Industry & Real Estate

Wednesday, 28 November 2007 10:25

Real movies the way to sell

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{pp}Harnessing the power of technology, Dogon Group Properties is pioneering an innovative multimedia marketing concept in South Africa that founder Denise Dogon believes will have a huge impact on the way properties will be shown to potential buyers in the future. 

The explosive growth in internet usage worldwide and the huge popularity of the free video sharing website YouTube inspired the Dogon Group to launch a pilot project in Noordhoek a year ago to test the value of “real movie” technology, the latest trend in global property marketing.  The pilot proved such a success in providing a real taste of each property to buyers, including those based overseas, that the concept is now being implemented in all Dogon’s offices on the Atlantic Seaboard.

The new methodology entails making short movies of top-end properties that are conducive to being filmed, which purchasers may view on a new link, on the company’s website, on YouTube on the internet, or on DVD in the comfort of their own homes. The Dogon Group has an experienced in-house film-maker, dedicated to professionally filming and editing the high definition movies, complete with soundtracks selected to express the atmosphere in each individual home.

Dogon points out that these are real movies, and not to be confused with the still photographs patched together to create a “virtual tour.”  The movies create an impression almost of walking through the property beside the cameraman, making the experience come alive to viewers and enabling them to fully capture the essence of each home.

“Buyers have an infinitely better impression of what it would be like to actually live in the house they are viewing, as the camera takes them around the interior, showing overviews of the rooms and details of unique features,” says Dale de Ridder, one of the company’s top agents, who was instrumental in introducing the concept to the Dogon Group, together with her husband Hans, who assists her by making the movies.  “The ‘live’ shots of the views that can be seen from the property, such as waves breaking on the beach and people strolling along the shore, also help to provide a complete viewing experience, without the viewer having to put his imagination to the test.”

Dogon says this new viewing strategy saves buyers’ time: up to 10 movies can be viewed in the time it would take to visit one property, and unsuitable properties can be eliminated immediately.  Buyers can be given a take-away DVD “brochure”, enabling them to view properties on their home computer or televisions screens at a time that best suits them.

Out-of-town buyers can also take a DVD away to show properties to family, friends or investors.   In addition, the Dogon Group can provide “local area highlights” movies, showing the special features of a particular suburb, such as horseriding in Noordhoek’s rural environment.  An e-mail link allows interested buyers to interact with the company.

The property movies hold advantages for sellers, too: only serious buyers will visit their homes, minimising intrusion into their private space and avoiding time wasting, she says.  Through this hi-tech marketing method, a property can be also be given greater exposure, and  shown simultaneously to many prospective buyers worldwide as the company can cut as many DVDs as required. 

A property can even be “shown” when the seller is away, either by means of a three-to-six minute movie on DVD, or via a compressed version on the internet, comprising short segments on the exterior, interior and features of the property. The seller will also be given a copy of the DVD, providing a lasting memento of the home he is selling.

Dogon says the full value of making the real property movies suddenly struck her while watching a television programme on CNN, which showed how YouTube would change the face of this year’s American presidential elections, enabling individuals to turn their questions into videos that could be broadcast and answered by presidential candidates on live television. “It struck me that the whole world is now operating very differently, communicating more and more via screen technology and the internet, and that we needed to get our own ‘YouTube’ of property.”

Dogon believes her company is the first in South Africa to present this multimedia concept.  Her firm has embraced cutting-edge technology right from its inception, setting new trends in the property industry with the introduction of the property café concept, and plasma screens for viewing property in a sophisticated lounge environment.

Contact Details:
17 Regent Road
Sea Point, Cape Town
South Africa
Tel: +27 21 433 2580

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