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How do you search for property? Part 4

So who else other than Rightmove do you use when searching to buy property on-line? I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t use Rightmove. But I’m also keen to see what other sites can provide or compliment to a buyers search. Even a site  providing something a bit special would be good.

Many will disagree, but ignore Zoopla at your peril. I know estate agents aren’t keen on the Zoopla Zed-index and often the values are miles off.  additionally they have stats and figures and graphs galore. Whether it’s for you or not is your choice, but it does have a real gorgeous treat that Rightmove didnt get there hands on.  TemptMe!

TemptMe! is an awesome idea that really helps if you want a particular road or just want to see how the market reacts to your ideal price. If you further the interest of a TemptMe! entree, Zoopla  cleverly provides several local estate agents that will still take there split for any successful enquiry – I must say I did wonder how the estate agents would feel about missing out on the sale, but Zoopla cleverly made concession for this.

Part 4 – Zoopla a good compliment

So what did we love about Zoopla?

  • TemptMe facility
  • Previous price history and street stats every where
  • The simplicity of the overlaid symbols
  • Colour coded  – modern young exuberant feel
  • Good amount of results
  • Keywords search included
  • Loads of widgets and gadgets for web developers

The ability to pin down a search with my chosen keywords is a real plus over rightmove. So words such as farm, views, countryside, private,  garage, conservatory all help narrow down a large search. This could provide a real benefit if you are looking over a very large area for something quite unique.

Zoopla as a good alternative

Zoopla does TemptMe!

Some Zoopla negatives though

  • Usability issue with zoom level (explained below)
  • Can’t draw map outline
  • Overlap symbols on map view awkward

A real failing in usability was the way the map kept resulting back to a default zoom level.

I clicked on the map and set my zoom level, after finding an ideal property I click on “more info” After viewing the details i want to get back to my map search. Problem, returning back to the previous result page shows the zoom level back to the default setting. It hasn’t  kept my setting. This is where Rightmove gets it right.

Even using the back button on browser or back to results button provided by Zoopla looses the map zoom. After clicking on the icon i cant open the more info in another browser, i’m forced to open within the same browser window – thereby my maps zoom is lost again

Another usability issue i had was when searches result in the Zoopla symbols on the map overlapping. This makes it difficult to click the hidden detail. (Rightmove overcomes this problem by having more than one property in an area within a scrollable window)

So Zoopla joins Rightmove as my 2 sites to use for on-line property searches.

Recent figures from MediaTel/UKOM support my gut feelings:

Unique visitors to the UK’s leading property portals

Rank Site Unique Visitors January 2011
1 Rightmove 3,599,000
2 Zoopla 1,923,000
3 Findaproperty 1,619,000
4 Primelocation 1,048,000

Tomorrow in our final part of this article,  I look at another property site.

posted by Zane in Buying,Estate Agents,For Sale,Rightmove,Zoopla and have No Comments

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