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Last Friday I was privileged to be invited to Google HQ in London for a day of presentations about this phenomenon which has taken over our lives during the past decade, ‘Googling’.  Not sure that a day goes by when I don’t Google something at least once, some days it’s an hourly occurrence, so I was not actually surprised to discover that 7-8 million property queries go into Google searches every day in the UK.

Here are some other interesting stats for you:

  • 53% of buyers start their property search on Google
  • People use the property portals like Rightmove & Zoopla in favour of going directly to the Estate Agent and the usual search is ‘number of bedrooms’ and / or ‘location’.
  • 40% of Brits under the age of 40 only search online for a property
  • 95% do not have an estate agency brand in mind when searching
  • Over 1 million ‘tablets’ (such as ipads) were activated on 26th December 2012 – a 190% year on year growth in tablet traffic 2011 to 2012
  • 50% of home buyers take over 2 months to ‘convert’ online, that means to request a viewing or submit a form – it is a slower process that we estate agents think!
  • People on average use 12 different websites throughout their buying journey
  • 3,900 tenants were asked how long they have searched for a rental property: 36% over a month, 18% under a fortnight, 12% under a week
  • 60% + of online property decisions are made by women (girl power!)

Whilst Rightmove is the dominant desktop (office or home PC) preferential site, on mobile it is 50/50 Rightmove vs Zoopla (let the battle commence) and the average family now has a mobile phone each (including the children), a tablet or two, a laptop and a PC.


  • The average Brit spends 113 minutes per day on their mobile phone – there is an actual term ‘nomophobia‘ for the feeling of loss when you have left your phone at home, you are in an area of no reception or it has been lost or stolen.
  • One third of property ‘conversions’ (book a valuation, book a viewing, submitting a form online) happen via a mobile phone.
  • Ebay sell one Farrari every month via a mobile phone… seriously!



Now that the property market is on the up again it has become imperative for good estate agents to learn about Google, ensure that their company name comes at the top of the property search query responses by advertising on Google (Google Adwords) and by monitoring the success of the keywords being used  via Google Analytics and this is one of my daily jobs at Sewell & Gardner,  so having some insight into how it all works behind the scenes was fascinating for me.

Google HQ is like a playground, all of the work stations are unique and funky, the meeting rooms are the kind of places you long to stay all day in, the canteen food is like eating in a top class restaurant, there is a gym and masseuse available for the staff to take advantage of, everyone looks happy and relaxed, despite the huge pressure to keep coming up with the next best idea and stay ahead of the pack!

I am sure that they won’t mind me sharing a few photos of the enviable workspace required for these creative minds…..

Google HQ London GOOGLE HQ MEETING ROOM GOOGLE HQ The Gym at London Google HQ

What the future is bringing:

Google Glass


The shape of things to come driverless cars

Driverless Cars

So that is a little snippet of my day at Google, obviously I cannot share all of the important information which will make Sewell & Gardner even more competitive in our market place.  For that you need to be one of our VERY IMPORTANT CLIENTS…..!

Rickmansworth Letting Agent Jane Gardner