Property24 acquires Private Property, what do estate agents think?, South Africa’s largest property portal owned by Naspers, has bought rival Private Property.

The deal is likely to come under the close scrutiny of competition authorities as it involves the two biggest property portals in the country. Due to the impact of such an acquisition on the industry, Entegral was interested to find out what the perceived advantages and disadvantages of such a deal would be, both through the eyes of the consumer and the estate agent.  

Here are the results from around 250 responses received on a survey done over a 2 day period, mostly from agents and agency owners. While the survey presents a small portion of the market (according to the EAAB's latest annual report there are 19,424 registered agents and agency owners, excluding intern estate agents, in South Africa), feedback has been received from well-respected agency owners and agents, and we believe this gives a good indication of the current view of agents. The fear from estate agents is that a complete monopoly will be created if the deal goes through and that they will be held ransom to an increase in prices. This is clearly something that Property24 will need to address with the industry.

What do consumers think?
The general view of consumers is that there will be less competition in the market:

What do estate agents think?
3/4 of estate agents surveyed believe the acquisition will be bad for the real estate industry, and that something needs to be done. 71% of estate agents believe that the industry needs an agent owned portal, while almost a 3rd believe current portals do a great job, and don't see value in getting an industry owned portal in place. 
When queried on the pricing models offered by property portals, 61% believe they are overpriced with the rest indicating that prices are fair or provide very good value for money.  

Detailed feedback received from agents:

This is bad for the industry, typical move by big corporations to buy up the competition, take full control the market and push prices as high as they like. All this while the agents secure the mandates, do all the hard work and get charged a premium to load OUR stock onto their portal. It won't be long before they start charging us for leads! Let's hope the competitions board stops this madness.
Private Property and Property 24 are the two major and most effective property portals on which to advertise available property listings. As an obvious consequence of the removal / neutralization of one of these major players by Naspers, this merger will most definitely have an adverse effect on competition between property portals. Estate agents will henceforth be at the mercy of the huge Naspers Group when it comes to the marketing of their sellers' properties. As costs are increased by Property 24 at their own discretion and without any real competition, estate agents will have to pass these increases on to their clients. Estate agents and consumers will be negatively affected. In fact, it seems that this merger is only in the interest of the shareholders of Property 24 and Private Property.
A monopoly is never a good thing
No proper competition for Property24
Creating a serious monopoly. In my opinion the industry should not support this at all. We have given them the power and it's costing us big money.
Existing PP ownership is also not ideal for smaller agencies. Big boys estate groups are complaining because the tail end will not be subsidizing their costs at PP anymore. They will create a monopoly themselves if they were able to. They did it in the past with print...
Property24 is way too expensive and with the monopoly now, they won't consider the cost for the estate agencies.
Monopoly creates authoritarian decisions and industry capture. Competition is healthy and creates fair pricing and better service offerings
I think there should be a site that is only for estate agents no private people allowed and where the costs aren't exorbitant for the little agencies
This will create a monopoly wrt real estate portal advertising in SA. They will dictate the price & terms of advertising. Estate agents will have to abide by their conditions with no other viable/similar offering.
Competition is great for any industry. One company with a monopoly does not bode well for pricing for the end user
As long as Property24 is able to continue providing the leads (99% in my case).
Prices will increase for agent and may even be passed on to the consumer by the agent .
This will create a monopoly where industry is forced, based on a lack of competition, to pay for the services of P24 for the benefit of the consumer. The consumer always pays in the end. the last question in this survey is misleading - currently prices are fair because we have 2 very good players, if only one exists then prices will probably be increased and be unfair even though technological pricing should be coming down.
Too many same properties with dif prices
Competition always better than a monopoly
Depending if they will function as one entity or keep it business as normal. Not great that there is no competition. As it is, you can't compare the two. The alternative to create an independant would take a long time and millions of Rands
Anti competitive monopoly
I've always preferred P24 over Private prop - I get more leads from P24, so clearly you guys are doing something right, this can only be a good thing for us!
Worry about creating a monopoly dictating pricing for real estate agency owners
One central control will be excellent because lesser problems wrt feeds, duplicates will occur.
Property24 gives us more leads than Private Property and one operational webaite combined will be much better to pull all customers to one portal.
With only one player in the online advertising space it will leave the industry in a terrible position with regards to advertising competition and pricing.
One company will be in control.
They will have the monopoly and can make it to expensive where the smaller agency will fade away and bigger agency will be heavily billed
Depends....... how does this affect my pocket?
Property24 will have the monopoly and charge agencies what they want. Property24 is already a useless website, most of my hits come from Private Property. This is a disaster!
It's easier for the clients to use one portal
Creating monopoly where price fixing can take place!!
Property24 becomes unaffordable for the smaller groups and with them taking over Private Property, our small groups is left with only our own websites re marketing.
Monopoly issue. Property 24 is ripping us off
Monopoly in any industry is bad news to the consumer. Companies with financial backing should not be allowed to have monopoly of the market. Too much power is unhealthy!
Will create a monopoly where they will control costs and data basis.
Would create a monopoly further increasing their exorbitant costs
Pricing by property 24 is already high. When they have the monopoly who knows what will happen.
P24 is already billing us for leads that we never get. Pvt property will be managed the same way. They are exploiting our industry.
The customer service of property 24 is basically non existent. Private property have really sharpened their game and if p24 is buying private prop then the same standards and hassles will filter through to daily office problems.
We need competition
I do not enjoy any of these two, but simply have no choice but to use their portals to show sellers that I give wide exposure to their properties. Whether they continue as one or two businesses, I will still feel forced to advertise with them. In my opinion neither show any consideration for the real needs of their clients. No-one bothered to inform their clients of this transaction nor did they take the time to discuss any of the consequences. I feel ambushed, uncertain and annoyed!
By minimizing the number of advertising portals you are essentially enhancing the effectiveness of the remaining ones. Reducing duplicate postings and streamlining the consumers search.
They will have a monopoly and will take advantage and increase prices significantly.
Price control, now they' screw us
We as estate agents provide a service to our clients and we use these portals to market our clients property. It keeps the standard in the industry high as we compete to make sure we always offer a better service. If there is only one portal they can price there slots and basically do whatever they want. If we only ever had one beverage company - can you imagine what we would be paying? And we wouldn't have a choice! It's bad enough with Telkom and Eskom - competition ensures standards are kept high and companies are always striving to be better. No competition- then there is no "why" anymore no drive to be better.
There is a danger that fees will go up and there will be no urgency by other portal to offer new innovations and every possibility that the offering will deteriorate
Competition and monopoly
People's standard choice of searching for property differ and you have 2 x current portals with different visions when they where initially created. Single monopoly always kills initiative and challenge. Confirm again BAD IDEA for the Real Estate Industry
Healthy competitions is good!
A good idea, as we pay a fortune to advertise on both portals.
It'll encourage other international property portals to enter SA
Reduced competition means higher costs and lower quality
P24 will control the ad space wich is nit a good idea
An industry that loses control of a distribution channel is at huge risk. This is why so many airlines went bust in the states because they lost control of distribution to the travel agents who then consistently and conclusively hike their fees. The industry must have its own portal. At least with two rival sites competition kept each on their toes. No competition equals monopoly with the predictable inefficiencies and exploitative behavior
Serious effects on the competition levels in the portal industry - will undoubtedly lead to huge increase in pricing by P24.
Don't think a monopoly is good for any industry. Competition will improve the quality the pricing and the service.
Prop24 advertising costs will go up
Only if fees are regulated
We want fair competition to protect the sellers property on a wider marketing spread!
They will have a monopoly on the market, thereby doing whatever they feel like and we will have no choice but to adhere. Prices for listing service will sky rocket
Agents are already forced to disclose property addresses on P24 for higher listing rankings and now this would also be forcing us to do it on Private Property as well
Price and advertising regulations ?
Like any business there should be competition otherwise they will be able to do whatever they want. If will further affect real estate agents in terms of potential job loss. Something South Africa does not need!
There needs to be a strong alternative to Property 24.
Monopolies are never good
We need competitive portals, else we are going to pay for no good services.

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