Twittering Estate Agents

Everyone’s aflutter over Twitter. Its trajectory over the last few months has been as steep as North Korea’s recent ‘satellite’ (cough) launch; but unlike the Korean rocket, Twitter continues to rise and rise (insert Vaughan Williams ‘Lark Ascending’ allusion here).

I’d like to brag that FindaProperty.com was one of the pioneers of the medium, but we were somewhat sluggish to jump aboard the bandwagon – November 2008 to be precise.

And like most of the Twitterati, I remain unsure as what exactly Twitter is good for. Real-time search engine? Global noticeboard? Or just a few million people letting another million people know what they’re eating for lunch. Or tea. Or that they are now awake. In case you were interested. Which you weren’t.

Anyway, some of the more web 2.0 savvy, switched-on estate agents have also decided to catch onto the tailfeathers of the little blue bird and are now tweeting with the best of them.

Some use Twitter to announce they’ve got new properties, some tweet about property-related news, whilst others gaze silently around in wide-eyed wonder, as bemused as our very own Sales Director, but gamely determined not be left behind: 

Should you wish to follow them, here’s a selection of Estate Agents on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/BayEstateAgents

http://twitter.com/Beresfords

http://twitter.com/BigBlackHen

http://twitter.com/CBSlade

http://twitter.com/cwhr

http://twitter.com/IsleoWightHomes

http://twitter.com/jacquidaley

http://twitter.com/knightfrank

http://twitter.com/LifeResidential

http://twitter.com/marshandparsons

http://twitter.com/squarefoot

http://twitter.com/Squires_

http://twitter.com/thelettingsite

http://twitter.com/townends

If I’ve not mentioned your agency on Twitter, then let me know and we’ll start following you. But only if you follow us first: http://twitter.com/FindaProperty.

Quid pro quo, Clarice. Quid pro quo.

April 7, 2009 at 10:40 AM 8 comments

Google Street View live on Zoopla!

In case you missed it, Zoopla! announced last week that only days after the launch of Google’s UK Street View we have integrated it into our mapping.  Street View is currently only available in 25 UK cities, covering just under 10% of the 233k miles of road in the country but a far greater proportion of UK population and therefore property.

Street view image in NottinghamStreet view image in Nottingham

In the context of property search and market information, it’s certainly a great addition to the site experience.  Street View supplements the bird’s eye and aerial property views already available, giving users the ultimate tool to research an area for buying, renting or understanding property values.

How to use Street View on Zoopla!

1. You’ve found a 3 bedroom house in Oxford that matches your criteria.

2. Scroll down the listing page, where the default Map view is shown, and select Street View at the top right of the image.

Selecting Street View on Zoopla!Selecting Street View on Zoopla!

3.  You’re now taking a virtual tour of the street where this property is for sale.  You can either get a full 360 degrees view, or take a stroll up and down.

Henley Street in OxfordStreet View of Henley Street, Oxford, OX4

4. To get a 360 degree perspective of a street or change the directional view, drag the ‘N’ around the dial in the top left or click on the arrows, to move down the street click the white arrows on the line pointing down the centre. To zoom in or out click the + or – to the left.

NB – due to Google not being able to pinpoint the exact position of an individual property, Street View images are likely to be several metres away from the property in question or facing the opposite way.

Street View can be found on all Zoopla!’s maps. If you’re researching current home values in Oxford and wonder why a particular area is more valuable than another, Street View allows you to compare streets by selecting Map View for that search result. When selecting Street View you’ll notice that areas covered by Google are outlined in blue.

Areas covered by Street View are outlined in blueAreas covered by Street View are outlined in blue

As you zoom in further you’ll see individual streets outlined in blue and a simple click will allow you to take a virtual tour of that area.

Zoopla! are big fans of Street View and think it will add a huge deal of value to people researching property online which is what we’re all about. We hope you agree but feel free to let us know what you think.

April 6, 2009 at 1:02 PM 1 comment

Graph of the Week: FindaProperty.com Records Highest Daily Traffic Ever

Our guys in the Research Team have some interesting news to report.

On Monday March 23, FindaProperty.com attracted 174,014 unique visitors. This is the highest daily level we have seen since daily tracking records began in mid-2006.

How do we explain this?

It’s partly down to the fact that in the week preceding March 23 we had two big events: the launch of our McDonalds Best Chance Monopoly promotion (win 2 x £300k to buy a home) and our partnering of Google to launch Street View UK.

But our research team also say the rise in visitor numbers is evidence of a pick-up in market activity: since the start of 2009, the number of visitors to FindaProperty.com has been 8.6 per cent higher than the same period in 2008.

In March, unique visitors to FindaProperty.com were up 6.7 per cent month-on-month and 8.6 per cent year-on-year.

Is the market enjoying a spring revival? We’d love to hear what’s happening in your neighbourhood.

April 3, 2009 at 12:55 PM 14 comments

Gas Safe Register Replaces CORGI

We wrote about this subject on FindaProperty.com ealier in the week.

Here’s a helpful video about the changes, which took effect on April 1.

Thanks to Ciara over at Royals of Rent for alerting us to this YouTube source.

April 3, 2009 at 11:51 AM Leave a comment

Top 10 Property Forums

1. Thisismoney Message Boards:“Sanity returns – but at what cost?” wonders greybaby. I’ve often asked myself the same question, baby. Lively discussion of homes, mortgages and house prices from the best personal finance website in the business.

2. Zoopla AskMe:  Not just shameless self promotion (OK, maybe a little). Ask questions and get answers from some of the most active agents and property experts online.

3. 4homes: Need to share your passion for Kirstie, your devotion to Phil? This is the place to do it. Lots of practical discussion, too, about buying, selling, DIY, design. And, quite recently: MOLES!

4. Period Property Discussion Forum: You are not alone:  yes, there are other people who need to talk about linseed paint, sash windows, ledged doors and George Monbiot’s scurrilous attack on the AGA.

5. LandlordZone: Active forum that gets down to the nitty gritty: deposits, evictions, sub-letting, inventories … and whether a dehumidifier is tax deductible. Well? Is it?

6.  FT Discussions: High octane discussion of editorially posted questions. The place to be if, like Ides_of_March, you can say this sort of stuff: “I think the rental situation is too far removed from the fundamentals of the K cycle to gain much of an insight.” Me too, Ides, me too.

7. Swarb Law Forum: Informative legal forum addressing landlord/tenant issues. “What about the duty to mitigate you keep banging on about?” Hairyloon asks Faithless … yeah, Faithless, what about that then?

8.  Moneysavingexpert Forum: Very active forum with lots of chat about property. Searched in vain for “the drinks are on me” thread.

9. HomeQ: Property questions and answers (Q&A) in a lively community. Free to register and a simple and intuitive site experience.

10. DIYnot Forum: Ok, look, there’s a bank holiday weekend looming.  Get advice first and take warning from their disasters thread: “Gas Pipe ARGGGHHHH!”.  I_am_fubar reveals that “looking into how to plumb has caused me to have some rather odd nightmares about waking up and my walls have all washed away.” Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Have we missed any? If so, send us your recommendations.

April 3, 2009 at 11:07 AM 14 comments

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