Dear UNRFSA member,
This was excerpted from our recent UNRFSA.org weekly newsletter sent out to our members in Malaysia (on Feb 1st, 2013). Due to popular demand, we are reprinting this article here for everybody’s benefit.
Good real estate portals happen to be very helpful marketing tools for real estate agents and for people who want to sell properties privately – especially in Malaysia. If you are an agent or a seller, the biggest benefit that you will get from one of these portals, though, is the fact that you won’t have to go through the hassle of marketing the website that you are on. All that you will have to do is reap the rewards that comes with the portal’s good online positioning.
To make sure that you find a good real estate portal to sign up with, though, here are several things you should look out for:
UNRFSA’s Criteria For Real Estate Portals (Malaysia)
- Online Visibility
Before choosing a real estate portal to rely on, it would be important to check where they rank on search engines first. To test this out, type in a keyword into your search engine of choice and include the area that you are selling your property in. Then, see whether the portal will show up on the search engine result’s first page.
A good Malaysian online real estate portal is MetroSherpa which has got some really good rankings for some of very competitive terms. Also, Home Guru also has very good online visibility.
Try looking at things from a user’s perspective while browsing the portal and look for properties in your general area on it. Then, ask yourself the following questions: Is the portal’s user navigation clear and easy-to-use? Is the design and layout attractive? Would it be easy to ask about a certain property on it?
Of course, you will also have to think about your target market itself. Will they be able to access the World Wide Web and use the website properly? What are their overall needs?
An example of a site with excellent usability would be I-property.com. It has very little clutter and also is free from all those irritating flash banners that you see populating other property portals. It is no surprise that it is the leading property portal in Malaysia according to this website -
- Unique Features
Find out whether the real estate portal has any special features available that you can make use of, such as additional space for more pictures, visual tours, maps, videos or on show alerts. Some sites which are completely informational – such as the KLCC Condo Encyclopedia – they may lack pictures and videos but are good sources of ear-to-the-ground information.
- The Competition
Before signing up with a property portal, find out if any of your competitors have advertisements on the website. If they do, then you might want to follow in their footsteps yourself.
Find out whether the website also has other sister websites that your property might appear on. You might want to find out whether they have a mobile website, as well, so that users can access and browse the website through their mobile phones with ease. A good informational site on Malaysia property which has good mobile interface is hard to find.
- Offline Advertising
Since your ultimate goal should be to subscribe to the best and most effective real estate portal out there, you have to make sure that your website of choice has a ton of advertisements – both online and offline.
Before making your final decision, it would also be smart to shop around first and take a look at what other real estate portals might be charging. You might also want to see what else you could get for your money before signing up to a certain website.
- Technical Support Team
Another important thing that you should look out for when it comes to this would be a reliable technical support team since you will want to be able to get in touch with them in case you have questions later on.
Got questions? Just email me. Or, if you want to join our newsletter, send a blank email to email@example.com, or get our contact details here.
Malcolm Lee (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org), Chief Publicity Officer, UNRFSA.org (Malaysia Branch)