The ever-changing game plan

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Life changes fast. And if you’re going to stay at the top of your game as an estate agent, you need to move as quickly as the changes that are happening in the industry. There is too much competition out there to not be up on the job trends. And, although there are changes all across the field that you should stay abreast of if you're going to get anywhere with your business, the main changes in real estate are related to technology.

  • Video marketing – estate agents who are doing well are making use of video marketing to spread the word about their work. Videos highlight the inside of homes and businesses so that people from anywhere in the world can decide whether or not they’re interested in the property, thereby saving everyone time and money.

  • Listing tools – as with the physical tools of selling, the virtual tools have also changed. Don't be outdated; as the listing tools change, you should adopt them. Research commissioned by Privateproperty.co.za shows that online portals are currently the most-used advertising mediums and will remain so in the future.

  • Social networking – like or not, sites like Facebook and Twitter are here to stay and you should take advantage of the right ones. Familiarise yourself with what’s out there and what’s popular, and work out how you can use them to your advantage. Current thinking is that Facebook isn’t a “hard sell” tool and should be used to build personality rather than profile properties.

  • Mobile technology – companies like Privateproperty.co.za are pouring time and expertise into developing “on the go” technology. For example, this enables house hunters to see available properties in a specific area by just holding up their iPhones. What this means for agents is that it’s vital to add complete address details to online listings, so that any property’s position can be geo-coded.

  • Tablets – the advent of iPads and other tablets means that fewer and fewer transactions are paper-based. Not only is this “green” and therefore good. It’s also the way of the future.

But technology is not the only changing trend in the property industry. A second need is to move away from the “location, location, location” adage in the traditional sense. Research by Privateproperty.co.za finds that security is now the main factor that influences the buying decision. Buyers are looking to gated estates, boomed-off areas and highly-protected homes. Only once this factor is secured are buyers looking at accessibility to schools and other previously-important considerations.

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