Archive for the ‘Website Features’ Category

Advice from a friend? You got it!

PP-Advice-centreEver had a conveyancing question that you couldn’t quite answer? Are you occasionally a bit shaky on the CPA? Do you sometimes need assistance with the legalities of rental deposit refunds? (Despite all your years of experience!)

We understand that the real estate industry can present you with an awful lot to remember – especially in the face of changing legislation and ever-more educated clients. So, 36 months ago, we started collecting every bit of advice we could lay our hands on and collating it in our online advice centre.

Feedback and usage are fantastic – the site gets more than 16 000 hits a month! – and so we recently upgraded it and made it even easier to use and find. Now, there’s a handy link in the “services” drop-down menu on our home page.

We’ve made it simple to find topics too – do you need to assist a buyer? Look in the “Buying a Home” section. Is your potential tenant asking tricky questions? “Tenant advice” is the place to go … and so on.

Our advice centre has free CPA-compliant rental leases, as well as sale agreement documents, that you can dowload in PDF format.

Private Property’s all-new online advice centre really is everything for everyone who has anything to do with property – think of it as your new best friend!

The facts and the figures

numbersWhen it comes to statistics, most people’s eyes glaze over … But we love to gather data and find out how our browsers – your buyers and tenants – engage with our website!

Our analytics tools allow us to see what your clients are up to and what devices they are using.


Mobile devices

The use of mobile devices (like tablets and smartphones) on our site has increaed tremendously over the past two years, jumping from 22% to 52%. This is in line with a finding from Google,  which shows that international mobile property searches increased by 120% during 2013.

Our COO Simon Bray says: “People are spending more and more time on their tablets and smartphones instead of laptop computers, especially when researching property. In particular, late afternoons and evenings are seeing a marked increase in mobile traffic.”


Android vs Apple

Android users browse mostly rentals; iPhone and iPad users seem to browse mostly sales. And here’s something we bet you didn’t know: Android users start their (online) day on average 17 minutes earlier than their iOS counterparts.


Daily usage

The early birds start around 5am on weekdays and peak viewing time on our site is 1pm – indicating that many people browse during their lunch hours. So, while they are engaged with their property search, this is a good time to contact your prospects!

Things slow down a  bit over the late after noon but rise again from 5pm to 9pm for the second peak of access. And then we have browser activity as late as 2:30am, albeit very low.

Spring is in the air … and it smells like Android!

September saw the launch of our Android app – and the up-take has been phenomenal!

With more than 5 500 downloads in total and over 150 new downloads every day, we’re pretty happy. And with our rating of 4.15, we’re number one when you search for “property” on the store. To experience the benefits for yourself, download it here.

Our apps have got your back!

androidDelivering great service to your sellers is now even easier with the launch of our Android app – a move prompted by our highly-successful iPhone and iPad apps.

This new app is in addition to our “responsive” site, which offers customised viewing experiences for all desktop computers and mobile devices.

Android is the world’s dominant mobile operating system and our new app targets anyone who has acquired an Android smartphone in the last few years, as well as the numerous Blackberry and Nokia customers that are migrating to Android.

“The Android market is expanding on a daily basis, meaning that developing and launching this app was a key focus,” says Grant Elliott, our Chief Technical Officer.



The Android app offers you all the features on our website including searching for sales and rentals; browsing the vast collection of listings via a simple and visually-engaging interface; subscribing to emails and SMS alerts; messaging; and adding favourite properties to a personal wish list.

Settings that are changed in the Android app will automatically reflect on your website settings, meaning that you can switch between the app on your device and the website on your computer, and your personalised settings will remain synchronised.

Our iPad app, which was launched last year, sat at the top position of the South African app store’s free general category within days. There were more than 22 000 downloads and upgrades from the initial app of that version within a week of its release and, with more than 76 000 active users, it remains one of the country’s top lifestyle apps.


Now you’ve got it all!

So now, we have all your bases covered – no matter where you are or what technology you prefer to use, we’ve got your back. All you need to make an impression on your clients is one of our apps on your tablet or smartphone!

Who? Us? Why, thank you!

This letter from Jawitz Properties Midrand to our Account Executive Pam Walden kinda says it all …

“Jawitz Properties Midrand would just like to thank you for always keeping us updated with new developments on your side that can assist us.

“The banner that we subscribed to for the Kyalami Estates area has been amazing and we have had a lot of comments from clients about it. It makes us look as if we are “the” agents for the area. (Which, of course we are!)

“The Featured Listings are also great and help keep our scores high so that we are always on the first two pages of our area. We have noticed an increase in views since we have been using this feature.

“Keep up the good work!”

Why take a featured slot?

Most simply, Private Property’s Featured Listing and Featured Agent slots are LEAD GENERATION products!

  • Stats show that your Featured Listing ensures you of a 40% better chance of selling
  • Your Featured Listing will always appear above the standard listings, giving you added exposure
  • You can feature any of your properties throughout the month
  • You’ll get more leads, and browsers are more likely to contact you with their property buying and selling needs (think more sole mandates …)
  • Your Featured Agent slot promotes you as the area specialist
  • You’re ensured of more prominence, which means that more browsers will see your listings

Keen to be featured? Contact your Account Executive for more details.

Millions of ways Private Property is boosting your business!

Last year Private Property partnered with SABC3’s Top Billing and millions of viewers watched over the 21 weeks of the competition as we gave away a lifestyle worth more than R5-million.

And as more TV exposure for us means more leads for you, we’re doing it again.

This is how this year’s competition works:

  • Starting today and running until 2 June, entrants vote for their favourite city: Joburg, Durban or Cape Town.
  • The winning city will be announced on Top Billing on 5 June.
  • At the same time, the winning voter will walk away with a Samsung 65” Curved UHD TV worth R70 000!
  • The winning city will house a property worth millions, which will be given away in a subsequent competition on a dedicated and heavily branded SABC3 TV show.

We’re so excited about this competition that we created a TV ad with some of SA’s top talent. We think it’s fantastic! What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook page.

The soundtrack is Majozi’s song “Marvellous Light”. Like it? Download it! And stay in touch with him via Google+ and Facebook.

While you’re at it, these are our Google+ and Facebook links. Connect with us for more competition info and other need-to-know news.

Just another way we’re helping you to make more sales!

Sue and the marketing team


Watch Top Billing:

Thursdays @20:30: 15 May, 22 May, 29 May & 5 June

Sundays @ 12:00: 18 May, 25 May, 1 June & 8 June (repeat episodes)

Get social!

Every day, we talk to more than 33 000 Facebook fans on the Private Property page – all “real people” who are interested in property. They love us! A recent post on braais was seen by 50 000 followers, received more than 750 likes and 200 shares, and was commented on by so many people that we’ve practically lost count!

Are you one of them? Why not? Engage with us on Facebook and leverage our platform to build your brand. Social media is a powerful tool. And – it’s fun! It’s free! It works!

All it takes is one quick click.

If you’re not sure about the details, please email us:

We look forward to seeing you online!

We didn’t say it, but …

“When you kindly featured my property in your newsletter, I received an astounding number of hits. That day there were about 650 potential leads, and this number increased for another four days afterwards to 808. After much begging and pleading, I got Property24 to do the same. For the day, I only received 280 hits and it basically stopped increasing after the first day.”

  • Donna Sipman, RE/MAX Masters


Every week, we feature three gorgeous listings in our consumer newsletter, which goes out to around 135 000 subscribers. Want this extra exposure? Send the details to: We’d love to give you this added value as a thank you for your support.

(Please note that depending on the number of responses we receive, we may not be able to feature all of the listings immediately. Our editor will check that the listing is still active before publishing it.)

One of the world’s best websites

Private Property has received two International Media Awards (IMA).

For the year 2013, Private Property’s received an Outstanding Achievement Award in the “Real Estate” category, with an overall score of 95 percent. The portal also received the accolade in the “Lifestyle” category recently with a score of 478 out of a possible 500, with content and functionality scoring 99 and 98 percent respectively.

Private Property’s CEO Justin Clarke says: “These are extremely challenging awards to win. We are proud that the IMA awards recognise our high standards of planning, execution and overall professionalism.

“We have all of SA’s best property in one place for buyers and renters to peruse. Estate agents, banks, developers, and landlords all list with us to give our browsers the widest variety of properties to be found on any South African portal.”

In January 2014, Private Property delivered more than a million quality leads to its advertisers, and this can definitely be attributed to the new functionality of the site.

COO Simon Bray says that the website’s design – both visual and its underlying code – is significant in that it presents a market-leading innovation in the SA online property market. The interface is interactive, intuitive and inspirational.

In 2013, in a first for the South African property industry, the company migrated to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to deliver a seamless, responsive version of its website. Says Bray: “We believe that we deliver the best property browsing experience available in South Africa, for both desktop and mobile devices.”

Never before has a property website been optimised like this for mobile devices. Now, when a browser navigates to the website recognises the device’s type and screen size, and responds by giving the best possible version of the site for that device – whether it is mobile or not.

“Our goal is to make it easier for buyers and tenants to find their perfect homes and start talking to sellers, landlords and agents,” says Bray. “This recognition of our efforts shows that we are well on our way to achieving this.”