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In the age of technology that we live in, the internet has revolutionised the property industry and how business is done. With over 26 million users connected to the internet in South Africa, it has become one of the main marketing and advertising tools used by real estate professionals to effectively reach large masses of people in a short time frame.

Many prospective homebuyers use the internet because they can access large volumes of information without much effort. Rather than spending time and fuel on driving around looking for properties, most buyers would rather use online search portals to browse for property in the comfort of the current home office. Conversely, sellers would rather have buyers see their home online and then make an appointment to view it in person than have their home open to strangers on show days. Both the homeowner and the agent’s safety is a concern, which is why the more modern media platforms have favoured over, the more traditional marketing methods.

However, even though technological advancement has changed the face of the real estate market, there is still a place for the traditional marketing methods. Along with all the online marketing and advertising that a real estate agent will use to sell the property, a sign board outside a home is still an excellent lead-generating tool to attract buyers. Research reveals that even in today’s internet age, a sign board outside a home is so effective that it can generate as many as ten buyer leads during the length of the listing agreement, provided, of course, it can be used in the area where the home is located.

In certain areas, municipal bylaws, body corporates and homeowner associations restrict the use of sign boards and show day pointer boards. While there are certain challenges, a ‘for sale’ sign is a simple and effective method of marketing a home and increasing its exposure. Although not all leads generated by a sign board will be consumers who qualify to purchase the home, it is still an effective marketing tool that increases the home’s chance of being sold.

To ensure that the generated leads are handled correctly, it is imperative that an experienced, knowledgeable agent is on hand to answer the calls from potential buyers and investors who are interested in the home. Irrespective of the methods used to market the property, be it modern or traditional, it is important to work with the right agent and brand. The homeowner should ensure that the agency they choose to list their property with has a system in place which forwards all lead calls coming into the office directly to the agent who is working with and marketing the home. The person who knows the property best should be the one who handles the calls from prospective buyers - this is the most effective way to ensure that the marketing strategy serves the goal of finding the right buyer.

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