Proptech is the answer to the Property Industry’s POPI Problem

Proptech is the answer to the Property Industry’s POPI Problem
Proptech is the answer to the Property Industry’s POPI Problem. Image source: Unsplash

As an industry that thrives on building relationships and hunting leads from hard-won databases of personal information, the property industry is set to be one of those most affected by the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) in effect from 1 July 2021. In seeking to protect personal data from misuse, POPIA puts people in control of their own information and allows them to define how it is used – particularly for marketing.

Direct Marketing is Dead

The arrival of the POPI Act will force the property industry to change the way it markets to potential customers, as it affects the way in which data from a lead can be used for direct marketing – things like SMS and email marketing. Consumers will now need to consent to their data being used before they can be the subjects of direct marketing. Agents have spent years – decades – building databases of leads and clients, which will soon be rendered largely useless as marketing consent was never specifically obtained.

Technology provides solutions to many of our business challenges – and proptech solutions like Flow use the power of Performance Marketing on social media platforms to offer a POPIA-compliant, cost-effective and infinitely more successful and measurable marketing outcome. Social media tools monetise the way people use the platforms themselves, to target them with relevant advertising – and they do so infinitely more effectively than an SMS or mailer ever could. By signing up and using these platforms, they have opted in to be targeted with advertising and their personal information isn’t used without their consent – meaning that marketers can target them in an absolutely POPI-compliant manner.

Tracking Behaviour Trumps Personal Details

Advertisers on social media platforms don’t have access to users’ personal information – they simply target them based on their activity. On social media platforms, the data the advertiser receives from an audience interaction illustrates their behaviour, simply showing that they interacted with an ad which must be of interest to them. Where Performance Marketing comes in, is that it gives the advertiser the opportunity to retarget that potential customer with similar offers. Once the customer expressly sends an enquiry about a specific product – in this case, property – the agent receives their information and can pursue a deal.

In the property space, traditional portals offer an opt-in to their closed environment, which means that they control the information they gather. They simply pass on the lead to the agent, but not the POPIA-compliant marketing permissions required by the agent to further direct market to the lead – nor the audience data. With platforms like Flow, the information belongs to the agent from origination to completion, giving them powerful insight and full control over the information. This full access to lead information is possible because would-be clients were targeted on opt-in social media platforms, and the tech allows agents to re-target these leads with specific offers that are relevant to them, to maximise the chances of conversion. Effectively, driving traffic by retargeting allows agents to start building consented databases.

Proptech is the POPIA-beating Present

Not only does social media marketing solve the property industry’s POPIA problem, but it also maximises marketing spend and efficiency by automating listings and targeting people with the properties they’re interested in – not spamming them with irrelevant listings.