With more than 9 out of 10 buyers searching for a property online, the way your home appears on websites like Rightmove and Zoopla directly impacts your chances of a sale.
But the portals are more than just pages and pages of property. They gather valuable data that shows how well your home is competing with similar listings, and why it may not be selling.
Your agent can produce a performance report for your home from every portal they use, but to get the most value out of the information, it helps to understand the inner workings of the platforms.
With that in mind, in this week’s blog we’re pulling back the curtain on:
- What’s inside a property performance report.
- The qualities of a great online advert.
- How you can improve your home’s performance.
- Whether pointless pricing could be killing your chances.
- What you can do if any changes you make don’t work.
So, if your home has been on the market for a while and you’re scratching your head over why things have stalled, here’s where you can find some clues and solve the puzzle to get your move back on track.
WHAT’S INSIDE A RIGHTMOVE PERFORMANCE REPORT?
A property performance report from Rightmove and other portals is effectively a health check for how much attention your home is attracting. Within the report you’ll be able to see:
- How many times your home appears in the search results of buyers, and how many of those buyers actually click through to your listing.
- How well your home’s results compare against other similar properties over the last week, ten days, or month.
- Suggestions for where things can be improved, including the amount of photos, availability of floor plans, and when your listing was last updated.
With all this information at their fingertips, your agent should check your report regularly to stay on top of your marketing and boost your exposure wherever possible.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT RIGHTMOVE ADVERT?
Standing out from the crowd is essential if you want your home to make a buyer’s viewing shortlist, so it’s worth reviewing your online listing to see if it ticks all the following boxes:
- High-quality photographs showcasing the best of your home: aim for between 10 and 20 images, including two or three hero shots to rotate and keep your main photo fresh.
- A mix of wide-angle and close-up pictures of your rooms, design details, the view from the road, and any outdoor space, parking or outbuildings (like a garden cabin).
- A clear, high-resolution floor plan that people can zoom into (many are blurred) with room and garden dimensions, overall square footage, and a compass showing which way your home faces.
- Punchy, well-written and highly-targeted text that gets straight to the point to appeal directly to the people most likely to buy your home.
Finally, bear in mind that mobile search results don’t show detailed descriptions (despite counting for 75% of traffic), so your images are, quite literally, everything for getting that vital first click.
IS POINTLESS PRICING KILLING YOUR CHANCES?
What if we told you that changing your price by as little as £1 could double your audience, increase your viewings and speed up your sale? Does that sound far-fetched? Here’s how it can work.
- Look at whether your asking price makes the most of the search results, as you could be losing half your audience, and the wealthier half at that.
- As an example, a price of £399,999 is almost certainly better off at £400,000 to appear in two search bands (up to £400k, and from £400k upwards), instead of only the cheaper one.
- Rightmove says that properties listed at the meeting point of two price bands get 11% more detailed views than others, so it’s a solid strategy.
- By the same token, if you ask something like £389,000, you’ll appear a long way down the search results between £375,000 and £400,000 and could get lost among other homes.
So, price tweaks are often more effective than price reductions, and they may result in a better sale price by targeting the right buyers more efficiently.
HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE ON RIGHTMOVE?
There are many ways to give your home’s online listing a makeover to regain its sparkle, and a good agent will always be open to new ideas. After all, you’re on the same side and want the same result!
- Start by changing the order of your photos, and if they don’t compare well to similar listings (or they’re out of date because the season has changed), ask your estate agent to retake them.
- If you have a garden or balcony, make sure it’s featured in the first four images – outdoor space is still a top priority for many buyers.
- Update your description to remove any duplicate or rambling text, then load it with keywords, phrases and standout features that will appeal to your target audience.
- Pay particular attention to the first 35 words or 200 characters. These are all that appear in the initial search results stream, so make them count.
After you’ve revamped your listing, check your report every week to see what effect your changes have made, and keep your eye on similar homes that have sold so you can copy their success!
WHAT IF YOUR HOME STILL DOESN’T SELL?
If your home has sat on the market for a while with little or no improvement in clicks, enquiries or viewings, regardless of how many times you update your listing, all is not yet lost!
However, it may be time for more drastic measures, and these are some of your options:
- Upgrade your advert to a featured or premium listing to appear at the top of every buyer’s search results (ask your agent about the costs and best options from the platforms they use).
- If you do this, change the text label to highlight a standout feature, rather than keeping the auto-generated Premium Listing text that ultimately means nothing to buyers.
- Reduce your price to target buyers in the next band down – a drop of at least 2% will trigger Rightmove to send out an alert, but it’s reductions of 5% or more that make the most difference.
- Switch agents for new photos, a new description and the extra enthusiasm that comes with taking a property on the market, together with an instant ‘new listing’ relaunch on the portals.
Even if you’re starting to feel resigned, remember that it’s never too late to sell your home. It’s perfectly possible that all you need is a second chance with a fresh start.
How well is your home performing?
If you’ve been trying to sell your home in Stourbridge and nearby for a while and you’d like a fresh perspective on finding a buyer, why not speak to one of our team?
Call us on 01384 958811 or message us at email@example.com for a chat about your plans, and let’s see how we can get them back on track.