Property search portals haven’t seemingly evolved since the early 2000s. But when you consider everything is now available at the push of a button, why is property search falling behind.
Many of the challenges that have been solved in other industries to create this on-demand experience aren’t necessarily unique to that industry, it’s often access to quality of data and making that data easy for a user to understand.
This is at the cornerstone of how many new challenger portals are tackling the next generation of search in their own unique way.
But how they tackle this will define how, we as users, find, buy, sell and transact on property in the near future and beyond.
property.xyz believe there are two fundamental solutions to deliver us closer to the next generation of property search and everything accessible by the touch of a button
Robert Jones co-founder of Property.xyz explains
“Building the world’s most intelligent property platform.” is no small feat, but is an ongoing project as more products, services and insights can be created over time, with new interactions and iterations happening frequently
Here he outlines the two key areas that the company is currently focusing to deliver a better user experience and why.
First, as users, we are now accustomed to using mapping and geospatial technologies (whether we realise it or not) in many of our daily tech usage.
Many are familiar with google maps, but it has its limitations.
Instead, property.xyz has focused on the in-depth rich features of Ordnance Survey as a baseline map for users instead.
‘We use the latest geospatial technologies and processes to capture, analyse, store and present multiple types of spatial information to help those on the platform, many companies use Google, but using Ordnance Survey mapping allows more functionality now and in the future. You can drill down into more detail in built-up areas. With the right data, you can overlay many pieces of important information for buyers and sellers like house price growth, yields, price per square foot and more.’
The first development of this is a simple feature, where at a user level when you are scrolling around the map you can see the latest properties populate in that view.
For those of us that prefer a visual search and like location and mapping to guide our options, It is a far more intuitive way to search for property.
Rob explains the science saying that Geospatial, is mapping the world with numerous amounts of data sets, which Tomlinson half a century ago formulated into GIS – Geographic Information System, which allows analysis and strategies to be pulled out of the data.
Then fifteen-years ago ‘Google Maps’ produced a public version, signaling a goldrush of new technologies, but as good as Google is, Ordnance survey is a better ride for the UK buyer and seller searching for a property, information and data on their next step.
The second area that property.xyz is focusing on is in their ‘Research’ mode on their portal.
This is more than just data for data’s sake.
It’s a rich resource for all stakeholders to learn more about properties and locations.
Mainly used by buyers and sellers, but they have received feedback and usage from estate agents, letting agents, surveyors, mortgage brokers, and other stakeholders using the research element of the site to learn more.
Robert realised that buyers and sellers are wanting to know more about their most important asset and a simple route to research is ideal.
But also property developers, investment companies, estate agents, and new home companies have unique problems and unlike other portals that focus on a simple list of properties, property.xyz looks to connect the dots of agents to these buyers.
These sellers and agents have huge amounts of great property stock or inventory, but, in his words,
‘The challenge for them is getting consistent buyers and buyers that are going to be of a high enough quality, and that is where our focus is.’
The classic Property portal revenue model is an agent lists stock and pays the portal for the privilege, normal buyers see the property and contact the agent.
property.xyz take it to the next level.
The traditional search approach is a familiar user experience so it has been retained, but the next step is pulling all extra property and location intelligence together to help enable a higher quality interaction between buyer, seller and agent.
This is from seemingly little touches like, ‘Recommended’ and ‘Price Match’ properties.
But deeper than this.
As an example, if a buyer clicks on the property Research button looking for rich property data, and does not know an area say Birmingham, then by hovering over a map, all the postcodes and districts come up. Visually showing the boundaries of areas.
The next phase will enable ‘buyer demand, house price growth, price per square foot, yield’ by simply toggling and seeing a ‘heat map’ illustrating all the data.
This, step by step, is bringing confidence to homebuyers and investors to take the next step to enquire on their preferred properties.
Whilst this may sound all a bit scientific, but then it is striving to be the world’s most intelligent property platform, Rob Jones CEO says the key is keeping it simple for the user.
There is beauty in simplicity, and ultimately it’s this simplicity and ease of user experience that is key to enabling the marriage of both quality buyers from an active investor market to agents with phenomenal properties that ordinarily could get lost in a traditional search portal.
Creating a fertile platform for agents looking for their next buyer, an exciting opportunity and a win for all sides.
To find out more about the ever-evolving, customer-centric, next generation of the property platform sector contact Rob Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org