|Word from the editor|
Dear CyberAgent user,
The repo rate was left unchanged! This was welcomed with a sigh of relief by the real estate industry.
However the main focus was not on the repo rate this month but on the controversial Property Rates Amendment Bill;
"It appears to be a deliberate and pre-orchestrated attempt by government to try and pass a highly controversial piece of legislation unnoticed," Bryan Biehler, MD of Huizemark Property Group.
"The Municipal Property Rates Amendments Bill is an ill-conceived and even dangerous piece of legislation that would not only cause havoc in the property market if it were enacted as it stands, but could also cause the already delicate relationship between ratepayers and many local authorities to break down further." So says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International Property Group.
"This would no doubt also severely affect the ability of those who are renting to save for a home of their own one day - and drastically slow the flow of first-time buyers into the property market." Hano Jacobs, CEO of the Realty 1 International Property Group.
Are you enthusiastic about the property that you sell? Or are you one of those that don't get out of your chair or stop reading the newspaper when people visit your show house? "Qualify us". Is this not the term that you as a real estate agent should be familiar with?
Now if you can qualify your clients can you qualify your listings?
So often we see that our CyberAgent users don't know how to do this correctly. Properties are listed with no photos, little or no description and with no amenities and schools listed. Within the next couple of days we will be introducing a ranking / points system on property listings. Each listing will be awarded points on the quality of the listing. These property listing points will only be made available to the agency and agents. Read more under Property listings vs enquiries
Until next month!
|Estate agencies face big clean-up|
The Estate Agency Affairs Board will hire 20 legally and financially trained inspectors in the next two months to "vigorously" scrutinise the operations of estate agents throughout the country, and stamp out unscrupulous activities...
|Property listings vs enquiries|
On a regular basis, we receive complaints from our users that they are not receiving leads. A number of factors can play a role. In most of the cases, on further inspection, we will find that their properties are listed with minimal information about a property with one or even no pictures and minimal notes.
This is not only bad for our clients but also for us. Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer. Lets say you are looking for a property in the range of 1 to 1.5 million rand. Once you have selected your area and price range a list properties are displayed. This list contains a picture with a short description. Now if there are no pictures this listing would be ignored by more than 95 % of buyers. The main / first picture is crucial, crucial, crucial. Make sure it is eye-catching and PLEASE make sure it is not a picture of a toilet. For this specific reason we have introduced our bigger picture format. It is a once off cost but will have a huge impact on the buyer viewing the property.
Second in line is the short description. So many times a property is listed with either no notes or something like Bargain or Must See or Beautiful house. Would you be interested in even looking at a property with that type of description? Even more compelling, if you were the seller, would you be happy with that type of listing of your precious property?
The other benefit of having a good description of the property is that it will be indexed better by search engines like Google. The more information you supply, the better the chance of your listing appearing higher up on search engine pages.
Buyers confronted with these types of property listings will soon leave the website and Google for other websites with better property listings.
Within the next couple of days we will be introducing a ranking / points system on property listings. Each listing will be awarded points on the quality of the listing. These property listing points will only be made available to the agency and agents. In future we will be declining listings that do not match certain points criteria. This will ensure that those agencies that do capture their listings correctly are rewarded accordingly and will hopefully rid us of bad listings and lazy agents/admin staff.
A list of agents will be made available where agencies can see where their agents rank against fellow agents within the agency. The agency will also be ranked and compared to all other CyberAgent clients.
The agency ranking will only be available to other CyberAgent users.
Other factors that may lead to no sales or enquiries are the lack of buyers in a certain area OR property prices that are too high. Thing is, if there are no buyers you can advertise as much as you want, be listed on as many sites as possible but if there are no buyers, there are no buyers.
Except for convincing the seller that his price is too high for the current market, the only other thing we can do is to make the property as attractive as possible by providing enough information to get a potential buyer to contact the agent.
That brings me by the last point. So many times we receive emails from VERY upset buyers, where they have enquired on a property but had no communication from the agent or where the agent informs them that the property has already been sold a long time ago and puts down the phone or ends the email abruptly. Guys, we need to be professional. It is your responsibility as agents to make sure that your listings are up to date and all those properties that have been sold are removed from the websites. If it happens that a buyer contacts you in connection with a property that in not available any more, dont just put down the phone after informing him; ask the buyer his requirements and suggest other properties you may have available. Take down his contact detail and KEEP IN TOUCH.
|CyberAgent Programme Enhancements|
Sync All Pictures update
Should your images not sync correctly using the standard update, there is a button Sync All Pictures. It is rare that you would use this (if ever)
There is a dialog form that will popup when you click on Sync All pics.
It is referring to options available when a file (picture) size is the same on your PC and on the internet, but the last modified date is not the same (one of them is newer). Select the option to suit you as follows:
Ignore the file is the default and the file will not be replaced
Copy the latest one will overwrite the oldest on either your machine or the internet picture
Copy from your computer to the Internet should be used if your pictures are the main ones and the pictures on the internet are outdated
Copy from the Internet to your computer should be used if the internet pictures are the main ones and the your pictures are outdated (This would mainly be used by Cyberagent Anywhere users)
Agent team ordering
There was an issue on the websites in where the agent teams displayed members alphabetically. This has been corrected to rather show the agents in the order that they were loaded as the team leader will then show first. If team members should alternate (assuming that there are two), you can load the team twice, swapping the members and then selecting alternating teams for the various listings
Commission Received fields in CyberAgent.
Please note that two extra field have been added into the Sales section of CyberAgent.
Commission Received checkbox and a commission received date have been added.
This is to keep track of commissions received by the agents. Once the commission has been paid out, you can tick this field and fill in the date of when the commission was paid. Please note that this is for internal agency use only.
The agent manager now has an additional field, Designation. This is to assign the type of person that is being loaded, for example, agent or principal. It is not a compulsory field and is simply for ease of reference
Validation Check on Sales
It has come to our attention that certain sales commission splits are not in balance. By this we mean that the splits does not total up to the total commission of the sale. CyberAgent now has a validation check on all sales and in desktop a new item has been added to the toolbar, next to PP. This will allow you to get a list of all sales not in balance. CyberAgent Anywhere displays a link on the main page. From the list, it is possible to go directly to the sale and edit the commission splits. Please note that this can be done for closed sales as well. Only the commission splits are editable on this screen.
New Search on Anywhere Contacts
CyberAgent Anywhere now has 2 new search options on the client list form.
Tel/Cell and email have been added to search on.
Tel will search all telephone and cell number fields for your search criteria and email will search email .
Moving pictures slow
On CyberAgent Anywhere, there is an option to move pictures around. This has been made faster for users with big pictures. This was very slow as the images were located on a different server, and so the renaming took a long time to do.
Please note that this may take a while to process should you have many pictures and move a picture from the bottom to the top and visa versa, as it has to shift all images in the opposing direction in order to maintain their ordering
Adding text to a picture is also faster for CAA users with bid pictures.
Big picture slide show
Using the big pictures, your website will automatically play the slideshow. This will change the URL of the page you are on, to reflect the picture number that it is currently on. This would cause the back button to go to the previous picture and not back to the search. There is therefore a link to the right of the picture that will take you back to the search. Should you wish to disable the automatic play of the slideshow, please contact our website department. The user can then select to play the slideshow manually if they wish to
On the contact form there is now a button which will allow you to add your contacts to your Outlook address book. Look in the quick search part and find the button marked Add Contacts to Outlook. This will open a new form where you can search for various contacts to add to Outlook.
There is an option on the new form to add all contacts to outlook. The program will try its best to match contact details with existing address data but duplications may occur.
|From our Support Desk|
Build 3.100.1571 is now available. Please make sure that you are using the latest version of Cyberagent.
How to contact support?
We have a huge problem with clients sending support queries to specific members of support with the result that issues are not being attended to promptly. The specific person might not be available at the time the email is sent. Please mail all your support queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an automated email account that will allocate the query to the first available member of support and it will also issue the client with a ticket number for future reference.
We are currently in the process of updating all the reports in the Cyberagent system. These updates will improve the look of the reports making them more visually pleasing.
Q: Why do I get a message saying Compulsory Version Update when I try to update my website.
A: When you get this message when you are doing an update website all that it means is that you need to update your version of Cyberagent to the latest version of the software.
To do this, go to your update website screen, then click on update software. A box should come up, on that box click on get latest build number, a number should appear on the left of the screen. Then click download file. A file should then start downloading. Once this is done then you just need to close the Cyberagent program and open it again. Your software should then be on the latest version as mentioned earlier in this section.
Please email Support@cyberprop.com for more information.
Should you experience any problems or have any questions, please contact our support desk on 011 955 9100 or email Support@cyberprop.com
|From our Domains & Emails Desk|
We experienced a problem this last month, where spam / unsolicited bulk emails were sent from domains hosted on our mail server.
Herewith advice from our hosting company:
It is nowadays a requirement to use strong and secure passwords
Passwords needs to be 8 characters long or more, and needs to contain at least one number
However in the past straightforward and uncomplicated passwords had been setup. (Most upon request from users, or by users themselves)
There are still domains setup on our server where so called easy or unsafe login credentials were used, which we obviously cannot simply go ahead and change.
It is therefore possible for these accounts / mailboxes to be compromised where a spammer can then authenticate with the login details and send out email messages.
We would like to strongly advice and recommend our customers to use stronger and secure passwords.
Can contact us so we can assist you with changing it, and help you update it on your mail client. (email program)
And for customers who have Control Panel access, we kindly request that you update your passwords if not secure
Also as our hosting company has advised, please check that your anti virus / anti mailware software stays up to date
Please email email@example.com for more information.
Knowledge Factory's data team are finalising the cleaning process of our NAD (National Address Directory) data.
This is currently undergoing batch cross-testing before going live. The revised NAD will offer higher accuracy and value to our users.
In addition, the duplications in the Property Table have been addressed.
Our drive to ramp up the Gated Community data (estates, security villages etc) is moving at a pace.
We want to thank the agents, especially those in Nelspruit, who have taken the time to send us information regarding Gated Communities in their area.
Please continue to do so.
The agents are at the coal-face, they are area specialists and know about new developments before anyone else does.
Send us a map as well as the name and street address to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 086 6161 233.
We are very excited as we go into the final stage of new website: To make property data simpla, betta and fasta!
Just watch the dot* .unfold!
|Website Marketing - over 90 websites!|
|Monthly Stats - June 2011|
Website Stats as at end June 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 - email@example.com
A warm welcome to all new Agencies June 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us at: +27 (0)11 955-9100 or 086 112- 9237
|To the editor|
P24 Data Export Email notification
This was updated on Friday and now twice this morning I have done an update correcting these fields.
How many times a day does this email come through?
The property 24 feed runs once a day, every day (Sundays and Saturdays included). That is why you did get this email more than once.
Send your viewpoints to email@example.com
|EAAB The countdown has begun|
REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATION EXAMINATION
The countdown has begun .. with the first Professional Designation Examinations (PDE) only few weeks away, it is critical that you as an Estate Agent (Principal or Non-Principal) start preparing accordingly in order to make it in the upcoming examinations
Please note: There are two criterias for the Professional Designation Examination (PDE) exemption namely:
a) The holding of a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate continuously for a period of five years through 15 July 2003 - 15 July 2008. If you have already been granted the PDE exemption certificate you need not apply to write the exam. If you feel that you meet with this criteria, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 011 731 5601 to verify our records and order the PDE exemption certificate for you.
b) The recently introduced Over 60's Policy which entitles you to full exemption from writing the PDE, and the NQF Level 4 & 5 qualifications.
|IEASA National - News|
EAAB GRANTS EXTENSION FOR ESTATE AGENTS TO COMPLY WITH EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), acting in terms of the Education Regulations, has resolved to grant a two-year extension to all estate agents who were registered on 15 July 2008 and who were, thus, required to be certificated against the relevant estate agency qualifications by 31 December 2011. Such estate agents will now have until 31 December 2013 for this purpose.
This extension is pivotal for those affected estate agents who have yet to be certificated as required by the Education Regulations, says Thami Bolani Chairman of the EAAB. While the new educational dispensation, which aims at professionalising estate agents, continues to receive widespread support from estate agents and consumers alike, the EAAB now believes that it was over-optimistic in anticipating that some 37 000 estate agents would be able to upgrade their qualifications in a period of only three years.
More than 12 000 practicing estate agents have already either been certificated against the required real estate qualification or have been exempted therefrom on the basis of previous tertiary qualifications obtained from South African institutions of higher learning.
The numbers of estate agents approaching accredited education providers for training is growing all the time as the reality of the new professional estate agency environment is acknowledged. Bolani expressed his confidence that, By granting this extension, it is likely that all estate agency practitioners who wish to remain in the real estate sector can be accommodated.
For more information contact:
Ms Portia Mofikoe
|Illegal estate agents given extension|
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) is offering illegally operating estate agency practitioners an additional three months to meet its requirements to become registered and compliant agents.
The three-month amnesty period commenced on Friday April 15 and has been extended for three additional months. The new deadline is Saturday October 15, the EAAB said on Friday...
|Jill Corfield The Property Trainer|
STAGGERING RPL NEWS FROM THE EAAB
Great news for those agents who are 60 and over and have been in the business for five years; they can now apply for exemption from both the NQF Level 4 and Level 5 as well as the PDE.
To all those who are eligible, please read the email very carefully as it is not a straightforward automatic exemption. It means that one can apply for exemption if you fall into the above category but you still have work to do such as compile a POE, go through a personal interview and pay an undisclosed fee.[that is unusual I must admit]
Whilst all those who qualify must be literally over the moon at this last minute reprieve just before the deadline, I know of several people who are not...
|A Peek Into the Future of Real Estate Online|
By Alice Allan - http://propertyadguru.com
Sometimes, it feels like the online world is changing far too quickly for anyone to keep up with. But what if you could pick the brain of one of the digital worlds key players, and find out what might be next on the horizon? Well, thats exactly what we did in this webinar, The Changing Digital Landscape, recorded for our sister website Property Portal Watch.
Our guest presenter was Peter Williams, CEO of Deloitte Digital and one of Australias thought leaders on online innovation, mobile and emerging technology. Along with outlining his CloMoSoDa model of todays most important digital tools, Peter looked at how the major players in the online real estate world are using social media, how they could be using social media, and which businesses he sees getting it right. So grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy the presentation...
|Got stuck with a couple of property deals ??|
6 tips on concluding more property deals - by Willem Tait
In the past couple of months I have come to realize, even more so than last year, that our beloved commercial property industry has become more like a trip to a shopping mall on a Sunday. Our clients are using us and using more of our time than ever before in looking and touching stuff, but not buying (or leasing) it.
Similar to my wife walking into a shoe shop, they seem to enjoy the experience of hunting for the best property deal or always believe that there is a better options around the corner or on the next display rack.
That said, we cannot blame our clients for being window shoppers. The market at large is dotted with vacant space to lease or buy. How do we then as brokers and landlords sharpen our pen so that we get clients that are willing and able to sign on the dotted line.
This has been my approach...
|What's the most important job when selling a house on the Internet?|
You have to know the answer to this question!
The answer is to answer those who enquiry about the properties.
Its hard to believe that we all try to raise Super intelligent kids that can use technology and specifically the Internet and yet we fail to do it ourselves;
Good day ,
I have send 5 requests to you guys with no response.
Please confirm if you have any more details on this property if it is still available ?
I have received no feedback on my inquiry into this property.
Please could you supply me with information if the unit is still available ?
Dont be guilty of the above!
|Quotation of the month|
Go big or go home. Because it's true. What do you have to lose?