|Word from the editor|
Dear CyberAgent user,
A modern estate agency understands the importance of reporting in the office. Here at CyberAgent we understand the importance in giving our CyberAgent users this benefit. Reporting includes real-time reporting on properties, clients, agents and sales. To enhance the importance of reporting CyberAgent users can now make us of the NEW Calendar, reminders and tasks features in CyberAgent Desktop and CyberAgent Anywhere. Dont miss the article on reporting and CyberAgent Programme Enhancements.
Who makes the better estate agent, male or female? This questions was asked in last months newsletter. I must tell you that this could be a debate that will keep us busy for the next few months. However weve decided to publish one response which was received from a CyberAgent user who truly nailed it. One cannot say. Ive been in the business since 88 and qualified on both the new qualifications 2 years ago PDF and NQ4. Still, individual attention to clients is the true watershed. Male or female, do I like your face ? I have seen many diamond achiever ladies, very pushy, but fellow agents has to live with that. But this debate can be endless." Conrad, Hall Real Estate
After last months focused on the Consumer Protection Act we received even more questions from our CyberAgent users. We also received the following articles in answer on questions received from our readers;
· How the Debt Collectors Act applies to estate agents by SAPTG
The controversy regarding the erection of marketing boards continues in To the editor. I dont believe a municipality has the legal power to prevent us from erecting boards. This according to Mike Bennett from Proprop.
EAAB news: The Estate Agency Affairs Board is pleased to announce that it has resolved to grant a three-month amnesty period to illegally operating estate agency practitioners. It is to be hoped that this innovative step will assist all persons who are presently operating illegally as estate agents to regularise their status. Read more in Estate Agency Affairs Boars announces grant of amnesty period for illegal operators.
Until next month!
There has of late been a few enquiries about CyberAgent reports. What follows is a brief overview of the reports available:
Each module has its own reports relative to that module. Property module has various reports about the listings captured on your system. The reports range from property lists to individual property details.
The various modules include Property, Client, agent and Sales.
The detailed report can be found on the form where the property/client is captured.
The list reports are mainly defined under the report wizard. These reports are group together depending on the relative section or module.
Sales form has a number of reports ranging from a detailed sales report, summary report, management summary up to a payslip for each agent.
Included in sales, are numerous reports based on sales dates and broken down into Originator, Granted, Lodged and registered sections as well as a commission breakdown.
All reports has a report definition file and this definition file can be customized to suit your agencies individual needs. To have a report customized, you would have to contact our support department.
The same reports as in desktop are available in CAA.
Each Module has a report button which will open a form with various related reports are already defined.
The main difference between desktop and CAA, is the management module.
This module has reports specifically designed to meet the criteria needed
to manage your agency.
You can draw a report per province or for the whole of South Africa, if you are registered as a franchise holder or group site. The management module is only available to Administrative users.
Individual agents do not have access to this module.
Individual agencies can see their own data only.
|CyberAgent Programme Enhancements|
In both CyberAgent Desktop and Anywhere, you will see Add Appointment on the property and client you are on.
This function ties in with our Calendar Module. Here you can create tasks, reminders and appointments. You can link tasks to clients and properties to easily reference their details, so if this is done from the Client or Property Manager, these new tasks/appointments will already be linked.
The Calendar Module also shows you at a glance which properties will be expiring in the near future, making it easier to follow up on those
Please note that this will NOT pop up and give you the calendar, you will need to go to the module directly to check what is scheduled.
CAA Image Sync
Previously, images loaded on CAA on an existing property did not sync down to CyberAgent Desktop. This issue has been corrected
Private Property and FNB Quicksell
You will notice in the latest version of CyberAgent Desktop, there are now icons for updating to Private Property (PP) and FNB Quicksell (QS)
This functions the same as with CyberAgent Anywhere
|From our webmaster|
Question: Im still unsure how to establish a social media presence for our real estate business. Can you help me?
Answer: I found an article that explains the basics of social
media and how you should start out that I would like to share with
Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions
|From our Support Desk|
Build 3.100.1517 is now available. Please make sure that you are running on this version.
Multiple admin users:
There is now an additional field in the Bid table for those agencies who would like to use multiple admin user accounts. The cost for additional admin users are as follow:
Please email Support@cyberprop.com for more information.
Q: I have logged into CyberAgent Desktop, but all my properties are gone
A:Make sure the you have not logged in using the Username User
This is the default log in name, but due to security requirements, this user has VERY limited access, and should you go into the contact/property manager, it will not show any details, and it will appear empty.
To correct this, simply exit CyberAgent, then log in again with your provided username and password. Should one not be provided by your CyberAgent administrator, please contact support for assistance
Q: I am not getting an internet reference number on some of my properties
A: This could be one of two issues
Your internet reference numbers only get generated once the upload is processed on our server. You will only get the numbers after you update to the web after the previous update has completely processed (you will know this is done if your property is on the websites). You can also click Update Internet Numbers to draw in the new numbers if you have no new data to update
The second issue is that your listing is missing vital information required to update to the internet. This has a twofold solution. First, when loading the listing, pay attention to the warnings (you will find this under the MES and above Erf Number). Once you have saved the listing, if this does not say 0 Warnings, you need to click on it, and correct what it says is wrong. Before updating to the web, make sure you click on Validate Data. This will also inform you of other issues that the warnings will not be aware of
Q: I am getting a location error on my listing, but the location is correct
A: The best and fastest way of selecting a location (which will also prevent this problem) is to select your location using the binoculars to the right of Suburb. Simply type the suburb you are looking for, then as you type the list will jump to the first match it finds. You can then simply click on the location you would like to use, click on Select and Close and the Province, City and Suburb will be filled in for you in one go.
Please note if this property is not in South Africa, you MUST change the Country BEFORE selecting the binoculars
Should you experience any problems or have any questions, please contact our support desk on 011 955 9100 or email Support@cyberprop.com
|CRS - Ed Hatch Seminars|
|SAPTG Data problems|
We received enquiries on gated communities and data that are not displaying correctly. Herewith an answer from SAPTG on this problem.
Gated communities are being worked on. In Witwatersrand we have about 19000 alone. This is currently being updated and you should see a change in the next month or so.
To ensure quicker turnaround times with data problems you can now contact SAPTG directly by mailing them at email@example.com
The contact person is Jolene Martin
|Website Marketing - over 90 websites!|
|Monthly Stats - March 2011|
Website Stats as at end February 2011
*Please note these values were the last stats received, and are kept primarily as indicators
|CyberAgent Training and Info Sessions|
We provide you with FREE training session in the following areas;
During these training sessions more information will also be provided on:
The recent training in Bloemfontein and Nelspruit was received very positively and the overall comment was that they were very excited about using the extra features that they did not know about. They were very happy with the extras available to make the day to day running of the business more professional and efficient. If you still dont know what extras are available in your CyberAgent application make sure that you attend a Free training session at our offices or contact support for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org
A warm welcome to all new Agencies March 2011:
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 us at email@example.com or phone us at: +27 (0)11 955-9100 or 086 112- 9237
|To the editor|
Weve received numerous emails on the Consumer Protection Act so dont feel alone if you still not sure on how its going to change the operation of your business. We are sure that the articles that we are placing will answer all your questions. Herewith just one of the many that weve received;
I am firmly on the side of the Consumer Protection Act, I believe South African Consumers have needed protection for some time now. I also appreciate that any Act cannot take into consideration every single possible exception or difficulty. BUT, I have 2 problem areas that radically affect the operation of the long term rental industry.
Firstly : the application of the 5 day cooling off period.
Specifically whether a general advertisement for a rental apartment, placed on a generally accessed free website, is regarded as advertising ? And therefore whether any approved applications resulting in a lease, generated from this advertisement, would be subject to the 5 day cooling off period? And following on from this, having to ensure that no rental leases are signed after the 26th of the month for occupation from the 1st? I would love somebody to advise on this.
Secondly : cancellation of a lease during the lease period.
Firstly there is confusion as to whether a residential property lease falls under the Act? We have already been told totally opposite advice.
Further, if a residential property lease does fall under the Act, what will constitute a reasonable penalty as stated in the Act? An owner is charged commission by the Rental Agent for the placement of the tenant for the full lease period which is taken from rental in the first month of the lease. If a tenant cancels the lease after 6 months of a 12 month lease, would the remaining 6 month commission be regarded as a reasonable penalty deductible from the tenants deposit? The owner of the property would definitely expect the rental agent to ensure that he is not double charged.
In the last newsletter we placed an email we received from Patrick McCabe who operates in KwaZulu Natal lower South Coast from Ramsgate in the South to Shelly Beach in the North. They are not only experiencing problems in trying to get information on property owners as most of the properties are owned by holiday makers but who are also in a big way limited to identifying properties For Sale by For Sale boards of other agents/agencies placed outside a property. New legislation is limiting the use of marketing boards to advertise properties.
We received a new email from Patrick which we forward to Mike Bennett from Proprop Property Group and also chairperson of the Network Listing Services for his response. Herewith both gentlemens emails;
We have just had a new "unbelievable" turn of facts regarding Real Estate "FOR SALE" marketing boards etc here at the coast. It NOW turns out that the situation is as follows on the Lower South Coast:
We now have to pay R3/board/day for a FOR SALE board (R90/month), in
Scottburgh a further 80km North of our area the cost is R25/month for
FOR SALE Boards
I look forward to your feedback and any useful info would be greatly appreciated.
To the editor,
As you know there has always been municipality versus agent problems with boards in all areas of the country.
What I have done is to ask the municipality what authority they have to charge for boards, or remove boards or in the case of Durban fine you for erecting boards. When they produce some bylaw that they have found lying around in the place, take it to a good litigator and let him pick holes in it and then pass the hat around the agents in the area, collect some money and take it to high court.
We have had the Durban City take our so called fines and add them onto our electricity account, then cut our power when we have not paid. We briefed an advocate, got an urgent court order compelling them to reconnect, and they had to pay our costs of +/- R 20,000.00. Our power was turned on immediately.
I do not believe a municipality had the legal power to prevent us from erecting boards.
Send your viewpoints to firstname.lastname@example.org
|EAAB Estate Agency Affairs Boars announces grant of amnesty period for illegal operators|
The Estate Agency Affairs Board is pleased to announce that it has resolved to grant a three-month amnesty period to illegally operating estate agency practitioners. It is to be hoped that this innovative step will assist all persons who are presently operating illegally as estate agents to regularise their status.
The EAAB firmly believes that the grant of amnesty will not only promote a positive climate of transparency and reconciliation between itself, illegal estate agency practitioners and consumers but also encourage offenders, who might otherwise be reluctant to do so, to come forward and legalise their activities as estate agents. It is to be underscored, in this regard, that all practicing estate agents are obliged by the provisions of the Estate Agency Affairs Act to apply to the EAAB for, and be issued with, valid fidelity fund certificates before engaging in any estate agency functions and activities...
|IEASA - New representative real estate bodies formed|
In an important and positive move which will enable the South African real estate industry to participate more effectively in key decision-making within the sector, two representative bodies have been formed - one, an employees and real estate agents organisation (representing labour), and the other an employers, principals or business owners organisation (representing business). This move is in line with current recommendations in order to separate these differing interests clearly but also to allow for greater and more widespread representation and inclusivity...
|How the Debt Collectors Act applies to estate agents by SAPTG|
The Debt Collectors Act of 1998 (DCA) is arguably South Africas most boring piece of legislation. Only the most resolute legal experts will attempt to wade through its 27 sections and try to intelligently interpret its numerous sub-sections. Nonetheless, it is an important addition to the suite of laws aimed at regulating finance. The DCA looks at how trust accounts are to be managed, prescribes maximum fees or recoveries that a registered debt collector may charge for the collection of debt and defines who may act as a debt collector. The rationale is noble; to protect the public from unscrupulous debt collection practices and excessive collection costs.
Case study: In 2009 the DCA did, for the briefest moment in time, achieve a place in the limelight, albeit for rather controversial reasons. A ruling by the Council for Debt Collectors sparked heated debate amongst estate agents, letting agents and property managers.
|CPA 'not an agent killer'|
Many comments made recently on the implementation of the new Consumer Protection Act (CPA) suggest that it will rock the real estate industry to its foundations.
However I dont think that is going to happen, says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group. Of course the new legislation is going to be a big issue for us, and of course we are not faultless, but our industry does have a history of being proactive and positive when it comes to consumer protection so Im sure well manage very well.
|No need to fear the CPA, says Aida chief|
The much-anticipated Consumer Protection Act (CPA) goes into operation this week and will no doubt prompt many estate agents to become more cautious in their dealings with clients.
Actually the Act only formalises practices that have long been in place in many of the large real estate companies, says Aida CEO Young Carr, and it is hard to see how consumers in this sphere could enjoy more protection than that already provided by the Estate Agency Affairs Board in terms of the Estate Agents Act and Code of Conduct...
|New Consumer Protection Act no threat to reputable organizations|
The new Consumer Protection Act is by no means a threat to any reputable auctioneer. On the contrary, it will help auctioneers to give a slicker better service, says Tanya Jovanovski, Chief Executive of Rawson Auctions.
"The act," said Jovanovski, "emphasises the need for full disclosure. It tries by various means to ensure that a buyer has a genuine and complete understanding of the deal into which he enters - and it has the power to invalidate any contract where this understanding is later revealed to have been incomplete."
|Why estate agents need to join Paddocks Club|
By Prof Graham Paddock
In the current climate, there is a lot of competition in the estate agency business. One needs to stand out from this competition and those that can provide a superior service are those that will do well.
Only those estate agents who specialise in home owners' associations and sectional titles schemes need to know how these types of community schemes operate to be able to iron out any difficulties that may arise in their sale process. But for the last twenty years, all middle and upper-class housing has come onto the market as either HOAs or sectional title schemes. So, for any estate agent concentrating in newer and up-market areas, this knowledge may be very useful.
Congratulations to all those Chas Everitt offices and agents that received top awards;
At a recent ceremony held to honour its top achievers nationally, the Chas Everitt International property group named Randburg agent Lyn Massey-Hicks as its Metro Agent of the Year.
Also honoured were Paul and Roz Everitt, who scooped the national Top Metro Partnership award and the prize for the best origination support by a partnership.
These achievements helped the groups Randburg office, under the leadership of Dave Pride and Estrilita du Pisani, to lay claim to the awards for the national Top Metro Office of the Year, and best origination support by a metro office.
Miranda Philip, also from this office, was named as the top performing new entrant to the industry in the Gauteng region, while Beverley Raubenheimer was honoured as the best rental agent in the Gauteng region.
Making the awards, group MD Berry Everitt said: It is most satisfying to celebrate the achievements of the agents that are at the heart of our business and the ever-increasing quality of our service to consumers.
We are also extremely proud of the way our managers, franchisees and agents remain true to the family values of this group in a highly-competitive industry.
The national award for Highest Unit Sales went to Clinton Krouse of the East London West franchise, while Anette Rautenbach of the West Rand franchise took honours as the Top Listing Agent of the year.
The national Non-Metro Agent of the Year award was won by Cheryl van Deventer of the Whale Coast franchise and the Top Non-Metro Office prize went to the West Coast franchise.
Chas Everitt International property group named Hartbeespoort agent Annette Whitfield as its top non-metro agent of the year and the Hartbeespoort franchise as the top non-metro office in the northern regions.
|Quotation of the month|
A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.