhoods and locations provides an invaluable resource to consumers.”
The Homely database reaches over 300,000 people a month and provide insights from all of the parties involved in property transactions; with agents, buyers, sellers and locals all providing input on what it’s really like to live in a specific area.
“Buyers have said to me at auctions that they checked out the street on Homely.com.au to see if there had been a review and where available gave them great insights into the neighbourhood and the people who lived there. This helped them understand the area better before attending the property inspection,” said Bartolotto.
Additionally, with agents looking to engage with consumers, Bartolotto said "that spending time on the site to read people’s reviews and comments offered a tremendous opportunity for the agent to share his local knowledge. When agents get alerts about the suburbs they have subscribed to, they find very valuable questions on Homely that are of interest to a large number of people. The face that agents can now answer questions and be a point of contact for inquiries really adds value to the houses they are trying to sell.”
Bartolotto said that feedback from agents on the new Homely platform was promising, with agents commenting on the sites ability to be able to communicate regularly and develop engaging conversations, ultimately leading to new client relationships.
After a Beta launch in late December, in just over two months there are now more than 2,000 agents using the site, with agent interest growing rapidly. The main benefit agents have mentioned has been the site’s ability to build better relationships with people through an online property portal and of course the ability to list for free. “When you build relationships early on with consumers you demonstrate you are there to assist them for the long haul. It makes you more credible as an agent for when you finally meet face to face, and prevents you from appearing as yet just another agent”