In the last part of our exploration of international listing syndication, we looked at how portals are adding an international section to their site in an attempt to improve their overall proposition to the local visitors.
That article showed that this is unlikely to add value to the portal and is more likely to result in a poor user experience on both the search side and the response by international agents.
In this final part, we will be looking at international listing syndication and exploring the other side of the coin, the advertising of local properties to international buyers.
Advertising Local Properties to International Buyers
Often portals want to expand their offering to the agents and the provide enhanced marketing of properties by not only listing the agent’s properties on the local site but also offering international syndication of listings to other markets.
This approach has its problems and can actually backfire on a portal they over promise on the results that can be achieved. Let’s look at the challenges in more detail.
Low Lead Volumes
All international sections have significantly fewer visits than the main local search section of the site. This is usually because only a small percentage of the population is interested in buying internationally and it is hard to position the portal as an expert in a local market while at the same time providing access to global markets.
In addition, if someone is really interested in buying a property in another country, they are likely to look at portal sites in that country to source the property rather than rely on finding an international property advertised on a local site.
The result is a low volume of leads being generated around listings that are internationally syndicated.
Hard to Convert Leads
When international leads are generated around local listings, these leads are often hard to convert. They are either in another language or they are high-level type leads that take a long time to come to fruition. Many agents find these leads too time intensive for them to invest in nurturing and therefore the discount these leads as being valuable.
The other challenge with international buyers is that their needs are different from local buyers. They need to be educated on what it is like to live in another country and what are the rules around investing in that country. In addition, they need to be nurtured and, in many cases, dealt with in their own language rather than the language of the agent.
International listing syndication is great in theory and, in some cases, can actually generate more revenue for a portal. However, in the long term, it will just lead to dissatisfied visitors and agents and cause more problems than it is worth.
Join us in Bangkok from the 28th of February to the 1st of March for the 22nd Property Portal Watch Conference. The theme for this year is The Future of Online Real Estate Marketing – Getting Closer to the Transaction.