Instant Valuation Tools: It’s Time For A Rethink…

Published: 18/06/2021 By Mark Tew - Senior Website Consultant

The humble instant valuation tool is perhaps one of the most vital bits of a kit a property agent can have in their armoury. When installed on a website, it gives vital usability for visitors to help validate their decision to sell a property, and be at the right place to do exactly that.

A good instant valuation tool isn’t just good for the user, though. Instant online property valuation tools offer a fantastic opportunity to convert website traffic into new vendor leads for property agencies – meaning potentially more customers, more new business, and bigger successes!

However, given that they are such a hugely popular and relied-upon bit of technology, why are so many of the 3rd party offerings currently on the market fundamentally flawed?

Drilling Down Into Data

When it comes to winning new instructions, your customers want to know they’re getting the best price possible for their property – so, giving them accurate property valuations right off the bat is critical to building that critical first touchpoint engagement and building vital trust, too.

There are of course many instant valuation tools on the market available to estate and lettings agencies, but consider this: many are apps which are built using 3rd party data (such as outdated land registry information) or with predictive pricing algorithms using general market averages as a starting point.

Whilst these types of instant valuation tools tend to give an average ballpark price figure for a property, they’re simply nowhere near accurate enough to give a genuine and realistic sale price for their unique property and can actually contribute towards vendors having unrealistic expectations about their property’s worth. This is because their data is essentially ‘static’ and too market general to offer real pricing accuracy.

In addition, when choosing an instant valuation tool, why choose the tool everyone else is using that relies upon the exact same data? Think about it: if you’re using the exact same tool as your competitors, how are you differentiating from your competitors on your valuation if it’s exactly the same?

By using tools that your competitors are also using that give identical valuations to visitor – who’ve probably looked at least two other property agents in their area who may be using an algorithm-based tool – what’s your valuation USP exactly? And, if you have one, why are you using a tool that shows the vendor nothing new? Do you think they’ll be genuinely interested, or rather nonplussed and disappointed?

Gauging the Market Accurately
There’s also another fundamental problem with the pricing estimates many of the current run-of-the-mill instant valuation tools give – and that’s taking into account current market conditions.

The large majority of estate and property agents in the UK use Comps as a way to value property accurately – and it makes sense. A local agent with experience of the area, similar properties and recent sales will be able to give a much more accurate a fairer valuation than a generic algorithm. So, why is it that so many agents choose to use a solution that doesn’t match the way they’ve been traditionally and successfully been garnering new business through valuations?

Also, let’s say there’s a huge surge in demand for properties in specific areas; but the 3 months before that house prices and sales were in a slump? Current valuation tools simply can’t deal with those type of fluctuations in the market!

If you use tools that uses Land Registry data, which is most of the 3rd party Instant Valuation tools that we know of do, you’ll be given a valuation based on the Land Registry properties sold prices that are over 3 months old. This is because there’s no real time Land Registry data, so those valuation tools’ data are already way out of date, and are not keeping up with potential house price trends which could be very different in areas across the UK.

Right now we’re in a 1 in 300 year property market phenomenon, and no algorithm-based property valuation tool has accounted for this type of anomaly and others before it; and that’s just one reason why many of the current crop of instant valuation tools are simply not doing their jobs effectively.

Stealing Website Traffic

There’s one more thing which makes many off-the-shelf instant valuation tools potentially more harmful than helpful, and that’s the fact that many of them are third-party plugins which lead users away from their host website.

Now, when a property agency invests in a website, it should enhance every aspect of their online presence – including their SEO. If users are finding a website through Google, then instantly being led off it by a third-party instant valuation tool, this can potentially be damaging a website’s Google rankings. This is because Google’s search algorithms will see a short visit (indicating the site didn’t have what the user expected) and the user instead going to another site instead. So, not only do you lose vital website traffic, you’ll also be paying for the privilege, too – it’s madness, really!

So, What’s The Alternative?

Here at Webdadi, we’ve been looking at how we can remove the barriers to successful sales and marketing for property agents for over a decade. When we saw that many of the instant valuation tools on the market were simply not doing the job they need to do – both for vendors and agents – we looked at how we could reinvent the tool altogether!

The Webdadi Instant Price Comparison Tool redefines how vendors receive instant property valuations. Instead of relying on traditional generic algorithmic-based calculations or out-of-date land registry data, the Instant Price Comparison Tool uses a property agent’s own Comp information and property sold data to give property valuations that are not only more accurate, but unique to that vendor.

By using an agent’s own data, vendors get a property price estimate based on real-world factors; including the local area, similar property types that have sold, and market conditions. In addition, the Webdadi Instant Price Comparison Tool is native to the agent’s website; not a 3rd part integration – meaning they benefit from improved website user engagement and enhanced SEO performance.

With so many instant valuation tools relying on generic, outdated data to provide their valuations, the Webdadi Instant Price Comparison Tool really is a game changer. Not only does it offer a supremely better customer experience, but it also enhances agents lead gen activities by offering tailored, accurate property sale price information that is unmatched by the majority of instant valuation tools currently on the market.

Don't be a tool when it comes to your instant valuations! Learn more about Webdadi's Instant Price Comparison Tool by hitting the link below.