Classifieds website Gumtree South Africa has announced the launch of a professional property dashboard, known as the Gumtree ProTool. Through ProTool, estate agents will be able to efficiently manage their ads and leads on the site, and draw comprehensive performance reports in real time.
“Gumtree is already a significant player in the property market. More than 30 000 prospective buyers and renters visit the Property section every single day, generating over 10-million page views per month, says head of property Kevin Bainbridge. “This alone makes Gumtree the second most frequented property site in South Africa.
“Now, by introducing a platform that will allow estate agents to easily import their property listings to the site, manage their leads, manage their ads and draw reports in real time that allow them to identify areas that require additional support or promotion, we are allowing them to maximize the impact they can achieve on the site.”
Bainbridge says the market has been “clamouring for a product that puts the control directly in the hands of agents. “Other platforms insist on full control and lengthy contracts, or place restrictions on the number and nature of listings that can be imported. There is thus no flexibility in a market that can be extremely fast-moving and volatile. By contrast, Gumtree operates on a month-to-month basis with no obligation for long-term usage, and enables estate agents to log in and modify their ads as they choose.”
Prospective homebuyers can also benefit from this approach. “Because the estate agents are holding the reins, they are the ones ensuring that the listings you see on Gumtree are up to date and available. The agents can also track leads and performance, which means your queries will be answered quickly. Essentially, the many gripes consumers have about old or sold stock being displayed, or agents that never get back to them, are now being addressed.”
Bainbridge says the ProTool service is available to all estate agencies nationwide for a fee of R1 500 per month, per branch, excluding VAT. “For this fee, there is no limitation on how many ads can be placed per month and all agents in that branch can make use of the tool.”
The introduction of ProTool follows Gumtree’s successful launch of a monetised automotive dashboard in 2014, and its recent introduction of aggressive new online safety strategies to protect both vendors and consumers using the classified site.
“Gumtree also already dominates the real estate market in terms of traffic for property rentals, and our aim is to build on that success now in the residential sales sector,” says Bainbridge, who notes that several large property groups in South Africa are currently finalising their migration to the dashboard.
The first of these is the Chas Everitt International property group, whose director Barry Davies says it sees great value having easy access to Gumtree as an additional powerful marketing platform that agents can use to benefit the property sellers and landlords who are its clients.
“Gumtree obviously has huge traffic and we have been really impressed with the results of our pilot run on ProTool over the past two weeks, during which our listings have already attracted thousands of enquiries and resulted in quite a number of sales and rentals. We will certainly be encouraging our agents to make use of the tool going forward.”