York­shire prop­erty por­tal pre­pares to take on big play­ers

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Sharon Dale

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.


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