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PROPERTY: ERA Aims to Give Savvy Consumers ‘More Action’

 





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The ERA South Africa property group is anticipating strong growth in the near term premised on new strategies unveiled at the multinational ERA group’s recent business conference in the US.

The essence of the new direction is recognition of the fact that the world of real estate has undergone a complete metamorphosis and that today’s consumer knows more and expects more when it comes to buying and selling of property.

In his address at the recent ERA South Africa national awards ceremony, CEO Gerhard Kotzé notes that research in the US had shown a systematic shift in how consumers purchased real estate. “They’re always connected and they have multiple online sources of information. As a result, they are not looking to their real estate professional for raw data which they can find on their own. Rather they want to connect with real estate people on an expertise level.

“Accordingly, in our neck of the global woods we are positioning to be a smarter community of brokers and agents, grounded in collaboration, fuelled by knowledge-sharing and delivering true value in every step of the home buying process, using the broad community of real estate brokers and agents to the fullest.”

The message to consumers, says Kotzé, is that ERA South Africa will pursue a policy of “a little less conversation and a lot more action”. In this context, ERA has launched a new online sales system and online customer relationship management programme as well as other innovations.

The company anticipates significant growth over the next 18 months based on these new initiatives and the pent-up demand in the recovering market.

Standard Bank home loans director Funeka Ntombela told the audience at the awards ceremony the property market was definitely recovering and that the bank anticipates 5% market growth this year, 7% next year and 10% in 2012. She also said, however, that the more cautious attitude to credit would remain in place and that the time of “cheap” money was over.

“The rules of the game have changed, and the pricing of risk has become key for banks in the home loan space.”


 
 
 
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