Property demand is on the rise as more people try to make the most of the Government’s stamp duty holiday before it comes to an end. But coronavirus restrictions mean that many buyers only want to book a physical viewing of a property if they’re seriously considering making an offer. So online listings are working harder than ever.

Photography, virtual videos and property descriptions are key to selling your home.

Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agent Strike, has shared his top tips on how to market your property online to grab buyers’ attention for all the right reasons.

#1 Focus on first impressions

The first rule of marketing your property online is to ensure you’re using top quality images. No matter how good your description of the property is, images are what really grab people’s attention.

You only have one chance to make a first impression — so make sure your lead image makes an impact. Use it to showcase the best parts of your home, such as a welcoming front shot of the property, a generous sitting room, or a stunning kitchen.

Images should be taken with plenty of daylight or with great lighting in the room to make them bright and clear. Using around five to nine photos is best so buyers feel they’ve had a real look into the property.

If you decide to take the photos yourself, make sure the device you’re using produces sharp and non-grainy images — and always stand at the edge of the room to make the space look open and welcoming. If possible, try to use a wide-angle lens to provide the best sense of depth and space.

#2 Make the most out of property portals

If you want to get your home in front of as many buyers as possible, you’ll want to use the property portals to their best advantage. That may be talking to your agent about a premium listing, or simply by using savvy pricing to get more attention.

While it’s important to price realistically, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of the portal price bands and use those to your advantage. For example, pricing at £299,000 will mean you’ll get everyone with a max price of £300,000. Your agent should be able to help you find the sweet spot of the right price that will get you in front of the most buyers.

Also, changing your price will send an email to potential buyers in the portals, so that is a good way to shake things up if you feel like your listing isn’t getting as many views as you hoped.

#3 Maximize your search potential

Using keywords in your listing can really help you land potential buyers — especially at the moment.

People are searching for signs of space, so including terms like garden, annexe, study, or office can help you gain a lot of traction – and show off the best points of your home.

If you have any of these to offer, make sure it’s clear in the description and images. You might want to refer to a room that you currently use as a playroom as a ‘playroom/office area’ to highlight its multi-uses and play to what people are looking for in a home currently.

Recent research by Strike found that four in 10 home movers now want a bigger garden or outdoor space, while a quarter say not having a home office has become a dealbreaker — so make sure you make your space count!

#4 Find an agent with a digital edge 

An estate agent with a digital edge can also be a big win in the current market.

Using an online agent means you can have access to property experts around the clock, which helps speed up the process from start to finish.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about office closing times like you would with traditional estate agents which could be particularly useful during the Christmas period.

Perhaps most importantly, they’re well-placed to deal with selling remotely — using services like virtual valuations and virtual valuation. At Strike, our digital hub and app help to take the stress out of selling, while our team are total experts when it comes to capturing your property at its best for photography and virtual viewings.

#5 Share on social

Even if you don’t think your network is very big, sharing on social media can be a great way to spread the word. You probably have friends living nearby — and you never know if they might know someone looking to move.

If you want to reach a wider audience, consider using plenty of hashtags. But make sure you are using relevant ones rather than spamming with random buzzwords.

Some examples of the most popular hashtags used by sellers and buyers include #property, #househunting, #dreamhome, #realestate, #justlisted, plus anything relevant to the local area you’re in — your town or city name, your neighbourhood, or any major parks or landmarks nearby.

The world is changing, and the housing market is going full steam ahead with it. Knowing how to maximise your online listing will help you stand out from the crowd, so it’s worth taking the time to make sure you’re doing all you can to benefit.