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How do you search for property? Part 2

Yesterday I gave you an insite into the way you can shortlist a property search without the internet, exactly how I used to do it 10 years ago!

Today we now look at the internet portals and reveal the amazing benefits and the serious failings of the top 5 property portals.

Questions I considered while looking for my property were:
How easy is it to use in the real world?Why does it work this way?How instinctive or intuitive was the process? What could one portal learn from another?Is there a reason why Rightmove is the largest property search?Is this really the easiest way to narrow down my search?

Part 2 – The best and the worst on-line property websites

I can’t help myself, but no matter how i want to avoid the big boys Rightmove is the best place to start. It’s like the “Microsoft” of the property world. Everyone wants to try something else, but you end up coming back to what you are most familiar with. With 90% of the property listed on Rightmove, you can understand why only a fool would ignore visiting the site for a search.

Rightmove Search – positive keypoints

  • Huge amount of listings
  • Draw-a-Search – incredibly useful
  • Good usability including memory of last zoom level and ability to handle 2 results overlapping on the map view
  • Not overly heavy on adverts
  • Easy to navigate
  • Proven track record – people to buy property using Rightmove

The Draw-a-Search enables you to draw an area on the map using Google maps. There is no end to the complexity of the shape as it uses the UI from Google maps. Along with the street view and great zoom to the various levels the usability of locating property via a map is superb. Once property icons are located you simply click on each icon and then click on more info for the details. Draw a Search appears as a filter on the results page of your initial search. When you click the ‘Draw a search’ button, it allows you to draw a shape within your requested location of the exact search area are you are looking for.You can then generate search results within that area, either in list view or plotted within your Draw a Search area on the map itself. The great thing is that these searches can be saved to your Rightmove account and you will be able
to receive property alerts on those areas, meaning that you know that any alerts that come through are specifically in locations you have defined. – Useful and very usable

Something that Rightmove had in it’s favour, that Zoopla didn’t was the ability to keep my zoom level on the map i was viewing. On Zoopla’s map if you move onto property detail and then back to the map again the zoom level was lost back to the default zoom level where as Rightmove respected the zoom and stayed on the last set level.

When there are more than one property close together on the map, Rightmove overcomes this problem of the overlapping properties by having more than one property in an area within a scrollable window.

How do you search for property on Rightmove

A real plus - draw a search

Rightmove Search – negative keypoints

  • Design a little drab
  • Lacks cutting edge (very mainstream)
  • Few widgets and gadgets
  • No Zoopla “TemptMe” equivalent

Maybe the reason Rightmove is so successful is its delivered, without giving the user every bell and whistle going. I can’t help but feel that Findaproperty and Zoopla, even Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo have a sharpness and excitement about them that isn’t seen on Rightmove.

The slightly old fashioned feel, and why the busy wallpaper with eyes – doesn’t feel like a property site design – more like an African pyjamas pattern!

In Part 3 tomorrow we take a look at some further property websites that you’ll want to avoid and bookmark.

 

posted by Zane in Estate Agents,For Sale,Guide,Rightmove,Tepilo,Zoopla and have Comments (2)

2 Responses to “How do you search for property? Part 2”

  1. […] we looked at the number 1 property web site rightmove and analysed where it is good and also some of it’s […]

  2. John says:

    Google maps are essential to an online estate agent now, http://www.sellownhome.co.uk have them also under property lisitings.

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