BestAgent.co.za, a recently-launched online platform, is offering property buyers and sellers a new way to decide on the best agent to use by introducing innovative technology that transforms how they navigate the real estate industry.
In a market with more than 45 000 registered real estate agents, the task of finding the ideal one can be daunting. BestAgent.co.za tackles this challenge by harnessing technology to compile authenticated sales data and client reviews, evaluating estate agents based on their successful transactions in specific regions. This method equips buyers and sellers with the tools to make informed decisions, effortlessly identifying top-performing estate agents in their vicinity.
BestAgent.co.za is the brainchild of Stefan van Niekerk, CEO, and Marcel Koole and was developed to enable South African consumers to make informed decisions when selecting estate agents.
Van Niekerk, with a background as an attorney and conveyancer specialising in real estate law, has owned, and operated several real estate agencies. Koole studied computer science and owned his own estate agency for four years before going back to studying for his honour’s degree in psychology. He developed a mobile application for the insurance industry and spends his time finding new ways of utilising functional technology in business.
Together, they envisioned a platform that merges verified sales data and actual reviews from past clients with innovative technology to empower buyers and sellers in their quest to find the right estate agent.
“Our platform is a game-changer for anyone navigating the real estate market,” explains Van Niekerk. “We provide a transparent and reliable way for both buyers and sellers to identify the best-suited estate agents in their desired areas. The idea for Best Agent was born during the March lockdown in 2020. One year later, Koole turned the idea into a workable solution and the first property transactions were captured in June 2021. Currently we have close to 800 estate agents registered on the platform of which more than 100 joined over the past 30 days.”
He says technology plays a crucial role as the platform meticulously verifies all sales. “Once a property is officially transferred from the seller to the buyer at the Deeds Office, this data is incorporated into the platform and then independently verified, ensuring the accuracy of the data.”
He point out that, typically, South African homeowners change properties approximately every nine years. “Traditionally, the real estate industry relied on a model that involved persistently reaching out to these homeowners over extended periods, often without success, hoping they might be willing to sell their homes at that specific time. This approach consumed considerable resources without yielding substantial results.
“We offer a significant shift in this paradigm, placing the power in the hands of the buyer and seller. They now can engage the best estate agents when they decide it is time to buy or sell. This particular approach has a proven track record in established markets like the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, demonstrating its effectiveness and success,” says Van Niekerk.
Key features and benefits of BestAgent.co.za:
* Data-Driven Rankings: Leveraging technology, the platform ranks estate agents based on verified sales data and client reviews, offering both buyers and sellers a comprehensive overview of an agent’s past performance in specific areas.
* Empowering Informed Decisions: By presenting transparent and independently verified sales data, BestAgent.co.za equips both buyers and sellers with the tools they need to confidently select an estate agent that best fits their needs.
* Enhanced Market Navigation: The platform’s technology-driven approach simplifies the process of choosing an estate agent, ensuring a more efficient and informed experience for all parties involved in real estate transactions.
Koole comments: “By using data points like the type of property (freehold or sectional title), the location, price, the date when the sale took place and client reviews, we independently rank the performance of estate agents across the various cities and neighbourhoods of South Africa. All these data points are verified before it is published on our platform.”