Digital Earthquake as agents shift spending from portals to websites

A leading industry supplier says there’s been a jaw-dropping 495 per cent year-on-year increase in digital spend from agents – and that may be bad news for portals.

Starberry’s chief executive Ben Sellers says this near five-fold increase represents a shift of spending by agents away from portals and towards their own websites and lead generation.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the property industry to evolve and relook how and where they spend their marketing budget. In today’s environment, a business’s digital footprint has become increasingly more important, and we have seen the shift in estate agents putting more focus into growing their own online presence so that they are not as reliant on the portals for digital leads” he says.

“As the new shop window, agents are spending more on their own websites, ensuring that they are optimising their lead capturing, lead generation and lead nurturing tools. We are also seeing agents increase their spend on their communication channels and digital marketing campaigns.”

He adds that while the majority of agents had some digital presence in the past, it was not the prime focus it has become today.

“We have been in the digital sector for several decades and have always had to convince agents about the digital transformation we believed was coming, however, now we are inundated with agents who are realising the potential of their own websites and how leads generated from their own digital channels are actually better quality and cost less than portals,”

Sellers comments: “Because agents were not focused on their own digital presence, they were heavily reliant on portals to generate leads.

“However, agents can achieve phenomenal results that rival those of the portals from their own websites via digital marketing and connecting their social media channels, email, chat and portal leads together in conjunction with their CRMs, to achieve a serious marketing ROI and true lead attribution.”

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