Industry reacts to Property24 price increase

Industry reacts to Property24 price increase

The annual price increase of the country’s biggest property portal, Property24, was met with some dismay in the property industry last week, especially on social media.

In a “Dear Valued Customer” letter subscribers were notified last week about the annual subscription price increase. The letter began highlighting that over 4.3 million unique users browsed the website in January 2019 and that the site showed more than 20% growth year on year.

What irked some of their subscribers was the new changes in the pricing structure such as the introduction of a new “Lead-Price bracket”, splitting the 50-250 lead bracket into 50-150 leads and 150-250 leads. According to Kathy Richings Badenhorst, principal estate agent of Hillside Properties Kenridge, this meant for some agencies an almost 50% increase in their subscription fees.

In her complaint on social media, Badenhorst also complained about the fact that views of their contact numbers were counted as leads generated even though this number is far fewer than the actual calls, emails or SMS leads they received about the listed property. Her post attracted comments from many agents bemoaning the same issues while others also reminded the complainers that there are a growing number of alternative portals available to share their listings. Private Property was mentioned a few times but also various other independents.

Property Professional also asked a few other property practitioners for their comments. Here’s what they had to say on the matter.

Myles Wakefield, CEO of Wakefields Real Estate:

“There’s little surprise here. The rate increase by Property 24, was entirely expected. Let’s not forget, we all have choices, which go beyond being circumspect about the properties, and number of properties, we list on that portal.  There are a number of growing platforms and portals which are gaining traction and producing very good results. Private Property is one such, let’s support them. Let’s drive traffic to our own websites via excellent resources such as Google, Facebook and YouTube. Property brands are seeing results from these, and we need to explore alternative channels.”

Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group:

“P24’s strategy of creating new leads brackets/categories every year makes it difficult to compare apples with apples, however the net result is that many agencies are facing increases in monthly subscriptions of 18% to 33% from 1 April 2019, which far exceeds the current CPI of less than 6%. Following similar annual increases since 2014, this means that P24’s fees have on average, increased by more than 120% over the past 5 years.  This blatant disregard for the impact of prevailing market conditions on the  majority of real estate agencies,  serves to strengthen the feeling within the industry that P24 do not regard it as a valuable partner, but rather a ‘cash cow to be milked’.”

Clive Levy, principal of Clive Levy Properties:

“It is horrendous these price increases annually, only because they know they have “got us.” But the wheel turns, nothing is permanent as the old Saturday Star discovered when they lost almost the entire real estate community to the Sunday Times….watch this space; even if you have a virtual monopoly (which they tried by trying to buy Private Property and failed) the wheel turns….and turn it will!

(That would be the Competition Commission of South Africa. Ed.)

Related article: Industry believes P24 subscription increase is cause for concern

Showing 2 comments
  • Jenny Sonnekus
    Reply

    Absolutely agree. Especially the small guys. We are trying to survi e. We speak to the Agent from prop 24 whom , in turn, advise us THERE IS NOTHINHG THEY CAN DO,. They dont even offer us group training at strategic points. I have been with them 15 years and had to dum my reps in self learning
    They take but dont give a thing.
    I said exactly that, WHEN AN ALTERNATE PLATFORM FOR ADVETTISING ARRIVES, WE WILL NOT SUPPORT PROP24. They did not give us their suppot. But sucked us dry.

    LASTLY. The smalll cpmpanies like mine, who have smaller amounts of rentals and sdales, are expected to pay ove 2500.00 basiv fees before we start. This is LUDICROUS. BOO TO PROPERTY 24

  • Leon Spies
    Reply

    P24 has ahold on us as you will see if you look at traffic stats. If one looks at Alexa traffic stats then Property24 ranks 5055 worldwide and 23 in South Africa. Private Property ranks 15487 worldwide and 96 in South Africa. These rankings are based on visits (ie popularity). So unfortunately for us it is still too risky for us to dump Property24 unless we all stand together on this one.

    Property 24 belongs to the behemoth Naspers so to pick a fight with them is going to require a lot of cooperation from all the agencies.

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