What estate agents really want

Private Property South Africa
Justin Clarke

I have spoken at length about our commitment to be the most valued property portal, but our initial focus has been on making sure we understand our browsers’ needs because, without satisfying our visitors’ experience we will not generate valuable leads so you can sell and lease more property.

But we also want to be YOUR portal of choice. So, in June we commissioned Columinate to survey estate agents in a detailed study to give us fresh insight into the state of the industry and what you really need to be more successful. After receiving the results we interpreted the results to improve our product offering to you.

And it is a very radical change that we are bringing to market.

The BOOM campaign, launched in the previous quarter, was a quick fix to address some of the learnings from our browser survey last year, and browsers are already getting more variety of stock to choose from, sooner. We have already thrown out some of the rules that created so much frustration from an agency point of view, and have done away with many policing functions that we previously applied so rigorously. It’s old news now that we allow some duplicates listings and have taken the human factor out of the pre-moderation process. And most of our real estate partners are very pleased with the results.

But one of the most important findings in the Columinate survey showed that the most important feature that estate agencies want is the ability to publish an unlimited number of property listings onto www.privateproperty.co.za. It seems that our pay-per-slot model was creating more frustration for advertisers while not really keeping the stock on the website of the highest quality.

So we have listened – and will be launching our new pricing offering into the market shortly, which will include a simple subscription model where you pay one monthly fee to advertise all your listings.

Mark Coetzee will give you more information.

We will share extracts of this survey on http://advice.privateproperty.co.za for your interest.

In the meantime here are some highlights.

The source of most of the leads is internet portals:

Although you believe that portals give you by far the most and best quality leads (53% for portals vs. 13% for print) and call-backs, sellers are still placing abnormally high priority on print advertising for their properties.

But agents still only spend 34% of their marketing budgets on portals and 36% on print. But 85% suggested that they would focus more on online portals in the next year while only 15% opted to use more print.

This shows the value that we are playing in the real estate business chain. But we can do so much better.

And we will.

Wishing you a prosperous spring.

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