Whathouse.co.uk enters estate agency listings market

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Whathouse.co.uk, the specialist new homes portal, is expanding the website into estate agency sales and lettings, starting in the new year.

What House? logo

What House? logo

What House? is one of the longest established and most respected brands in the property market and well known for its annual What House? Awards, the most prestigious event in British housebuilding, now in their 32nd year and taking place in November at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

The portal has, until now, concentrated exclusively on the brand new homes market, cementing its reputation as the voice of the housebuilding industry, with Show House, the leading trade magazine, also published by the directors of whathouse.co.uk.

Managing director Daniel Hill said: “We have been looking at moving into this market for some time and have carried out a year of second-hand and lettings research on our development portal whatnewhomes.com. From 40,000 visits per month, we have been able to track, through heat maps, the visitor journey, how they best respond and what they are looking for as well as produce leads for agents.

“We believe the proposition we are making to estate agents fills a big and widening gap in the property portal market, offering a low cost, value for money, alternative."

Rupert Bates, editorial director of whathouse.co.uk and Show House magazine, recognized the property portal market was a competitive space, but that the What House? brand was the perfect name and platform for an all-round property offering, with visitors looking for the full range of homes for sale and to rent.

“We have a great editorial pedigree and property heritage, with many top level contacts among estate agents and a knowledge of their businesses and ambitions, alongside our unrivalled traction in the housebuilding sector. We will still absolutely be championing brand new homes, but alongside comprehensive listings and coverage of the second-hand market, driving more visitors to the site for all advertisers and top quality, targeted lead generation,” said Bates, who has written extensively on estate agents and housebuilders in 25 years of property journalism.

Hill added that 100 per cent of the whathouse.co.uk listing fee charged per estate agency office would be re-invested in marketing to drive leads and enquiries to the advertisers’ listings, as well as encouraging new instructions to agents from potential sellers and landlords.

“Any annual increment in listings fees will be aligned to the Retail Price Index (RPI). When any business is doing budgets, the last thing it needs is a surprise and a big and unforeseen rise in its advertising costs, so we believe this will help agents, large and small, budget accordingly. There has been so much movement in portal listings prices in the last two years that the cost of delivering a sale or a new instruction has been difficult to quantify,” said Hill.

Amongst other features being offered are unlimited listings per office, tracking of phone numbers, original and award-winning editorial, social media distribution, as well as news and property feeds to aggregator sites and additional websites they power.

There will be a monthly charge of £75 per office for all of this, and this price includes both sales and lettings. There will also be up-sell opportunities available to offices.

So far, both housebuilders and agents have been very receptive to the move into the second-hand market, with some agents in the Midlands region already signed to start in 2014.

“We already have experienced staff joining us and a new team of developers to build and roll out enhancements to our website. I am very excited by the route we are taking and look forward to delivering a great, cost-effective product for all our advertisers,” said Hill.

For more information on Whathouse.co.uk, please email Daniel Hill on dh(at)whathouse(dot)co.uk or call 020 7940 1070.

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