Buyers are being urged to ditch their laptops and hit the streets to find a property.
The property market is currently hampered by a lack of stock, meaning homes that do come up for sale are often in high-demand and snapped up fast.
Buying agent Matt Turner suggests home hunters relying on Google searches or the portals are at a disadvantage due to the level of demand and registered buyers that estate agencies already have on their books.
Research by Turner’s firm Astute Property Search found that Google searches for property websites including Rightmove and Zoopla have continued to fall steadily.
In March there were 16.3m searches for Rightmove and Zoopla combined, this is 18% lower compared with a year earlier Google Trends showed.
Turner said: “One of the reasons property searches are decreasing online is that once agents have been made aware of a new property this will be shown to key contacts and prospective buyers before going online.
“Prospective buyers need to be aware of this and instead of using Google to search new properties, they need to get out and meet agents or even call them to build up personal relationships.
"This will show credibility to the agent knowing exactly what you are looking for, what kind of property you want and what you want to achieve.”
He said the process of uploading a property to an online portal takes on average one to two weeks before showing up online, by which time an agent could already have it under offer if shown beforehand.
Turner added: “This is because it takes time to put together a brochure, compiling images and floorplans. So, buyers waiting for properties to show up online will already be behind and at a disadvantage.”
As expected, Turner also suggests this is where buying agents can be beneficial due to the close relationships that they have with multiple agencies so they can update their clients with properties before they have been listed online.