Property owners turn to Internet to advertise

Amin Cheng owned an apartment. He was looking for a tenant and needed to advertise. Putting a classified in a daily newspaper would mean paying an ad every day until he found the right person. So he set up his own advertising space on the Internet.

This was five years ago. Now, his apartment in Hamptons Park in South Jakarta has a long-term leaseholder who pays yearly rental fees. On top of that his website sewa-apartemen.net was now relatively popular with 300 new ads per month, he said. In the meantime, he has created three new websites for advertising boardinghouses and apartments.

The development of apartment complexes and boardinghouses in Jakarta has opened a new web-based business opportunity, websites for real-estate advertising. Typing search-terms such as “kost” on web search-engines like Google or Yahoo! will direct one to sites such as infokost.net or kosjakarta.com. “Rent apartment Jakarta” will give you apartmentsjakarta.com and sewa-apartemen.net among others.

Other real-estate websites are rumah.com, rumah123.com, Jakarta-apartment.net.

Amin is an IT programmer who has invested his money in property. At his home in Bintaro, South Jakarta, he said that more people were looking for cheap ways to advertise their properties. “If you put an ad in a daily newspaper, the information gets lost when the day is over and you have to place another ad. While on the Internet, it will stay there for a while,” he said.

Amin said that people could place an ad on his website for between Rp 50,000 (US$5.22) and Rp 80,000 for three months.

Two years after he created sewa-apartemen.net, he started kosjakarta.com. “A competitor, infokost.net, started to mess around with my market and also opened their site for advertisements for apartments, so I’ve tried to get their clients as well,” he said with a laugh.

Ads for boardinghouses were fewer compared to apartments, he said. He gets 50 ads per month for kosjakarta.com. One reason is that one boardinghouse can contain dozens of rooms, so it only needs one ad to get the attention of potential tenants. Meanwhile, apartments are more individual. He also said that kos owners could still place a sign in front of their boardinghouse, while apartment owners really needed to reach out to people.

The current trend for middle-range apartments is short-term leases on a per-day basis, instead of long term. “Owners really need to lease their apartments because even if there are no occupants, they still need to pay maintenance fees per square-meter,” he said.

Amin also speculated that kos owners were relatively older than apartment owners and thus less tech savvy.

“A lot of kos owners are old people. Some are not used to technology. They would have to ask their nephews to place an ad on the net,” he said.

— Prodita Sabarini

The Jakarta Post | Reportage | Wed, September 26 2012

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