Tel: +27 (0)11 955 9100
E-mail: info@cyberagent.co.za
Web: www.cyberagent.co.za
www.cyberprop.com
Newsletter - 3 October 2005
Word from the editor

Dear CyberAgent users,

To whom it may concern.

I e-mailed an agent on your site in connection with a vacant stand in
Pretoria about 2 weeks ago. I have not received any reply. I find this very
unprofessional, considering that I am desperately looking to buy pretty
soon.

Are you the guilty one?

As thousands of webmasters have already learned, you can have a catchy domain name and an impeccably designed website and you can even have it indexed by the search engines. However, even after all that, a website may only get a handful of visitors a day. After a few weeks of launching a website, you may catch up to the fact that getting people to your site takes a lot more hard work than you expected. It will take many different approaches to make your website known, and we at CyberAgent will have to pull all the stops: list your website in the major directories, have it crawled by the search engines etc. And from your side you can create a signature file for your emails, publish a free newsletter, exchange links, stamp your domain name in your business cards, stationary, and promotional material, advertise in traditional media, etc. But above all, it will take time, sometimes months before you’re able to get significant traffic to your website, so can you afford not to respond on Internet enquiries?

And that is where we are going to stay this month; on the Internet.

Search Engines; think of it like a lottery. Search engine submission is akin to you purchasing a lottery ticket. Having a ticket doesn't mean that you will win, but you must have a ticket to have any chance at all. We take a closer look at search engines and how to get search engine optimization.

And lastly we share 5 tips you need to take in consideration when considering your website.

Greetings!

The editor

CyberAgent Mobile
CyberAgent Mobile

With the latest innovation from USP Designs, you can expect your office to be a little quieter from now on. At USP Designs, we understand that time spent behind a desk, is money lost, therefore we have invested a great deal of time to develop software that allows you to spend less time in the office, and more time seeing clients.

CyberAgent Mobile has incorporated the most commonly used functions of the CyberAgent package, into a mobile application. Included in this software is a powerful Website Interface catering for those agents without handheld devices, CyberAgent Online. The software is designed to be user friendly, and will run on any handheld device supporting Microsoft CE.

Click here to read more about CyberAgent Mobile

CyberAgent Mobile
FREE trial download

Will CyberAgent Mobile work for you?

You can now test drive the new CyberAgent Mobile program free for 7 days.

Download the program(free),
order it on CD
or 32MB SD Card.

Once loaded on the device you have 7 days in which you can run the program in demo mode.

Click here to for more details

What's New ???

Keep me informed function on website

Our new "Keep me informed" function enables visitors to your website to save their preferred search criteria and once a property matching that criteria becomes available he/she will receive an email or SMS to inform them about it. This can be a very useful tool to ad to your website.

The costs involved:
Once off setup fee: R150-00 Excl Vat
R30 for every 100 SMS's sent from the website

Property Search / Property Filter

You can now filter on the Mandate Type.

Invert Selection tick box:

This will allow you to reverse the selection. E.g. let’s say you have set the filter to properties in two suburbs and click on search you will have 20 properties displayed of 60 properties. When the invert selection tick box is checked and you search again, 40 properties will be selected.

Bug fix : Filter string became too long after selecting multiple suburbs. Fixed!

Canvass Manager

1) Cybertrade Telephone number search added
2) Street, complex and telephone number search can now be conducted on either the text containing, starting with or exact same value
3) Bulk replacement of agents added under the Utilities Page Tab

Training/info sessions

Our next info/training session for Cape Town, West Coast and Overberg is on it's way!

Beginners Session

Date: 20 October 2005
Time: 09h00 - 12h00
Cost: R50 per person per session
Venue: 65 Balfour Street, Churchill Estate

R.S.V.P

Before:
17 October 2005
Contact:

Chris Niemandt at:
082-432 6963
Chris@cyberprop.com

All booking fees must be paid by Monday, 17/10/2005. Please fax proof of payment to
021 930-6224/

Advanced Session

Date: 20 October 2005
Time: 09h00 - 12h00
Cost: R50 per person per session
Venue: 65 Balfour Street, Churchill Estate

R.S.V.P

Before:
17 October 2005
Contact:

Chris Niemandt at:
082-432 6963
Chris@cyberprop.com

All booking fees must be paid by Monday, 17/10/2005. Please fax proof of payment to
021 930-6224

Please take note that there are limited seats available!

CyberAgent & Ananzi

Nearly 10 000 properties listed and growing!

If you are not yet advertising on on South Africa's biggest and most popular search engine with over 10 million page impressions monthly it is time to register now!

CyberAgent has managed to structure a fantastic deal for CyberAgent users with Ananzi Property. For a nominal fee of R100 (excluding VAT) per month, per agency, you can list your properties on this search engine.

Should you need more information contact us at: advertising@cyberprop.com

How to register:

  1. Click here to download the .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) contract
  2. Open with Adobe Acrobat Reader
    (If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed click here to download the Reader)
  3. Print the contract
  4. Complete
  5. Fax back to (011) 955-9110
  6. Or contact our support team at (011) 955-9100
Search Engine Submission: Getting Listed

"Search engine submission" refers to the act of getting your web site listed with search engines. Another term for this is search engine registration.

Getting listed does not mean that you will necessarily rank well for particular terms, however. It simply means that the search engine knows your pages exist.

Think of it like a lottery. Search engine submission is akin to you purchasing a lottery ticket. Having a ticket doesn't mean that you will win, but you must have a ticket to have any chance at all.

Click here to read more

 

News

A warm welcome to all new Agencies:

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 support@cyberprop.com or phone us at: +27 (0)11 955-9100 or 086 112- 9237

Most Internet enquiries:

Cyberprop

Company Requests
Realty SA 240
Wendy Machanik Properties 172
Proplist - Glenanda 167
Realty Executives JHB South 133
Proprop (Pty) Ltd - Head office 123
The Rental Giant 114
Drive Estates 102
Huizemark JHB 70
PLN - Property Listing Network 47
Hall Real Estate 44
Firzt Realty Company - Deez Realtors cc 43
Explore Properties (Marelle Trust) 42
Proplist - Hermanus 38
U PROP.com 37
Stockton Property Consultants 36
Proprop - Montclair 35
Homenet Agriplan 34
No Agent 34
Angor Financial Services 32
Chas Everitt Constantiaberg 30
Homenet Stellenbosch 30

Sunday times

Company Requests
Realty Executives JHB South 76
The Rental Giant 60
U PROP.com 48
Drive Estates 40
Huizemark JHB 40
Proplist - Glenanda 36
Wendy Machanik Properties 36
Hall Real Estate 32
Just Letting 22
Re/max One Hundred 22
Tinus Strydom Property Group Midrand 22
Dynamic Property Rentals 20
Habitat-2000 20
PORT ELIZABETH - Consultants ready to rumble

PORT ELIZABETH is blessed with 3 consultants who are trained and ready to service the city and surrounds.

ANTON LAMPRECHT (‘ThinkIT Solutions’) – a well-known computer expert in the city, who comes highly recommended by Mustek’s Regional Manager, has agreed to install, train and service Cyberagent software.
TEL: 041 374 5842 CELL: 082 493 2529 EMAIL: anton@thinkitsolutions.co.za

IAN MACKAY (‘Global Technologies’) – the owner of Global Technologies, who is an IT expert, will also install, train and support Cyberagent software.
TEL: 041 379 5262 CELL: 083 656 5008 EMAIL: ian@globaltechnologies.co.za

RICKY STONE – a PE student studying law, accounting and computers, who was the head prefect at Dale College in 1994 will also install, train and support Cyberagent software.
CELL 082 429 7084 EMAIL: 205000738@nmmu.ac.za

Please freely contact them.

Our team leader is DEREK HOETS from East Londen.

Tel: 043 721 1821 or 0834637434 You can also email him at derek@cyberprop.com

and.. don't feel left out if you are operating along the Garden route!

Would you mind me saying that it is with a little bit of envy in my heart that I take this opportunity today to introduce to you your very own representative for CyberAgent in the Garden Route.

Envy, because to me, the Garden Route most certainly features the most beautiful lakes, mountains, golden beaches, cliffs and dense indigenous forests in South Africa. This and the people of the Garden Route with their kind hospitality has grown to me in the time that I have traveled and worked the Garden Route.

However, just as privileged as I have been in meeting such people and travel their land, have I been in meeting Ian Anderson and his lovely wife, Lara.

Ian Anderson, located in George and who are currently trading as Cyberafrica Business Solutions studied BA Law at the University of Stellenbosch and later BA Business Administration at the Helderberg College in Somerset West.

Ian has working experience with hardware and software in the IT industry. With his first business venture he formed a partnership and started his own hardware and software business, G & A Systems in Somerset West. In 1995 he joined Boland Control Systems where he consulted as a Project Manager of which the main roles were the project management and the roll out of computerized P.O.S systems for the O’Hagan’s group. He also has working experience with Psimax Internet Services and he had his own IT consulting company in Somerset West for nearly ten years.

Having Ian onboard is most certainly a great privilege for us in the Western Cape team. We are confident that he will provide only the best of services to our clients and to the Real Estate agencies of the Garden Route. Ian will be doing support, installations, training and sales in the area.

You can contact Ian at Office: 044 874 6188, Cell: 082 801 6973 or Email: Ian@cyberprop.com

Welcome onboard Ian!

Our gift to you!

List your Estate Agency free with
CyberAgent and get exposure on
www.CyberProp.com

You will also receive a six month
complimentary subscription
to the Financial Mail.

Click Here

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Website

When designing your website, remember to avoid useless and confusing features, however “cool” they may seem to be. Usually, keeping things simple and consistent are the best way to go. Here are five easy ways to improve your website and make it more appealing to your visitors.

  1. Put your logo on every page of your site, and in the same location. Usually, the best place to put it is in the upper left corner of the page. Remember to make your logo clickable, linking to the main page of your site (an exception is the logo of the main page itself, since you are already there). The benefit of doing so is that if your visitors get lost they can always come back to a familiar location.
  2. Don’ t use a splash screen. Splash screens are seen in many websites before they give you access to the main page. They are usually slow-loading Flash animations that only delay and frustrate users. Remember, when your users want animation, they can turn on the TV. When they go to your website, they usually want information, and they want it fast. Some sites that use splash screens now provide a “Skip the Introduction” link, which most users click anyway, further validating the uselessness of flash screens.
  3. Avoid using heavy pictures. They unnecessarily delay the page upload process. It is OK to use graphics, but they have to be optimized for the web. Use only .gif and .jpg formats. If the pictures are too heavy, try using some of the on-line graphic optimizing tools. They can reduce the weight of your pictures by more than 50% with no noticeable decrease in quality. Another thing you can do is to use thumbnails (clickable miniature versions of a picture). If a user is interested in the picture, he can click on the thumbnail and wait until the full size picture is displayed.
  4. Try not to use animated banners or fancy icons. Just because you can is not a good reason to load up your site with neon-colored, flashing-and-popping, Vegas-style graphics. They usually take away from the content of your site and distract users. Plus, it has been demonstrated that less and less users click on banners every day.
  5. Don’t make your pages too long. People don’t like to read from a screen. Instead, try to use the advantages of hyperlinks to present a summary of the topic or article, with a link to the full article in another page (similar to what newspapers do in their main page, with the added benefit for web users that it is easier to click on a link than to turn a page). If what you have to say is too long, break the discussion in several parts, each of them with a link to where your visitor can continue reading.

Remember, the goal is to give your visitors fast access to your information, through an interface (website) that is visually appealing and easy to use

Agents must adjust to life after the party!

With the South African residential property market cooling down in recent months, real estate agents will have to start getting used to a tighter market.

Although the well-known, larger real estate brands are expected to survive more difficult times, some newcomers are expected to be squeezed out of the market.

Another concern is that emerging black estate agents, who do not necessarily have the resources of the established estate agency groups, may struggle in this market.

In May last year the Estate Agency Affairs Board said there were 43 000 estate agents in more than 11 000 firms and other organisations registered with it. Some commentators said even then there might be an oversupply of agents.

Herschel Jawitz, CE of Jawitz Properties, says that larger organisations and the niche real estate operators are better equipped to survive tougher times.

Jawitz says small niche players sell in a small area and may operate in a small home office environment.

“Overheads are very low and the owners rely on their network in the local community as well as creating the niche in one or two suburbs.

“As a result these agencies can compete on the basis of price by cutting commission.”

Large agencies are also able to survive a downturn as they “have a large infrastructure and are able to invest resources into training, technology and marketing in an effort to differentiate themselves from the competition and to better service their clients”, says Jawitz.

But, he says, while the booming property market has helped medium agencies to grow, they now face the challenge of managing a large staff, competing against both niche players and the larger organisations as well as higher overheads.

As the market tightens a number of factors come into play which affect the future growth and survival of these companies.

These include the ability to differentiate services, as there are fewer buyers in the market. “Technology such as good websites will play a key role as it is a less costly and more efficient way to market to both sellers and buyers,” says Jawitz.

He says in slower markets there is often a kneejerk reaction to cut costs, especially on marketing and advertising. “This may only worsen the situation for the agency as it reduces their ability to attract new clients as their visibility drops.”

Jawitz says that as sales slow, cash flow can become a challenge, especially as the lead time from date of sale to transfer is about 95 days.

He also says that in a slowing market with fewer buyers, price competition may become less prevalent as the ratio of income to expenditure tightens.

He says that as a result of all these factors you could expect the larger organisations to be able to increase market share in a slowing market. But he says this will take time. He says niche operators will still hold a low-cost base advantage but will have to compete harder in a shrinking pool of sales.

Jawitz says black-owned agencies operating in previously disadvantaged communities face some unique challenges.

These include funding for their companies and their buyers, as well as issues such as education about home ownership and the challenge of establishing a viable secondary market. Jawitz says the markets in previously disadvantaged areas have shown less price growth over the past five years than the established areas and should be far less affected by a market slowdown.

Estate Agency Affairs Board CEO Nomonde Mapetla says they do not believe a cooling off in the market would have an immediate impact on the estate agents registered with them. “Everyone is talking the market down because of inflationary pressure on it right now,” she says.

Mapetla says the property industry is expanding with the 2010 Soccer World Cup on the horizon, as well as the fact that government has a housing plan in place and external investments are coming into the country. All these developments will keep the residential property market afloat and there will be opportunities for the emerging new estate agents, she says.

Mapetla was also not too concerned about the increase in the number of estate agents. About 33% of estate agents fall by the wayside annually in any case. Although about 65000 estate agents are currently on the board’s books there would be about 40000 come the end of the year, says Mapetla.

Between 1994 and now the number of estate agents has only increased 3000, Mapetla says. (Business Day)

Quotation of the month

"Bottom line, nothing worthwhile in life is easy, and marketing on the web is not different. Uncover the myths, filter out the hype, plan well, invest time and work hard, and you’ll have a better chance of getting results and being successful" - CyberAgent