In a move set to rock the real estate industry, RealNet has become the first national estate agency group to sign a co-operation agreement with Privateproperty.co.za, the company which advocates that homeowners sell their properties privately and has been regarded as the “sworn enemy” of estate agents.
The preferential agreement will allow RealNet agents in the group’s 66 franchise territories around the country to list their properties for sale on Privateproperty.co.za, and follows the announcement earlier this year that Privateproperty.co.za would open its website to independent agencies on a selective basis.
The aim of this plan is for Privateproperty.co.za to increase the amount of stock available on its website, which attracts some 280 000 unique users a month, but until recently could only offer them a limited number of homes “for sale by owner” or on auction.
“But there is also a huge benefit in the co-operation agreement for our agents and clients,” says RealNet CEO Tjaart van der Walt. “Private Property has spent more than R40m over the past 10 years on promoting and marketing its website, and is attracting a huge audience of potential buyers. It thus offers massive additional exposure for our clients’ properties.
“What is more, RealNet agents will now also be able to offer clients an alternative to the traditional home marketing method, which will be the Private Property flat-fee sale assistance packages ranging in price from R2000 to R6000. This is important in the current market climate.”
Privateproperty.co.za CEO Justinus Adriaanse says: “We believe that the future of property advertising is on the Internet and we are working non-stop to provide the ultimate platform for this advertising, including virtual tours, video tours and floor plans of each listing.
“Indeed, the web enables so much more information about a property to be displayed that it will completely change the way the industry works. Estate agents will be able to spend much less time driving buyers around and become much more efficient.
“For our dream to work, however, we need to offer our buyers a larger variety of stock and not only private sellers. To this end we also have a co-operation agreement with online auction company Bidorbuy.”
Visitors to www.privateproperty.co.za will find that properties on auction and those listed by agents are clearly marked as such, so they can still select only private sellers if they choose.