This year has been one of great excitement and hard work. While the hopeful recovery has not arrived in the real estate sector, technological advances continue to assist Estate Agents to run their Agencies more effectively.
We at Private Property are striving to deliver the maximum value to our customer and this year we were able to launch a bunch of new agent focussed products like “Agents on Call” and “Featured Properties”. We also released the “Property Index” in beta to help consumer get a better understanding of the Real Estate market. Our first Television campaign aired in September and we are very encouraged by the feedback we have received.
Next year we will continue in our quest to bring the Real Estate industry close to the future we believe can be created. To that end we have started to roll-out a very exciting product to equip agents to do their own Virtual Tours and Floor plans…make sure you ask your Account Manager about it.
Thanks for all your support this year and we will continue to give our all to build new and effective technology to help Estate Agents in 2012. Enjoy the break and make sure you are back in early January to take advantage of the best month of the year on the internet!
It has been more than two years since Privateproperty.co.za has done any above the line advertising. We have been too busy concentrating on building our Online offering .Taking that into account it has been an amazing two years, and our business has gone from strength to strength. In the last 2 years we have built amazing relationships with almost all of South Africa’s leading Estate Agencies.
Almost every week I still run into somebody completely amazed that we have been able to turn a Private Listing website into the #1 Portal for Estate Agents in South Africa in only two years. We are more excited than ever about the role we can play in making Estate Agents lives much easier. Our recent acquisition of InView, through Graydot is going to bring a brand new level to what we can offer Estate Agents, Branches and Brands. So look out for our new Fusion and InView product offerings.
We did research earlier this year, and we identified that we needed to re-position our brand in the eyes of the consumer. So over the last few months we have been working hard to come up with the ideas, concepts and content that will help us do that. So in a few weeks we will start marketing again with a campaign to assist us re-position our brand.
Make sure that you are prepared! Sign up, upgrade and load every listing you have. There is a huge wave of leads on its way, so make sure you ready for the ride!
Its official! Privateproperty.co.za launched our new website this week, after months of intense testing. The new design follows international trends towards a search-based website, and also holds some innovative features designed to improve the experience of each visitor to the site – including our agents.
It’s uncluttered, and focussed as much as possible on assisting potential buyers or tenants to find relevant information. It’s so much more than a design upgrade…
The most noticeable improvement you’ll see is the search function, which has been replaced with a ‘fuzzy search’ facility. What does this mean? Well, phrases can be entered into the search bar to generate a more targeted search result. Instead of entering the reference number of a property, or the area in which you’re searching, you can now enter a phrase such as ‘2 bedroom house for sale less than R2m Randburg’ and be taken immediately to a list of property results matching your query.
The new site also has larger images of properties advertised – not only in the picture gallery for each property listing, but also the images used in search results and elsewhere on the site. Not only does it make the experience better for our users, but you get to show off your mandates to their best advantage.
In addition, we’ve introduced a Google map on every search result page, so that users are able to see the exact location of all properties listed for sale on Privateproperty.co.za within their search criteria, provided that the full address details have been supplied. Which makes it really important that you include the address details of your properties!
Coinciding with the launch of our new-look website, we’ve also launched a new property valuation tool, dubbed ‘EstiMate’.
EstiMate is a free electronic valuation service being offered to any owners of residential property in South Africa who wish to obtain an estimate of the worth of their property. The service is being provided in partnership with Lightstone, SA’s leader of automated valuation data and technology, and is the same as the reports you can pull on your mandates.
What’s so great about EstiMate is that people don’t even need to be a regular user of the site to obtain a report. They don’t need to be in the market to buy, sell or rent property. If they own a property, and are interested in knowing its value, they can get an EstiMate report free of charge. And best of all, a new report will be generated every 3 months, also free of charge, should they wish to download an update for their records.
How does this help you? Well, the tool will assist in generating a large database of property owners on our system, who may not be willing to sell just yet, but who will one day. It’s our intention to assist the database, when they’re ready, to sell or rent out their properties, which means a great source of leads for our Estate Agents. Sound good?
If you’re wondering how you can get free Lightstone reports from our system, instead of paying for them, please chat to your Private Property Account Manager – you do get free reports if you upgrade your package.
So what are you waiting for – go check out the new site and tell us what you think!
We’re very excited to share with you our latest news, which is that we’ve officially become the real estate partner for MSN South Africa from the 1st of this month. Private Property now powers the property content for MSN/property, which is going to add a whole lot of additional exposure to your listings.
The MSN/property portal gets around 40 000 unique visitors each month, and we’ll be pushing all of our content through to this portal – including your property listings. So don’t be surprised to get leads coming from the site shortly.
Here’s a screenshot of the new MSN Property portal, (you can also check it out live here):
MSN is a Microsoft company, and is one of the busiest websites in the country because it’s used as the default home page for all hotmail users.
MSN SA is run by Kagiso Media, which is the same company that powers the East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM websites. (In case you missed it last time, Private Property is also the property partner for these two sites – check it out here), so we’re really doing our bit to ensure that your listings get as much exposure as possible.
We’ll keep you posted on any other partnerships we strike up. Be assured that we’re always on the lookout for more browsers to find your content.
We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to figure out ways to expose our website (and your property listings) to an even larger online audience. I’m sure that you know by now that Private Property is SA’s busiest property website, but there are still other channels to pursue to capture even more eyeballs on our site.
With this in mind, I’m proud to be able to tell you about a new partnership we’ve created with two of SA’s biggest regional radio stations – East Coast Radio and Jacaranda 94.2. Their websites are extremely popular with their listeners, and provide a place where the local community goes to interact and find information. And now they’ll be able to find information on your properties. Yes, that’s right. Private Property has created a mini-site within each of their websites that enables users to find property for sale or to rent.
This means that all properties that are available on Private Property’s website will now also be available on www.ecr.co.za and www.jacarandafm.com. And it’s not just regional – the search capability is national, so agents everywhere stand to benefit.
Check out these screenshots of what the property search looks like on each of their websites:
But wait, there’s more! The radio stations will each be promoting this new service to their public via advertising on their radio stations, driving their listeners to their websites to find property. Which means they’ll be doing your work for you.
So get in on the action and make sure your mandates are uploaded to our website to take advantage of even more exposure, at no extra cost.
Here at Private Property, our team spends a lot of time coming up with ideas on ways to improve your listings and get your properties the exposure they need to sell. We’ve hatched an idea, in anticipation of the rumoured launch of YouTube in South Africa in June, which will ensure that your properties get as much coverage on the net as possible.
We’ve developed a method of converting an ordinary Virtual Tour into a Video. We can now take your ordinary Virtual Tour and turn it into a Video, which we then also upload our YouTube channel.
What is the difference between this Video and our existing Video, you may ask? The converted Virtual Tour won’t have a voice-over, however, you’ll have the advantage of adding a Virtual Tour AND a Video to your listing off just one product instead of having to buy them separately. In addition, the new-look Private Property website (which will be launched later this year) will give Videos a more prominent display on the listing, so having this new Video/Virtual Tour combo will improve your listings on the new site.
Sorry folks, but you won’t get the extra ranking points for having the Video, because it’s exactly the same information that’s just being displayed differently.
Here’s some really good news – for the Month of May, any Virtual Tour that we do on one of your property listings will automatically be converted to a Video and uploaded to YouTube, at NO EXTRA COST. We also commit to go back and convert some of the existing Virtual Tours to Videos for free, if we’ve got time and manpower to spare.
Interested? Contact your Account Manager to book your new Virtual Tour with Video before everyone else does!
Here is an example:
Private Property have recently released our own iPhone application that will assist would-be buyers and tenants to find property to buy or rent. Although the iPhone market in South Africa is still relatively small, we believe that the more convenient and accessible our services are to browsers, the better.
Our new application is free, and easy to use. If you want to know what property is available in the area you’re interested in, simply click on the search button to activate a search.
And it really is that simple – just click on the application icon from your phone, and you’re set to go. You can opt for a location based search, which means the application searches for property in the area you are geographically in at that time, or you can search in any other suburb. The search results give you price, bed and bath details, as well as an image, if available. You can then click on the search result to see more information – up to 12 images, property details and description. If you’re interested, you can then contact the owner or agent directly from your phone.
In addition, it’s been designed to load quickly, saving you time and money. And because it’s accessible while you’re on the move, it’s the perfect way to find the information you need without having to buy a newspaper or access a computer at your desk.
If you want to get your hands on this nifty application, search for Private Property in your App Store from your iPhone, and download the application – it’s free of charge.
The iPhone application is part of our mobile strategy, which includes our own Mobi site – pprop.mobi; a java application for all brands of WAP enabled cell phones and the Vodafone Live property channel. The launch of this application follows worldwide trends for property search from iPhones. The similar application launched by Zillow.com has been downloaded a reported 945 000 times since its launch in April 2009.
We believe that the mobile market in Africa has the potential to leapfrog the web market, as the number of mobile handsets in Africa grows. Handsets with internet functionality are being made increasingly accessible via contracts being offered by the cellular service providers. It is certainly not inconceivable that mobile web search will overtake standard methods on this region in the near future.
The application is also compatible with the iPad and iTouch devices. We’ll be launching more features with this application shortly, so keep your eyes peeled for future developments.
Watch this video broadcast on “The Real Estate” show on CNBC Africa.