Published November 4, 2008

Property firms reach out with online portals

Knight Frank launches VirtualHomes; ERA ties up with


(SINGAPORE) Property used to be only a bricks and mortar game, but real estate companies are now going online in a big way to boost their profiles and sales.

Knight Frank on Oct 13 launched VirtualHomes, touted to be Singapore's most comprehensive condominium search.

With more than 2,500 developments online, every condominium and apartment in Singapore is featured. The search engine provides detailed information on a property's location and a summary of important amenities such as schools, transportation and shopping malls. Users are also able to 'walk through' the developments and their surrounding neighbourhood via a 720 degree panoramic view. All these are value-added enhancements beyond the basic information such as tenure, number of units, available bedroom types and typical floor plans which contribute to the 'identity' and 'aura' of each development.

Prospective homeowners are also able to check the prices at which recent units in each development were transacted.

'We have consolidated all the essentials that matter to home buyers and investors into each development featured,' said Tan Tee Khoon, director of Knight Frank subsidiary KF property Network. 'Harnessing the power of the Internet, people can now find out all the property information they need before engaging a realty adviser specialising in a specific development or district.'

Knight Frank expects the search engine to be a big hit with everyone in the industry - property investors, developers, sellers, landlords and anyone interested in private residential projects in any district. So far, about 5,000 people have visited the site - - Knight Frank said. The initiative will improve Knight Frank's reach to prospective clients so that they can make informed decisions about property investments, said Knight Frank managing director Tan Tiong Cheng.

The property firm also has a tie-up with ST701 in the latter's new condominium directory, launched on the same day.

Another property firm, ERA Singapore, also announced this week that it will work together with local search engine to give homebuyers more relevant information to help them choose the right agent and the right property for their needs.

The tie-up will allow ERA agents to add information about themselves in rednano's 'People' list, including their achievements, years of working experience and their personal photographs.

The ERA agents can also turn to rednano's maps to familiarise their clients with the key details of the area surrounding the homes or offices being offered for sale or rent. Information such as nearby ERP gantries and prices, ATMs and even 4-D outlets in addition to the nearest schools, clinics and shopping centres will be available.

'Anyone who is keen to know more about news or information on properties in Singapore can easily search online at to learn more about ERA, our wide range of housing services and even make contact with any of our friendly and highly experienced associates to address their housing needs,' said ERA senior vice-president Marcus Chu.