Leading traditional estate agents are predicting the digital property market is going to have a major effect on how they do business. The reality is that they are going to have to do a lot to forge a way through the competition that has already built a strong presence online.
Digital property portals have taken the property market by storm. Their ease of use and greater functionality means that people are increasingly choosing online searching over conventional property listings in newspapers or magazines. Not only do property portals list properties of estate agents but also those of private sellers, providing the buyer with a vast range of choices.
The traditional model of estate agency itself is changing too. Many traditional real estate agents are realising the importance of creating a digital profile. But are most too late? Companies like low commission estate agents Steeple, who identified this trend early on and have built an online business model to take advantage of it, undoubtedly have a competitive advantage over the old-style agencies.
Internet use in South Africa is growing dramatically as more and more people are gaining access. Some digital analysts say that more than 50% of consumers with internet access are now regularly engaging in digital trade. These consumers will expect online efficiencies to result in reduced commissions from estate agents.
The dawn of the new property market has arrived and it is never going back to its original form.
David de Waal (CA(SA))
CEO Steeple – The Low Commission Estate Agents[shareaholic app='share_buttons' id='5062783']