Date Published 18 February 2020
Increasing numbers of agents are planning to use social media to promote their listings, says Zoopla, while more consumers are using Facebook to look for homes.
But Zoopla would not be drawn on its its short-lived Facebook Marketplace partnership or say whether it had plans to return to it.
The portal has released the latest findings from its State of the Property Nation survey, which found that 65% of agents plan to harness social media to promote listings this year, with a 50% annual increase in consumers browsing homes on Facebook.
The research found that 12% of house hunters now use Facebook to browse for homes, up 50% from a year ago.
While social media is increasingly important, Zoopla said email marketing remains key for savvy house hunters, with 47% signed up to portal email alerts, rising to 64% in London.
Almost six in ten (59%) agents surveyed used portals as their primary marketing tool. This is in line with consumer preference, with 77% using portals to conduct their property search.
A fifth of consumers said they have a property app installed on their digital devices, whether active in the market or not, and they are using them on average 4.8 times per week.
Andy Marshall, chief commercial officer at Zoopla, said: 'The industry is adapting to changes in consumer behaviour and looking to capitalise on the amount of time that prospective buyers and vendors spend in the digital environment.
'This is nowhere more apparent than in the research stages of buying, selling or renting a new home; agents know this, which is why more of them are embracing digital marketing than ever before.
'Our strategy empowers agents to develop a meaningful digital presence and communicate with consumers in the most effective ways, whether via Facebook, an agent's own website or our app.
'Whether agents want to reach out to buyers and sellers in a more targeted way, or if consumers want to stay up to date with current market trends or new listings, we have a breadth of digital tools to facilitate this.'
EYE queried if this recognition of the importance of social media meant Facebook is seen as a rival to Zoopla, or if Zoopla would return to putting listings on Facebook Marketplace after mysteriously dropping them just four months into a partnership.
A spokesman said: 'We never comment on future plans or other companies.'