An analysis of property branding by more than 200 companies suggests that Purplebricks and OnTheMarket are two of the big winners with an increase in searches made for their names.
The investigation, by the brand agency MediaVision, looked at 200 firms across residential, commercial and digital property sectors.
Of the top 10 brands with the highest monthly search volume overall, only four saw a positive uplift in brand demand year on year. And of the top 50 overall, more than half saw a decline in brand demand over the last year - according to MediaVision this “indicates just how tough and diverse the landscape is right now.”
However, of those seeing an increase in searches, OnTheMarket enjoyed a 31 per cent rise and Purplebricks saw an 18 per cent surge; the London agency brand Dexters also enjoyed a spike, albeit of a more modest six per cent.
Dexters beat Savills, Knight Frank and Foxtons, which all saw a decline in brand demand.
MediaVision says: “For brands in the fiercely competitive online property sector, an increase or decrease in brand search can be attributed to several things: the effectiveness of the marketing strategy, market-related factors, the economy, changing consumer habits or the efforts of rival brands.”
The report continues: “With an increase in brand demand at 31 per cent year on year, industry disruptor OnTheMarket has become a major competitor to property portals Zoopla and Rightmove, who both slipped from the top spots with a decreasing brand demand. The big portals are still far ahead in terms of volume but there is no doubting OnTheMarket’s trajectory.”
Amongst the property start-ups, WeWork led the way this year with a 58 per cent increase in brand demand reflecting the increasing awareness of flexible office space.
MediaVision chief executive Louis Venter says: “Due to ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit, we’re seeing a lot of demand exit the market. Searches for office space and residential property are down year on year, which is a sign of a tough market.
“Brand search is no different and predominantly, there’s a reduction in demand for the biggest property brands across the board. The market is undoubtedly tough.
“However we still see pockets of great performance from innovative brands deploying great marketing strategies. There’s a strong focus on digital and measurement, which is helping them disrupt the sector and gain market share.”
You can see the full report here.