Tel: +27 (0)11 955 9100
Newsletter - 28 February 2005
Word from the editor

Dear CyberAgent users,

In January 2005's newsletter we had the following to say:
Technology plays an important role in all businesses and we will be bringing the BEST to you in the next few weeks. It will be... new..funky and will support your business on all levels, from marketing to obtaining mandates. Keep watching this space.

For those of you who have been watching this space..IT'S HERE! Best of all, it is just the first bit of what is still coming your way over the next few weeks.

Estate Agents can now communicate information regarding property details to potential buyers through the sending of a simple SMS. The potential buyer will receive a SMS in return with all relevant information on the property, the contact number of the agent plus a link to the website! Best news, this module is FREE to all our CyberAgent users! Through this module an agency with 4 agents will save R800+ per month! I am going to say it again, this module comes for FREE to all CyberAgent users! You can read more in What's new...

In last year we sent out a questionaire regarding an affiliated program that we are looking at. We are now proud to announce that we have just entered into an agreement with SATSSA. CyberAgent users can now advertise their properties with SATSSA. Simply complete the questionnaire that you will find in the contents of this newsletter and they will contact you.

And I think that is where I am going to end this months newsletter. Just remember...Keep watching!

The editor

Mail Box...

Mail 1

I am currently preparing to become an estate agent & have subscribed to your newsletters which i find very interesting & informative.


Mail 2

"Devils Peak" vs "Vredenhoek"
"As an old resident of the Devil's Peak Estate area, I noticed that various Estate Agents in the City Bowl Area have a lot of properties incorrectly listed as "Devil's Peak" properties, when they are in fact in Vredehoek. The concern is of course that by incorrectly listing the area's that these properties are situated in, valuations and ultimately the rates could be severely affected. This problem I had first-hand experience of when we objected to the last valuations and by proving to Council where our home was situated and the size of the property - our Rates were effectively halved once they verified the area & zoning differences.

I also assume that prospective buyers would like to know the actual area they are purchasing their property in, and not find out at a later stage that they don't actually live where they thought they did? Imaging someone buying a home in Constantia - only to find out later it is actually in "Upper" Bergvliet!

A very easy way of determining the differences between the two suburbs is the following:

Devil's Peak has smaller, usually 1/2 the size properties to Vredehoek.

Devil's Peak is zoned for single dwellings "SD-CCC" only - Vredehoek is "R4-CCC" as well as single dwelling

VERY Important - Devil's Peak Estate does NOT have Flats, Townhouses or Multi-dwelling units. Therefore - High Cape, Disa Park etc. are all in Vredehoek.
Should you wish to verify this demarcated area, you can actually go and visit council and ask for copies of the following old original plans: B-81, B-82, B-83 & B-84

Hope this info helps with some of the confusion of the area's?

We have sent a letter to the Community Papers as well with copies of the map and have asked them to publish it to allow people to take note of the area itself.
Devil's Peak is a very sensitive area and we're hoping to exert some sort of control over development of the area and to prevent possible incorrect zoning of the area, that could allow multi-storey or multiple dwellings to be built.

By: Peter van der Linden

What's New ???

1) Internet Number

We will be implementing a Unique Property Number for every property loaded onto the Internet.

How will it work?

When you update properties to the Internet, our server will allocate a unique number for every property that does not have a number. Before every property update CyberAgent will check for newly issued numbers and update your data before sending the latest update to the Internet. This unique number will be displayed in the "Property Manager" (top right hand corner).

Why implement a unique property number?

Since CyberAgent is an offline application we cannot issue unique property numbers via the Internet. A unique number is created by your BID (branch ID) and a number issued by your computer. For example: BID: SDEM1, Property Number: 00000301, Unique property number: SDEM100000301. The Internet generated number for this property for example can be "34532".

Shorter / Easier references to properties for Advertisements or on the website
When advertising the property you can now refer to Listing number: "34532" instead of "SDEM100000301".
If you are planning to use this unique number in your marketing process, please email to add this feature to your website.

Cell Phone enquiries from the public
Buyers driving past your advertising boards will be able to see the Internet Number and they will then sms that number to 35476 and they will receive an sms back with all the details of the property. At the same time the agent / agency will also be informed of a potential buyer. How's that for technology working for you! The cost - mahala! Free to all CyberAgent subscribers.

Here's a diagram on the way this process will work...

  1. Agent captures the details of the property and pictures into CyberAgent
  2. Agent updates the property to the Internet
  3. The Internet server sends back a unique number for that property
  4. Agent puts up his "For Sale" board with the unique number
  5. Potential buyer sees the "For Sale" board and sms's the number to the Internet server
  6. The Internet server sends back an sms with all the property details and pictures
    (if the phone can handle pictures)

2) Slide Show and Touch Screen Facility

CyberAgent now has a great new facility with which you can display a slide show of all your properties. This feature also doubles up as a Touch Screen interface for agencies who want to give potential clients the ability to browse through their properties on offer - ideal for agencies located in high people-traffic environents. For more info on obtaining touch screens and through-window touch panels please give us a call!!!

3) Reports Export to Excel

CyberAgent can now export reports to MS Excel - this is the is one you've been waiting for! Enjoy!

CyberAgent Newsletter Lessons
We have discovered a huge problem on the websites. Properties without pictures or any notes. Also the fact that prices on properties are not correctly atvertised. The biggest frustration still is properties that are being advertised as active that are not active!

It is importend to ensure that your property details are correct, up to date and that you add as many pictures as you possibly can. Also add as much notes as you can.

Here are a few tips in doing so:

Your Own Website
(CyberAgent Professional Users Only)

Why is it so great to have your own website?
When you refer a client to your website he’s making decisions based on what he sees there – he’s comparing the different properties he sees on your website to determine what he likes and what he’s interested in. If you don’t have your own website and you refer your clients to a communal website (like or the client will be looking at many properties of which only a few will be yours!

Have a look at some of the established names in real estate’s websites then compare it to your own. Can you really distinguish between the two? What is the difference between the two cost-wise? Some has spent vast sums of money on the development of their website (hundreds of thousands of rands!) and they’ve got a whole IT department running it full time. What is the difference in the visitor’s overall impression and experience? Not that much! This means you are placed on a level playing field with an industry leader because of CyberAgent!

Use your website to its full potential! You can add unlimited photographs. You can put headings on top of your photographs. Never leave the notes field empty!

Some notes on HTML
Did you know that your website is made up on the fly, meaning that the actual data in your Property Manager is used to display the property details on the website. Furthermore – all the notes fields and even some other fields could be substituted with HTML code and it will be displayed on the website! Why is this good news to you? You can add HTML code to your listings that will come alive on the Internet and make your listing stand out!

Some examples:

<marquee>Text goes here</marquee>

<b>This text is BOLD</b>

<h1>This is a Heading</h1>

<img src=”image.jpg”> This displays an image

<a href=”floorplan.jpg”>Click for FLOORPLAN</a>

Visual Tours

Did you know that there are companies specializing in creating visual tours – photographs taken of a property and then displayed in such a way that the viewer has a great visual experience of the property!? Did you also know that CyberAgent support these features! Visit and when you order a visual tour, tell them you’re using CyberAgent!

Floor plans and other enlargements

Some clients have come up with the idea of placing floor plans of the property as one of the pictures. The problem here is that the floor plan is displayed so small that it’s not practical – you could then add a little HTML script that could open up a larger version of the same picture in a new window!

Random Property on your Home Page

Did you know that the same feature used on to rotate between different properties at random, is also available to you on your own website – the latest addition to this cool feature is the ability to rotate between the different photographs of the selected property!

CyberAgent now offers you good affiliate programs!!!

Good affiliate programs can be an excellent way of earning and learning at the same time. The CyberAgent team is on the lookout at all times to bring to our Agencies resources and business strategies to promote their businesses.

We have been approached by an International Company SATSSA that is interested in marketing the properties of our CyberAgent agencies. Currently this company operates in various Europe and Africa countries. Their advertising is done in the appropriate national newspapers and property magazines in the respective countries. In addition they do direct mailshots, and are ranked on all the major search engines.

The buyers are all qualified up front, and are required to sign buyers mandates prior to traveling to South Africa, which restrict them to purchasing properties through affiliated estate agents only.

Typically the clients will require the agent to assist with letting the newly purchased property for all or part of the year, and provide residential property management services. The company also handle property sales for international property owners wishing to sell their properties. Commercial investment properties are also required.

The requirements are that the commission on both property purchases and sales by clients of the company be split 50/50. The commission on rentals of properties purchased by 80/20 agency/company on an ongoing basis.

Let's face it. The Internet is a huge place and we should all grab the opportunity to market our business to the fullest but we value the input of our agencies. Should you be interested in making use of this affiliated program click on the following link and complete the questionnaire.

Affiliate Programme Questionnaire
(You can complete the form in your email application and click the "Submit" button or print the form and complete it by hand and then fax it to us on (011) 955-9110 - Thank you!!)

Name of the Agency
Contact number
Email address
Who is the agency owned by?
What is your position in the company?
In what areas do the agency market properties?
Is the agency affiliated to any other property group?
How many properties are currently on the books?
How many properties have the agency sold in the last 6 months?
What is the average price reached from sales in the last 6 months?
What means of advertising is the agency making use of?
Would you like to participate in the Affiliate Programme?


A warm welcome to all new Agencies:

  • Hekpoort Estates
  • GSJ Properties
  • ProsperityLink Pty Ltd
  • Walkway Dynasty
  • Tyrone Selmon - Overberg
  • Tinus Strydom - Sunnyside
  • Re/max One
  • Linda Erwee Property
  • Grutter Properties
  • Tinus Strydom Head Office
  • Chas Everitte - City Bowl
  • Durr Estates
  • Homenet VWB - Rooihuiskraal
  • Molgrey Investments

We trust that by now you are well aware of what CyberAgent can do for you. If you need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Jaco at or phone us at: +27 (0)11 955-9100 or 086 112- 9237

Most Internet enquiries:


Company Requests
Proplist - Glenanda 213
Wendy Machanik Properties 137
Realty Executives JHB South 131
Kilokor Properties 89
Huizemark JHB 68
Firzt 67
Explore Properties 55
The Rental Giant 54
U 54
Hall Real Estate 52
Chas Everitt Southern Suburbs 34
Homenet Midrand 34
Proplist - Vaal 33
Proplist - Hermanus 33
Sherlock Homes 33
Realty Executives JHB North 32
Tyrone Selmon Properties (City Bowl) 32
Homenet Pretor (Pretoria) 30
Key West Estates 30

Sunday times

Company Requests
Realty Executives JHB South 120
Proplist - Glenanda 118
Drive Estates 108
Inpa Properties 88
The Rental Giant 56
Tinus Strydom Midrand 56
Wendy Machanik Properties 56
Hall Real Estate 50
Proplist - Hermanus 50
Key West Estates 36
U 36
Stockton Property Consultants 34
Homenet Overberg 34
Kilokor Properties 34

From the Accounts department....

By now you are all aware of the new legislation regarding Value Added Tax (VAT).
We need your VAT number as soon as possible.
Please fax proof of your VAT registration to 011 955 9110

"Interesting" year ahead for Agents

The estate agency industry faces several challenges during 2005, including a possible change in the commission system, advances in black economic empowerment, and the imposition of additional legal obligations on estate agents.

Bill Rawson, president of the Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA), says it is also possible, that the year will bring an announcement about the introduction of the new national qualifications, and perhaps a shake-up at the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

"By now it is common knowledge that the Competition Commission disapproves of our industry's traditional commission and fee structure, and that it wants us to convert to some kind of cost-based system," he says.

"The Commission expects IEASA to help the industry to convert, and we await clarification on exactly what it envisages in the way of a new structure."

Black economic empowerment in the industry recently took a step forward with the establishment of the Property Sector Transformation Charter steering committee, on which IEASA is represented. "Transformation has been very slow," admits Rawson, "and efforts up till now have been fragmented and unco-ordinated. By joining forces on this committee, the various bodies in the property sector can now work together to achieve results.

"The fact that the government has recently placed the Estate Agency Affairs Board - our own industry's regulator - under the control of a new chief executive who is a strong proponent of BEE and small business development suggests that the EAAB is going to play a more prominent role in the process."

Two items of draft legislation, which seem likely to be approved during 2005, will impose new obligations on estate agents.

One will introduce a withholding tax on non-residents who sell properties in South Africa, and proposes to make it the estate agent's duty to inform the buyers of their obligation to collect the tax on behalf of SARS. An estate agent who fails to inform the buyer will become liable for payment of the tax.

The other draft law proposes to make it compulsory for estate agents to report to SARS whenever anyone buys or sells a property through a company or close corporation or trust, so that SARS can ensure that transfer duty is paid.

"These are but the latest in a series of measures which have forced estate agents to become informers for the government," notes Rawson.

Meanwhile, it is hoped that 2005 will bring an announcement from the EAAB as to when and how the national qualifications in real estate, which were approved in August 2004, will be introduced.

"There is a crying need for these qualifications," Rawson says. "It took seven years to develop them, and the sooner they are made compulsory the better. The time is past when the real estate industry was a refuge for people with nothing better to do. It is now a complex profession, operating in an international market, and expertise is essential."

Rawson also hopes that the appointment of a new CEO at the EAAB will improve that organisation's administrative efficiency. "The past two years or so have seen a noticeable decline in efficiency," he says, "especially in regard to issuing fidelity fund certificates. Even getting through to the EAAB on the phone can be difficult and it is not uncommon for callers to wait for 20 minutes or longer before their calls are answered.

"These may be small items in the grand scheme of things, but they have made many estate agents negative towards the EAAB, and it would be a good thing if they were fixed up if only so that the attitude could change." (Nedcor Property Talk)

Number of Estate Agents on the rise!
The residential property market boom has seen a very rapid rise in the number of registered estate agents, the Estate Agency Affairs Board reports in its annual report tabled in Parliament.

The number of registrations rose from 21 619 in the 2002 financial year to 38 399 in the 15 months to end-March last year, a year-on-year increase of about 80%. Chairman Linda Nyembe said more previously disadvantaged people appeared to be entering the white –dominated industry.

The report said more than 85 000 disciplinary complaint files had been opened by the board since 1977. The complaints by consumers against estate agents related mainly to alleged breaches of their ethical code of conduct.

The board considered 1408 complaints in the review period, which resulted in 1287 convictions, 121 acquittals and the withdrawal of 44 fidelity fund certificates, meaning the estate agent concerned, can no longer practise. The fidelity fund was set up to recompense clients for theft or misappropriation of trust money by estate agents. (Business Day)
Quotation of the month

"The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication."
- Cecil B. DeMille
US movie producer (1881 - 1959)