The invasion of property listing websites in Dubai

There are few things faster than the construction of property in Dubai, but the wave of property listing websites in Dubai are definitely keeping up with the pace. Some are brilliantly designed, some are not. Some have current listings, others do not. So, which ones do you go for? To achieve the maximum exposure in a over-served market; all of them… right?

Wrong, and here’s why.

As a broker, you’re serving two sets of clients. The Sellers and The Buyers.

The Seller’s point of view:
The Seller wants to sell his property quickly and at a price that either makes him a good premium or allows for him to offload the unit quickly. When choosing a broker, a common question to ask is where you’ll be advertising his property. If you say ‘everywhere’ that’ll please him immensely, and all is well. In most cases, whether we like it or not, the Seller will also go to other real estate brokers, repeat the same action and the property will get listed as a duplicate on the listing sites. No problem for him, but a problem for you as you’re now competing with the other companies for the same listing, and a few dirhams out of pocket for the listing cost.

The Buyer’s point of view:
On the other hand, you’ve got the internet buyer, lets call him Joe. I’ve been in Joe’s shoes and it’s a frustrating experience. Joe naturally does a Google search on available property, sifts through many of the top real estate companies, and eventually EUREKA! Joe finds the if-its-in-Dubai-its-on-our-listing-site listings site. They have every company Joe’s just been looking through (except maybe a select few brokers), 1,000s of listings which allows Joe to compare like for like and get a good idea on pricing.

So poor old Joe starts calling the listings, and here’s where it breaks down.

1st listing: No, we don’t have anything in Dubai Marina.
2nd listing: No, that property is not available.
3rd listing: Yes, of course we have something, just give us your name, number and we’ll spam… I mean… get back to you

After 45 mins of Joe calling, speaking to people who seem to know nothing, he leaves that site, never to return again. Even, if by chance, he finds a property the entire experience was so frustrating that he will likely never go back to that website. From that point onwards you’re either wasting your money by listing on that website, or wasting your time trying to keep your listings up to date.

So why bother with these listings sites? A good listing site provides you with the tools to effectively showcase your properties, and gives buyers the tools to efficently search for a property. Why affiliate your companies with websites that do not deliver these simple advantages? Think quality, not quantity. If you want to find a good listings site, ask them a few simple questions.

1. Are your listings are constantly up to date? How?
2. Do properties disappear after a set date? Show me.
3. When I make a sale does it come off your listings immediately? How?
4. Do the market leaders list on your site? Who?

In my book, a no to any of these answers, or worse, a yes without the proof, means you should think twice before listing with them.

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