Your property can never be too exposed
Even Yahoo! Real Estate - which attracts 7,63m unique visitors a month and is arguably the world's top real estate portal - only has a 6,51% share of the US home search market.
"And the three next biggest portals, realtor.com, zillow.com and trulia.com, have market shares of just 6,46%, 5,69% and 4,77% respectively," notes Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.
"Indeed, according to the latest figures available from Hitwise, which tracks the fortunes of all the top US real estate portals, even the top 20 portals together reach less than half (47%) of the 216m people in the US who visit such sites every month - which just goes to show that you can never have your property listings on too many websites."
There is no doubt, he says, that online househunting is gaining ground, even in SA where internet access has historically been more restricted than in the US. "And of course the home search market - or number of people looking to buy a new property - is far smaller in SA than in the US, so it is even more important to ensure that any listing gains the maximum possible exposure.
"Consequently, we believe that the ability of an agency to advertise properties across a large number of real estate portals and websites should be an important consideration now for homeowners who are interviewing agents prior to awarding a mandate to market their property."
In accordance with this, Chas Everitt International places new listings on "every SA property portal we can find", including iolproperty.co.za; cyberprop.com; privateproperty.co.za and property24.com.
"In addition, we are constantly seeking out and adapting the very latest technologies to increase the exposure of our clients' homes. For example, we are currently running a pilot project in Bedfordview and Edenvale with QR codes that is receiving tremendous response," says Everitt.
QR (quick response) codes are those square black-and-white matrixes designed to be read by smartphones and containing all sorts of coded information. "Placed on one of our for-sale boards, a QR code enables anyone with a reader on their phone to instantly display an e-brochure containing a description and photos of the home, as well as other information such as price, financing requirements, schools and shops in the area and so on.
"This technology is catching on rapidly around the world, and in Japan has already become the main way for consumers to access information about products and services they need or want to buy. We see it as an important addition to our suite of marketing channels."
Chas Everitt Press Release