Property portals clog up our inboxes and news feeds with so many reports around every aspect of real estate that we decided a few months back to start reviewing some of them to highlight the best and worst of the portals’ use of data in their marketing efforts and the content they put out.
Back at the end of October we looked at innovation from ImmoScout and Bayut, SeLoger’s “if you write it they will come” approach, and OpenBrix’s British street naming conventions. Plenty of time has passed since then and we have seen dozens of portal housing reports; some interesting, others not so much…
Funda: Like many big European portals, the Dutch market leader has its own data and analysis section and employs a Head of Data among others to keep the section populated.
Takeaways: The latest edition of the ‘Funda Index’ tells us that after a downturn in the number of houses coming to market, the supply in The Netherlands is increasing. Buying confidence has fallen but search intent remains stable.
Notable for: Usually we see a lot of these housing reports aimed at the end-user. Funda appears to be targeting the agents with this report as I imagine most consumers aren’t interested in things like the “behavioural index”.
PropertyGuru: We have criticised PropertyGuru on these pages before for what appeared to be a lack of joined-up-thinking, but this time they are in the good books. PropertyGuru Malaysia has written up a neat little report around the best times to post on the portal and the areas its users are looking in.
Takeaways: The best time to post a new listing is on Mondays between 1-3PM. KLCC is the most popular neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur.
Notable for: Simple, actionable, well-presented advice for agents based on data unavailable elsewhere. An easy win for the data and communications departments.
Twindig: The many British challenger portals and alternative property platforms have to be inventive to capture the imagination of their users and, perhaps more importantly, the agents and press that can get their name out there. Founder Anthony Codling and his team have come up with a winner for the property obsessed British public and media alike in this playable house-price guessing game.
Takeaways: Not so much a report with takeaways as much as a way to pass the time and put your knowledge of UK house prices to the test.
Notable for: A novel use of data that uses gamification as an effective branding exercise.
Fotocasa: Apart from the UK, Spain is the country whose leading property portals are responsible for most of the clutter in my inbox. Fotocasa is perhaps the main offender here. The portal's reports and accompanying blog posts are regularly distributed via press releases and social media, but are often just overly wordy articles without much to say or any way to present data to engage either passing users or agents.
Takeaways: In this article from the start of December we are told that the property market in Spain has re-awakened after the country’s lockdown, climbing 39% in February and 43% in March. Not massive news and it's delivered a bit late to be of much use.
Notable for: The spartan looking blog page around the data the with a big 0 on the shares-counter proudly displayed in big letters and the bland copy is symptomatic of the reports I see from the Adevinta owned portal. In this case, they have some potentially interesting data and quotes, but are not presenting them in an engaging way.
Zumper: The American rentals specialist has gone down the glossy pdf route for its 2020 Annual Renter Survey. Its findings are based on a decent sample size of 14,000 users who took part in the survey.
Takeaways: The report has several interesting and 2020-relevant conclusions. Perhaps most news-worthy is that 18.4% of respondents claimed to have signed for a property that they had virtually toured.
Notable for: The report itself is just the right length and goes into just the right depth with just about enough insight to interest housing data aficionados while not put off casual users. The fact that it got reported on in Forbes by a friendly journalist is also a testament to the “if you write it the links will come” rule of housing reports and an example of why portals ought to play nice with the press if they want their content to get good pick-up.
Look out for our interview with Zumper President and COO Vishal Makhijani as part of our Rent 2.0 series coming to you in January...