|Word from the editor|
Dear CyberAgent user,
They say that the definition of a real estate agents is that it is a person who helps people to buy, sell or rent property. Is this true? I suppose the answer is yes but for me the definition is closer to “a well-spoken, computer literate, licensed person who has to know the trends and laws while figuring out what people want when buying, selling or renting a property while not receiving a regular paycheque”. To be an estate agent is not an easy task.
Last month we took a look at how important it is that we at CyberAgent provides our clients with a wide range of advertising channels or avenues to list their properties on as well as the importance of the software that is being used within the real estate office.
This month the focus is on how you can compete with your listings in other word, how you can give your listings that “web appeal”. How can I give my listing “web appeal”?
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has introduced a revised auditor’s report which estate agents are required to submit to the EAAB annually, within four months of an estate agent’s financial year-end, in order to be granted their licence to practice. This requirement affects us all financially and I feel it is incumbent on every agency to make its voice heard in pushing for a limited audit of our business accounts with a view to simply establishing the legitimacy or otherwise of deposits into such accounts. Read more in To the editor.
Until next month!
|The outlook for property|
The market, dependent on an improving economy and growth in household incomes, is slowly improving, with May’s FNB index at its highest since June 2010.
The residential property market is hard to call at present, with mixed signals coming from economists, analysts and real estate professionals — both in terms of the current situation and the forward outlook...
Give Your Listings Web Appeal
A recent post on the blog of zillow.com, a leading US real estate marketplace, talks about how “web appeal” is the new curb appeal. So what exactly is web appeal?
Defining web appeal:
Jill Simmons, PR Manager at zillow.com, writes: “In the past, it was all about curb appeal – a manicured lawn, a brick walkway, a fresh coat of paint. But today, with 90 percent of home buyers looking online, it’s all about Web appeal. You want to attract visitors to your listing, and impress them once they’re there.”
|From our developers|
Deeds data as part of CyberAgent
We will be launching the deeds data as part of CyberAgent during the next week or two. Deeds data or as you all known it SAPTG (South African Property Transfer Guide) will now be part of the CyberAgent Anywhere offering and will be part of the CyberAgent Anywhere website interface. There will be an additional website for those agencies not using CyberAgent Anywhere but wanting access to the data. It will have the exact same functions and utilities as in CyberAgent Anywhere. Knowledge Factory will be providing the data and we will be responsible for the interface.
In addition to the Deeds data we will also be launching a brand new property portal within the next 2 months.
|From our Support Desk|
Build 3.100.1646 is now available. Please make sure that you are using the latest version of CyberAgent.
Q: When loading a property as a "Duet" or "Duplex" it does not update to the P24 website?
A: P24 does not have these options available in their database, we recommend changing the Property Type to "Townhouse" if you are using the P24 feed.
Q: Can our properties be loaded “double” on Private Property?
A: The Private property feed is an on-demand feed. We do not selected what goes to PP, we only facilitate an upload program for our clients to use.`
We cannot be held responsible if the user selected a listing and it uploaded. It is the responsibility of the client to manage this.
Although all necessary precautions are taken to ensure that duplicate listings are avoided, it is up to you the client, to ensure that listings not already listed on Private Property.
If the listing was loaded via another third party application or on the Private Property website interface, it will not be possible to link your CyberAgent listings to that listing, this will cause a duplicate listing to be created.
Our number system is different to other providers. The linking is done via these unique numbers.
If the listing has a different unique reference number on private property then the upload routine will assume you are loading another listing.
This will result in you been billed by Private Property for the additional listing.
CyberAgent Private Property interface is a tool that allows you to upload listings to PP.
CyberAgent does not control or administer the listings on Private Property.
If you are unsure what listings are already on the PP website, you can contact the private property support department to find out how to see what listings are already uploaded.
CyberAgent does not have access to these listings.
Q: What is the procedures to update to Property 24?
A: The procedure work as follow:
Should someone like to feed to P24, they will have to contact P24.
After P24 activated everything from their side they send me the feed info.
I then contact the client to confirm the feed and then activate it. The P24 feed runs every day at 12:00:00 and runs for +-2.
Q: Why is my sold property still showing on Skilpad.com?
A: Please take note that you will have to mark this property not to update to the internet via CyberAgent should you want it to be removed from CyberProp and all other affiliated sites.
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 and email desk|
Mail Delivery Failures
We have noticed that there are agent email addresses that have been loaded incorrectly in the CyberAgent, "Agent Manager" as a result of mail delivery failure reports that we received on our servers.
It is very important that these email addresses are loaded correctly, as this information gets updated to the websites
Internet property enquiries are sent to the email address that has been captured for the agent in the Agent Manager. Very important that you ensure that the email address is correct; otherwise, you will not receive the internet property enquiries.
SA Property Transfer Guide
We are happy to announce that in order for us to be more efficient in resolving your queries we will be putting time frames in place as we take queries very seriously. Ultimately once your query is resolved you as our valued client will have the final say in closing your query. We will require an email in writing to advise us if your query has effectively been resolved or not.
We are also currently loading all gated communities nationwide and ask that you please bear with us as this is quite a big task at hand. If you know of any gated communities in your area that you wish for us to load as a matter of urgency then please feel free to email the names to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line : Gated Communities to be loaded.
Properties not showing on www.iolproperty.co.za
Q: I have a problem with www.iolproperty.co.za.
The property is being listed as below. Listed: shows Unknown
This results in the property not being selected as the iol default is 90 days. For the property to show I have to select ALL.
The result is that my properties are not being seen on IOL.
A: In answer from IOL;
Oh if I had a dime for each time we got that question over the years ;-) !
It’s from the initial load or "take on" when we add a new site. When we do a take on there is obviously no way of knowing the actual property listing date, so they get a null listing date which is why they don't appear in the "last 90 days listings" searches your client is referring to below.
After that first load however, going forward as the agent adds listings we note the listing date of any new properties we find and they start to appear in the last 90 days as a result.
Grant - IOL
|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:
A warm welcome to all new Agencies June 2012:
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
|EAAB Tips for estate agents undertaking the Professional Designation Examination (PDE)|
AUDITOR REPORT FORM AND RELATED REQUIREMENTS & EXTENDED PERIOD OF THREE MONTHS
NOTIFICATION- AUDITOR REPORT FORM AND RELATED REQUIREMENTS AND EXTENDED THREE MONTH PERIOD
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has, in consultation with the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA), introduced a revised auditor’s report which estate agents are required to submit to the EAAB annually, within four months of an estate agent’s financial year-end, in order to be granted their licence to practice. The revised auditor’s report replaces the previous auditor’s report and with effect from 1 September 2011, only, the revised report will be accepted (refer Section 32(4) of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 112 of 1976) (hereafter referred to as “the Act”).
|Crisis deepens at the beleaguered EAAB|
Updated: EAAB responds to queries; details on wasteful expenditure in draft report.
JOHANNESBURG – The crisis at the beleaguered Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) continues unabated after the removal of the acting CEO, Bryan Chaplog, and the company secretary, Nkululeko Ndebele.
The EAAB’s board called an extraordinary meeting on Thursday night to discuss the outcome of a draft audit report by external auditors citing, among others, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure and non-compliance with sections of the Public Financial Management Act (PFMA)...
|Protect buyers with the SAPCA Clearance Certificate|
As an association committed to best industry practices, we feel it our duty to warn prospective home buyers that they should be aware that they are not necessarily protected against all wood destroying organisms – even though the deed of sale says a beetle inspection has been carried out.
In many cases the condensed or limited reports of woodborer inspectors only cover two types of beetle (Hylotrupos bajalus and Oxypleuris nodieri). Dry rot or other wood destroying insects and termites - including the common furniture beetle - do not have to be mentioned. This may have dire consequences for the new owner, the seller and the agent.
We therefore appeal to estate agents and conveyancers to protect buyers by insisting on the SAPCA wood destroying organism clearance certificates which can only be issued by registered inspectors if the property is free from all wood-destroying organisms. Where it is not, suitable eradication measures will be recommended. This is the only valid and proper way to ensure that genuine beetlefree properties are transferred onto the names of their new owners.
It is disturbing that there are estate agents and attorneys accepting any form of “beetle free” documentation, many times from individuals who present a “P number” (registration number) issued by the Department of Agriculture, on the pretext that it qualifies them to do beetle inspections. While P numbers are valid for structural pest control, weed control and fumigation, woodborer inspectors have a specific specialized qualification. Giving such false information is regarded as fraudulent and illegal.
We strongly recommend that clients and conveyancers insist on wood destroying organism registration right from the start. It is indeed within the buyer’s right to insist on a SAPCA certificate and the agent and the attorney are obliged to ensure that the inspector is duly qualified. SAPCA also urges members to report unregistered companies or individuals doing beetle inspections. A buyer may also turn down an unregistered inspector’s beetle report and certificate and refuse to pay the relevant fees.
An example of our recommended Beetle Clause in terms of wood destroying organisms as well as contact details of SAPCA representatives in your area are available on our website at www.sapca.org.za
We will be hosting a Wood Destroying Organisms Workshop at our annual PestBiz convention running on 16 & 17 August at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel and Conference Centre in Durban. Should you wish to attend this convention, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.
|Join IEASA at NAR in USA|
JOIN IEASA ON THE OFFICIAL INDUSTRY TOUR TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS CONVENTION: ORLANDO 9-12 November 2012
Would you be interested in accompany the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa to the NAR conference 2012? We are looking for property professionals who wish to benefit from the networking opportunities available through our long established contacts, to our members, at this event.
IEASA has had a Bilateral co-operation agreement with NAR for over 30 years which, amongst other benefits, allows our members access to the NAR events of an international nature on their programme.
IEASA is also a member of the International Consortium of Estate Agents and as such we have access to the decision makers in the industry on a global platform. This affiliation also includes the heads of many similar real estate associations around the world and by extension their membership base.
We have a strong supporter in our NAR Presidential Liaison for South Africa, Edward Alford, and IEASA’s Ambassador Association is the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches (RAPB) - whose members also want to make contact with South African estate agents.
IEASA is also afforded an opportunity to host a one hour meet and greet session under the South African flag in the International Business Centre.
We therefore together with the services of a professional tour operator have put together to options on packages for you and our aim is to co-ordinate a real and viable offering to estate agents, principals and industry service providers with a worthwhile programme that we assure you will be productive and fun.
We look forward to Discovering your Magic in Orlando with you.
§ For detailed package options – basic or with cruise - link here
§ For full details on the conference go to: http://www.realtor.org/convention.nsf/
|To the editor|
I have read your newsletter with interest over the years but what surprises me of late is your non-reference to the Estate Agency Affairs Board’s latest notification that the Board is insisting on the auditing of estate agency’s business accounts as required by the Estate Agency Affair’s Act.
This requirement has always been in place but has never been enforced, but now, because of the dishonesty of one agency, we all have to suffer the entirely unnecessary expense and inconvenience of having our business accounts audited.
The auditing is required to make sure that what comes into our business should legitimately be there ie it is not a deposit which should have gone into trust pending transfer.
Now I would have thought that such an audit would be simple enough. But it seems not. The Board in its wisdom has handed to the auditors an instruction that the audit is to be a “full audit” of the business account. It seems that no one has bothered to look at the logic of this. Checking on our cost of telephone calls and photocopy bills will hardly enlighten the Board and will certainly not prevent dishonesty and nor will it expose malpractice.
I am aware that REBOSA has made representations to the Board and all that they have achieved to date is getting an extension within which time to lodge the financial report by the auditor.
This requirement affects us all financially and I feel it is incumbent on every agency to make its voice heard in pushing for a limited audit of our business accounts with a view to simply establishing the legitimacy or otherwise of deposits into such accounts
Your comments would be appreciated
From the editor;
Firstly allow me to thank you for being a keen reader of our CyberAgent monthly newsletter.
You are correct that The Act state clearly that every estate agent must have accounting records in place. These accounts, both for business and trust accounts, of the estate agent must be audited within four months after the financial year end of the business of the estate agents. That then also the reason why we didn’t cover this issue in our last newsletter.
Estate agents has been very lucky over the years that The Act was not enforced. Then on the other hand, if it was there might have been less dishonesty.
Of concern to me is the audit as it seems that there are a lot of uncertainties around the “type” of audit. I have contacted the EAAB at numerous occasions and to date I’m waiting for their feedback regarding the “revised” report. Is that not so typical of the EAAB?
In the mean time I would like to see the response from other real estate agents on your letter.
Also see the article below from Rawson Properties: EAAB proposal that all estate agencies be audited has merit - but could be crippling to smaller operations
|EAAB proposal that all estate agencies be audited has merit - but could be crippling to smaller operations|
Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, has drawn attention to the fact that the Estate Agency Affairs Board, which at present still has complete control over the estate agency sector, is now proposing that all property companies have their full accounts audited by independent qualified chartered accountants.
This follows on from the ‘necessary and very welcome’ ruling that all estate agency trust accounts should be vetted by independent auditors...
|In our thoughts|
Elizabeth Tromp – One of your agents, Elizabeth is fighting the battle against cancer. Our prays and thoughts are with her.
Chris Niemandt, our representative in the Western Cape, mother past away. Our condolences to Chris and his family.
After 7 years of service Mark Harris, junior developer, has decided to move on. Mark was well known for his support and training sessions. We wish him all the best for his future. Darius van Wyngaard is filling Mark’s post
|Quotation of the month|
Every day is precious!