|Eastern Cape estate agents have come in for high praise for their dedication to marketing of client’s properties. |
Although sales in the upper price levels of the residential property market has slowed and transactions stabilised in the lower price ranges from the recent creepage in buyer affordability local agents retained their commitment to sound marketing principles, according to Michele Scherer, managing editor of the Eastern Cape Property Guide (ECPG).
This was evident from the recent growth in the ECPG, which now stands at a weekly 60 pages. This, in view of the geographical size of the region and its number of active estate agents, was astounding and reflective of local estate agents’ commitment to sound marketing principles.
On two occasions during the course of the year the paper had reached 68 pages Scherer told guests at a recent function to celebrate the paper’s fifth anniversary.
At the time of its launch in October 2000 Scherer had thought the paper would struggle to maintain its launch size of 16 pages, but the quality of its substance and proof of its market penetration emphasised by the translation of its adverts into sales had soon recruited more agencies so that by September 2003 its size had grown to 24 pages and by September a year later to 40 pages and now to a consistent 60 pages.
The mainstay for its success had been that of its joint venture concept involving Die Burger, the PA Group and local agents. This meant advertisers not only benefited from its profits, but also were also equal partners in the control of quantity, quality and pricing of advertising on an ongoing basis. So successful had the concept become that Scherer said it was now being duplicated with similar achievements in many other regional property publications.
A particular pleasing aspect of the publication from a publisher’s point of view was that it enjoyed the support of some of the very smallest estate agencies right through the size spectrum to the largest of national groupings and this also applied to the size of developments.
ECPG founding director Dave Summerton attributed its market acceptance to its quality. “In the past five years it’s also become a household name for both sellers and buyers and this has given agents a feeling of security and soundness of belief in their marketing strategies.”
The publication, which is available to the public at prominent distribution points, has a print run of about 58 000 copies.