Is social media shifting the way we buy property?
Social media has had a significant impact on everything from the way we socialise to the way we meet potential partners. There are over 2 billion social media users worldwide. Now, there’s growing evidence showing that social media is affecting the way we look for and buy property.
90% of homebuyers search for property online, with 52% using the web as their first step (Nar Realtor). For new home shoppers, 36% report using a mobile device while watching TV.
With so many people shopping for property online, social media has become a major lead generator. Buyers are increasingly using it to find their homes. As #1 estate agent in the Zoopla Property Power 100 (Zoopla), Spot Blue International Property is at the forefront of leveraging the power of social media to sell property. Social media traffic to SpotBlue.com from 1/8/17 to 12/09/17 more than trebled vs the same period last year.
“Social media has opened up huge opportunities for those looking to buy property online. However, buyers need to be careful to ensure that they are buying safely through a credible seller. The property landscape is shifting and social media is playing a key role in that. It’s an exciting time to be part of this new model within the property sector.”
Julian Walker, MD, Spot Blue
5 top tips on buying property safely using social media from Julian Walker, Spot Blue
1. Finding a trusted seller is key. Look for a blue tick to ensure the social media account has been verified, plus look into the Klout ranking, Zoopla Power List, number of followers and company Wikipedia entry. Back this up with a Companies House web check search.
2. Read recommendations, testimonials and reviews – decent agents should have at least 98% on Google+ and 4.8/5 on Facebook (as is the case with Spot Blue).
3. Review the followers ratio – at least 3:1 in terms of followers to following. Consider the size of the company’s network too by looking at the number of followers on LinkedIn (Spot Blue has over 4,500, for example).
4. Make sure the seller is easy to contact with at least an 80% response rate and no more than a 3-hour response time.
5. Look for consistent company branding, contact details, and whether the agency is signed up to Data Protection Act (this indicates your data will be safe).