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Dear seller: If your estate agent does this, fire them

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As anyone who has a Facebook business page will tell you, followers are not free. In the property space, there are many competing pages which makes retaining and attracting new followers increasingly expensive – think in the R10,000-plus region per month!

As South Africa’s biggest Facebook community catering to the needs and interests of home buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants, we work very closely with players in the real estate sector.

We see those agents working well, and in the best interests of their clients and brands, while on the other side of the coin, those doing everything the wrong way.

It’s the latter I am going to call out today: Please stop randomly posting your “Property for Sale” brochures, or Property24 links on other brands’ Facebook pages. Unless the page is specifically catered to this, your ad will be deleted.

If you, as a business owner, are not prepared to spend money on social media to advertise your sellers’ properties, you should not be allowed to market anyone’s home on social media. It’s both lazy and incredibly disrespectful to a business page to assume your listings will be accepted – this without a simple message asking for permission.

At HomeTimes, we are able to properly display your listings to a captive and interested market – for a really small fee. But what you, and your seller, will get in return is among the highest reach and engagement levels on South African Facebook.

Today, an agent from a well-known national franchise group thought it apt to post a brochure of properties for sale to our page – nothing but a poorly designed brochure from the newspaper classifieds era. I saw the exact same advert placed on multiple groups and open pages. Guess what? It simply does not work; it’s not effective when trying to reach a specific buyer in a specific suburb or city.

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Did you know that it costs just R10 to boost a property listing on Facebook? Sellers, if your agent is not prepared to spend R10 to boost your property listing to a targeted audience, please fire them!

Better yet, research your intended agent on social media to see how they market their current clients’ properties. If you spot the same advert on multiple pages, you can almost be certain that they are “throwing” the ad out there hoping it sticks.


3-step approach to eliminating bad agents


R10 dear agent! If you want 7.5% plus VAT of the selling price of your client’s home, but you can’t spend R10 on targeting and boosting their home’s advert, do you really feel you deserve the commission?


Ed’s note: I recognise there are great agents creatively marketing their clients’ properties: interesting walk-through videos, captivating photography and the #Flossdance. I applaud these agents! It’s the ones who copy and paste the same badly drafted advert across every closely relevant page on Facebook I am calling out. Just stop it! 

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david.steynberg@gmail.com

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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