Real estate networks are seeing significant increases in web traffic this year, with one group reporting it has recorded its highest number of unique visitors in October.
According to CENTURY 21 Australasia, its number of unique visitors to its Australian website was 27 per cent greater in October this year compared to the same month last year. In addition, the website also attracted an 85 per cent increase in visitors from mobile devices when comparing the same periods.
“These results reflect the ongoing strengthening of the Australian property market, the global presence of the CENTURY 21 real estate network, and growing international interest in Australian property,” said chairman and owner of CENTURY 21 Australasia, Charles Tarbey.
“The growing trend of consumers searching for property information through tablets and mobile devices emphasises the importance of real estate groups being ‘mobile ready’ in order to promote properties to the largest possible buyer pool.”
As part of its ‘mobile ready’ strategy, CENTURY 21 recently introduced affordable video listings with voice-over, which it believes has contributed to the increase in mobile traffic over the past year.
“Investment into online technologies and marketing is as important to selling a house these days as planting a physical ‘For Sale’ sign in front of a property,” Mr Tarbey said.
LJ Hooker’s head of marketing and technology Ryan Campbell told Real Estate Business the network had experienced a significant surge of 64 per cent in unique visitors from October 2012 to October 2013.
"As the real estate market gathers steam around the country, a natural increase in traffic to our website was to be expected," he said. "However, it's been supported by our ongoing strategic activity to drive this – two recent brand campaigns, our national television commercial, which drove the catch cry ljhooker.com and print and online campaign – on a national and local office level to drive appraisals.
Mobile traffic to m.ljhooker.com.au also increased 48 per cent in the same period of October 2012 to October 2013.
"We are constantly developing initiatives to support our brand, which will see ljhooker.com extend its lead as Australia's and New Zealand's number one real estate agency website," he said.
"There has also been a strong take-up of Facebook, with 70 per cent of the LJ Hooker offices having active pages and interacting with consumers on a daily basis."
Raine&Horne has experienced an 18-month high in visitors to its website, rh.com.au, with web traffic increasing by 27 per cent over the last 18 months to October 2013.
In particular, the network reported that its number of website visitors who clicked through to ‘Find an Office’ had increased by 111 per cent between October last year and October this year.
CEO of Raine&Horne Angus Raine said: “Increased web traffic is a good lead indicator that there are more people in the market considering buying or selling a property. The growth in our website visitor numbers proves that consumers are increasingly doing their due diligence by seeing what the market has to offer before embarking on the property inspection trail.
“We’ve recognised the consumer’s hunger for property, which is why we have new digital publications under development that will deliver the latest Raine&Horne property information to our global database of over 800,000 contacts.”
Ray White has reported an increase of 25 per cent and 50 per cent for web traffic and visits from mobiles devices respectively between October 2012 and October 2013.
Head of IT at Ray White Darren McCoy said one of the surprising statistics was the increase in the number of pages people were looking at in a single visit.
“Across our franchise group websites, we're seeing probably on average five pages per visit, which is pretty high,” he said.
He explained that people were taking time to familiarise themselves with the company by reading about its history, its services and the agents.
According to Mr McCoy, there was no correlation between the increases in web traffic and the current market.
“People will always want to look at property regardless of whether they're in a buyer or seller's market,” he said.