The pandemic has made it clear that the old way of home search does not work anymore. People have developed new digital behaviors and now expect:
These needs are easily addressed with real estate marketplaces like Rightmove, Zillow, and Zoopla which are now regarded as the industry standard for marketing the property.
At Ascendix we have witnessed the migration from offline to online in real estate and, to a large extent, propelled this change by helping real estate agencies create state-of-the-art property marketplaces. Find out how your business can benefit from having one.
What is a Real Estate Portal?
A Real Estate Portal, Multiple Listing System (MLS), or simply marketplace is an online medium where real estate agents list their properties for sale or rent.
Depending on the business model of the organization that runs a real estate portal, there may be two kinds of these marketplaces:
Although the allocated business models slightly differ, the functionality underneath the two is almost identical. Practically all home hunters appreciate the following set of features within a real estate portal (source):
Real Estate Forecast 2023 | Most Popular Features of RE Websites
And even with a minimal set of features like the above, a real estate portal can bring tremendous value to your real estate business in some obvious and not-so-obvious ways. Here are a few.
Reach out to more people = get more deals
In the post-pandemic era, most property searches begin online. Just to illustrate, Savills website had over 1.7 million visitors in Q1 of 2021, and in Q1 of 2022 this number was up 30%. As a whole, more than 38% of homebuyers find Savills online (source). And considering how quickly the world is going digital, more and more home hunters will give up on traditional face-to-face home shopping in favor of digital experiences.
Route your leads into one system
Once a prospective client has indicated their interest in a particular property through the ‘online booking’ or ‘get more information’ forms, their contact information will get automatically saved in the portal’s database.
Lead management gets even more streamlined if your real estate marketplace is linked to a centralized Customer Relationship Management system, like Salesforce, which not only captures all leads but also helps track deals, centralize communications, and run advanced analytics of won/lost deals.
Update all listings at once click
Real estate agents who are looking to escape from updating their listings manually can leverage enhanced data management in their CRM which automatically updates all listings across different portals linked to that CRM.
How does this work? You enter your property details into the system once, it saves it down and posts it to a pre-specified set of marketplaces where you have an account. Thereafter, you can update your existing listings and the changes will automatically be reflected on all linked portals.
Save time on sending out marketing collateral
With a real estate portal at hand, all your listings are neatly organized on a visually pleasing portfolio that is easy and, more importantly, quick to navigate, update, and modify. In the past, all of this would have been very manual – through a series of emails with numerous attachments of floor plans, property photos, and availability spaces being sent back and forth.
Those who still want to send targeted newsletters to prospective clients might also benefit from custom report-generating functionality which allows for creating eye-satisfying brochures, reports, and floor plans right from your CRM.
As the owner of a pre-packed report-generating tool ourselves, we can advocate that with such functionality our clients save up to 10 hours a week.
Secure your communications with a client in a collaboration room
To maximize the benefits of a marketplace and bring your customer experience to the next level, we recommend adding secure deal rooms for interactive collaboration and negotiation between agents and clients, as we did for Colliers International with our ready-made solution MarketSpace. This functionality allows agents to hold granular discussions about a chosen property right on the website instead of numerous back-and-forth emails and calls. Before joining a deal room, you can require everyone to sign the terms of the confidentiality agreement.
Quote: Ascendix has something special with MarketSpace. The users' feedback has been all-around positive. Our research people, who used to respond to requests for data/reports have seen a significant drop in those and an increase in their capacity to do other work.
Saimir Qalliu, Colliers International Indiana
Approaches to building a real estate marketplace
As an established real estate software developer and technology advisor for 16+ years, we have crafted an indefinite number of online portals for our partners and clients, from JLL to Colliers, and have come to several key points:
The difference here is that whereas the first “custom” approach allows for unlimited customizations and scale-up opportunities, the Experience-Cloud-based marketplace will anyway have some minor limitations in terms of customization.
Why Ascendix as your real estate marketplace developer?
Building a real estate portal requires in-depth industry knowledge and, ideally, technical experts on board who not only understand the technical specifics of building marketplaces but also speak real estate.
Ascendix – a real estate software development expert with almost two decades of practice-based experience in the industry.
Tell us more about your project and we’ll make sure to provide you with the knowledge and resources to make innovation happen for you and your business.