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How technological touchpoints sell property in the 21st Century

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Speak to any real estate professional and they will tell you that there is no equal to the human touch when it comes to closing a deal. But, the route to that final closing stage is ever-changing thanks to the constantly evolving role of technology in the way we do business, and manage our lives.

Experts all agree that semigration, increasingly savvy investors and technology are all creating a unique home buying and selling environment with developers and agents having to adapt and embrace this change, or lose the sale.

Foce Property Investments, a developer operating in the very competitive Midrand market, is one of the companies that has jumped into this changing market without hesitation, and is excited to offer their buyers the full immersive experience that is home buying in the 21st Century.

What’s new?

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“With Umthunzi Valley we’ve embraced virtual tours; many of our buyers or investors are scattered across South Africa and are unable to come view our units. Virtual tours give our clients the opportunity to experience the size and beauty of each unit type from the comfort of their laptop,” says Franco Cilliers, marketing and sales manager at Foce. “We are selling units much faster than usual on the Umthunzi Valley development because we are catering to the modern buyer; all our clients need is a good internet connection.”

It’s not only the actual sales deal that has changed as technology has developed; Foce has been monitoring the construction process using drone footage and has included this in their marketing efforts. This not only increases transparency of the construction process, but also serves a practical purpose: Buyers are given a good grasp of the Umthunzi Valley layout as well as location and surrounds. Technology is making the world smaller, or more easily understandable and reachable, in more ways than we may think!

Moving homes? Read this first!

The way in which buyers are searching for homes, and making buying decisions might be changing, but the bottom line remains – clients want value and efficient service and expect no less in the age of fast-everything and convenience.

“Customers’ first line of communication is very rarely an email or phone call anymore. Social media is the go-to platform as it often provides a faster response with a more informal style and is not limited to business hours. Foce Properties has recognised this and has significantly increased its attention to social media,” explains Cilliers.

The fact remains that it is not just the way in which a business manages its social media accounts that matters anymore – not having a social media footprint is equally damaging to a brand, with consumers viewing this absence of presence as an indication that there might be a problem with the company’s credibility.

“We live in an era of fast-paced change and business needs to adjust its strategy to cater for this, or risk becoming redundant. Customers of the future will demand increasingly innovative ways to attain value,” adds Cilliers.

Keeping it real

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Once again the importance of the human touch is highlighted in the fact that just the realisation and adaption of technology is not enough; you need humans with the skills and understanding to use the right tools most effectively.

“Interactive content like videos or polls receive far more hits than the traditional blog post or text, and the use of the different channels is dependent on the market you are targeting,” says Cilliers.

Clients are more informed, and know what they want before even making contact with the property professional. For a business to succeed it is essential that every aspect of their offering ties up with a message of clear understanding of this fact.

The Umthunzi Valley marketing team understands this uniquely informed and demanding customer as is again shown in the manner in which they’ve used TV content in each show unit. The Umthunzi Valley showreel provides an integrated marketing opportunity while making it clear to every potential buyer or investor that their comfort and enjoyment is always the prime consideration.

Technology and its impact on how we buy and sell our homes is ever-changing; imagine a world where you can decorate and order the furniture you love online to have everything  set up and move-in ready for you. But the one thing that will never get old is good old-fashioned customer-centric values.

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This feature was sponsored by Foce Property Investments


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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