Tel: +27 (0)11 955 9100
E-mail: info@CyberAgent.co.za
Web: www.CyberAgent.co.za
www.cyberprop.com
Newsletter - June 2012
Word from the editor

Dear CyberAgent user,

USA: Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCC) has released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for June showing that rental market activity has been a bright spot for the housing market, and due to rental demand by those postponing homeownership, further increases are expected in the coming year.

"Further increases in rental demand are likely in the coming year as newly formed households postpone homeownership decisions until the economy strengthens and they have accumulated sufficient savings," says Frank Nothaft vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac. Rental Markets: A Sign of Strength this June

Will the South African property market follow?

Your listing is more than just an advert on our portals!

The real estate office and agent are no longer marketing their listings from the back of a cigarette box. No, real estate offices and agents software and online marketing knowledge is growing and therefore also their expectations.

Here at CyberAgent it's of vital importance that we give our clients a wide range of advertising channels as well as the software they need to run their business.

Having a basic listing on a single property portal can only provide limited exposure. Of importance is that estate offices and agents are given the ability to not only maximise the exposure of their listings on behalf of their customers, but also to expose their own brand and at the same time obtain the best possible result online.

What then are the main areas of product that CyberAgent provide an assist in a real estate office and agent's business?

  • Listing of properties; listing of your properties simultaneously on various property portals
  • Push marketing products; email alerts distributed to targeted portal databases, weekly newsletters
  • Web design; Agency websites, individual property template websites
  • Back-office tools; Offline and online products designed to increase agency effectiveness
  • Data; Property evaluation including deeds transfer data, property valuation, price, suburb information, sales history and growth trends
  • Support that provides the real estate office and agents with the know-how, confidence and understanding to develop an effective online marketing plan

You cannot afford to say no!

Are you guilty of listing your property incorrectly? Don't miss the article Sold houses still listed as for sale

Until next month!
The editor

Rental Markets: A Sign of Strength this June

Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCC) has released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for June showing that rental market activity has been a bright spot for the housing market, and due to rental demand by those postponing homeownership, further increases are expected in the coming year.

Over the year ending March 2012, an additional 1.5 million households moved into rental housing, a 4 percent increase in a single year. Rental vacancy rates have dropped roughly 2 percentage points over the past two years...

Property scoring

Q: A client has asked if there is some way that we could factor in virtual tours into the property scoring.

A: As nice as virtual tours are, they cannot be used solely. The main reason is that the majority of exports to external websites do not cater for virtual tours, and as such, if no pictures are loaded, nothing will show at all. This will surely hamper marketing efforts.

 

Sold houses still listed as for sale

It has been disappointing to surf you website lately because all the house I have found on the website, I was told they were already sold for more than 3 weeks ago but properties are not removed or labelled SOLD. This to me is affecting the integrity of the website because it does not give you energy to search for the house in the website because you get told the house is sold all the time, sometimes some agents the house has been sold 6 months ago but it still listed as FOR SALE.

A few of the house listed as for sale but already sold are as below (ref numbers shown):
401979, 395058, 2941603, 2918797.

Regards,
Hopewell

Are you guilty of the above?

This is one of the worst selling mistakes that you can make. There are savvy buyers on the Internet and by doing listing property that's already sold you can only create a bad impression for you and your agency.

While we are on the topic of mistakes that you as an agent can make let's look at the top 3 common marketing mistakes we experience;

  • Common Marketing Mistake 1: Not taking photo's correctly and not enough photos

  • Common Marketing Mistake 2: Not checking how the listing looks on all the popular homes for sale websites

  • Common Marketing Mistake 3: Not checking the wording, spelling and grammar mistakes

Would a dog, a cat, a song bird, a couple playing tennis and a money hat convince you to buy this place?

Don't let your seller fire you!

 

From our developers

Watermarks

As you are most likely aware, we have added in functionality to place watermarks over your pictures in CyberAgent. This has now been implemented in AnyWhere as well

Tenant Email Address

It was requested that we add in an email address for the tenant in the "Specifics" of the "Property Manager". This will unfortunately not be possible, however, the contact manager is ideally suited to add and store details such as this. So a suggestion is to load the tenant into the contact manager and then to use the contact number generated as the tenant name. This will make it much easier to look up the tenants entire profile.

Assistance with IPad

A resent request from one of our clients was to get CyberAgent Anywhere to upload images using an IPad.

Due the limitations of the IPad, java applets will not work. After some research, we managed to find an application that would do it. We have updated the site to allow for the application to be used when you use your IPad.

The app works exactly the same as the CyberAgent Anywhere java applet. On your property manager module, when you click on the picture upload button, the application will automatically launch. If you have not yet downloaded the application, there is a link provided for the download.

You can add pictures from your picture library on the device or you can take new photos with the IPad's camera, and upload these to the website.

Once you have added all the pictures you wish to upload, click on the upload button.

Once the images have been uploaded, the application will close and take you back to the Anywhere webpage.

The Aurigma Up application is a universal mobile uploader app designed to be easily integrated with our website.

It is a bridge between photos and videos on a mobile device and your website opened by a user in a mobile browser.

Both iOS (IPad) and Android (Samsung) devices are supported. The webpage will automatically detect what system you are using.


CyberAgent Anywhere with Firefox/Chrome

Using CyberAgent Anywhere on a non Microsoft Browser can cause some functionality to not work.

CyberAgent Anywhere was designed and built on the Microsoft Internet Explorer platform.

Although the website works on any browser, we have noticed that some users experience faulty dropdowns and updates.

We are currently looking into the issue but have not as yet resolved the issue.

It is recommended that CyberAgent Anywhere be used with Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Q & A Multiple User Updates:

Q: I have been informed by your support that if you have multiple agents working on the system with their own username and a update website is done. The entire system is updated which I find is a problem as I might still be busy with capturing details which I did not finish and the properties are up loaded. Thought it would be a good idea if the system could distinguish which user is updating and only update their properties etc that are they have added etc.

Let me know what you guys think as I was a programmer and this would make more sense as then you done have the problem of other agents stuff been updated that is not ready yet.

A: The update process is quite involved on the backend and that the reason why we update a whole company as opposed to only the property of the agent selecting the update.

As administrator you can disable the updating for one or more agents.

I would suggest that when you load a new property to only change the listing status (For sale, To rent, Both or Not listed) to one of the first 3 options once you are happy with the listing. This way it will not be updated halfway thought the process.

From our Support Desk

Build 3.100.1646 is now available. Please make sure that you are using the latest version of CyberAgent.

Here are some tips to help get you on top of search engines.

Although keywords don't play as big a role on Google anymore, it is still important to get them correct for your websites. Keywords are still used on some other search engines. Good content is the best way to get your website ranked well on Google.

Try to send us as much information about the areas you work in and we will list this information on your website and under the search pages for those specific areas. Our search pages' meta tags are automatically optimized according to the areas you have listings in on your website. So the additional content pages give it that little extra, so you rank better than your competitors.

Please note that Google looks for original content, meaning that if you copy from other websites, you need to make sure you change the content so Google will not see it as duplicate content. You need to use key search words and phrases in your write-up like, homes in Hoedspruit, properties in Hoedspuit etc.

It is also a good idea to list yourself with on as many as possible link directories. They will provide links back to your site and the more links you have going to your website the more important Google will see your website and the higher you will rank.

From a CyberAgent point of view it is very important to regularly make changes to your properties and to regularly update the websites. There are fields in CyberAgent such as vicinity and schools that will greatly improve the responses from search engines such as Google if used correctly as some people will search for houses near certain amenities and schools

It was requested that we add in a sort option of Complex in the Property Manager. This selection is only available when in Property Manager - Filters and not when Search is open.

It is also highly recommended that clients use the Filters in Property Manager to setup grids rather than in the Search.

Q&A Section

Q: Subject: CyberAgent to P24 Export - Can someone please explain what this email means

A: Firstly - the excel sheet that was attached (if available) will contain the list of P24 reference numbers relative to the CyberAgent numbers (and addresses)

Then - the email itself will contain a report of the export. The number on the left is the number of the property that has exported or failed in that days run.

There are various failure messages, the most common being:

Expiry date must be a future date. P24 uses these dates and as such would expire the listing as soon as it was updated. You will have to monitor these as they must be in the future

Notes missing - not allowed to export. You do not have a marketing note and P24 does not accept listings like this either

Location not matched. This message lets you know that the location used in CyberAgent is not the same as a location that exists on P24. This might just be a space in the suburb (for example we have Wilropark and P24 has Wilro Park). In this case we can map the location to automatically use what P24 has. If there is no match at all, you will have to ask P24 to add the location by emailing csc@property24.com
Once you have corrected these issues, be sure to do a website update, and then the listings will feed through with the next run.

Q: Can you please add an "Industrial" property type

A: Unfortunately not, the reason being is that we update to a few other websites, for example IOL. If we add a property type that they do not have, then the property will not be uploaded to their site as they do not support that property type.

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 Webmaster

Shameless Self-Promotion: Getting Noticed Online - www.propertyadguru.com

With almost every real estate agent claiming to be the best and most experienced in their area, choosing an agent can end up little more than a guessing game for buyers and sellers. So how do you make sure you stand out to these (often confused) potential customers?

To begin with, it pays to be original. Whether you’re writing a detailed online profile or simply filling out your Twitter bio, steer clear of overused phrases such as “one of the most experienced agents in Sydney” or “knows central London real estate.”

What potential customers want to know is, exactly how much experience does that Sydney agent have? What does that agent actually know about central London? Be precise and you will immediately encourage more confidence in your audience.

Being honest about your abilities goes hand in hand with being precise. After all, if you overstate your qualifications or experience level, chances are that will become obvious as soon as you start to work with a client.

An over-emphasis on resume details is another potential trap for agents promoting themselves online. You’ll naturally want to highlight your professional qualifications, and buyers and sellers are probably interested in them to a degree. But this interest pales in comparison with their need to be sure you understand their location. The trick is to balance out details about your professional life with just as much (or more) information about the area you cover.

As with any content you publish online, it’s worth having one or two people check over it before putting it on display. This will help you catch any spelling and grammar issues, and possibly prompt you to tweak your message to make it that much more appealing

 

How to Access your USP Account Online

Every month end we email new invoices and statements to our customers.

Search for the "Access your USP account here" link on these emails.

Follow this link to get to our online USP accounting website.

Log in with your CyberAgent Username and Password and Click on: Show-->Ledger-->All

To open an invoice click on the red invoice number. All invoice can be printed from here.

 

SA Property Transfer Guide

Key Changes:

As you have read SA Property Guide and USP Designs have combined services under the Knowledge Factory (Kagiso Media) brand to offer their clients a comprehensive Estate Agency and Agent solution. The merger has now taken place and SA Property Guide has moved office to USP Designs and will also operate as USP Designs (PTY) Ltd. until further notice.

There are many new services and areas of expertise we will be able to provide our users in the future.

Please take note of the following;

  • Our current fee structure will not change
  • The services we have provided in the past will continue
  • Future invoicing will be done from USP Designs
  • Support will be done from USP Designs

We are confident that our new affiliation will serve us all well.

Data issues:

With our training sessions it came to our attention that there are still agencies/agents who are experiencing data problems for example, properties that are in CyberAgent cannot be found on SA Property Transfer Guide.

Good news! New, collated, cleaned and organized data will be available by the end of next week.

SA Property Guide requested that ALL data queries be mailed to datalog@kf.co.za. Please we need your assistance regarding this matter.

Contact details:

Accounts: accounts@cyberprop.com
Support: support@cyberprop.com
Data issues: datalog@kf.co.za
Or you can phone us on 086 112 9237

 

Sold houses still listed as for sale

The most recent Absa House Price Index indicates that nominal house prices have now been contracting for three months year on year. The latest figure shows a decline of 5% since April 2011. As a result, house prices are in real terms moving closer to their long-run trendline, aided by high building-cost inflation (which is now much higher than consumer inflation). Lucky South Africa, your bubble is deflating; not bursting!

Website Marketing


Click Here for printable .pdf file

CyberAgent Training and Info Sessions

We provide you with FREE training session in the following areas;

  • Gauteng (Daily)
  • Western Cape (Monthly)
  • Kwazulu Natal (Quarterly)
  • Garden Route (Quarterly)
  • Eastern Cape (Twice yearly)
  • Free State (Twice yearly)
  • Mpumalanga (Twice yearly)

During these training sessions more information will also be provided on:

  • CyberAgent Anywhere (online module)
  • CMA SAPTG (online module)
  • New developments in CyberAgent
  • The Ad Generator in CyberAgent
  • General questions on CyberAgent Desktop and Anywhere
Gauteng
Gauteng Training Sessions

Date: Tuesdays to Thursdays Weekly
Time:
09h30 to 11h30 - Beginners
13h30 to 15h30 - Advanced
Cost: FREE!
Venue: 22 Ackerman Street, Witpoortjie, Roodepoort, 1724

R.S.V.P

Contact:
Maryna
Tel: (011) 955-9100
Email uspsupport@cyberprop.com

Contact us to book your CyberAgent Anywhere training session today


Kwazulu Natal
Western Cape
Kwazulu Natal Training Sessions

Dates: Quarterly - Next dates to be announced
Time:
09h00 to 11h00 - CAA & Sales
11h15 to 13h15 – CA Desktop Beginners
13h30 to 15h30 – CA Desktop Advanced

Cost: FREE!
Venue: Real IT, 37 Zennith Drive, Shop 004 The CUBE (In Spring Grove), Umhlanga, New Town - Near: Porsche Car dealership

R.S.V.P

Contact:
Kirk Dee
Cell 082 567 1303
Email kirkd@cyberprop.com

Contact us to book your CyberAgent training session today

Western Cape Training Sessions

Dates: 4th and 18th of July
Time:
09h00 to 11h00 - CyberAgent Desktop Beginners
11h00 to 14h00 - CyberAgent Desktop Advanced
14h00 to 16h00 - CyberAgent Anywhere

Cost: FREE!
Venue: 65 Balfour Street, Parow, Cape Town

R.S.V.P

Before:
29th June and 13th July

Contact:
Chris Niemandt
Cell 082 432 6963
Email chris@cyberprop.com

Contact us to book your CyberAgent training session today



News

A warm welcome to all new Agencies May 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 support@cyberprop.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)

As the Professional Designation Examination (PDE) is an open book examination, candidates are evaluated on their practical understanding of the study (and any other relevant) material rather than on mere recall and memorisation. Candidates are expected to be able to apply the material to actual workplace, as well as novel and more innovative, situations, analyse elements and relationships, synthesise, structure, compare and evaluate. Candidates should always provide valid evidence for any assertions that are made and should strive to avoid duplicating the study material, providing trite answers or making unsubstantiated deductions. Candidates, therefore, should NOT underestimate the intense preparation that is required to succeed in an open book examination. Time during the examination is limited so the key to success is adequate preparation and organisation so that candidates can quickly locate data, quotes, examples and/or arguments to be used in answering the questions...

IEA Western Cape

Agents must make sure their buyers qualify for the loans they are applying for

At a recent estate agents' networking seminar held by the Institute of Estate Agents, guest speaker Steve Morkel from the ABSA Home Loans Western Cape division gave a brief overview on applying for mortgage loans.

Dianne Brock, general manager of the IEA, Western Cape, said, "Although ABSA announced that they were granting bonds more readily and even 100% bonds to some clients, agents need to remember that they must pre-qualify their buyers before they go through an application process at any bank. Pre-qualifying buyers at the outset of the business relationship will save an agent many wasted hours showing properties beyond their client's reach...

The Trainer - Report unregistered agents

Wow - my last edition opened a can of worms on the subject "Unregistered Agents".

Some of you may say"It is not in my nature to get people into trouble - that is awful. I am far more ethical than that". I disagree - these people are the ones that are taking the money out of your mouths - these are the agents that are not qualified and give our profession a bad name. We need to stop being apathetic and stand up for our rights.

Don't forget that the illegal agents are usually also the ones that cut the commission drastically and ruin it for everyone else...

In our thoughts
Congratulations to Tamsin, one of our office administrator and PA, and her husband Donivan with the birth of their daughter Amy.

We welcome a new support consultant in our mists, Zerwick Brits. You will get to meet him through our support desk.

Free ads for Cyberprop users

Q: Please could you send details regarding the Cyberprop newsletter statement that ads are free on Property Junction. Not sure what online presence we have with property junction already as advertisers or whether this is different

A: We have arranged with Cyberprop that all their active listings be sent to PropertyJunction for free advertising for the remainder of this year. If you currently list your properties with Cyberprop or make use of the CyberAgent listing management system your properties will automatically be sent to PropertyJunction with you not having to do anything. This process will take around a month to complete.

Dave Asher
Executive Manager - Property | PropertyJunction

The PropertyJunction Team
www.propertyjunction.co.za
Better homes. More often.
PropertyJunction
Quotation of the month

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value. - Albert Einstein