Tel: +27 (0)11 955 9100
Newsletter - 30 June 2005
Word from the editor

Dear CyberAgent users,

It's out! It's in the market! And rumours are true, it is incredible!

"It’s amazing how things happen. I was e-mailing you re iPAQ’s over the weekend when low and behold my family presented me with one for Father’s Day on Sunday. It’s a HP 6300.

Now I have all properties on the iPAQ.It’s truly awesome, amazing, and incredible. I can’t wait until all my agents have this!

I keep telling you and I will keep telling you that you guys really provide a service that continues to exceed my expectations" - Michael Degaan, PropList Hermanus

Guys and dolls, CyberAgent Mobile was designed for you! Best of all, you do not need a device. With CyberAgent Mobile comes a powerful online interface. You can list, change and update your properties and contacts from anywhere in the world! Why not put it to the test, sign up for a FREE 7 days trail period.

I am sure that by now you are aware of the deal with Ananzi, advertising our Agencies properties for a mere R100 per month on this search engine. Now, it always warms my hart to know that there are a success rate and one of our Agencies, Remax Willows reported that they sold their first property through advertising on Ananzi. If you have not registered yet, do it now!

Finally, "Financial bubbles are like obscenity: You can't define it, but you know it when you see it" - Read more in Housing bubble is real, so don't get hurt when it finally pops! And to proof this, housing prices in Australia has already come down


The editor

CyberAgent Mobile


30 May 2005 marked yet again a first for South Africa, CyberAgent went mobile!

More than 50 delegates from the press and IT world as well some of the top Real Estate Agencies in Gauteng attended the press release that was held at Sybase. Herewith just a few comments from them: "Absolutely astonishing", "A must entry for the South Africa application of the year award", "Just what the real estate industry was hungry for".

Subsequently two launches were held in conjunction with HP and Leaf where more than 300 Real Estate Agents, some of them CyerAgent users and some of them not, attended.

"Thank you so much for a stunning morning presentation. The technology was incredible and very exciting for all Estate Agents to use. The breakfast was lovely and the gifts truly generous."

CyberAgent will be taking CyberAgent Mobile to the other provinces soon. Keep your eyes posted on this website for more information from CyberAgent.

Did you know that you can register for CyberAgent's mobile and online version and use it for a FREE trial period of 7 days? Click here

Click here to read Balancing Act-Africa's article on the CyberAgent Mobile launch.



What's New ???

Listing your properties on Ananzi

I am sure that by now you are aware of the deal with Ananzi, advertising our Agencies properties for a mere R100 per month on this search engine. Now, it always warms my hart to know that there are a success rate and one of our Agencies, Remax Willows reported that they sold their first property through advertising on Ananzi. If you have not registered yet, do it now!

What does this mean. Ananzi is a Internet search engine. If you would go to you will see a link on the right, Property. If you click on this link, the following website will appear, The question now, can you afford not to be on this website?

Sales Manager Reporting
Some bugs fixes
Added PDF, Word and Excel capabilities
Can now modify sales reports

Report Wizard
Missing PropClntAgent data fixed
Property Manager Filter and Search Form
It is now possible to search on the newly added field Region. The selection box supports multiple selections and is located under the Miscellaneous page tab.

Client Manager
When making use of CyberAgent security (different logon for every agent logging into CyberAgent) and where the user is set to access only a selected agent’s property, the user will now only be able to view his own contacts. In the passed users were able to view the contacts of other agents but not able to modify it. Now only the name and the surname is visible.

Client/Agent View
Added Internet number Search
Sales Manager
Included new reports

CyberAgent Mobile (CAM)
Some enhancements made with regards to the syncing of data.
Please not, if one of your agents is registered for CAM, you will need to install the following file on your computer. Click here to download the file. Run the file after downloading

Training/info sessions

Our next info/training session for the Western Cape is on it's way!

Beginners Session

Date: 13 July 2005
Time: 09h00 - 12h00
Cost: R50 per person per session
Venue: 65 Balfour Street, Churchill Estate


Chris Niemandt at:
082-432 6963

All booking fees must be paid by Friday, 08/07/2005. Please fax proof of payment to
021 930-6224

Advanced Session

Date: 13 July 2005
Time: 12h30 - 16h30
Cost: R50 per person per session
Venue: 65 Balfour Street, Churchill Estate


Chris Niemandt at:
082-432 6963

All booking fees must be paid by Friday, 08/07/2005. Please fax proof of payment to
021 930-6224

Please take note that there are limited seats available!


CyberAgent & Ananzi

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

Should you need more information contact us at:

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
CyberAgent now offers you good affiliate programs!!!

Real estate in a cyber world

In today’s ITWEB Newsletter you will find:

[Johannesburg, 29 June 2005] - When it comes to selling real estate in a modern, digitised world, USP Designs has the answer. The Johannesburg-based company puts it all online, bringing together over 700 real estate agencies from across the country into a centralised information hub for anyone wanting to buy or sell property anywhere in SA.

The nub of USP Designs' success is CyberAgent with its property portal CyberProp. CyberAgent is an administration sales software package which enables agencies in the property business to file and manage business information smoothly and efficiently. When an agency uploads information about a house for sale on the Cape peninsula, for instance, a prospective buying in Gauteng or London can view information on the property or contact the agency/agent and get down to business.

Now CyberProp has added another module to its software solution - the virtual property finder. This component is designed to be used in parallel with touch-screen technology by the real estate agents or their clients in their offices.

Mauro Mercuri, managing director of Tactile Technologies, has established his company as the leading distributor of Elo TouchSystems touch-screen technology in southern Africa.

He explains: "Now a real estate agent can install the touch-screen monitor in the office. It is a standalone unit so clients can wander in and, instead of waiting for an agent to assist them, will be able to browse the system and search for any property they're interested in simply by pressing their finger to the computer screen."

Mercuri has tailored the excellence of Elo TouchSystems touch-screen technology with the requirements of this new addition to the CyberAgent software package.

Low cost, high quality screens are available for the budget option, right up to a custom-made standalone kiosk, depending on the requirements of the real estate agent.

Six monthly updates are issued to all CyberAgent users - and they are advised to look out for the new virtual property finder in their next software update.



A warm welcome to all new Agencies:

  • Gecko Estates
  • Liebetrau Properties
  • Durr Estates Port Elizabeth
  • Realty 1 Elk Hartbeespoort
  • Anne Porter Properties
  • Remax One - Houghton
  • Proper T Solutions s
  • Blue Flag Properties
  • Proplist - Northgate
  • Proplist - Benoni
  • Arcamp Real Estate
  • Aspen Property Group
  • Odysey Estates
  • Durr Estates Bellville
  • Proprop Ballito
  • Just imagine Properties
  • Property Affair

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 208
Realty Executives JHB South 141
Proplist - Hermanus 116
Huizemark JHB 101
Wendy Machanik Properties 72
Realty SA (Demo) 71
Firzt Realty Company 67
The Rental Giant 63
Hall Real Estate 56
U 51
About-U Properties (Enable) 47
Explore Properties (Marelle Trust) 43
Proprop (Pty) Ltd - Head office 39
Realty SA 37
Waterkloof Properties 33
Re/max Willows 32
Angor Financial Services 31
Genesis Projects 30

Sunday times

Company Requests
Inpa Properties 128
Proplist - Glenanda 124
Estatenet Secunda 114
Drive Estates 106
Realty Executives JHB South 72
The Rental Giant 72
Proplist - Hermanus 42
Explore Properties (Marelle Trust) 36
Homenet Model 36
U 26
Red Door Property 22
Wendy Machanik Properties 20

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

The Canvass Manager

Canvass Manager provides the facility to import data from already registered sources. You must be a registered to the various sources involved before you can use this module.

Import data from:

  • Deeds Office
  • Property 24
  • Linking of telephone numbers

Canvass Manager will allow you to:

  • Filter and manage data
  • Mail Merge data
  • Send bulk SMS messages (birthdays etc.)
  • Keep records of buyer and seller information
Housing bubble is real, so don't get hurt when it finally pops

To borrow a phrase from the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, financial bubbles are like obscenity: You can't define it, but you know it when you see it.

I've now officially seen it. For me, the light went on when friends here in Madison announced they were considering purchasing a duplex as investment property. Now, lots of folks have done well in the real estate business. Over time, rental property has generally appreciated while providing its owners with a steady stream of income and sometimes a roof over their heads. As Will Rogers famously observed, real estate is a sound investment since they don't make it anymore.

True. But when people with little expertise in real estate see it as a no-lose, road-to-riches proposition, we've left the investment arena and entered the realm of speculation.

By almost any measure, residential real estate prices are dangerously detached from economic reality. According to Yale University economist Robert Shiller (yes, the same Robert Shiller whose book "Irrational Exuberance" correctly forecast the demise of the New Economy bubble), house prices are in the throes of perhaps the greatest speculative frenzy in U.S. history.

By Shiller's calculation, the average domestic house price has risen in real (inflation-adjusted) terms by about one-half percentage point per year since 1890. Over the last two years, however, US residential real estate has averaged annual real returns of 8.1%, a 16-fold increase from the long-term average. The 12% inflation-adjusted rise over the 12 months through April may be the largest annual gain ever recorded. House prices relative to rents also are at historic highs.

Global phenomenon
To be sure, the real estate bubble is not unique to America.

House prices also have gone through the roof in South Africa, Ireland, Spain, Britain and Australia. In each case, a contributing factor has been easy money policies pursued by major central banks intent on cushioning economic damage caused by the popping of the stock bubble in 2000. But stock investors simply took their fresh-honed speculative skills to the real estate market.

Last year, 23% of all homes purchased in the United States were intended as investments rather than to be owner-occupied. More than one-third of all first-time buyers and one-quarter of all home buyers didn't make a down payment. During the last half of 2004, almost one-fifth of new-home purchases were financed by interest-only loans. Fully one-third of mortgages this year have been negative amortization loans, in which the borrower pays less than the interest due for a period of time.

In some especially hot markets, real estate has changed hands several times even before being occupied as speculators "flipped" properties for short-term gain.

With the question of whether there is a housing bubble resolved beyond a reasonable doubt, the only remaining issues are how and when it will end.

Bubbles can have surprising longevity, as evidenced by the five-year vertical climb in technology stocks during the late 1990s. But property prices already are falling in Australia and Britain. In the United States, where regulation has been looser, a possible day of reckoning may take a bit longer.

Correction could snowball
Actually, compared with downside volatility in stocks, a correction in house prices could be unspectacular, especially at first. Whereas a bear market on Wall Street usually shaves about 30% off the average stock price over 18 months, nominal declines in real estate nationwide could be limited to about 3% annually for a period of several years. But even at that seemingly innocuous level, the economic consequences might be severe.

Some real estate investors would quickly find themselves "upside down" (debt higher than property value) once property values begin falling. The resulting fire sale of properties would resemble a margin call in stocks, with selling begetting still-more selling. And consumer spending could take a severe hit as adjustable-rate mortgages re-price in a year or two and as homeowners feel less wealthy.

The best-case scenario is that house prices will level off for an extended period, allowing incomes and other economic fundamentals to catch up.

An exhaustive study of real estate price cycles by IMF economist Thomas Helbling provides some hope in that regard. Helbling examined the aftermath of 75 housing booms in 14 rich countries between 1970 and 2001.

The good news is that busts were not an inevitable consequence of large gains in property values. Depending upon how a boom was defined, a bust followed only about half the time. The bad news is that when a bust did occur, recessions and prolonged periods of below-trend growth were a virtual certainty. On average, real estate busts caused house prices to fall by 27% in real terms over a four-year period.

Helbling's work suggests that while the US and the world economy may yet dodge a very dangerous bullet, the consequences of taking a hit could be very painful.

Tom Saler is an author and freelance financial journalist in Madison. He can be reached by e-mail at

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Quotation of the month

It was Winston Churchill who said; "All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope".