The most recent National Association of Realtors Home Buyers Survey from the USA undertaken late last year showed that at 87% the web is the most widely used source of information. In fact of the age group of 25 to 44 years old 94% rated the web as the top source of real estate information.
The latest NZ survey data will be released this month with the Nielsen Online NZ Real estate report for 2009. The data from last year showed that at over 70% the web was rated the top source of real estate information.
With this as the backdrop there is great interest globally to assess who are the leading online players in each market. The latest analysis of this subject undertaken by Global edge – a UK based property portal that has established itself as an analytical tool for the online marketplace, provides some interesting insight and has sparked some reaction.
To create their Global Top 100 Property Portals Global edge decided to use a calculation based on how searchable web portals are rating each based on a a propriatory application called LinkScape from a specialist search engine optimisation company SEOMoz. The technology tries to assess the richness of inbound links to each website as a surrogate for the appeal / credibility / rating of a site in much the same way as Google does for its search engine.
Naturally the top 100 has a top 10 has a heavy bias to US website with half being US and realtor.com being the #1 site. This is not surprising it is the website of the National Association of Realtors and much like realestate.co.nz with the support of the industry is the most trusted, respected and used website.
Aside from the 5 US websites the other 5 in the top 10 showed sparked some interest – Funda.nl in Holland and realestate.com.au. Both of these are major players in their market but certainly operate in smaller markets compared to the US. This naturally got me thinking as to the impact scale of population would have on the results, especially as to how our own site realestate.co.nz would rate on a per population basis. Realestate.co.nz was rated number 60 in the Top 100 – the only NZ website in the top 100.
So accepting that this calculation methodology is not statistically full proof I applied a weighting to the web links of LinkScape based on population to arrive at a revised Top 20 Global Property portals.
I am naturally delighted to show in the table below the fact that when assessed on this basis realestate.co.nz blasts into the Top 10, as the 7th most linked real estate portal globally based on a proportion of population – clearly another great example of NZ punching well above it’s weight.
Credit should also go to the other standout web portal operators, from Ireland Daft.ie at #2, complemented by fellow country operator MyHome.ie at #4 and Hemnet.se from Sweden at #8, and its complentary country operation Bovision.se.