The Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA) and the Southern African Property Transfer Guide (SAPTG) recently announced that they would join forces in providing South African estate agents with support and training. “The Institute currently represents around 30% of estate agents in South Africa and hopes to grow this to 50% in the near future,” says Ken Ralph the chairman of the National Board. The South African Property Transfer Guide is a source of online information on the South African property market that provides estate agents with the most valuable commodity in the industry: knowledge. Many agents and, indeed, the profession as a whole, would be completely lost without the technological advances of today, and the news that the IEASA and SAPTG have formed a strategic alliance has been well received. Dieter Deppisch, SAPTG National Manager Property Data Research and Training, said: “This partnership reflects our belief that the South African real estate industry is strengthened by having one voice and coming together in one forum. “By bringing together the leading online source of information about the South African property market and the country’s largest association of real estate agents, the alliance stands out as a significant step in the strengthening of the industry. “The IEASA has been representing estate agents in South Africa for 75 years and we will motivate all agents who subscribe to SAPTG to join the Institute.” This has to be good news for the Institute, which says that at this stage, membership of the organisation currently sits around 30%. The alliance has hit the ground running and has already conducted seminars throughout the country aimed at educating estate agents on, among other things, the importance of statistics and the vital role they play in the industry. The overall message is that professional agents should use statistics to back up what they are saying. Established in 1993, the SAPTG has been using Internet technology to help property professionals offer a statistical scientific service that empowers them to value property correctly and determine pricing trends in certain areas. The web-based site has effectively changed the way that agents do business and has certainly played a role in silencing stubborn sellers who refuse to accept a realistic, market-related valuation until they see concrete evidence. Essentially, having access to historical information about a specific property and about other properties in the area empowers estate agents to value properties realistically. “The industry has,” says, Dieter Deppisch, “because of the property slowdown, lost a large number of agents. Research shows that the demographics of agents have changed over the last two years. In many instances, agents who have remained in the industry during these difficult times are those that are more experienced, and who are therefore older. Generally speaking, they are not as comfortable with technology as their younger counterparts. "We have, however, been pleasantly surprised by the number of older agents attending a basic computer skills workshop that we recently held. Those who attended have embraced technology and are now putting it into practice on a daily basis. We realise and understand the hopes, fear and desires of estate agents. It is our aim to work with the Institute to address these needs,” he said. Ken Ralph, the Chairman of the National board of IEASA says: "This partnership is a two-way street and we look forward to the opportunity to hold hands with the SAPTG." Article courtesy of , and is from their November/December 2009 issue.
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