Yorkshire property portal prepares to take on big players
THE big property portals, like Rightmove and Zoopla, could soon have a rival, thanks to Yorkshire-based film maker David Varley.
David hopes to attract estate and lettings agents to his site, www.homeonfilm.com, by offering free listings for all properties they have for sale along with links to their own websites.
The business was initially launched eight years ago to provide professionally-shot property videos and location films to give prospective buyers an insight into the area. It also specialises in making corporate videos and websites for propertybased businesses.
The diversification came after David realised he could challenge the established portals.
He says: “Agents pay an average of £400 per branch every month to the big portals, which is a huge amount of money. I am offering free listing and a link to the agent’s own website.”
His profit will come from selling banner ads and upgrades, such as his location films and corporate videos. The video content is key to his strategy as it helps boost Google rankings
“We have over 300 professionally produced area films, which can be added to any property listing, and we are producing hundreds more so it’s constantly evolving.
“This gives buyers and those looking to move home something different. They get an insight into locations where properties are for sale and to let.
“Crucially, video boosts Google rankings,” says Leeds-based David.
Agents can add their own properties manually from the homepage and they can also include direct links to their site and their social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Most property portals keep traffic within their domain, but we link directly to the client’s website, email and web pages, bringing hits and traffic to their own domains, which in turn will boost their Google ranking.
“We’ve tried to make it as simple and user-friendly as possible for agents to operate so there are time saving tick box solutions for Twitter and Facebook plus pre-loaded messages such as ‘view our latest property for sale here “. It’s a real time saver.”
Estate agents will also be able for search for customers using the Homeonfilm Facebook page
James Clarke, managing director of Hodsons Estate Agents, Wakefield, is one of the first onboard the new site.
He says: “Our property software is provided by Vebra and it was a simple process to link that to homeonfilm.com and upload. I especially like the fact that they have a section on each property listing that promotes our company and links to our website and email directly. This is unlike other property portal. It’s a fresh concept that I believe will really take off.”
He adds that the location films are increasing his site’s rankings and attracting buyers to Wakefield.
“Buyers like the idea of location films. Wakefield is on the up and up after major investment in the town and the Cathedral.
“Attractive water features and block paving have given the centre a fresh look and the area films highlight that fact. They also promote landmarks such as St. John’s Square, the Hepworth Building, and some of the attractive countryside villages that surround Wakefield such as Notton, Newmillerdam and Horbury.”
The Homeonfilm portal will eventually charge a nominal sum for listings as it attracts more users.
“It won’t be silly amounts of money and we think against will be happy to pay considering the usability and extras we offer.
“We are working hard on search engine optimisation and our hope is that we can break the monopoly that the big portals have at the moment.”
David and his team are also aiming to incorporate holiday lettings on their site.