We recently told you about South Africa’s Buyorlet, a property platform that said it wanted to revolutionize the country’s property market with free listings, now, that’s good. But a new tech company dubbed Property Fox says it “aims to tackle “archaic” property selling methods and make residential sales happen, in some cases, at over 80% less than traditional estate agent commissions.”
Property Fox is promising customers the services of a professional photographer, floor plans and valuations, property analytics and buyer verification using online verification service thisisme.com.
Co-founded by Ashley James, who built and sold an online sushi business and Crispin Inglis, an MBA from UCT and Cornell University with two years as an analyst at a property investment firm, say there’s a huge gap other sites aren’t solving.
“We saw a gap in the market to help people sell their houses for a fraction of the cost, while simultaneously offering more exposure in the market,” said co-founder Ashley James.
The site works simply. Sellers sign up with Property Fox online, after which professional photographers will visit their homes. Together with Lightstone Property, a South African online property market intelligence company, they’ll ensure accurate property valuations. Once approved, the advert goes live on Property Fox as well on their partner sites.
There business model is simple. One week free trial then a preferred payment option – either a once-off payment of R25 000 upfront regardless of sale price, or a 1,5% commission on selling price.
“We need to impress our potential customer base within seven days, and show them how our services are not only the best but also the most affordable,” Inglis said.
Analytics will tell customers how many views their property advertisement has received, and how many resulted in viewings. Property Fox says its fundamental difference is that sellers host their own viewings as they know it better. There’s an additional fee to those who are unable to show their own homes.
Customers have both e-mail, live online chat and phone support systems to back up the online experience. The site is open to agents, franchisee and franchisor or property owners.
“Our research showed that unreliable home viewings, expenses involved and agent frustrations were among the most common challenges in selling a home,” said Inglis.“Property Fox aims to simplify the sales process, make it more transparent and above all, more affordable. If you compare our commission of 1.5% to the traditional 7% scenario, our customers could be saving over 80%.”