25 April 2019/ For CRE Professionals

Property search habits revealed

Digital search has opened up the world of property. With a huge number of properties marketed side by side, tenants have an overview of the entire market. They have the power to search for exactly what they want in their own time.

However online search may not be as simple as first impressions may suggest. We’ve unearthed trends of how people interact with digital search, which could help you to boost your marketing efforts online. All of these stats are derived from the Realla portal, so they apply specifically to commercial properties.

An important point to make from the outset is that portal searches have a real impact in the commercial property sector. In one month, almost 5,500 sessions on Realla lasted more than 30 minutes, which means these individuals were highly engaged. With business owners and employees taking the time to browse on portals in earnest, these platforms hold the key to successful online property marketing.

Mobile searches lead the way


It is clear that people are searching for their next premises while on the go, with over 60% of portal commercial property searches conducted on mobile devices. It could be that people are browsing in between meetings or tasks, during breaks or while commuting home. It's easy to imagine a busy CEO or CFO struggling to find the time to search during the working day - and checking up to find a few options on the train home in the evening. What’s more, the ratio of leads from phone and email is 60:40, suggesting that people aren’t just browsing on their mobile – they’re actively engaging with new premises options on them.

With portals making it easier for people to browse a huge stock of properties from one small device, agents have a significant opportunity ahead of them: to target active searchers. But it’s important to get it right, as these prospects are matched by high competition. For mobile search, all property details need to be optimised with quick-to-load, professional photography, clickable links and easy-to-read text to cut through the noise.

Perfect timing


Another key trend we’ve noticed is that traffic is lowest at the weekend, and ten times lower in the early mornings than it is between 10am and 4pm. With a higher number of searches taking place during the working day, finding a commercial property remains a business activity rather than an extra task to do at home. With this in mind, digital marketing is best timed to reach people during business hours, and preferably mid-morning or early afternoon.

We’ve also found that interest wanes as the week progresses, with slightly lower traffic on Thursday and Friday. Therefore, if you are putting a new property onto a portal, you might find it has more traction if you upload it on a Monday or Tuesday.

Simply getting your properties listed on an online portal is only part of the process. The real value comes when you use them to your advantage and follow a strategy that makes your properties stand out, consistently.