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Nostalgia

Poor data verification in Property portals

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Hi,

 

Thought this was the right forum for this rant, but let me know if it is not.

 

I have been browsing property websites to get a sense of the market and trends for landed properties, but have been having issues with popular ones like propertyguru, 99.co etc.  The primary problems are

 

1) poor data verification - try searching for landed property in any district, then apply filters to EXCLUDE 99 year old leashold and Cluster House properties.  Despite this, most of the listings are Cluster Houses, and you have to drill into each listing to find out from the description whether you are looking at a cluster house, and whether it is freehold.  It would not be so bad if each property was not listed multiple times, which leads me to..

 

2) Repeated listings for the same property.  I understand it is a competitive market, and in some cases agents even publish listings where they do not have interior pictures or perhaps might not have the permission of the owner.  However, I'm pointing to a far more malicious practice of one agency publishing multiple listings of the exact same property, maybe each with a slightly different price point, to drown out the listings of other agents.  When you contact an agent for one of these listings, you are invariably referred to the agent actually responsible for the property.  What this does, of course, is make the poor user of the website give up reading listings after seeing the 8th or 9th listing for the same unit.  I've even seen the same agent post multiple listings of the same property,  presumably, again to 'improve' their search results.

With regards to the issue of duplicate postings, I have shopped in the US market before, where properties are consolidated to a common MLS (Multiple Listings Service) database, which serves to clearly establish listings where agents are marketing with owner permission, and allow agents to share information on commission structures etc.  A system of this type will go a long way to solve the duplicate listings issue.

 

I'm sure others will point out more issues.

 

Nobody wants to go back to the old days of poring through newspaper ads, but the websites are close to unusable in their current form.  The first property portal to crack these undesirable practices will surely attract more customers and ensure longevity. 

Edited by Nostalgia
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Hi,

 

Thought this was the right forum for this rant, but let me know if it is not.

 

I have been browsing property websites to get a sense of the market and trends for landed properties, but have been having issues with popular ones like propertyguru, 99.co etc.  The primary problems are

 

1) poor data verification - try searching for landed property in any district, then apply filters to EXCLUDE 99 year old leashold and Cluster House properties.  Despite this, most of the listings are Cluster Houses, and you have to drill into each listing to find out from the description whether you are looking at a cluster house, and whether it is freehold.  It would not be so bad if each property was not listed multiple times, which leads me to..

 

2) Repeated listings for the same property.  I understand it is a competitive market, and in some cases agents even publish listings where they do not have interior pictures or perhaps might not have the permission of the owner.  However, I'm pointing to a far more malicious practice of one agency publishing multiple listings of the exact same property, maybe each with a slightly different price point, to drown out the listings of other agents.  When you contact an agent for one of these listings, you are invariably referred to the agent actually responsible for the property.  What this does, of course, is make the poor user of the website give up reading listings after seeing the 8th or 9th listing for the same unit.  I've even seen the same agent post multiple listings of the same property,  presumably, again to 'improve' their search results.

With regards to the issue of duplicate postings, I have shopped in the US market before, where properties are consolidated to a common MLS (Multiple Listings Service) database, which serves to clearly establish listings where agents are marketing with owner permission, and allow agents to share information on commission structures etc.  A system of this type will go a long way to solve the duplicate listings issue.

 

I'm sure others will point out more issues.

 

Nobody wants to go back to the old days of poring through newspaper ads, but the websites are close to unusable in their current form.  The first property portal to crack these undesirable practices will surely attract more customers and ensure longevity. 

 

Let me address point 2. Point 1 above is beyond me as that clearly lies within the portal algorithm.

 

For point 2,  there are a few reasons why this happen

 

a) Open listing. The seller uses multiple agents to market his property, so there are many duplicate listing by different agents.

b) Team listing. This is mostly again open listing, but the entire team marketed that listing. They do this so that the chances of closing that open listing becomes high for the team. Anybody closes, everybody in the team get part of the comm.

c) Those without interior pictures. My suggestion is to ignore them. 

 

You are comparing with the MLS system in the US. That system works well because the sellers there only do exclusive. There is so such thing as open listing in US.  

 

To eradicate the issue you mention in Singapore, sellers have to do exclusive which some refuse to do. They refuse because they have had bad exclusive experience in the past so they rather go with open listing. But open listing introduces other issues which you correctly noted above; it frustrates the buyer when he look at listings which he may then ignore that listing altogether, bringing in less sales opportunities for the seller.

 

It will take a while for the property brokering structure to mature in Singapore. Real estate history in Singapore is only 50-60 years with CEA coming into the picture only in 2010. So hard to compare with the system in US, Europe, etc which has few hundred years of real estate history.

 

Hopefully one day we will reach there with sellers doing only exclusive with committed professional agents serving them. Then you won't have all these duplicate  and aggressive competition in listing which can be frustrating for the buyer.

Edited by Icedbs
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