Posts tagged ‘Social media’

Sell your home with social media: how one couple are showing us how it’s done

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Watch out Kirstie and Phil. Martin and Mary Wells from Doulting, Somerset could well give Britain’s favourite TV property couple a run for their money after coming up with an entertaining and unique way to sell their family home.

Meet Martin and Mary Wells, Somerset’s answer to Kirstie and Phil (scroll down to watch the video)

Martin, a consultant media lecturer and Mary, an art technician at a local school, put their home on the market 14 weeks ago through estate agent Charles Barnard. Frustrated with the lack of solid interest in their five bedroom home, the couple – who have two teenage children –  slashed its price from £295,000 to £289,950.

But they didn’t stop there. The couple sat down and brainstormed for creative ways to promote the home to a wider audience and the result is a full campaign that includes social media in the form of YouTube, facebook and twitter, as well as a massive 2ft by 8ft For Sale banner on the side of their home.

The videos are great fun. In the first one Martin and Mary imitate Kirstie and Phil while giving a tour of their local village. In the other two videos you get more Martin and Mary being themselves and having a great old time showing us why they love their family home – bloopers and all.

“We didn’t want to be staid and boring we wanted to have some fun in it,” Martin, who has a background in film editing, explained. “We just thought we could say it differently, we could say it with video, we could use the web to our advantage and create something that is completely different.”

“Stop it with the dog, we’re not selling the dog”

And they have. While YouTube is cluttered with boring video tours of properties, the Wells’ efforts – all shot on an iPhone camera – stand alone as authentic, a bit rough around the edges, but also really very funny at times. They have other videos planned too, including a QVC shopping channel-inspired film, one based on a dog cam (the dog is featured in the film titled Annexe) and a double-glazing-style ‘buy the house and get a car thrown in’ video.

But what does their estate agent think of all this extra marketing? “Steve, our estate agent is right behind us,” Martin says. “He’s doing what he can, they have the brochures we’ve produced in their office, but he obviously has limitations about what they can do from a legal perspective.”

In the meantime, the Wells – who plan to downsize, but stay local once they’ve sold – seem to have inadvertently taught us all a lesson about selling a home in a challenging property market. You can see the property on facebook, interact with Martin via twitter (@houseforsale55) or watch the YouTube films to get a feel for the home’s family credentials. There’s a definite viral element to the films too, which encourages sharing.

“As you can tell, we both get really excited about these things,” says Martin. “We’re both really creative and we just want to do it differently.”

And they’ve certainly done that.

“We both like having fun we enjoy ourselves and we approached our estate agent with this and said: look we know you’ve tried the normal way of selling and while we’ve had loads of people through the door it’s not happened so what’s up.”

November 2, 2011 at 1:23 PM Leave a comment

Do you live in a ‘Hot-Spot’, ‘Slow-Spot’ or ‘Not-Spot’?

Can you believe that even in this day and age, research from SamKnows has found that over 3 million homes (that’s 15% of homes) across the UK have a broadband speed of less than two megabits per second (Mbps).

Worryingly, that could mean that 3 million people are struggling to download all the lovely Zoopla.co.uk property details and images (!) as well as having issues shopping online, tweeting on twitter or simply sending emails.

Fear not, help is at hand…we only have to wait till 2012!

In the government’s interim Digital Britain report they have promised to provide all homes in the UK with a broadband speed of at least 2 Mbps by 2012.

What is interesting and somewhat surprising, is that this issue is not just restricted to rural communities but affects the commuter band also.

So, with many people trading local area info using Zoopla’s AskMe! community tool and over 80% of people starting their property search online, we thought we’d look at how many ‘slow-spots’ the UK’s top ten cities have (excluding London).

Using the website broadband-notspot.org.uk we’ve ranked the top 10 UK cities (by population) and surrounding areas (20 mile radius) according to the number of ‘slow-spots’ we found.

As you would expect, the cities don’t have ‘not-spots’ but surprisingly, they do have ‘slow-spots’. This is how the cities rank:

Slow-spots Cities
1 Birmingham, Bristol, Bradford
2 Liverpool
3 Edinburgh, Cardiff
4 Manchester, Glasgow
5 Leeds, Sheffield

If you think you live in a broadband ‘not-spot’ or ’slow-spot’, here are a few handy tips from our friends at Ofcom.

  1. Some broadband services can be affected by electrical interference. Try calling your internet service provider (ISP) who can recommend ways that this can be reduced (e.g. fitting additional filters to your telephone sockets).
  2. You may find that at peak times, like the roads, your broadband speed is a lot slower, so varying the times you use your connection may help.
  3. Moving to a faster broadband package won’t necessarily speed up your connection because of where you live. So be sure to speak to your ISP about the maximum speed you can achieve with your current telephone / data line.
  4. Switching your ISP may improve speeds. Comparison websites and ‘best buy’ guides can provide you with an indication of ISPs with good speed performance and also let you know whether other customers are happy with that ISP.

You may also find some of these links useful:

Check out your speed : broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk
Broadband availability: broadbandperformance.co.uk
Monitor your usage: thinkbroadband.com
Coverage map: broadband-notspot.org.uk

May 27, 2009 at 3:31 PM Leave a comment

Twitter and Property

This week Zoopla.co.uk has seen an increase in agents making enquiries about Zoopla! and signing up with us through Twitter.

So, what is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blogging site, described by Twitter themselves as:

“… a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

We’ve been on Twitter for a few months now and have built a healthy following of 1,653 people, whilst we’re following 1,556 people. According to www.wefollow.com, a Twitter Directory, there are 57,928 worldwide Twitter accounts linked to “property”. So clearly Twitter is a growing social media tool for people interested in all aspects of home-moving, owning and renting.

We’d love to hear more from our users or agents via Twitter. You can follow us at @zoopla and we’ll always tweet back with you.

If you’re new to Twitter here is a quick guide. We’re always happy to help out and answer questions on Twitter about Zoopla.co.uk, property or Twitter itself.

1. Sign up for an account at twitter.com

2. Find some people to follow using the ‘find people’ feature or ‘search’ feature – try @zoopla or property experts @sarahbeeny of Property Ladder fame or Kirstie Allsopp @kirstiemallsopp from Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location or even the Channel 4 Homes Team themselves @4homes.

3. Start posting your 140 character tweets – we recommend keeping them light and chatty

4. To reply to someone, you put an @ at the front of the name like @zoopla

5. If someone you follow posts an interesting ‘tweet’ then you can ‘retweet’ it by typing RT at the beginning

Don’t expect people to follow you back right away, it may take some time.

Happy tweeting and we look forward to hearing from you on Twitter.

May 21, 2009 at 3:36 PM 2 comments


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