Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  22 Oct 2010

PROPERTY: Online Credibility Key for Property Companies


Recent Gauteng Business News

With the use of online media increasing exponentially worldwide, it is increasingly evident that reputable companies which provide consumers with information on the Internet need to ensure that credibility is a key priority, says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group.
Coupled with this the latest Telecoms Trends in Africa 2010 report, released last month (September) by World Wide Worx and Database 360, predicts a revolution in Internet access, technology and costs as a result of a surge in new undersea cables connecting this continent.

Along with this explosion in IT connectivity and with consumers able to access a rapidly growing amount of information via a myriad of on-line sources, having the assurance that such information is accurate, secure and from a credible source is increasingly important.

In line with this, PGP is the first real estate agency to be approved as an official member (non-publishing) by the South African Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) - formerly known as the Online Publishers Association. (Non-publishing members, as opposed to publishing members, are those which do not accept advertising on their sites and therefore do not require formal ad ratings.)

The DMMA is an independent, non-profit organisation focused on growing and sustaining a vibrant digital industry while building trust in the digital medium as a means of reaching and engaging with consumers at large.

Says Dr Golding: “As an approved member of the DMMA the PGP group complies with its Code of Conduct, and online regulations and best practice. In addition we now have access to DMMA and industry research, including Nielsen’s online market intelligence reports, enabling our agents to keep buyers and sellers well informed with the most up to date, relevant market information.”

With approximately 40 000 properties marketed at any one time, the PGP website has just undergone considerable improvements to its search facility to enable consumers to research available properties far quicker and in a much easier manner. Launched in 1996, the website was one of the first South African commercial websites to go live.

Says Cheridan Inglis, PGP’s group New Media manager: “According to the loading time is now extremely fast at just 1.4 seconds, while the search facility is more user-friendly and interactive in that you can easily search for properties by location – whether by region or city/town, or internationally in overseas countries. One can then further define the search in terms of new properties just listed, properties on show, price range, number of bedrooms, bathrooms etc.

“Interestingly, since these improvements were launched just a few weeks ago, we’ve seen the number of PGP website pages indexed by Google more than treble.” Inglis says on a monthly basis, the PGP website sees over 3.3 million pages viewed, a figure which is constantly increasing. “Also of interest is that just over 4 000 out of a total of over 200 000 visits to the site each month are received via mobile phones, reflecting a rapidly increasing trend among interested home buyers – who, like most of us, are constantly striving to save time and use it more effectively,” she says.

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