Google rather than the portals is the starting point for sellers finding an estate agent, a survey claims.
A survey among 2,000 property sellers by agency website and lead generation software provider Homeflow found 74% of people looking for an estate agent head to Google first.
The research showed that while Google is an important first step, 69% of sellers surveyed also said they would visit the websites of the estate agents they know directly.
The report also highlighted the importance of a local high street presence shop, with three quarters saying they would visit a nearby estate agent in person before instructing a listing.
Homeflow said this highlights the importance of competing for the top places on Google for local search terms, in order to maximise leads.
Nik Chotai, the newly appointed managing director of Homeflow, said: “Our sellers’ report highlights the growing trend that page one of Google is the new battleground for instructions, not the portal wars.
“Interestingly, when you look at the data on homeowners who are under the age of 35, 87% head to google first and 92% would visit Rightmove to request a valuation.
“The shift to digital-first has already happened but will continue to grow and develop at speed.
“The Homeflow platform continues to evolve with technician advancements to ensure our agents have the best digital products available for their customers.”
Homeflow recently promoted Chotai to a newly appointed role of managing director.
Chotai has been with Homeflow for four years as director of finance and operations but will take on a more senior role as the firm’s founders Adam Laird and Jeremy Harford Tapp focus on other areas of the business.
Prior to his role at Homeflow, Chotai worked in senior financial and operational roles for a number of technology businesses.
Laird and Harford Tapp remain in the business full time and their new roles will focus on work with Homeflow’s larger agency partners as well as driving further growth for the company through strategic product development and launches, commercial partnerships, and proptech acquisitions.
Chotai said: “Following a year of continued growth, this is a hugely exciting time for Homeflow and I’m thrilled now to be heading the team as managing director.
“It’s an exciting time for us as we continue to expand and enhance our product suite for estate agents, to empower them to push their businesses forward.”
A statement from the founders said: “After a period of exciting growth, we’re really pleased to beef up the senior team and promote Nik to managing director.
“He will lead the day-to-day operation of the business, which will continue to evolve to support our estate agency clients.
“This will enable us to focus on our large agency partners, and to push for growth opportunities by expanding our website platform and lead generation offering to estate agents. We expect this to be through new product initiatives, partnerships and proptech acquisitions.”