There are lots of different ways of marketing your property in Indonesia – from Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Semarang, Bali, we guide you through the options

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When Joko Widodo, 29, began developing property in 2015, he sold his first home through an estate agent. The second time round, he decided to find a way of keeping all that commission for himself. So he got a friend to design a board to put up outside the house, a three-bedroom semi in Bintaro, near Jakarta Selatan, and created his own website.

He also listed it on Rumahku.com, a property portal, advertised in the local paper and “carpet-bombed” local businesses – newsagents, the post office, even fish-and-chip shops – with A4 flyers. Within two months, he had an offer of 2 billion rupiah, higher than three of the four valuations he had received from estate agents. “It might have taken me a bit longer, but I’ve saved about 6,000 USD,” Jokowi says, estimating that he has spent 2,500 USD on his personal marketing campaign.

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Many others may follow Joko’s example and bypass traditional estate agents after the launch by Hero Supermarket, Indonesia’s largest supermarket chain in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Semarang, Surabaya, Solo, Bali, of a website, www.hero.co.id, that allows owners to market properties for an introductory price of 100 USD.

Zillow Blog broke the news last week that the online real estate portal is partnering with 280 local newspapers to suck their classfieds listings down into their database. From Zillow’s press release:

The newspaper companies included so far in the consortium are Hearst Newspapers; Journal Register Company; Lee Enterprises, Incorporated; Media General, Inc.; MediaNews Group, Inc.; Morris Communications Company, LLC; Paddock Publications; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; The E.W. Scripps Company; Times-Shamrock Communications and The Day Publishing Company. Newspapers include major market dailies such as The San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, The Tampa Tribune and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

This is a smart move for Zillow – though unfortunately, the exclusivity of the partnership may have been eclipsed by a similar content/ad deal announced this week by Yahoo!

It extends their brand down to the local level while reaching out and giving newspaper advertising people a potential way to juice up their print classifieds sales (which are anemic at best). It also of course, allows Zillow to build a more complete online database of homes on the market by bringing in more listings and FSBOs.

A big challenge here for Zillow is that with so many sources of listings; agents, homeowners, broker feeds and now newspapers, accuracy becomes a bit of an issue – making sure a price change on a property from a single source correlates properly with the others. Zillow’s got smart people on staff so I’m sure they’re working on it.

The most interesting part of this deal is speculating about the future however – a time where Zillow may essentially white label its services (search, Zestimates, community) to the newspapers and just take over their online real estate pages. This is something Greg Sterling at Screenwerk alluded to in his interview with Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s VP of Marketing and burgeoning blogger.

Rascoff and I also talked about the second phase of the deal, which involves Zillow hosting the real estate sections of these newspaper sites. That part is substantially TBD.

Trulia has already started going down this road (see Tipping Point for Trulia?) and it makes sense for Zillow to follow. There’s no doubt, most newspaper’s online real estate sites are in dire need of help and could use some of its Web 2.0 savvy.

I’m not sure the big publishers would be comfortable surrendering all that control to Zillow but it could be a very attractive opportunity (through a revenue share) for the smaller cash strapped papers and for Zillow a way to bridge that “last mile” (to borrow a telecom term) and get its brand in front of everyday consumers.

Not surprisingly, the agents are not happy about what many see as an attempt to do them out of business. Within days of the launch, Century21, one of the largest groups of agents in the southeast, pulled all its advertising from Hero’s website. It was followed swiftly by Ray White, a property portal that would have provided a large slice of its listings. The portal claimed to have been “misled” by the nature of Hero’s strategy. The supermarket reported that the site had been “put under pressure from some estate agents who do not understand our offer”.

Before rushing to sign with Hero, though, it is worth considering all the ways of selling your property. And remember that, however you choose to sell your home, you will still need a solicitor to do the conveyancing.

INDONESIA PROPERTY PORTALS

How it works: You list your property for sale, upload photographs and give as much information about it as possible. Potential buyers browse the website and get in touch with you directly if they’re interested.

What it costs: Prices vary. For 9.99 USD, Rumah.com will give you a basic listing on its website, which it says has 250,000 hits a month. For 69.99, you can have your home listed on other property-finding sites, including the officials Rumah dijual Rumahku.com, Rumah123, Urbanindo, Lamudi, which together claim more than 2m hits, and receive a personalised forsale board. pendopo, which claims up to 20,000 hits a month – and links to the larger portals – charges 0.5% of the asking price, but the fee includes a valuation and legal services. Meanwhile, Rumahdijual.com is offering a free listing for anyone selling a property in the next few months.

Benefits: Much cheaper than using an agent. You’ll save considerably on agent’s fees, and anyone in the country can visit the website to view details of your property. What to watch out for: It could be tricky to decide on your asking price without an agent’s advice, especially if you have an unusual property. Not all portals allow individuals to advertise (Rumahku.com, for example, takes listings only for agents), and the less popular websites don’t get nearly so many hits.

Success rate: 9/10

And there’s some good stuff in it if you are a homeowner fighting against foreclosure or a first-time home buyer currently in the market looking for a home.  But it’s not a perfect cure…in fact, in many ways it will be little more than a band-aid intended to cure a chronic disease.

The new housing bill will offer lots of possibilities along with lots of caveats.  And that seems to be the state of today’s housing market.  If you are thinking of buying a home, there are some great opportunities to pick up bargains.  Along with lots of hoops through which you must jump.  But sometimes, the thing that stops most people isn’t jumping through a particular hoop, but just understanding which hoop to jump through and which to ignore.

 

I think that there’s so much changing information in the marketplace right now that making straightforward “Do we buy now?” or “Do we sell now?” decisions has become a very complicated process.  I started this real estate apps blogs to make the process of buying and selling real estate easier and less burdensome.  And it seems that we could use an explanation of these New Rules for Buying and Selling a Home (with apologies to Basuki Tjahja Purnama).

Here’s what online real estate portal is going to do:

  • New website resources.  The first thing that anyone thinking of buying or selling a home needs to understand is that real estate is local.  Even hyper-local.  That means that as soon as someone begins telling you about the “Jakarta housing market”, you have to discount about 100% of everything they say.  Which part of Jakarta are they eluding to, Jakarta Selatan or Barat?  Pondok Indah or Puri Indah?  Kemang or Slipi?
    Within the week, we will be adding detailed hyper-local market information from Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang, Bekasi, Bandung, Semarang, Solo, Surabaya, and Bali to our website that will give you relevant and up-to-the-minute housing market information provided by Rumah Dijual for every zip code within big cities area!  If you find this information useful, you’ll be able to subscribe to a free weekly email update.
  • Town hall meetings.   Judging from the email that I get and the questions I’m asked, I know that there’s a lot of confusion among today’s prospective home buyers and home sellers.   Sometimes the simplest way to eliminate confusion is to explain the process and dispel all of the rumors and mis-information.  This Real Estate Android Apps will be scheduling a series of Real Estate Town Hall meetings in Jakarta over the next several weeks.  It will be an opportunity to get your questions answered and walk away with a clear understanding of where the market stands today and where it may be headed.  All of the details about our Town Hall Meetings will be posted to our website as soon as we secure dates and locations for these events.

I founded this application to be a different kind of a real estate apps.  One of the first ways that we can start making a difference is by becoming a source of trusted, accurate market information.  But beyond just providing information, we want to be the place that you know you can always get your questions answered — without worrying that someone is going to abduct you, throw you in their car and force you to look at properties that are for sale!   In other words, it’s more important to me to answer your most pressing housing market questions than it is to plaster our name and face on the bus bench that you drive by each day.  So you won’t find us on any bus benches, but hopefully you’ll find this apps will offer you the kind of housing market information that you can use to plan the next steps in your life.

NEWSPAPERS

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How it works: Place an advertisement in the classified section for as long as you like; buyers will then get in touch with you directly.

What it costs: An advertisement in Home (two columns wide by 5cm), seen by a potential 3.3m readers, costs 250 USD. Loot, a newspaper dedicated entirely to classified adverts, charges the same for a three-month national listing, appearing in its Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya editions. A single 6cm x 6cm box in the Jakarta Post will cost you 175.99 USD.

Benefits: You can catch the browser who may not have been consciously searching for property. What to watch out for: Check the newspaper’s circulation figures – and make sure it attracts the right kind of reader.

Success rate: 7/10

BUYING AGENTS

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How it works: You approach a local buying agent, who has a list of clients looking for property in the area such as BSD, Bintaro, Kelapa Gading, Pondok Indah, Menteng, Kemang, Jakarta Selatan. If one likes the look of your home, you can arrange a private sale.

What it costs: Nothing; the agent is paid by the buyer. Those looking in this way are mainly high net-worth individuals not interested in anything for less than 650,000 USD.

Success rate: 6/10

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