Digital dominates property search

Digital dominates property search

Private Property South Africa

Property portals are now the ‘go-to’ hunting grounds for selling properties, to maximise exposure and reach.

Digital tools have become the major focus, with traditional media such as print, taking a backseat.

Options available in the digital space make provision for access to websites, property portals, apps, online advertising, newsletters and digital magazines, which are but a few of the platforms being used by agents to drive leads and create greater brand awareness. In addition, digital sales tools are more targeted, can be done in real-time, are more measurable than print and generate leads.

Does this mean that print will become obsolete? “Not necessarily,” says Maughin Lord, national marketing manager at Jawitz Properties. “What we do know, is that print is more popular with sellers than buyers. Sellers want to see their homes featured in glossy magazines and on page spreads in the property sections of newspapers. To them, it indicates that their property is receiving the exposure it deserves. On the other hand, digital allows buyers to view properties online as soon as they become available without having to wait for the weekly insert in the newspaper. By using these digital portals properties are very often sold before their first show-day,” she says.

Technology, has done away with the need to visit hundreds of show-houses to find the perfect home. Buyers can now compare properties on their computers or phones, and with the help of Google Maps pinpoint the exact location. By the time the buyer visits the property, scores of homes have been eliminated, and all the investigative work has been done online prior to the viewing.

Digital advertising allows agents to save valuable time spent showing properties to people who are not considered serious buyers. They can now devote time to listing more properties and making more sales. Digital also allows hard-hitting feedback for sellers. For example, data such as how many views online, how many leads, how much time was spent viewing the properties, the exact location and country of buyers. This information gives immediate information about the property and how the market is responding to it.

Agents, sellers and buyers are seeing the benefits of digital marketing and are recognising the possibilities when advertising properties. It does, however, require a change of perspective, from both agents and sellers when competing in the ever-changing marketplace.

Technology applications far out way the benefits of traditional print media. After all, this is the platform where buyers reside. One of the big advantages is that consumers can now view properties on-the-go, via their phones and tablets, no matter where they are. A broader audience, therefore, can interact with properties in real-time. Like it or not, this is the future and agencies must adapt accordingly

says Lord.


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