Property portal reputation
Property portals in South Africa (and in the rest of the world) don’t necessarily have good reputations with agents, due mostly to high fees caused by monopolies and duopolies.
It’s unfortunately an endless cycle where portals push a lot of money into advertising, giving agents the leads, then charging more. Rinse and repeat. Backed by investors these portals need to show growth at all cost. In order to hang on to their monopoly, they hang on to the listing data. This is the ugly side of capitalism. Data is the new oil, and without the full spectrum of listings available in a suburb, buyers will jump to the next portal. A few years ago we’ve started to help change this, with the industry’s first standalone listing syndication system, that opens up listing data to all portals, to stimulate competition.
All the focus currently is on attracting (unqualified) leads for the agent who pays the most, and not necessarily the best approach to connect buyers and sellers with the best agents (and enhancing the image of the real estate profession in the process — butterfly effect). Agents are paying through their neck just to get listings on portals, even more to get their logo featured and then get charged for leads which in many cases are dodgy clicks on phone numbers. Redfin calls expensive portals “a tax on sellers”.
It’s like the biggest spender takes all approach. I know of tons of great agents and small agencies that are demotivated with this approach and high fees. The impact is big: I’ve met with several smaller startup agencies who are struggling to keep afloat due to high advertising fees. It certainly doesn’t stimulate the small agency market and bigger agencies are feeling the punch too. It’s time to try and change this, and you have the Entegral team’s commitment to help you. For this to work we need the help of every estate agent in South Africa.
We want to bring the love back to property portals — the journey starts!