Archive for the ‘Website Features’ Category

Featured Agent product

fishbowlStruggling to stand out from the crowd? Stop. Take a deep breath. And dial 087 375 1000 (that’s us) to chat about a Featured Agent product.

It is our experience that today’s buyers love – and almost demand – more quality information before they make purchasing decisions. With our Featured Agent product you will be able to give them exactly what they want!

As an agent you need to build a personal brand and where better than on the most trusted property portal in SA? Further, with stock becoming a scarce commodity, buyers are looking to our portal to find the best agent to trust with finding their perfect home. So, without this product you are going to be missing out on opportunities for new mandates.

And – by having this prominence, you are positioned as an area specialist. And that’s a great bargaining tool when you’re out to acquire sole mandates!

Being a Featured Agent also ensures you of higher visibility, which means that more browsers are seeing your listings. In fact, up to 30% of the leads generated from our portal are sent directly to Featured Agents by potential buyers and sellers.

The crowd just got a whole lot smaller, right?

(Call us.)

How to get smiley faces via Facebook

fb_coffeeSo. You’ve opened a Facebook account for your business … what now? How to capitalise on the “likes” your posts are getting and translate them into serious brand-building and – hopefully – clients and leads? Remember that Facebook, while fun, is a marketing function and you need to work at it. Daily.

Marlon Shevelew, an award-winning and well-known rental law attorney, takes an hour every day to work on his marketing – an hour in which he could be doing billable work but which he considers too important to miss out on. Over his morning coffee, he personally welcomes and greets everyone who has liked his Facebook page since the last time he checked it. He says this is an easy and quick way to start building a real relationship; to make the online experience real.

Marlon is also a big fan of LinkedIn, which he uses to publish longer articles and other, more serious, content. He says: “While Facebook is all about instant gratification, LinkedIn is a professional platform that allows you to communicate with industry and potential clients in a fitting manner.”

(Go here to sign up for a great guide to LinkedIn for business; we’ll chat more about it in a future issue.)


And then there’s the matter of posting frequency …

In this instance there are two things that you need to balance: creating a presence on Facebook is key and to do so you need to post regualrly – but you don’t want to spam your online friends. You also need to remember that quality beats quantity every time. It’s a tricky act …

Louise, Private Property’s Social Media Manager, uses Facebook’s analytical tools to see when our page gets the most views, and then schedules posts for these optimal times. “Generally, I post four times a day during the week – and interestingly, one of our peak times is in the evening when people are browsing their mobile devices while keeping one eye on the telly. This is a great time to push for engagement!”

She says that Facebook has awesome tools that help you to gauge how popular your posts are, and this feedback will help you to plan your content for the future. And here’s a top-secret-tip just for you: “One of the easiest ways to generate engagement is to invite comment, and the easiest way to do this is to give your peeps the option to like something. Post the kitchens from three of your listings and ask people to tell you which one they like best – it works every time!”

We’re virtually number one!

vtourOur mission is to be the best digital marketing platform, and so we’ve built a countrywide network of professional virtual tour (VT) photographers. Our photographers drive over 30 000km and film more than 1 000 VTs a month – meaning that no matter where your property is, we’re on hand (well, behind the camera!) to ensure that your listing is the best it can be.

VTs offer …

  • A sole mandate acquisition opportunity – show your clients your commitment to their sale by adding a VT to their listing.
  • A better visual experience – potential buyers get better quality information from listings.
  • Higher rankings – quality listings mean a higher ranking on search results and notifications.
  • More views – higher rankings mean more potential buyers see the listings.
  • Added online exposure – VTs are converted to videos and uploaded to YouTube – the world’s biggest search engine after Google.
  • More leads – more potential buyers see the listings, so more leads are generated.
  • A better strike rate – a quality listing generates quality leads.
  • Time and money savings – you spend less driving around with potential buyers who aren’t sure what they want.
  • Better turnaround time – shortens the time between the first introduction to a property, to signing the contract with the buyer.
  • A floor plan – all our VTs have a floor plan included, giving browsers more quality content.

This graph shows the average number of views for properties listed on our site with VTs, compared to properties without VTs.

PP VT pie chart

Private Property’s virtual tours are compatible with most systems and browsers. The list includes: Mobile Safari and Mobile Chrome on iOS and Android devices, and Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Safari on PCs and Macs.

Sold? Contact Christian or your Account Manager to book your VT package today!

A day at Private Property in numbers

Here’s something really interesting: a day at Private Property in numbers. We believe that sharing our performance data is a key element in trust and transparency – so here you go!

Please click here: PP info graphic

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.