Proptech is Helping Developers and Buyers Save Time and Money

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Property developments are the fastest-growing sector of new builds in South Africa, with plenty of demand, for reasons from zero transfer duty on direct purchases to the 2023 Budget having raised the threshold for the payment of transfer duty, giving buyers R100 000 breathing room before transfer duty becomes payable.

The property development sector is booming in South Africa, with demand being driven by a range of factors, from favourable tax breaks to the growing popularity of the ‘histurbia’ trend where people can live, work and play, all within a development’s walls. To meet this demand, developers are increasingly turning to proptech – technology that streamlines and simplifies the property buying process – to help buyers find their ideal properties more quickly and easily.

Moving on Up

Millions of South Africans are buying into new developments across the country as they increasingly meet the demand for a ‘histurbia’ trend - where they can live, work and play all within the development’s walls. “Developers are constantly innovating, bringing in new amenities and building for affordability to meet the huge demand,” says Flow Co-Founder and Co-CEO Gil Sperling. “That doesn’t mean cutting corners – but rather taking advantage of opportunities like the 2023 tax break to help bring buyers into the market, even as the prime lending rate continues to be pushed up the SA Reserve Bank as it tries to contain inflation.”

According to Sperling, developers are constantly innovating to meet the growing demand for affordable, high-quality properties in South Africa. “This has led to the development of new amenities and the construction of more affordable properties, even as the prime lending rate continues to rise. With the recent increase in the threshold for transfer duty payments, which gives buyers R100,000 more breathing room before transfer duty becomes payable, there’s never been a better time for developers to build and buyers to invest in new developments.”

Simple Social

While there’s plenty of demand for new developments, it’s also important to make it as easy as possible for would-be buyers to find properties that meet their needs, in their price range and in the area they’re searching in. Historically, developers have relied on traditional marketing methods like billboards and flyers to generate interest in new developments. However, the rise of social media and digital marketing has changed the game. Flow Co-Founder and Co-CEO Daniel Levy notes that developers are now using social media to reach potential buyers where they spend the majority of their time…. online. “Anyone in the market to buy or sell a property will have noticed an increasing number of relevant property ads popping up on their social media feeds - more and more properties are finding buyers thanks to proptech, rather than the other way around.”

Harnessing Proptech

Flow is a proptech platform which is revolutionising the South African property sector with a suite of tools that streamline the buying and selling process, Flow is making it easier than ever for developers, agents, buyers, and sellers to connect online. Flow’s software automatically turns property listings and agent profiles into ads that are displayed on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Google, reaching millions of people every day. This helps to establish a sound digital footprint for developers and agents, building trust and credibility with buyers.

Levy says that while increases in the prime lending rate have made purchasing a home more challenging, buyers can save money up-front by making property moves on social media. “When developers use Flow's tools, they can efficiently reach people who are looking for properties and new developments online. This increases the chances of these people seeing properties from sellers' portfolios on their social media feeds,” he says. “Proptech isn’t just a tool for helping developers and agents sell houses on digital platforms – it’s tremendously powerful in helping buyers find their dream homes, too.”

Proptech is changing the way we buy and sell properties in South Africa. With the property market set to continue growing in the coming years, it’s sure to play an increasingly important role in the industry.

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