House builders say portals are vital generators of leads, especially for drawing in buyers who are not ‘brand loyal’ to one particular developer.
At a London debate of senior professionals from the UK new homes sector - involving 13 operators representing 80 per cent of new homes being built or in the pipeline, with a total value of £1 billion - it was agreed that portals serve as “a critical central resource of whole market offerings in one place”.
The group agreed that existing portals provided a strong return for housebuilders although no one portal currently hosted all new stock. The group considered that a niche new homes portal would be valuable “if it can perform well for home builders as well as customers through providing insightful content aside from property listings.”
The session was hosted by New Home Finder, a portal which launched in January and markets new homes and contains consumer information for buyers.
"Portals are old school now but do have a place” said Dave Bexon, group sales and marketing director of Redrow Homes, who facilitated the session.
The gathering also concluded that while apps were becoming increasingly useful as mobile and tablet friendly tools, the web browser was “still king when it comes to more instant access to property information.”
The session was attended by Redrow Homes, Bovis, Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Linden, Kier Living, Miller and Strata with representation also from estate agency Carter Jonas and media firms Space and Time and Amplifi.