Ricacorp removes fake online listings to boost public confidence

One of the city's leading real estate agencies has removed fake listings to enhance public confidence and the company's revenue, according to local media reports.

Ricacorp Properties, part of Centaline Holdings, said they filtered out 9,000 property listings from more than 15,000 on its website as they either had false information to attract customers, or they were duplicates of existing listings uploaded by different agents.

Chairman of Ricacorp Shih Wing-ching said that many of the listings on the market are a bait to attract more buyers to different platforms with prices lower than market average. Under the new scheme, Ricacorp ensures that all listings are commissioned by landlords and available for sale with real photos and pricing.

Society of Hong Kong Real Estate Agents, a representative organization for real estate agents, agreed that fake advertisements of properties was becoming rampant, according to a report of South China Morning Post.

To implement the new scheme, Ricacorp has invested HK$20 million in developing technologies including artificial intelligence and image recognition, and HK$20 million in advertising and marketing. It's expected that the revamp could lift revenues by 20% to more than HK$2 billion this year.