Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  14 Sep 2012

PROPERTY: Searching for a Property, on Your Phone


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We use them to work, to socialise and, to shop - the advances in mobile technology now influence almost every aspect of our daily lives. Today 29 of the 35 million adults in South Africa are mobile phone users, 12 million of these use mobile internet services.

Turns out mobile devices are also changing the way buyers search for their dream homes. Traditionally buyers scoured the weekend property segments in newspapers trying to find their ideal home, that or, they visited the offices of various real estate agencies in the area. Both of these options necessitated a measure of effort and expense.

In April this year Leapfrog Property Group the raised the stakes with the creation of a mobile property search site. Developed by Cape Town based SEO company, Synergize, the site is in line with Leapfrog’s no nonsense approach and, it seems the public prefers it too; the site has had over 6,000 visits since May and over 15,000 pages have been indexed. “If you look at the numbers, creating a proper mobile search site was the next logical step; there are millions of buyers we can reach through this medium”, says Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group.

The site works for a number of reasons; firstly it’s obviously convenient in that buyers needn’t even leave their beds. Secondly the problem with searching online is that websites designed for desktops don’t display well on cell phones and navigation tends to be cumbersome. The Leapfrog mobile site was created to display on Blackberry, Android and iPhones without distortion and with images that were optimised for speed and appearance.

Every property on the website can be accessed without having to type in anything; the “bread crumb” hierarchy simplifies navigation with each search based on a province – city – suburb selection. “It was important to us that the site is really easy to navigate; you don’t need to click more than 3 times to find the properties you’re interested in. Buying a property is a big decision that we’d like to make a straightforward for as possible for buyers”, says Swain.

Swain continues, “Once a buyer sees a property they are interested in it is important to give them access to information about it quickly and conveniently. With the mobile website they can gain the information immediately even if they’ve just driven past a house that will be on show the next day – increasing the chances that they will come to view the house.”

It seems that both Leapfrog and Synergize have succeeded in that goal; according to stats from Syngerize 50% of local mobile searches lead to a sale.


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