Protesting by property agents
A group of over 1000 agents has gathered their support to boycott Property Guru, in protest of the latest price hike in their advertising package.
Starting 1st September 2017, real estate agents are expected to pay higher fees for new packages, which starts from $880 to $9,880. With previous packages cost between $630 and $2,240, the price hike is almost over 4 times for the premium packages. The consumption of credits allocated for these packages has also increased -for example, re-posting of advertisements now cost 2 credits, instead of 1 credit.
According to PropertyGuru, the real estate media company currently have around 15,000 agents using its platform since the portal was introduced in 2007.
With the portal dominating over 70% of Singapore property searches by consumers, it is likely that agents have no other alternatives to effectively market their properties.
Though leading competitors in Singapore 99.co (www.99.co), SRX Property (www.srx.com.sg) and The Edge Property (www.edgeprop.sg) are offering cheaper packages from $388 to $4229. The effectiveness of reaching out to potential prospects and clients have yet to be proven.
Many DIY sellers are actively looking out for free property portal online to post their units for sale. Disruptive startup companies such as DirectHomes and OhmyHome are offering free listing service on their portals. The success rate in transactions for these companies have yet to be seen.
Disruptive technologies are emerging in the marketplace. Prospective buyers and sellers can do their research and adopt a Do-It-Yourself (“DIY”).
There will be a consolidation of the real estate industry beginning 2017. Real estate agencies strive to improve agents’ productivity, where you will see underperformers slowly exiting the market.
With the increasing competition and marketing expenses, the number of agents has been on a steady decline. As of January 2017, there were 28,397 agents, compared with 31,783 in 2014. Industry experts believe this figure would further decline in the years to come. While there are more DIY transactions, the majority of the home owners are still engaging property agents to handle their sales and this trend is likely to stay for the next few years.