With every sale we do our best to establish the source of the buyer and the source of the seller. Such research is a vital part of running any successful and growing business and in the rapidly evolving world of real estate, we are no different and detecting trends is a critical part of both budget and strategic planning.
Having just concluded a survey of 2013 sales the biggest trend I have identified is the substantial increase in the use of property portals by buyers, over the use of Corporate websites. Of the portals, Property24 is for our areas clearly the outright preferred portal. Fewer buyers seem to be interested in what any individual company website has to offer with a clear preference to go to the shared portal sites. It seems that at least 50% of the value in the Corporate website is now for purposes of positioning on Google and other search engines, for those buyers who don't know about the property portals. *
Of the buyers surveyed on their buying process significantly all except 11% had used the internet as part of their search to find a property to buy. Of these 72% remember using the portal Property24. Only 33% mentioned any other property portal (this was mostly PrivateProperty followed by IOL and Tivvit) and even more interesting to me, only a 27% could recall using any individual company's website. I would very much like the Western Cape Institute of Estate Agents to undertake a regional survey to establish these trends, and have communicated such request to them as I don't believe that the portals themselves can really be expected to provide independent commentary on this.