House Hunting Online – A Sign of the Times?

House Hunting Online
House Hunting Online. A Sign of the Times.

I remember back to my first house purchase, spending hours visiting high street estate agents who would take details of what I was looking for and add me to their precious mailing list, and then you wait…

Old School House Hunting

Then came the bombardment of mail, the old fashioned kind that comes through your letterbox, of printed property details, of houses way out of my budget, or that didn’t satisfy my search criteria at all. To be honest the process was a long and laborious one.

This was BTI (before the internet) when house hunting involved scouring local newspapers and spending weekends peering through estate agents windows, and driving around the local area looking for estate agents boards.

Online House Hunting

What a difference a decade makes, a lesson I learned when a possible job relocation required me to research buying or renting in Southampton.

The internet drastically reduced the amount of time I spent looking for potential properties. Although the amount of information regarding properties for sale is vast, with the use of property portals and estate agent websites, plus a refined search criteria, that I was in full control of, the results returned were much more effective.

The property maze whether renting or buying can be complex, but with the use of the internet can help you stay in control and help you to find the best deals available.

Estate Agent Advertising

With so many of us heading straight to our smartphones and tablets for house hunting online and looking for information to support our property decisions, is there still a need for traditional estate agent marketing? In particular the ugly estate agent boards emblazoned with for sale or to let.

Our digital devices not only show us defined search results, but they also enable us to go off and find reviews and ratings, as well as compare different price brackets and areas and styles of accommodation. Are many of us driven to our devices from an old fashioned estate agent board? Or is it more likely to be from an online ad following us around the internet, or even a TV advertisement, not for a property but for a website? I think the latter.

Of course once you have narrowed down your property search the viewing stage, or at least the final viewing, still needs to be done on foot. This is where the estate agent board comes into play, to help us find the property that is for sale or rent, or does it?
I don’t think it has a use here either. We can of course head back to our devices and utilise Google Maps to direct us to our potential property which makes the boards obsolete, replaced by technology.

Do you take any notice of estate agent boards? Or, like me do you head straight to the internet to see what properties are for sale? Tell us in the comments.

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