Date Published 28 February 2012
On 20th January 2012, Property Place launched the first full property transactions app on Facebook, with over 400,000 flats and houses featured on the site. This new service can be used by sellers, landlords and agents to promote sales and lettings, and tenants can also find and chat to potential room-mates, for a £35 fee.
This is however not as unique as it may seem, as our research indicates that over a year ago The Guild of Professional Estate Agents (The Guild) became the first organisation in Europe to implement a property search tool facility through their Facebook Page - once again demonstrating their ability to bring innovation and creativity to property marketing.
The Guild has been providing Facebook sites for its agents since 2010 and as a proud Guild member, Lesters have been taking advantage of this powerful and innovative tool in conjunction with their own site facebok.com/lestersonline. The property search facility embedded in our Facebook site allows potential buyers and tenants to search for their new home by location, type, size and price. Viewers can then also request a phone call, arrange a viewing or ask for a brochure to be emailed to them to be printed at home. Thus, the details of Lesters properties are likely to be viewed by more applicants. Facebook users can even share properties of interest with their friends, who are more likely to be pre-disposed to rent/purchase this (as of similar age, location, income, status and personal requirements).
More than half the UK population is now reported to be on Facebook and in particular women between the ages of 35 and 50 who tend to drive the decision-making process, especially on residential sales.
With nearly 40 million people using Facebook across the country, it is undoubtedly set to play a key role in the future of property marketing.
The key question therefore becomes ‘what exactly is the role of the agent in the process?’
Lesters know that buying or selling a property can be very stressful and confusing for all involved. A good estate agent will invest hundreds of pounds of his/her money in marketing; provide essential advice and guidance; build and support chains of movers and help resolve a wide range of problems - and all for the cheapest agency fees in the world.
According to Marcus Whewell, CEO of Guild of Professional Estate Agents, private residential sales have remained static at about 7% of the total UK market for the last 5 years. Put another way, this means that more than 9 out of 10 individuals realise that they can secure a better result by using an agent than trying to navigate a difficult and complicated process on their own.
With lettings, the legal demands and pitfalls are even more onerous. Complaints from tenants are rising rapidly as they fail to receive the expected service and choosing a good landlord is vital. Many tenants are unfortunately subjected to unexpected issues regarding electrical and gas safety, miss-management of their deposits, maintenance problems and the landlord is often unavailable or difficult to contact. An appropriate professional estate agent provides a tenant with the trust and confidence to enter into a legally binding lettings contract and ensures that the tenancy is as stress-free as possible.
So there is a fantastic opportunity for Facebook to bring people together in new and interesting ways – yet the assistance of a properly trained and experienced agent is more important than ever to a happy and successful outcome.
To search for property in your local area through our Facebook Page see: facebook.com/lestersonline