We analysed brand demand around the top residential, commercial, online portal and developer brands in the UK. Our analysis revealed that brand demand was predominantly down year on year, with Brexit affecting the property market on the whole. However, some brands were immune and experienced a positive uplift. Download the report below for the full rankings.
Relationship Between Direct Brand Search and Brand Health
Brand searches are inextricably linked to brand recognition, meaning they’re a direct result of awareness, competitive relevance and interest – all strong indicators of overall brand health. This specific type of search is often reserved for clients further down the sales funnel with higher potential to convert, making it a highly valuable stream of traffic.
For brands in the fiercely competitive online property sector, an increase or decrease in brand search can be attributed to several factors: the effectiveness of the marketing strategy, market-related factors, the economy, changing consumer habits or the efforts of rival brands. Fortunately, positioning from a volume perspective and a robust marketing strategy can have a significant and direct impact on brand demand.
Preview of Results
Five of the Top Ten Overall Saw a Positive Uplift
We combined residential, commercial, portal and developer brands into one list for comparison. Of the top 10 brands with the highest monthly search volume overall, five saw a positive uplift in brand demand YoY, compared to only four last year. This shows that while the property market is facing challenges, there are signs of recovery.
|Places for People||8%|
MediaVision CEO Louis Venter says:
“Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit, we’re still seeing demand for property brands drop, but not at the same pace as 2018. This hints towards resilience in the market. We are also seeing pockets of key winners as we did last year with online brands and portals doing particularly well comparatively.
As the brick and mortar businesses struggle, the focus remains on digital and measurement – both of which help brands leading in this space, like OnTheMarket and LiveWest, gain market share.”
Splitting Brands into Categories
Categorising brands into residential, commercial, portal and developer lists enabled us to take a closer look at performance within each sector. Here’s what the rankings revealed.
A Tough Market for Residential Brands
- Down from last year, only two of the top 10 residential brands saw an increase in brand demand.
- Of the top 30 with the highest search volume, only nine saw an increase in brand demand.
- More than twice as many brands saw a decline.
The residential brand frontrunner is Savills but with only a 1% increase YoY. The London agency chain beat out Knight Frank, Foxtons, Hamptons International and last year’s frontrunner Dexters, who all saw a decline in brand demand.
Strong Competition Among Commercial Brands
- Commercial brands have fared better, with five of the top 10 brands benefitting from an increase in brand demand.
- Of the top 30 brands overall, 13 saw a decline and three saw no change, while 14 brands had an increase.
For the second year in a row, the commercial leader is WeWork with a 56% increase in brand demand YoY. Flexible office space continues to dominate the commercial real estate sector, and WeWork controls 33% of this market. This sector has seen tremendous growth, and WeWork has tapped into this growing trend by appealing to an industrious audience that wants more from an office than just desk space. The brand captures end-user and press attention with details like amped-up amenities, innovative networking events, beer taps, food bars and more. These are all tied together by a strong marketing strategy.
Portals and Online Agents Disrupting the Industry
- Online agencies are becoming significant competitors to traditional brands.
- Five of the top 10 major brands saw an increase in brand demand.
- OnTheMarket has seen exponential growth over online leaders Zoopla and Rightmove.
The online sector has continued to see huge disruption from OnTheMarket, who benefited from a +136% increase in brand demand YoY, compared to Zoopla who suffered a -10% decline. OnTheMarket is now the 4th most searched portal after Rightmove, Zoopla and Purplebricks.
This year, OnTheMarket signed a deal with Barratt Homes, which boosted traffic and interest in the online brand.
A Great Year for Developers
- Four of the top 10 developer brands saw significant increases in brand demand.
- The rise of shared ownership schemes has led to huge increases for developers in this sector.
This year, we added property developers to our report, with Places for People coming out on top. They have grown exponentially over the last few years with the opening of Places Gyms, both standalone and in their property developments.
The rise of shared ownership has seen developers such as Peabody and L & Q grow hugely over the past year, with a 42% increase and a 28% increase in brand demand, respectively.