It’s no secret that many of your users are starting their property search on the portals. It makes sense to browse aggregated stock from more than one agency. So, let’s ensure your listings are getting maximum exposure, with minimal effort.
A portal can be a website with a vast amount of information on a specific topic like www.espncricinfo.com, which covers cricket news, competitions, live scores and more. A portal can also cover a wide range of topics, like government websites - www.gov.uk. The distinction is that it’s a single destination with information (normally aggregated from multiple sources) that is presented in a uniform manner so that it’s easily consumed.
Information is often aggregated from other sources into portals through feeds. This is simply a connection between 2 or more systems. One system will either pull or push data to the other automatically.
Just like search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc), there are a lot of property portals. And just like search engines you want to be on as many as possible, while only really worrying about the big players. What you define as “big” while change depending on your geographic location and the sector that you operate in. We encourage you to speak to your users and find out what they are searching with.
Although some portals are free, the most prominent ones will have some sort of listing fee. Like any form of marketing, you’ll need to evaluate its return against your budget to see if a portal is worth the spend.
You also don’t want to perform double, triple, or more data entries to get a listing on the portals. Make sure whatever system you use to list your stock allows you to publish to your website, social media (if desired), and all possible portals at the point of capture. Not doing this is going to create a huge amount of unneeded work.
All your competitors are also listing their stock on the portals, so it’s critical you make sure your listings are presented in the best light, so that they stand out in the crowd. Have another look at our previous chapter on how to create quality listings.
Each portal also has its own requirements and limitations. One, for example, may require 10 listing images and another 15. If you want to appear on the later you’ll need to ensure that the requirement is met. Some portals will also rank your listings higher based on what they deem quality factors. We cover the factors that affect some of the bigger portals in next weeks section.
You have to be on the portals to compete. Focus your efforts on the most relevant ones for your business, but try to get on as many as possible. Work on generating listings that rank well on the portals’ quality score factors.Next up: Paid Portals