Archive for the ‘Website Features’ Category

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.”

2014: What does our future hold?

The new year promises to be at least as exciting as 2013 – if not even more so! General consensus is that it’s going to be a good year for residential property. The growing shortage of homes and the resultant willingness to pay above previous price levels will be a key driver during the coming year. This, coupled with expectations that the interest rate will remain below 6% for a good couple of months, is sure to encourage more first-time buyers into the market.

We’re pre-empting these feel-good factors with innovative new products that have been formulated to help YOU – our valued estate agent partners – to move more property, faster. Our aim is to provide a platform that easily matches the correct buyers and tenants to your listings.

Our new products are also designed to increase awareness of your agency brands in the marketplace, ensuring that you are enabled to become the leading agents in your target areas. By making sure that your listings contain as much info as possible, you’ll rank higher and stand a better chance of having your properties seen first.

Two great products that have been built with the sole aim of increasing your brand exposure are our Area Specialist and Suburb Billboard features. Remember to chat to your Account Manager early in 2014 to jump on this!

Our new attorney product enables you to work closely with your preferred attorneys to ensure a seamless transition from sale to transfer. Your buyers will love you for taking the stress out of this potentially scary process.

But that aint all! We’re also introducing an aerial photography product …

Signing up for this new feature (a first in the SA property sector) will not only help your ranking score, it’ll also encourage more browsers to view your listings, resulting in more quality leads for you.

And if you think the sales team is working hard to bring you all this fantastic added value, you’ll be thrilled to know that our marketing team is equally hard at work ensuring that our branding is “out there”. The more we’re in consumer’s heads, the more browsers we attract, the more leads you receive. The rest is up to you.

Here’s to a record-breaking year!

SMS SOS for all agents!

Our website now has a nifty new feature on the listing pages. When a browser finds an interesting property and clicks on the listing, there is an option to automatically and instantly SMS or email you, saving them time in calling you and also allowing you to waste no time in responding to the query.

In addition, if a client selects the “old” way of emailing you (which allows them to personalise the query) our system will automatically send you an SMS alert. Clever huh!

Make a wish

Here’s a great new Private Property website feature that your clients are bound to love: the wishlist.

Simon Bray, COO, says that picking a home is about checking out all the options: a big garden, three garages, expensive finishes, great potential or a good deal … and choosing which one suits you best.

“The Wishlist is the best way to do this,” he says. “It’s a personal list of all the ‘right’ properties.”

To assist your clients in simplifying their searches, simply browse through all your listings, pick the ones you know fit your clients’ requirements and compare them all in one wishlist view.

You’ll wish all property sites were this useful!


Private Property is “virtually” number one

At Private Property, our mission is to be the best digital marketing platform for estate agents and private sellers, and all the other players in the property industry.

To aid this, we have built a network of professional virtual tour photographers, which enables us to service customers countrywide within a reasonable turnaround time. To achieve this level of service, our photographers drive over 30 000km and film more than 1 000 virtual tours a month. Added to this, our virtual tours are manually stitched, which ensures the best quality for our browsers and estate agent partners.

Private Property's professional virtual tour photographers film more than 1 000 virtual tours every month.

Private Property’s professional virtual tour photographers film more than 1 000 virtual tours every month.

You might be wondering what all the fuss is about with these virtual tours …

  • Better visual experience – potential buyers get better quality information from listings.
  • Higher ranking – 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 – We convert virtual tours to videos and upload it to YouTube – the world’s biggest search engine after Google.
  • More leads – more potential buyers see the listings so more leads are generated.
  • Better strike rate – A quality listing generates quality leads.
  • Saves time and money – agents spend less driving around with potential buyers who don’t know what they want.
  • Better turnaround time – shorten the time between the first introduction to a property to signing the contract with the buyer.
  • Floor plan – All our virtual tours have a floor plan included, giving browsers quality content.

And all this for a great price that is lower than the average rate in the industry! In short, Private Property gives the best quality virtual tours at the lowest cost in the shortest turnaround time.

This graph depicts the average number of leads for properties listed on our site with virtual tours compared to properties without virtual tours.

VT vs Std Listing

On the Private Property website, listings with virtual tours receive, on average, 83% more leads than those without.

The results are clear: properties with virtual tours generate many more leads than those without.

Our virtual tours are compatible with most systems and browsers. The list includes: Mobile Safari on iOS devices, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari and soon we will also cater for all android devices.

Private Property prides itself on offering our browsers quality content and the best online experience while offering our customers affordable online exposure. So let us take over the admin and technical challenges associated with digital marketing.

Give us a call on 087 375 1000 or email if you want to add a professional virtual tour to a listed property or if you require more information about our virtual tour package.

Make your marketing budget work hard – invest in a billboard banner

Private Property’s billboard banner subscription places your branding on specific pages, positioning you as an area specialist and acting as a mandate acquisition product – as well as helping you to attract the best agent talent to your agency. This is the best, most high-profile online branding opportunity available.


How does a billboard banner work?

  • It appears as the header banner on any page for the month of the subscription
  • A billboard banner features an agency’s branding and a short slogan
  • The slogan can be changed every month
  • When a browser clicks on a billboard banner, he will be redirected to the agents’ page on
  • The agents’ page shows all properties and agents
  • A billboard banner features at the top of the first page of searched suburbs and is not repeated on subsequent pages
  • Billboard banners can be purchased for single suburbs (eg, Umhlanga Rocks) but not for higher-level areas (eg, Umhlanga, which contains multiple single suburbs)
  • Higher-level areas (eg, Umglanga) do not feature billboard banners – instead, such pages feature an area specialist section on the right-hand side of the page, which shows all the billboards in that area
  • If one agent owns billboard banners for every single suburb that makes up a higher-level area, then that agent’s billboard will appear instead of the area specialist feature
  • There is no limit on the number of billboard banner subscriptions that an agency may purchase
  • Suburbs are priced according to activity – high-volume browser areas are priced at a premium

The numbers speak for themselves!

Private Property invests a lot into researching consumers’ impressions of our products and you’ll see below how well our new site is working compared with the old.

Perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that we’re now getting more weekend “hits” than ever before. In fact, these browsing numbers top those for during the week. So when you get new listings, make sure you advertise them by Friday to get the most bang for your buck.

Here are some more facts on our new improved site …


  • The bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and “bounce” (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site
  • The bounce rate of the new site has improved by 14% from the old site – more people are viewing more pages


  • This is the number of pages that a specific browser opens during a single visit to the site
  • The number of visited pages per user on the new site has increased by 13% from the old site

page per visit graph



  • The average visit duration refers to the average amount of time that a browser spends on the site.
  • This has improved by nearly 8% from the old site to the new.




  • The conversion rate relates to the number of pages visited compared to the number of leads generated off the site
  • The average conversion rate has improved by 8% from the old site to the new


Your clients love Private Property’s new site!

Private Property’s million-or-so monthly browsers are using our new site’s “feedback” capability to tell us what they think. Here are some randomly selected comments:

  • “I spend a lot of time browsing property websites. I’ve been to them all and I have to say this is by far the best.”
  • “Fantastic new site! Great user experience, visually stunning and fast.”
  • “Love it! Doing it blog-style ushers in a feeling of familiarity. I like the look and layout – it works for me!”
  • “I want to commend the team on the changes to the site. It looks really good, and is also very easy to navigate.”
  • “The new website is absolutely lovely and has a warm feel! It makes me want to house-hunt all day.”


And this is what other agents have said …

  • “Your new website is stunning, easy to use and great for all. Thanks.”
  • “It looks great and seems to work well.”
  • “Awesome site – love everything!”


What do you think? Please let us know what works for you (and what doesn’t) by clicking here.