Internet Marketing

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East London City Start-ups

 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe’s tech industry seems to have found base in East London, or at least that’s how the UK government plans on selling London’s newly expanded Tech City district. The Silicon Roundabout has been stretched out to accommodate a growing number of start-ups and other tech firms, with the government pledging even more support to help attract new talent and add to the areas twitter-happy conversation. While some welcome the attention, others dread overexposure.

As industry bigwigs such as Google and Groupon move-in, locals worry that restrictive property prices might soon follow. Either way, Tech City is buzzing, and these are the ten most rambunctious techies on the block.

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yahoo-real-estate-zillow Yahoo Real Estate has entered into a partnership with what would seem to be one of its main competitors, Zillow.com. The keywords there being “seem to be”. This is because before the partnership Yahoo had focussed on selling ads from large mortgage and credit agencies, whereas Zillow was a listings (property portal) site through and through.

So, on the face of it Yahoo was a competitor but not in terms of their business models; they weren’t stealing any bread from each other’s tables if you like.

It must have suddenly (god knows why it took this long) occurred to Yahoo that not only were they missing out on a potentially lucrative side of their business, but that they were also letting many of their customers down.

Yahoo Real Estate itself admits this, in saying that there was tremendous demand to list properties on its real estate service, but that before now it was not serving these customers well on a “hyperlocal” advertising basis. In this statement they admit that they were missing out on revenues; by failing to advertise properties listed well on a localised basis they were not scoring any points with savvy agents looking to make the most of their advertising budgets, and letting customers down for the same reason.

“This partnership changes that,” says Steve Schultz, head of Yahoo’s real estate service.

Apparently, the partnership will be able to compete more closely with the market leading Realtor.com, owned by Move Inc. Realtor.com currently received 12 million visitors per month, pre partnership Yahoo Real Estate received 6.14 million and Zillow 7.05 million. This should give them a combined 13.19 million visitors, however, analysts believe there is a 10% overlap of their traffic, which means that combined the sites should receive just shy of the 12 million Realtor.com is host to.

That said: the 10% overlap is clearly only a guesstimate; it could be much higher or lower. This is especially true because of the fact that Zillow.com also has an overseas section, whereas Yahoo Real Estate is US only.

There is little denying that the partnership with Zillow.com will give those listing properties on Yahoo Real Estate access to a much wider audience than they have currently. This combined with the brand power of Yahoo could lead to the combination being able to mount a better challenge on the dominance of Realtor.com. Having said that, if the brand power of Yahoo was really an issue they wouldn’t need Zillow’s help to challenge anyone online — except Google of course. Time will tell.

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google maps uk property

For anyone who missed it (maybe living under a rock isn’t such a good idea?), internet giant Google launched its long-awaited foray into UK property listings this week, and boy will it blow the market wide open.

A recent Office of Fair Trading study recently concluded that more efforts must be made to open up house sales in the UK, and to ensure that new and innovative business models using the internet, like those simply introducing private sellers to potential buyers are not hampered by unnecessary legislation.

With Google now allowing private sellers to list their property on Google Maps for free, that aim has been pushed forward immensely.

Almost everyone knows about Google Maps, and its wondrous Streetview capability that lets us look at almost every street in the developed world as if looking through our living room window.
Increasing numbers of people have been using this impressive new technology to view properties for sale and rent that they are considering enquiring about.

There are those that scoff at people who claim difficulty in flicking between browser windows and tabs, but when you are comparing several properties, maybe they are on different portals; looking at their details and then their picture and surrounding on Google Maps Streetview, it can get quite difficult. Not to mention the fact that older computers can sometimes freeze or crash under the strain.
The fact that sellers can list their property directly in Google Maps is massively good for buyers and sellers alike.

So, say you wanted to move to Bransholme in Hull (don’t cast your eyes up): to find a property there now, all you have to do is search Bransholme Hull in maps.google.co.uk, and then replace your search with the word property. In seconds the map will be updated showing place markers of all properties for sale and to let in your chosen area.

These can then be refined by for sale or to let, by property type (detached, bungalow etc), by size (studio, 1 bed etc) and by the number of bathrooms, all on the panel to the left of the map, which will automatically revise the place markers.

Google spent months garnering the support of the industry’s big names (to give it some properties on the board to open with), those who went for the partnership were: Zoopla, PropertyLive, Ezylet, SmartNewHomes, Vebra, Property Pal and Zoomf. Google also got the backing of Spicer Haart and Countrywide, the UK’s largest lettings and estate agency groups respectively.

To be honest, Google really needn’t have bothered; if you were an estate agent or lettings agent, or anyone looking to let or sell houses in the UK, you would be foolish not to take advantage of free listings on Google Maps, wouldn’t you? If you look you can already see listings from other agents, I found dozens in 15 minutes alone.

The UK’s biggest portal is like the elephant in the room here. It has refused to list its properties with Google, because of the years it has spent providing Google map views of properties directly on the properties’ listing page. This, it says is better for the user, because they can view the full details of the property as well as the map and Streetview all in one place.

Miles Shipside, Commercial Director of Rightmove said:
“We do not intend to list properties via the listing service as at this stage. It does not seem to add any extra features or benefits to those that Rightmove already provides.”

Time will tell if they are correct. Either way; few impartial commentators argue that selling homes in the UK lacks choice for consumers, and moves like this by big players like Google are certainly look like correcting that.

Lloyd Chrein, PartnerBack in September, we blogged about TweetLister a new and innovative real estate listing service that list properties for sale and rent via the micro-blogging platform – Twitter. Quite a lot has changed at TweetLister since our last feature. So we asked Lloyd Chrein (pictured on the right), a founding Partner at TweetLister.com to update us about these new changes and share a few thoughts about TweetLister and he was kind enough to oblige.

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google-maps-logo

With Google’s latest change to their real estate listings on Google Maps, many real estate website owners can possibly benefit according to Bill Tancer, GM of Hitwise, a popular internet traffic tracking firm. Their latest changes to their Google Map’s pages now includes real estate search tools, making it clear that Google hopes to claim a slice of the online real estate listing market.

easy-house-exchange

A new website service called Easy House Exchange has been hailed as the new solution for cash stricken home owners in media. The service aims to connect home owners and developers with investors and buyers looking for a straight swap of properties or else upgrade your current home by paying a cash difference through Bovis the developers.

Joining fees are scraped until June 1st this year and you can browse the site for available houses. At present there are properties from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland on the listings.

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International real estate portal Properazzi.com, which had more than 1 million visitors last month, is reaching out to buyers in new locations in the coming weeks, launching six new languages on its website. Investors and cross-border buyers will be able to search for properties in Arabic, Greek, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, and Czech, with Finnish, Danish and Hebrew to follow later this Summer. The developments mean that estate agents with properties and/or buyers in these countries can use Properazzi.com to target foreign buyers and renters more effectively, and with no additional effort.

Sina.com.cn Mascot

With a strong and very optimistic outlook in China’s domestic real estate market, leading Chinese webites SINA Corp & Baidu.com have each announced a move into real estate web marketing.

Sina

sina.com.cn logoChina’s larget web portal, SINA is to embark on a joint venture with real estate service provider, E-House (China) Holdings Limited in a bid to launch a range of real estate and home decoration web channels. The JV would involve E-House China providing proprietary real estate content ranging from its property database & analysis system to its Chinese Real Estate Information Circle system (which contains transaction data on land, residences, offices, as well as commercial buildings in 30 major Chinese cities).

Stefan von den Driesch, the CEO of Ourbania.com; a unique Web 2.0 community for architecture, real estate and construction enthusiasts is our guest this week. Mainz/Germany based Ourbania.com has been creating a buzz in the blogosphere. We asked Stefan to share a few thoughts with us, and he was kind enough to oblige.

What exactly is Ourbania.com? Can you please expand more on its concept?

Ourbania.com is built upon two cornerstones: First, it’s a vivid online directory of outstanding commercial real estate property worldwide. It’s based on the contributions of its users and taps relevant online resources (e.g. Flickr photos, Google maps).