Straits Times: Wed, Aug 22
Singapore Press Holdings' revamped property portal is off to a roaring start.
STProperty (Stproperty.sg) has logged about one million unique visitors in the four months since its soft launch in April, said project manager Winston Lee.
By now, an estimated one million people have seen the site's improvements.
It receives about one million hits every month, according to research firm Nielsen. Its Facebook page has also received more than 40,000 "Likes" within four months.
Along with its jump in popularity, the number of property listings has also increased, quadrupling from 20,000 to 84,000 entries during the same period. These include private properties and HDB flats.
STProperty is up against other portals such as iProperty, which claims to be the market leader with an average of 700,000 unique visitors a month, according to a report in January.
STProperty's Mr Lee remains optimistic about the market's potential. "The website is still young and, right now, the website is experiencing double-digit growth every month," he added.
ERA Realty, HSR and Knight Frank are among the realtors that will publish exclusive listings on STProperty.
Agents can join the portal for free. They enjoy more privileges if they subscribe for annual memberships at $388 or $688.
The site also earns revenue from online advertising.
To gain a greater edge in the market, the improvements in the portal focus on equipping would-be buyers to make better, more informed decisions about buying property.
For instance, the site will include an updated stream of property news from The Straits Times and The Business Times. Reports from real estate firms such as Knight Frank and OrangeTee are available too.
Users can base a property search by proximity to amenities such as childcare centres, MRT stations or primary schools.
"Some parents want their children to get into certain schools and these searches can help locate available properties that are within 1km of the school," said Mr Lee.
Extra measures are taken to maintain the site's credibility. There is a team that checks on the entries to prevent agents from posting the same property more than once, said MrLee. The same team ensures that the listings are legitimate. When agents have exclusive deals, a copy of the contract must be sent to the team before the posting is allowed.
If a property is obviously undervalued, for instance, the system will reject it.
Besides the Web version, users can download the STProperty app on their mobile devices. Currently, it is available for the iPhone and iPad.
The mobile apps employ the use of geolocation services. House hunters can search for property listings that are near their physical location while they are on the go.
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