African technology developments aim to boost online economic activity

The global push by international technology brands to invest in the development and accessibility of emerging markets will be a key driver for future economic growth. We’ve seen how on a global scale development in these spheres can make positive contributions to alleviate unemployment and boost entrepreneurship.

These development strategies will undoubtedly translate into increased consumer spending online. In the past few years we’ve noticed a significant increase in the amount of users shopping for property on our digital portals. The advancement of these functionalities are evolving rapidly and are making major strides toward consumer convenience. The advent of Augmented and Virtual reality technology where you’re able to view a property listing in 3D in the comfort of your home or your mobile phone in a queue at the post office is more readily available.

Similarly we’re finding that client and agent communication is occurring more frequently on digital channels, which include our highly advanced user friendly Harcourts websites, social media channels and other mobile social apps. Harcourts invests greatly in technology and recently we became one of the first real estate companies, globally, to take advantage of and build our own member-facing app store on Appleā€™s Developer Enterprise Program.

As consumers become more comfortable with online purchasing, especially with the continuous evolution in the banking industry and development of mobile apps, we’ll see that filter to other industries. It is incredibly important for Government and corporate leaders to embrace these market changes to not only use it for their own client convenience but to advance the usage thereof for holistic growth purposes.

The more entrepreneurs entering the marketplace the better chance we have of increasing employment opportunities which benefits everyone, especially those who need it most. That is why internet connectivity is so crucial to this process as trading with technology can impact the success of a small business in a very direct manner over the short term.

Statement by

Richard Gray

Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer