Property listing websites and portals have become an important part of the real estate market as it forms a foundation for the online marketing of properties by several real estate agents. Over the years, many listing websites have been developed most of which are either regional or national as they tend to promote properties located within a specific country or area. More recently, there have been new websites focusing on the promotion of international real estate by listing properties from several countries on different continents.
With so many websites to choose from, it may be a challenge for buyers and renters to identify which portals would have properties that suit their needs. A similar problem may be faced by real estate agents, brokers and property owners as well to find the ideal listing platform to promote their properties to their target clients. Now that there is so much competition in the property listing sector, many portals are trying to find ways to differentiate themselves and market their services. This article provides a list of top property listing portals focusing on different countries and regions around the world including the United Kingdom (UK), United States(US), Central Europe and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There is also a list of top international property listing websites. It tells you about some of the features of these sites to help you to choose the one that would be most appropriate for you.
Leading property platforms for real estate listing in the UK
Considering the effects of Brexit on the property market in the UK, consumer confidence seems to be falling which is reflected in the drop in property prices experienced in the real estate industry. Studies show that in May 2019, property prices fell by 0.2% when compared to the prices in April 2019. The yearly rise in housing prices has slowed down to about 0.6% as people seem to be less interested in buying properties in the country. This has placed the average property prices between £214,920 and £214,946. Even with the decline observed in the industry which seems to mirror the general economy, the number of first-time home buyers appears to be on a steady increase. These buyers generally start their search from online property portals.
The top real estate listing websites in the UK include:
Rightmove which was listed on the London Stock Exchange as a publicly traded company in 2006 is the top property portal in the UK. It has a revenue of about £267.8million in 2018, with a traffic of about 12.3 billion visitors to the Rightmove website last year. It also has about 20,454 members and advertisers with an easy search feature where users can find properties in the UK for rent or sale. Its average revenue per advertiser in 2016 was £842 per month and this had increased by 10% to £922 per month in 2017. In 2018, its average revenue per advertiser rose by another £83 above that in 2017 to about £1005 per month. The website is in English as this is the main language in the UK. Rightmove carries out research on property prices which it presents as a report and it also offers property valuation services. In its blog section, it has articles about properties, news, trends and stories about members of the Rightmove community.
Zoopla prides itself in the comprehensive nature of its real estate listing website. It focuses on the resources to ensure that its users make well-informed decisions when choosing their property. This is achieved by using a combination of the listed properties, research on market data and local information obtained from within the community. Zoopla was launched in 2008 and has become one of the fastest growing UK property listing portals as it boasts of over 40 million monthly visitors. It also offers news on the real estate industry as well as providing valuation of property for customers. The website is available in English and there is an overseas search section for properties available for sale outside the UK.
It is introducing an investment platform where individuals can get returns on property investments from as low as £100 put in any of the funds that they support. The income is gotten from the rent collected and the changes in the value of the properties. Zoopla reported an average revenue per partner of about £340 in 2016 while this rose to about £358 in 2017. This investment from clients is divided between many mortgages ensuring that the risk of losing one does not affect the investment.
OnTheMarket is one of the largest online real estate listing platform in the UK. It was launched in 2015 offering a simple search platform for properties in the UK real estate market. The main aim is to apply advanced technology to give users a “cleaner, fresher, more focused approach”. It offers an instant alert option letting subscribers know when a new property that meets their specification becomes available and this service has more than 1 million subscribers already. OnTheMarket boasts of property features at least 24 hours ahead of the competition and offers complementary search services for properties listed overseas. The value offered is a premier search platform which is backed by agents and the agents are charged for the service provided.
According to the financial report published by OnTheMarket, it showcased over 650,000 properties located in the UK as at the beginning of June 2019 and it received about 25.4million online visitors in May 2019. The average fees charged by OnTheMarket, are about 25% of the fees and costs if agents choose to use Rightmove. This means that if Rightmove gets £1005 per month as the average revenue per advertiser, the OnTheMarket will obtain about £251 per month. OnTheMarket hopes to obtain an average revenue of about £388 per month from each advertiser on the platform by 2021. It is making a strong play for a significant share of the market which had been dominated by other companies like Rightmove and Zoopla.
Top real estate listing portals in the US
The real estate market in the US is now experiencing a reduced growth rate after about six years of acceleration. There is a decline in the demand for houses leading to a reduction in the rate of construction activities in the country. In 2018, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that the house price index rose only by 5.76% which is less than the previous year when there was a growth of 6.72% or even 2016 when the rise was 6.37%. Even with this decrease in demand, there has been a rise in house prices in major cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Seattle, Denver and Atlanta with growth rates of 12.07%, 8.1%, 6.33%, 6.22% and 6.2% respectively. Other cities have experienced some growth as well including Minneapolis (5.77%), San Francisco (5.6%), Boston (5.59%), Miami (4.96%), Los Angeles (4.44%) and Washington (2.72%). Many other cities experienced a similar rise in prices and in 2018, the average sales price of new homes increased to US$362,400 which is a 1.8% rise compared to the previous year.
The reduced demand for properties and the higher prices observed in major cities is a cause for concern especially as real estate agents and sellers need to promote their properties more strategically so as to reach the target market. One of the main strategies to achieve this is to display their properties on leading real estate listing websites such as those below.
Zillow seems to be leading the US online real estate listing sector, with an online traffic of 36 million unique visitors monthly. It aims to provide support for its customers at every point in their real estate journey including, buying, selling, renting as well as financing and remodelling. Zillow has a growing database with over 110 million properties in their living database across the US. It also provides property valuation and rental “zestimates” while offering knowledge and data to help their users. Launched in 2006, Zillow is the flagship brand of Zillow Group which also owns many other real estate related brands. Zillow now gives its users a fully integrated one-stop home shopping system where they can access property listings, buy homes and even obtain loans. There are some free basic services for real estate agents to use on the Zillow website and homebuyers as well as sellers also use the platform for free. The Zillow Premier Agent offers more benefits and services costing about $20-$60 per lead, based on the advertising cost per region, the number of agents in that area and the budgeted advertising amount per agent. In 2014, Zillow reported a average revenue per advertiser of $372 per month and this was a reflection of an 18% growth from $318 in the previous year. It gets revenue from selling advertising on the website and also by charging renters who choose to use a debit card to pay the landlord through the Zillow Rental Manager tool. This service is at no cost to the landlord but the renter is expected to pay about $29 for each application as it includes a background check as well as a credit analysis.
Truila is the next top real estate listing website in the US and it is also a member of the Zillow group. Truila was launched in 2005 with a focus on giving its users a feel of the neighbourhood they are interested in, as they understand that finding a home goes beyond the house and extends to the community. This is done by providing insights from locals and offering neighbourhood map overlays with information about schools in the area, crime rates and other similar details that help provide a clearer picture of the area. It also offers neighbourhood guides and news about the real estate industry as well as a blog to keep users updated on all the happenings in the property market. Truila has about 23 million monthly visitors which attests to its position in the market. Truila makes its way by focusing on community education and user engagement.
Realtor.com follows in closely behind the Zillow Group of companies with about 18 million unique visitors coming to its website monthly. Its objective is to make the home journey simple, efficient and enjoyable for their users. Realtor.com is the official website of the National Association of Realtors started in 1995 and is operated by Move Inc. which is a subsidiary of News Corp. It provides the users with a comprehensive list of available properties while giving them the necessary information to make the decisions about their real estate investments. Realtor.com refers to itself as “the home of home search” as it offers the most accurate online and mobile platform connecting directly to more than 800 multiple listing services and giving updates every 15 minutes. It also has a valuable collection of tools to help property owners to keep track of the value of their investments which may change over time. Realtor.com also offers home improvement management options as well as opportunities to scout similar properties within the location. It provides information for both homeowners and realtors and its income is generated by selling advertising and client leads to real estate agents and property brokers.
These are the top property listing sites in the US with others like RedFin, Yahoo homes, Homes, ApartmentGuide, Curbed and ReMax following closely behind.
Best property listing websites in Central Europe – France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy
The Eurozone seems to be experiencing a decline in the property growth rate as stated by BNP Paribas real estate in its report. It also stated that there was a sharp rise in the performance of the rental market in cities like Milan in Italy, Warsaw in Poland and Luxembourg. The French and German markets however did not perform very well as they experienced some decline in rental properties due to a lack of supply. In general, property investments across Europe seem to be fairly stable with a commitment of about €264 billion with the highest activity level experienced in Germany at about €61.5 billion. Considering that there has been an increase of about 37% (between October 2017 and March 2018) in the number of audiences who have visited real estate listing websites, with unique visitors growing from 20.4 million to about 23 million in only 6 months, it is evident that property listing websites are important for real estate transactions.
According to real estate website ranking by SimilarWeb which is based on recorded traffic as at May 2019, the following websites seem to top the charts in Central Europe.
Funda.nl is a real estate platform created in 2001 by NVM which is the largest real estate trade organisation in The Netherlands with an aim to cater to the property market in the country. The website uses advanced technology and applications to help its audience to find their ideal properties. Funda.nl considers itself to be the broker’s partner as it uses the data from internet users to offer the best options to property brokers and real estate agents. Using data, it maps customer groups based on the characteristics of the target market, their behaviour and interest and this is used to deploy marketing campaigns and adverts. Funda.nl reports a monthly visit of 43 million users and prides itself in being the largest home site in The Netherlands. Its website allows marketing and adverts as a source of income but ensures that this does not affect the user experience. Seeing as 93.13% of its users are based in The Netherlands, most of the website is presented in Dutch with a few pages offered in English.
Immobilienscout24.de seems to be the most popular real estate listing platform in Germany. It was founded in 1997 and has a monthly average of 35.57 million online visitors. Studies show that these visitors spend about 7 minutes on the website while exploring an average of 9 pages per visit. The website allows users to search for properties for rent or sale and provides information on obtaining finance as well as services to move houses. It also offers a link to an international section where properties from other countries may be obtained. The website is only offered in German as 94.62% of its visitors are based in Germany.
Immobiliare.it is Italy’s top property website with about 22.94 million visitors. It was created in 2005 and its website is accessible in up to 8 languages including Italian as 94.61% of its users are based in Italy. The website is translated into English, German, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Greek for the benefit of other international property searchers. The website has a simple search function allowing users to include the type of property they are interested in, the price, location and other items such as number of rooms, condition of the property and floor area. It also separates the properties for residential use and commercial use making it easy to identify the property types.
Leboncoin.fr is one of the most visited websites in France as it in the top 5. It is a classifieds ads page allowing people to post ads for several items from vehicles to properties, jobs and employment opportunities to fashion and electronics. It has become a household name and is used by about 73% of French people. It reports a monthly average of about 26 million unique visitors and its website is relatively easy to use. In 2017, Leboncoin bought the real estate portal Avendrealouer, giving it a solid foundation in the industry. Avendrealouer publishes adverts for over 1.1million properties in France with relatively easy search parameters to help users find the properties they desire. It also allows users to create an alert to be informed when new properties matching their requirements become available. There is a blog section where relevant articles on buying, selling, renting and moving into new properties are published to help users. There is also a unique section of the blog which provides advice on how to better balance the issues of housing and the environment, helping users with the management of their utilities such as energy and heating. As its focus is on the French market, the website is presented only in French.
There are other property portals topping the charts in different countries for example, Poland has otodom.pl, Czech Republic is led by sreality.cz, Russia has cian.ru, the Romanian market is led by publi24.ro and fotocasa.es is leading the industry in Spain.
Real estate listing websites in the United Arab Emirates and Dubai
It goes without saying that the real estate industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) especially in Dubai has been one of the most sort after in the past few years, however, this trend seems to be declining since 2018. There has been so much development and several residential properties have become available making the supply relatively higher than the demand. This provides an opportunity for new investors and potential buyers to choose from the approximately 22,000 residential units which were built in 2018 or the expected 50,000 to be completed in 2019. Also, the government has introduced several schemes to promote the real estate industry in UAE especially in Dubai such as a 10-year residence visa to be given to specific investors and expats, a new retiree visa for those who want to live in Dubai or the UAE after retirement and the reduction in market fees for businesses in the area.
With such trends, the real estate agents and property developers are looking for ways to promote their properties to potential buyers and renters. To achieve this, several real estate listing portals have become popular, some of them are:
Dubizzle is an online marketplace featuring classified ads across several industries including vehicles, properties for sale and rent, jobs and many others. It was launched in 2005 and is now part of the OLX group which operate similar classifieds brands in many countries in several continents. It provides a platform for users to buy and sell various items so as to exchange value within their community. This recent acquisition of 49% of Dubizzle by OLX group now makes it worth about $400 million. In terms of online traffic and visitors to the website, there are about 7 million visitors monthly, however, this is not directly related to real estate as it offers many other services. This classifieds website, allows users to place an advert in Arabic or English within the major cities in the UAE including Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The platform features different sections including properties for sale and those available for rent.
PropertyFinder and JustProperty is another top contender in the real estate market in the UAE specifically in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. With a history starting as a property classifieds printed magazine in 2005, PropertyFinder then rebranded to its online property listing portal in 2007. In April 2019, PropertyFinder acquired JustProperty (a competing real estate online portal) combining their presence, platforms and resources to grow their market share in the UAE and across the Middle East and North Africa region. This has placed PropertyFinder in stiff competition with Dubizzle for the top position of real estate listing websites in the UAE and Dubai. With PropertyFinder having about 2.1million visitors and JustProperty reporting about 570K visitors it is understandable that this acquisition has greatly increased their market share. PropertyFinder recently raised about $120 million giving it a value of about $500 million. The PropertyFinder website can be used in English or Arabic and it offers services in UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi, Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco. It features an easy to use search engine allowing you to choose properties for rent, sale or commercial use after which you can specify the city or community, the property type, price, size and many others.
Bayut is the third real estate listing website in the UAE. It is owned by the Emerging Markets Property Group which serves as a holding company for Bayut and other similar companies. It raised about $50 million making its total investment received about $110 million in recent years and it reports approximately 2.4 million visitors on its website. Its website is offered in Arabic and English with a search option allowing you to easily find properties for sale or rent in any location and at a specific price. The platform also has a blog giving you access to information, tips and trends about the UAE and its many cities on topics such as holiday locations, to festivals, music, restaurants and even investment opportunities.
Top international real estate listing websites and networks
The real estate industry is evolving from a strictly regional based market an international and interconnected community. With the increasing rate at which buyers search for properties online and the available tips for real estate agents on digital marketing, it is no surprise that international property listing portals are now more relevant than ever before. Here are a few of the top international real estate listing portals offering several opportunities to property brokers, sellers, buyers and renters.
Liveonriviera.com is one of the prominent online real estate platforms. It was created in 2014 with a mission to be the first point of contact to meet all the real estate needs of its users. To achieve this, liveonririvera.com works with different service providers and has built a network of more than 10,000 real estate agents and property brokers. The platform promotes over 1.2 million properties located in more than 46 different countries in the world. Due to the international nature of the website, it is available in at least 16 different languages including English, French, Chinese, Dutch, German, Turkish, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian to mention a few. The platform allows real estate agents and sellers to list their properties for free and only gets income from the leads obtained for the properties it promotes. Liveonrivera has a strong market base across Europe with expansion opportunities on other continents. Its platform allows users to search for properties either by typing their preferences in the search box or by simply clicking the location they are interested in on the interactive world map. This gives a new dimension which is visually pleasing and very useful for users to find properties. The platform also has its own blog where regular updates are provided on the real estate market and relevant tips are offered to property agents as well as clients on how to get the best of the industry. Further, liveonriviera provides dedicated customer service channels for buyers who require relocation services or additional support in concluding real estate transactions.
ListGlobally is another platform that promotes its properties internationally with its story dating back to 2013. It works with agents and publishes their properties on over 120 international real estate portals. ListGlobally allows agents to post properties in their local languages after which they are translated into 16 different languages such as Russian, Chinese, French, German and Portuguese. It offers subscription plans to agents and brokers based on the number of properties to be published as well as the services needed such as the number of portals on which these properties would be displayed. Each of the packages offers certain features including a display of the agent’s logo and ranking of the properties when a buyer searches for them. Agents can choose between the classic package or the premium package depending on the features required. ListGlobally also offers concierge services for buyers who need assistance with the property purchasing process. Its main focus is on property promotion, however, it offers third party services including real estate financing, mortgages, legal advice and other customer related services. The portal also provides news on international real estate trends and tips as well as information for international property buyers.
Global Listings is a real estate marketplace which has a database of over 2 million property listings. They publish residential, commercial and holiday properties located in over 100 countries around the world. It provides several levels of services to different customer segments. For example, its premium listings are available for small businesses and individuals to post their properties, corporate prime is an enterprise-level marketing solution for real estate agencies, its listings syndication services collates properties form third party websites while its digital advertising and mortgage solutions allow real estate vendors and customers to use the available resources. Global Listings has a mission to connect people and properties in an efficient, intelligent, easy and cost effective way and it does this through the property search, dynamic pricing and predictive matching technologies that it employs including the use of artificial intelligence in its real estate listing database. It gets its income from fees gotten from real estate agents and property owners for listing their properties on the website depending on the services they require.
Worldproperties is another international property listing website that connects real estate associations and helps to facilitate transactions around the world. It promotes the properties of various agents, after which clients can communicate directly with the agent to get more details about the property. Worldproperties operates under a specific code of conduct which it requires that its partner agents and brokers abide by. The platform allows agents to create a business profile where they can display their contact details, links to their listings and other relevant credentials. This makes it easer for users to search for agents depending on the location, language, specialty or other relevant details. It also has a simple search engine for users to identify if they want a residential or commercial property, the location of such property and if they are interested in buying or renting. The website is available in English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, German and Russian making it accessible to a truly international market.
Holprop.com is an international property platform which is dedicated to helping people find properties that they love. It offers a large database of properties for rent and sale in 7 different languages including English, French, Russian, Dutch, Italian, German and Spanish. The platform also has publications on investments giving an analysis on the types of returns that can be obtained in different markets. It has a simple search engine to help users identify their preferences and they deal directly with the property owner or the agent managing the property. It offers a subscription package for both agents and property owners. The packages are based on the number of properties to be published on a monthly basis. These property listings are also automatically translated into the offered languages.
In all, there are several real estate listing platforms that would be relevant for buyers, renters, agents and sellers depending on the property location, available resources, budget, target market and the marketing campaign of the seller or designated property broker. Interested buyers and renters can choose from all these portals including those who promote properties internationally as they help with different languages and offer services to support international clients.