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How Dudu found her new home, thanks to Facebook friend Tshepo

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“Hey love, check out this home in Sunward Park in Boksburg.”

“Ja, it’s nice. But that levy!? Yoh, it’s too much.”

Tshepo first commented on one of the homes advertised for sale on HomeTimes’ Facebook page in October last year. This was roughly the same time HomeTimes signed a service-level agreement to exclusively advertise low-commission estate agency, HomeBid’s, properties for sale.

The home was a beautiful 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom Tuscan-style unit in a secure estate. Levies were in the region of R2,500 due to the amenities in the complex as well as the fact that all units and the inside of the boundary walls were plastered, which pushes up maintenance costs.

A few days later

“How’s this?”

“This one is nice but I don’t know the area.”

A few more days later

“I REALLY like this one. You?”

“LOVE it! But too expensive. Thanks my love.”

A New Year

Tshepo tags Dudu in a photo of an open-plan kitchen for a home in Centurion.

“Wow. This is like our dream kitchen, my love. Spacious rooms and a good price!”

It would seem Tshepo had finally figured out what Dudu was looking at buying!

We’re like weaver birdsweaver bird nest

This story, while reminiscent of the behaviour of the female weaver bird which rejects and sometimes destroys the nest the male has constructed if it’s sub-par, until he “gets it right”, is similar in human beings.

Dudu and Tshepo are not married (at least their Facebook profiles suggest so), but it’s clear they are partners interested in purchasing a home and living together. Research by one of the country’s top property portals highlights the fact that women dominate the home buying process as well as the decision-making aspect of which home to purchase or rent.

Just like the weaver bird, the human male helps to search for a new home and lends his opinion on the property, but ultimately it’s the female who provides her stamp of approval or…eek…disapproval.

Digital property search made easyhometimes fb homebid home

Searching for property for sale in a digital age can be frightening: The vast number of options available on the market – even within one’s budget and preferred area – can make your head spin. Too much choice can be as bad as too little in certain cases as finding a single home to fall in love with while there are so many others competing for your affection, means that if you stall in putting in an offer then and there you risk losing it to someone else.

With South Africa’s biggest residential-focused Facebook audience of more than 380,000 followers, we found that despite the popularity of our educational articles, our fans were equally interested in having residential homes for sale advertised to them.

“We put out the call to estate agents interested in advertising their properties for sale to our followers, and while we did get a few bites here and there, not one estate agency was prepared to sign a fixed agreement to advertise their stock to our fans,” says David A Steynberg, director of HomeTimes. “HomeBid, whom we have had a relationship with since our inception in September 2015, met with us and for them it was a no-brainer. They bought all available slots allocated for estate agents (3 per day) out of the five presented (one for private sellers and/or one for developers).

“Partnering with HomeBid has been hugely beneficial to HomeTimes as well as to all sellers on their books. Besides only paying 1.95% commission when selling, HomeBid sellers get exclusive exposure to HomeTimes’ more than 380,000 followers – many of whom are potential buyers.”

Do HomeBid’s homes now get the biggest exposure in South Africa?doing online research

Cavan Sheahan, GM of HomeBid, says that since signing with HomeTimes, his sellers have collectively enjoyed exposure of more than 2,7 million Facebook impressions based on 270 properties advertised to date and a conservative average number of impressions per album of 10,000 Facebook users.

“This exposure is a huge drawcard when signing our sellers into a sole mandate,” he says. “No one else in the South African residential market has this as part of their marketing arsenal.

“Our small commission and big support are just perfectly complemented by our relationship with HomeTimes.”

We’ll only know if Dudu and Tshepo decided whether the Centurion home was for them or not in a week or so from now, but one thing is for sure, connecting buyers and sellers has never been as effective as it is now with the efficacy of forward-thinking estate agencies using social media partners to expose their stock to an untapped marketplace.

Go Livelinden live on show

After testing the efficacy of the product, HomeTimes and HomeBid are forging ahead with their plans to take HomeTimes’ Facebook followers inside sellers homes using the unique HomeTimes Live On Show product.

Of the two Live video shoots conducted by HomeTimes on HomeBid homes, one was sold within 10 days of the video being shot, while the second home is still available to purchase (interested? Welcome inside).

HomeBid agents will introduce this option to all current mandate holders selling homes upwards of R1m as well as new sellers.


David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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