Web now the 'most effective' ad medium

Internet-based advertising has come of age in the property industry and is fast outpacing more traditional advertising avenues.

And, says Tjaart van der Walt, CEO of the RealNet group, it is clear that the Web is now the group's most effective advertising medium.

"We have seen a phenomenal growth in the number of prospective buyers who turn to the Internet to find suitable property. More than 50%, and some months as many as 80% of our buyers now source property electronically, as opposed to about 15% just three years ago."

He adds that the group has taken advantage of this trend and has established what is regarded as one of the best real estate websites in Africa. "We are currently developing strategies to further improve the site at and are working with Entegral Solutions to provide an even better service to buyers and sellers."

Van der Walt says RealNet listings are already automatically posted on 16 other property websites and portals, which are viewed by a collective audience of millions.

"The growth in web-based advertising may perhaps be partly attributed to the fact that many real estate companies have cut back on traditional advertising, such as the print media, because of the tough economic climate. There is an argument to be made, however, that the electronic trend will continue to grow, even if and when economic recovery occurs, because it is effective and proving so popular among buyers.

"Not only does it hold benefits for consumers through wide exposure of their properties, but real estate agents benefit in that technology has made it possible to cut their operating costs by reducing advertising costs.

"In our opinion, electronic marketing will grow from strength to strength and will probably get a massive boost when cheaper internet services become available thanks to the new under-sea cable that will make connectivity possible for many more South African consumers."

Issued by RealNet

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