“As access to the Internet increases, whether at home, work or through mobile phones, consumer behaviour changes and adapts to the new opportunities presented. This is something that has been clearly seen in the real estate industry, with a significant shift towards property buyers making use of online tools to search for property.”
This insightful statement recently appeared on the Property Professional website. They further added that 80% of respondents to an online survey use the Internet as their primary tool for searching for property, with 63% of people saying that they prefer using property portals (websites that aggregate property listings from a variety of estate agencies or sources) instead of individual agency websites or even newspapers.
Engel & Völkers has been quite aware of the exponential growth of online technology over the past few years. With this knowledge they have developed their own internal software listing programme which allows their agents to instantly list a property on their website and this feeds directly to the major property portals, in order to reach the widest audience. This technology is used to the advantage of both sellers and buyers. As stated by Riaan van Deventer, Head of Real Estate, Engel & Völkers Southern Africa, 'Our advantage as a global real estate leader is that we are always aware of latest technology trends and developments to secure the best search results for our sellers and buyers. Based on this we recently re-launched our internal listing programme to incorporate even more sophisticated features to ensure we stay current and ahead of the competition by providing our agents with exceptional marketing tools to offer unparalleled customer service. Our in-house software is customised for the South African property market. The Engel & Völkers website provides the convenience of a single portal platform that searches for properties in 38 different countries around the world with the feature of viewing the property in your chosen measurement and currency. It is always interesting to see how oversees properties compare quality and price wise with those in South Africa.
The SA consumer has embraced this new Internet technology in leaps and bounds and is well versed in searching for all their needs on-line before making a purchase, with fixed property being one that is high on the list. This has resulted in website advertising becoming far more popular than printed advertising. International trends are also clear on the fact that portal advertising has grown vastly compared to printed media, and also due to the fact that a well optimised website is available worldwide and the number of visitors cannot even be remotely compared to printed advertising and copies distributed.
Riaan noted further 'However, one must not discount the value of printed media advertising as this does reach the surrounding and immediate market and creates awareness of the local real estate office and the different areas where their agents operate. These printed adverts also serve as a branding exercise and are essential for the public to associate their property requirements in specific suburbs to those active real estate companies and agents. Printed advertising will display the physical contact details and website addresses to prospective clients, for a more detailed property search. The high cost of printed advertising also limits the number of properties any real estate office can afford to publish regularly in a property magazine, but we at E&V absolutely do give priority to properties with exclusive mandates. By agreeing to an exclusive mandate, the seller is assured that our property sales advisors will provide the best possible exposure and follow our comprehensive marketing strategy. Our National Guide which comes out on a monthly basis is an ideal printed media tool to ensure that your property is showcased on a national basis to potential buyers and the GG magazine which is released on a quarterly basis showcases all of the premium properties on an international basis.
The global reach of digital advertising is remarkable and can never be matched by the printed media. This reach obviously comes at a cost – real estate companies pay a hefty monthly subscription to be able to publish properties to various property portals in South Africa. This cost of publication is carried by the individual offices and considered as a very necessary and successful marketing expense.
To validate the cost of website advertising via the property portals, our sales providers are trained and skilled in placing descriptive wording and excellent images to entice prospective buyers. They need to list all the features of the property which is being marketed. This can only be achieved with the co-operation and input of the seller. Sellers must give agents access to their property to take the best photos as each home lends itself to a different time of the day to discover the best angles and with specific light. Good images will catch the eye of a prospective buyer and so it is in the seller's interest that the sales advisor is given this opportunity, so that both seller and sales advisor can be proud of the final website listing. Our Engel & Völkers sales advisors deal with buyers regularly and so therefore are well schooled in the aspects that will let the buyer identify the most suitable property for their needs, Riaan added.
It is essential to list your property through a qualified sales advisor as they are trained to ensure that proper listing steps are followed and thereby the necessary and essential aspects are complied with and legal wrangles avoided. Quite importantly, the seller can be assured that the buyers walking through their home are accompanied by the Engel &Völkers sales advisor and well informed before the actual viewing. Our sales advisors will consider the needs of both buyers and sellers when listing, and therefore will list accurate and quality information and features on the website, Riaan concluded.
If you would like your property to be listed on our website, please contact your local Engel & Völkers office or call us on 011 929 3096 or visit www.engelvoelkers.com/south-africa