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Home-hunting normally begins with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, but soon turns into an elusive task. This is where property sites like Real Estate Times comes to rescue by providing an instant online view of properties, prices, market trends and location guides. These portals work by gathering / filtering owner and agent listings from the World Wide Jungle / Digital Hyper Apps, under one roof.

They can be searched by location maps, virtual tours, price and property type, and then, when you find something of interest, you can get further details and build up lists of “favorite” properties for future reference. And if you’re very interested, there will be contact details so you can take the next step and go and view. But be careful in subscribing for SMS alerts and sharing your mobile numbers, though. With the proliferation of telecom industry you can be a target of many other mass media campaigns bombarding SMS Messages to your favorite gadget! Email is still the best option – keep the unsolicited marketers away from your private life.

However, for a more exhaustive search, you would need to hunt through several different sites and check which properties appear in their lists. And even after that, you might want to take a real-life look around the streets to see if there are any other sign-boards not appearing on the online searches. Each site have regional strengths and weaknesses.

None of sites are perfect, however strong their claim maybe, including our own. But these websites are certainly growing in visibility and claim to have soaring rates of user traffic. Real Estate Times Network is attracting millions of visitors each month. But rather than a revolution, it’s much more of an evolution, building on what’s already available with agents and through individual real estate websites.

Since 2007, Property Portals like Real Estate Times are reinforcing the existing sales market, dominated by property agents and builders. Property websites offer a bigger volume of potential houses and flats than the property agent’s narrow window, but they’re not offering different financial arrangements for sellers and buyers. Classified Publishers and newspaper groups, as well as property agent chains, are conspicuous among those owning these websites – and you could see this as an online version of the classic real estate classifieds sections.

Property Portals keep the dealers and house owners as the key contact for both buyers and sellers. Real Estate Times doesn’t deal directly with owners wanting to sell, they let them publish details. But even if they’re not changing the sales process, the sheer convenience is the attraction – and the traffic figures suggest they are right up there among the housing favourites, such as checking rentals and homes for sale or lease.

Real Estate Times sends out email, social media and sms updates as new properties appear on the market, if a member opt for alerts. Rather than waiting for a list in the post or having to call up all the local agents, this will automatically keep buyers abreast of what’s available.

As with any broker, the property websites are only as up-to-date as the lists and prices provided by the companies supplying the information. For example, Real Estate Times have less number of active listings compared with few other known portals. It’s because it does NOT list dead listings, all old listings are auto-removed regularly. Moreover, as they say “10 serious and targeted users are far better than millions of confused and dragged-in users”. This is even more true for high value real estate business. Also if you look carefully, you can find discrepancies between the rivals. Real Estate Times also cover the rental sector, providing a range of places to rent, and give a guide to prices, but it’s a much smaller slice of the total market than for sales.

Sticking to the Fundamentals: The primary function of a real estate website is to produce a comprehensive list of what is available. And many of the additional offers are promotional pitches for advertising home loans, insurance and conveyancing. For the more notice-board type of portals, you can go straight from the property details to contact the owner, without having the hassle of registering, while some won’t show you the details of properties until you have registered.

For sellers, it brings a wider potential range of bidders, but in terms of the continuing high dealer commissions, it still feels like an incomplete house. There are property websites that offer direct sales, allowing sellers to advertise their properties at a small fraction of the price charged by agents. But for the buyer, they only have a small proportion of what’s available and so there is no great incentive for them to check these sites, no promise of Magics either, good sites are driven by real and owner listings to minimize third-party interference.

Real Estate Times says – “It is Not for those who lay Bricks of hype on as many Acres!”. Are you ready to take a bold stance, if not, then of course there are many other websites you can choose from. Happy home-hunting.

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