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Couple launches new online hub for home buyers and renters

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House hunters will now be able to search through Bermuda’s commercial and residential inventory by visiting one online location.

A first of its kind for the Island, propertyskipper.com collects property listings from individual real estate agencies into a single searchable portal, allowing users to view Bermuda properties for sale and rent in one place rather than having to visit many individual websites.

Like Zillow and Trulia in the US and Rightmove and Zoopla in the UK, propertyskipper is Bermuda’s new portal to real estate.

Bermuda’s largest realtors have signed on with the new site, including the heavy hitters in the industry, Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty, Rego Sotheby’s International Realty, Century 21 and The Property Group.

Users can search through specific criteria, including price, number of bedrooms, and parish. And it features a unique ‘draw search’ function, which is a map search of a particular area of the Island or even an individual street. When a user is ready, enquiries are made directly to agents at a touch of a button.

“The general public has a desire to see a broad spectrum of all the properties available on the market from the various agencies on one site rather than clicking around on all the individual websites,” said Peter Goodall, founder of propertyskipper along with his wife Flora.

“What people are using property portals for is to gain an overview of the market,” adding Mrs Goodall. “They want to see what all their options are that match what they are looking for.”

A key feature of the site includes the ability to shortlist properties that are of interest and save them and if users can’t find a property that matches their search, criteria can be applied to send e-mail updates when matching properties come online.

Mr and Mrs Goodall are also working on new software updates for accessing the site on mobile devices as well.

Penny MacIntyre, executive vice president of Rego Sotheby’s International Realty, likens propertyskipper as “an evolving ‘one-stop’ source for nearly all real estate agencies’ listings.”

“Propertyskipper as an independent website will drive interest to our agents and inventory, naturally furthering our audience,” she added. “Note other countries have long since had similar websites like StreetEasy from which buyers, sellers, renters and real estate agents alike have benefited. Hopefully propertyskipper will become synonymous with real estate just as GrubHub and SeamlessWeb have to food delivery.”

A joint study conducted by the National Association of Realtors and Google found real estate related searches on Google have grown 253 percent over the past four years and 22 percent in 2012.

Searches done on mobile devices, such a cell phone or iPad have grown 120 percent year on year.

According to the same study, a majority of both first-time homebuyers and seasoned house-hunters will start their search online and will ultimately complete their transaction with a realtor.

The impetus behind the creation of the site, said Mr Goodall, was his family’s own experience here in Bermuda and in the UK.

“When we bought our property in the UK, we started our search through an online portal and thought why is no one doing this here in Bermuda?” Mr Goodall said.

Additionally, having to rent a home here in Bermuda while their house was being renovated, they found it difficult to find a broad overview of all the properties available.

“We thought there must be a way of making this process easier on the Island,” he said.

From their own websites, agents can automatically load their property listings through a feed system to propertyskipper where house-hunters can browse through the ‘one-stop shop’. When the agents update their site with new information, it is automatically updated on propertyskipper as well.

“There are many online resources for real estate but none that are agent specific (no outside listings) and committed to providing quality information from multiple realtors for potential customers,” said Kendra Mello, general manager of Coldwell Banker. “I think it is an exciting move forward for our industry.”

For more information contact peter@propertyskipper.com or flora@propertyskipper.com or call 441-704-0214.

First of its kind: propertyskipper.com is a one-stop shop for agency property listings in Bermuda. Founders Flora and Peter Goodall formally launched the site on Friday. (Photo by Glenn Tucker)
First of its kind: propertyskipper.com is a one-stop shop for agency property listings in Bermuda. Founders Flora and Peter Goodall formally launched the site on Friday. (Photo by Glenn Tucker)

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Published January 28, 2013 at 8:42 am (Updated January 28, 2013 at 8:41 am)

Couple launches new online hub for home buyers and renters

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