Who owns the real estate industry?

source: Property Professional Magazine
  1. Yes it is too late to build a new industry portal. Early adopters have a huge advantage. How long does it take to build a portal, apps, get interfaces up from agents and get enough traction that it can deliver substantial leads to estate agents? Being in the industry myself owning an independent portal, it is a very difficult and expensive road. It does require quite a huge investment and if you want to be #1, be prepared to run at a loss for while. Best bet? Buy an existing portal over to give you traction. Not one controlled by investor who may just one day want a return on their investment and decide to sell to the highest bidder (as in the case of Private Property). Not part of it…. lock stock and barrel. Be prepared to invest lots to play catch up and keep a close eye on similiar attempts worldwide to learn from mistakes.
  2. Estate Agents did not ‘save the industry’, the internet did. The internet prevented the industry from eating itself with its monopoly action that provided preferential treatment to some in the print space. The internet provided smaller independent estate agencies and new startups to thrive, by providing them with an easier entry to market…and it simplified the home search experience for buyers.
  3. Although property portals are seen as ‘Unrelated business interests’, I’m actually quite sure many buyers and sellers will find value with the simpler way of finding a home or agent on one website. In fact, property portals are one of the core elements of the real estate transaction although some agents feel they are held ransom. Buyers are doing more of their own homework and in many cases, now exactly which homes they want to view. It is unfortunate though, that portal monopolies do command heavy fees in return for leads. Some of the top portals will provide 80–90% of leads to agents. So reduce the dependency and start innovating. Invest in different ways of attracting leads and invest in your own website. It’s quite amazing to see how the portals dominate Google SEM positions, while many agencies, including big franchises, have it within their power to compete with that on a hyperlocal level. Opportunity lost.

You had control of print, what happened then?

I hope some estate agents in South Africa share my view and see the opportunity. The time has never been better to start disrupting, are you going to be part of it?




I’m the CEO of www.entegral.net, I love working with my remote team to solve real estate problems. Questions everything.

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Adriaan Grové

Adriaan Grové

I’m the CEO of www.entegral.net, I love working with my remote team to solve real estate problems. Questions everything.

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