Like most people I’m not a huge fan of estate agents, but like most people I’m also nosey and want to peek inside homes down my street.
This means that even though I am not in the market for a new home I find myself browsing estate agent websites more frequently than I perhaps should.
In general my snooping takes place on my mobile phone after I’ve spotted a ‘for sale’ sign while strolling to the tube, and as I don’t want to believe that I’m the only person in the world guilty of this behaviour I feel that mobile is an area that estate agents should be looking to exploit.
If someone sees a house up for sale or rent and wants to know more then it’s a good idea to allow them to access the details there and then, otherwise they may forget to look up the information when they finally get home or to work.
I’ve recently been searching for a new place to live (Contrary to
popular belief, Econsultancy staff are occasionally allowed to leave
their desks), which means I’ve been spending even more time than usual
online, browsing the ‘to let’ ads on property websites.
And getting closer to a brain haemorrhage on an hourly basis.
Estate agents and larger aggregate property sites are ideally placed to
exploit the massive uptake in web usage we’ve seen in the last decade,
yet their sites are usually among the very worst examples of
design and usability you’ll ever encounter, while the offline experience
is also disjointed and frustrating.
While it’s clear that the agent can’t always be to blame, larger
companies in particular need to get their act together fast as some
providers are surging ahead, leaving their less useful competitors in
As an excuse to go house-hunting during working hours and have a bit of
a rant in general, I wanted to run through some of the common mistakes
I’ve seen recently.