New research shows that 77 per cent of consumers use portals to conduct property searches - meaning, surprisingly, that almost a quarter of buyers do not use them.
Another unexpected statistic is that some 59 per cent of agents use portals as their primary marketing tool; suggesting the other 41 per cent do not.
These are the findings of a major study conducted by Zoopla.
It says that its recent State of the Property Nation survey - which involved speaking with 6,000 consumers and over 650 agents across the country - revealed that some 12 per cent of house hunters now using Facebook to browse for homes, a 50 per cent increase from the same time a year ago.
It says that 53 per cent of the agents surveyed are also set to beef up their digital and email marketing with nearly two thirds also planning to make more use of social media.
Email remains the communication method of choice for consumers, however, with the survey revealing that 47 per cent of those wanting homes to rent or buy set up email alerts via portals.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, email alerts are most popular with Londoners where over six in 10 are signed up.
Portals remain important to agents and house hunters alike with almost six in 10 of agents surveyed using them as their primary marketing tool.
Amongst consumers, 77 per cent use portals to conduct their property search.
Particularly popular with renters and buyers, two thirds of leads now originate from a property portal, according to the agents surveyed.
Apps are also playing an increasingly large part with 20 per cent of consumers now having a property app installed on their digital devices, whether active in the market or not.
Consumers are using apps on average 4.8 times per week, and out of those actively searching for a property, upsizers favour app usage over any other demographic, with 44 per cent having a property app installed on a phone or tablet.
“The industry is adapting to changes in consumer behaviour and looking to capitalise on the amount of time prospective buyers and vendors spend in the digital environment. This is nowhere more apparent than in the research stages of buying, selling or renting; agents know this, which is why more of them are embracing digital marketing than ever before” says Andy Marshall, Zoopla’s chief commercial officer.