Before you rush out and buy a vuvuzela hoping to catch the property action at the World Cup, stop and think just how estate agents could really score during the 2010 tournament.
Many people and organisations are making predictions as to how many visitors will be arriving in South Africa for what is likely the world’s largest sporting event. Some say millions, others 800 000, while the more conservative estimate that 200 000 fans will attend. Regardless, the games are going to expose South Africa to people who, without the benefit of the tournament, would probably never have visited our shores. There's little doubt that tourism, the hospitality industry and cities hosting the matches are going to earn money, but how is the property market going to fare during this time? Andrew Golding, CEO of the Pam Golding Property group (PGP) believes that the event is going to be magnificent, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is, he said, going to put the country on the world stage and advertise South Africa and, by implication, its property opportunities to a global audience on a mammoth scale. “In some respects it is an advertiser’s dream and, consequently, a property advertiser’s dream.” While the short-term effects of the tournament in terms of business for PGP as a property company will be good, it is the long-term effect which I am really excited about and which I think will have long-lasting and positive benefits for the property industry in South Africa for years to come," he said. He raises a valid point. Are fans likely to spend their free days visiting estate agency offices, or, are they more likely to soak up the action of the tournament, return home and come back at a later stage to look at property investment opportunities? Adrian Goslett, the regional director of Re/Max Southern Africa believes that the second scenario is more likely. He doesn't believe that fans will be coming to the World Cup with the intention of buying property. However, he believes that once they have experienced the beauty of South Africa and returned to their home countries they will promote our country to fellow countrymen. He says that the question that estate agents should be asking, is how well positioned are they outside our country’s borders to take advantage of this unique opportunity. South African agencies who operate under an international brand, may seem have the upper hand because they have the advantage of brand recognition and global exposure. However, there are ways for estate agents, particularly those who operate in centres where matches are taking place, to take full advantage of the opportunities that the event will offer. Those agents who actively promote themselves during the World Cup may well find that the real action starts after the final whistle has blown. Fans will have fond memories of their time in South Africa and will have seen the lifestyle that the country has to offer and the benefits of owing a property in our country. Those who choose to ignore the event may well find that, like the teams knocked out in the first round, they get very little from the experience and regret that they didn't work that little bit harder to score a winning goal. Here are some Do's and Don'ts:
Smarten up your web page. Remove sold listings.
Ensure that every picture portrays the property in the best possible light. Retake the photograph if necessary.
Put a currency converter on your web page.
Jack up your service levels. Foreigners are accustomed to top service.
If you are part of an international group, e-mail overseas offices to find out about foreign etiquette.
Keep your eye on the ball and brush up on your soccer knowledge.
If you operate in an area where matches are taking place – socialise. You don't have to own a vuvuzela and a construction helmet to meet soccer fans. Go to hotspots where fans relax. Play golf when no matches are being played. Remember fans will have a lot of free time in between matches.
Consider investing in promotional items and leave brochures at guest houses in the area.
Hit the social web pages now and try to make contact with fans long before they arrive.
Consider organising a tour of local tourist spots, incorporating a couple of show houses along the way. Show them what a typical South African property looks like and what fans can get for their money.
Arrange accommodation for fans.
Learn the law on foreign property ownership.
Acquaint yourself with currency restrictions.
Fans will follow their teams around the country. If you have a lead, refer to other offices within the group.
Qualify the buyer. Check that they comply with the South African laws of owning property.
Talk shop during a penalty shoot out!
Rush to the airport. Let the fans first see what the country has to offer.
Waste your time putting up 'on show' boards. It's unlikely you'll get much response.
Leave town. You may not land a sale, but could pick up valuable leads.
Encourage over pricing.
Article courtesy of , and is taken from their January/February 2010 issue.