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Voted Best Real Estate Site … won Best Real Estate Website at Tuesday’s NetGuide awards. The awards are decided by the New Zealand public via votes on the Net Guide website. More than 200,000 votes were cast in this year’s awards

NGWebAward14 copy CEO Brendon Skipper said the win shows that are “doing a great job of building awareness of our site and building relevance for our customers”.

“We want to say a huge thanks to all the people who voted for us. This win would not have been possible without the huge support that we have had from the Real Estate industry in New Zealand and without the great team at

We have the most home listings in New Zealand and have a number of plans to further grow in the coming year” he says.

This year have grown in a number of areas including launching a new app dedicated for finding commercial properties and further developing the residential app, which has now had over 250,000 downloads.

More information about the Net Guide Web Awards can be found here


By Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager, – 021 618 537

If you have any comments or enquiries about the NZ Property Market or about marketing your property online, please contact me via Google, or connect on Linkedin



NZ Property Report – January 2013

The January 2013 NZ Property Report published by provides an insight into the state of the New Zealand property market as measured by the supply side of the property market over the month of January. The key measures of the market analysed in the report are the number of new listings, the asking price expectation for those new listings and the level of inventory of unsold houses on the market at this time. The report is compiled from data captured by the website and represents close to 97% of all property movements in the NZ market as managed by licensed real estate agents.

A full print version of the NZ Property Report – January 2013 is published below and is available for download (1.2MB) and distribution.

Summary of the market – January 2013

Property market remains tight over summer as buyer interest surges to record heights

The first month of the year is traditionally a quiet period, with significantly less business days, and therefore listings coming onto the market tend to be subdued. This trend continued in 2013, with the New Year starting with both low levels of inventory of properties for sale, and a sluggish flow of new listings. Website traffic in January was a different story though, with over 1.5 million visits to, hitting a new record (source – Google Analytics). It will be interesting to see how this increase in traffic translates into the REINZ sales data for January (released in the second week of February) and into both sales and new listings in February.

Asking prices rebounded in January, with the national (seasonally adjusted) mean reaching $440,507, just shy of the record asking prices seen in November last year of $446,277. This asking price increase was mainly driven by the Auckland market, which reached $607,226 (over $600,000 for a second time in history).

While some stabilisation was seen in January, inventory levels across the country remain low and the market remains a firm seller’s market across 13 of New Zealand’s 19 regions.


Asking Price

The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings in January rose by 4% to $440,507. It represents a 5% year-on-year growth in the asking price as compared to January last year. The highest year-on-year growth was seen in Auckland, rising 12.4% to $607,226.

The trend as seen in the chart opposite, continues to show strength in seller expectation, on the back of low listings, and strong demand in the main centers


New Listings

The level of new listings coming onto the market in January rose on a seasonally adjusted basis, with a total of 8,849 new listings, representing a modest 4% year-on-year raise.

On a 12 month moving average basis a total of 132,550 new listings have come onto the market since January 2012 as compared to 124,990 in the prior 12-month period, this represents a rise of 6%.



The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of January (43,506) was up slightly, when compared to December (42,513). The inventory as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales rose in January to 28.7 weeks, the same levels seen in November last year

While this increase in the last month was seen in 13 of the 19 NZ regions, the market remains firmly a seller’s market, and inventory on the market remains well below the long-term average of 39 weeks of equivalent sales.


Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

The national (seasonally adjusted) truncated mean asking price expectation among sellers rose by 4.2% in January to $440,507.

The main centers, Auckland, and Canterbury reported a rise in the asking price in January. Auckland rose 3.3% to $607,226, and Canterbury rose 3.5% to $402,742. Wellington reported a slight fall in asking price of -0.3% to $433,347.

In total 9 regions reported asking price increases, and 4 regions saw rises greater than 5%. The most significant rises were seen in Otago, Central Otago / Lakes, Northland, and Marlbourgh, with Otago showing the largest increase, up 8% to a record high of $299,845. Of the 10 regions witnessing asking price falls on a seasonally adjusted basis there were 6 that reported falls of greater than 5% with Southland falling by 14.6% to $225,541, Gisborne falling by 14.4% to $287,573, Wairarapa falling by 9.5% to $272,996, Coromandel falling 6.5% to $403,748, Nelson fell 6% to $424,463 and Manawatu/Wanganui fell 5.5% to $255,879.

A new record high asking price was seen in Otago, rising by 8% to $299,845.


Regional Summary – Listings

Overall new listings increased on a national basis, as seen in the adjacent chart and across the regions there were slightly more regions showing increases than falls.

There were 6 regions reporting year-on-year falls, with significant falls (over 20%) seen in just 1 region, Taranaki – falling by 30.8% when compared to January 2012.

11 regions reported higher new listings than January last year with Gisborne being the region to report the highest increase of 41.1% when compared to January 2012, followed by Otago who saw an increase of 27.2%, Central North Is with an increase of 24%, and Southland who saw an increase of 20.5%.

The data month for February will be interesting to review, as it is traditionally one of the biggest listing months of the year. Last year that total was over 13,000, Auckland seeing the majority with over 4,500 coming to the market.

Regional Summary – Inventory

The inventory of unsold homes on the market stabilised in January – rising back to November levels of 29 weeks of equivalent sales from 27 weeks (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Four regions (West Coast, Southland, Gisborne and Taranaki) showed increases in inventory of homes on the market taking them above their respective long-term average. In addition two other regions (Otago and Wairarapa) sit close to their respective long-term averages.

Market sentiment continues to favour sellers in 13 regions, with the greatest strain being felt in the 7 regions that are marked in darker blue. This includes the main metro areas of Auckland, and Canterbury which remain under pressure from low listings as measured against sales activity. 

Auckland saw some stabilisation of inventory levels in January, rising from the record low seen in December of 14 weeks, to 15 weeks of inventory in January.



New lifestyle property listings fell across the country in January, dropping 19.8% when compared to December. A total of 652 listings came onto the market, showing a fall of 2.8% when compared to January last year. The truncated mean asking price for these listings was up by 1.4% as compared to the recent 3-month average to an asking price of $653,269 (up 5.2% when compared to January 2012). New record high asking prices were seen in one region in New Zealand (Otago $600,500).



New listings for apartments in January were up 16.8% on a year on year basis, with 334 being brought to the market. The truncated mean asking price of new apartment listings rose 1.9% to $385,821 in January from $378,750 in December, and was up 10.3% on a year on year basis. 

The Auckland apartment market had 197 new listings coming onto the market, up 10% when compared to January last year. The truncated mean asking price of new listings in Auckland rose to $375,887 (January) from $352,787 (December). When compared to the recent 3-month average, this represents a rise of 0.5%.


For Media Enquiries, please contact: Paul McKenzie, | +64 21 618 537


Truncated mean

The monthly asking price for new listings presented in this report utilises the measure of ‘truncated mean’. This measure is judged to be a more accurate measure of the market price than average price as it statistically removes the extremes that exist within any property market that can so easily introduce a skew to traditional average price figures.

The truncated mean used in this report removes the upper 10% and the lower 10% of listings in each data set. An average or mean of the balance of listings is then calculated.



With the largest database of properties for sale in NZ from licensed real estate agents, is uniquely placed to immediately identify any changes in the marketplace. The NZ Property Report is compiled from new listings coming onto the market from the more than 1,000 licensed real estate offices across NZ, representing more than 96% of all offices.

With an average monthly level of over 10,000 new listings, the NZ Property Report provides the largest monthly sample report on the residential property market, as well as a more timely view of the property market than any other property report. The data is collated and analysed at the close of each month, and the Report is compiled for the 1st day of the following month. This provides a feedback mechanism as to the immediate state of the market, well in advance of sales statistics, which by the very nature of the selling process can reflect activity with a lag of between 2 and 4 months.


Seasonally adjustment

The core data for the NZ Property Report is seasonally adjusted to better represent the core underlying trend of the property market in NZ. In preparing this seasonally adjusted data is grateful for the assistance of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) who use an X12 ARIMA methodology to calculate seasonally adjusted data.


Background to is the official website company of the real estate industry of New Zealand, it is an industry owned web business providing online marketing services to the real estate industry. The shareholders in the business comprise the REINZ (50%) and five of the largest real estate companies (50%).

The business operates a portfolio of websites all focused to specialist sectors of the real estate market: is the heart of the business and is focused to the residential property market. It features the most comprehensive selection of property for sale and rent across NZ. The website attracts a significant monthly audience of over 475,000 unique browsers, with over 115,000 of those visiting from countries outside of NZ.

In addition receives over 29% of all traffic to property listings from mobile devices, including their iPhone and Android applications. To date these applications have been downloaded by over 134,000 users making the app the most popular property app in NZ.

nzFarms is a specialist website presenting the most comprehensive selection of farms and agricultural businesses on the market across NZ. At this time it features around 5,000 listings for all types of farms and agricultural land as well as over 11,000 lifestyle properties.

Prime Commercial is a specialist website presenting the most comprehensive selection of commercial property for purchase or lease on the market across NZ. At this time it features over 27,000 listings for all types of properties – retail, commercial, industrial and investment properties.

Prime Business is a specialist website presenting the most comprehensive selection of businesses for sale on the market across NZ. At this time it features over 4,300 listings for all types of businesses – retail, tourism, wholesale as well as franchise opportunities.

The web business of site is the most comprehensive real estate web operation in NZ, currently hosting over 110,000 listings, covering this portfolio of residential property for sale and rent, commercial property for sale and lease, rural properties and farms, as well as businesses for sale. With a subscriber base of over 1,000 offices, the company represents over 97% of all listings from licensed real estate agents in NZ.

The full NZ Property Report for January 2013 can be downloaded here (1.2MB pdf document). Additionally the raw data is accessible here as an Excel spreadsheet enabling anyone to analyse the raw data and establish any trends or observations.

Usage rights are governed under attribution to the source of the data being The next NZ Property Report for February 2013 will be published on this website on 1st March 2013 at 11am.

By Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager,


Online data driving a core change in real estate marketing

Posted on: August 6th, 2012 | Filed in Featured, Online marketing

As the property market has awoken in the past year from its enforced slumber brought on by the Global Financial Crisis and the consequential recession, the attitudes and practices of the real estate profession has changed.

One of the noticeable changes is the attitude-to; and usage-of media for advertising property. Heading into the downturn in 2007 the usage of the web by home shoppers was in relative terms, already high – the annual Nielsen survey at that time found that over 70% of active home shoppers judged that the specialist real estate websites of, Trade Me Property and AllRealestate (no longer in business) were the number one choice for home shoppers when looking for property information especially over the past 7 days.

At that time based on industry analysis, the total industry spent around $125 million per year on all forms of advertising. Despite the dominance of online searching for property the amount spent online only represented  just under $7 million, a mere 5% of the total industry spend. The lions share going to the print media – newspaper property supplements and specialist property magazines.

Now fast forward 5 years and the question is; have things changed?

Not surprisingly the active home shoppers judge even more highly the value of online search, now encompassing both the web and the mobile platform – that 70% figure above, has pushed out above 80+%. Most significantly though the attitude and behaviour of agents has changed. They are now using and valuing the web as an advertising medium not just as a classified listings site.

A noticeable change driving this, is the engagement the agents are having with statistics. Whereas 5 years ago agents would only (and in some people’s view “could only”) judge interest in property by how many phone calls they had had or how many people visited the open home; nowadays there would be many more active agents who quote the daily and weekly visitor traffic to each listing as well as analysing the make up such traffic, as to geographical source as is detailed on the website.

Such data was never, and will never be available for print media. The ads on the page generate awareness but have no tracking mechanism as to their value in generating interest or enquiry. Nowadays it is common to see vendors as clients are keeping a close watch on such stats and tracking them themselves as discussing them with the agent.

Recognising this growing focus on performance of advertising is driving a rapid uptake of online premium property advertising. From barely 5%, 5 years ago the representation of online advertising has already grown to around 12% of the total industry spend on advertising. That still means print media amounts to over $90m as compared to online at just $13m. It is very likely that expenditure online for real estate will grow significantly faster in the next 5 years to exceed 25% and power on towards 40% – the current level seen in Australia. That would see a diversion of some $35m flow from print media to the online world.

The proof of this hypothesis and analysis can be seen in all of the Featured and Showcased properties on the website at this time – vendors recognise the value in being more visible to ensure that they provide the best professional marketing to their clients. A great recent example of the effectiveness of online premium advertising is live on the site at this time. An almost perfect case study of 2 nearly identical brand new homes marketed on the same day by the same agent in the same suburb – one with premium advertising and one without.

Read the full details about these houses here..





Classic case study in online property marketing

Posted on: July 20th, 2012 | Filed in Featured, Online marketing

It is very rare to be able to directly compare two properties in terms of marketing. As we all know every house is unique and every marketplace unique as the property market changes day-to-day as the pool of buyers and sellers is so small, the transactions so lengthy and the buying motivations so diverse.

Yet once in a while we see a unique set of circumstances that allow us to compare true online marketing in what is almost a laboratory-like environment.

Today there are 2 properties on the market in Auckland. They are brand new, having been built by a builder / developer. They are identical in almost every respect. They are physically next to each other. They were listed on the same day and are being marketed by the same agent and they are certainly attracting a lot of interest.

Now in terms of marketing this is where we see the real laboratory situation – these 2 houses are being marketed entirely online – not a single drop of press advertising. What is even more interesting is that one is being promoted heavily using the 3 week Premium Property campaign – the other is a standard listing, with no upgrade advertising.

To be clear the upgrade campaign which costs $400 (inc GST) consists of a Feature Listing which provides top-of-search-result priority, 3 weeks of Showcase advertising which sees it promoted at the top of all search result pages for the suburb, surrounding suburbs and the Auckland region search as well as appearing on the home page. Additionally there are 2 Refreshes, these function as a top up – taking the listing back to the top of the search results and profiing the property again to prospective buyers through the daily email alerts. A very comprehensive campaign that is working hard to attract interest every day for 3 weeks to a global and local audience.

The proof in terms of return on this investment is in the numbers. The fact is online advertising lives or dies by the data – it is accountable and transparent and at we are overly transparent. Every listing on the site displays the daily traffic to that listing on the web and now on mobile.

So what about those results – they are impressive!

The “base line” property has received 383 views in 16 days (as at 20th July). The agent tells me that they have already had a strong and credible level of email enquiries – more than satisfactory considering the online only campaign.

The upgraded property with the Premium advertising package has received over 1,942 views in 16 days (as at 20th July) – a 400% increase. The response level of email enquiries is twice that of the base line property. Vindication that online is now the core component of real estate marketing and reinforcing the view that premium property advertising is truly effective – the data is there to see.

Premium property advertising on can be booked through the listing agent of your property – talk to them about this very cost effective solution – a 3 week campaign costs $400 or less dependent on the scale of the campaign, also individual products as part of the package can be booked individually from just $59 (inc GST).



Seven tips to selling your house

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 | Filed in Agent Tips, Buying / Selling a home, Online marketing

Buying and selling a house is not, and should not be considered an art – such an important investment / asset should deserve the value of scientific and mathematical analytics.

“Seven tactics for selling your home”  (Redfin – a US based real estate company) outlines facts borne of scientific data and analysis that should be read and understood by all property owners and agents alike. The data might be from the US, but the relevancy to NZ I don’t think would be disputed. Applying a local interpretation provides this summary.


1. Don’t overprice your property – clearly the age old dilemma of the vendors expectations being beyond the rational desire of the buyer to pay what they believe the property is worth. But did you know the impact of a protracted sale on the ultimate price?

2. Set your price to show up in web searches – as cited in an earlier post “So what price is that property on the site” pricing to search criteria on websites is critical

3. Best day to list a property – the US research says the best day to list is Friday, classically this is when the weekly magazines come out, but did you know that most searches on are undertaken on a Monday lunchtime – listing on the weekend with an email alert on Monday morning can coincide with the peak searching at work on Monday mornings

4. Stay engaged – pretty logical as your property is your most valuable asset so applying the time to the selling process would be a good investment in your time

5. Market the property online – with over 80% of real estate searches starting online this is logical. Added to this is the fact that each listing on is viewed for an average of 77 minutes per month; with the website recording well over 100,000 hours of viewings per month by over 240,000 unique viewers

6. Don’t move out of your house when selling – the US research shows a reduce price results as a perception of a distressed vendor

7. Don’t list when others around you may be suffering mortgagee sales – a panicked marketplace is not the time or the place to sell

Clearly there are many more – presentation, decoration, photography etc etc, but it is compelling to see the statistics supporting these key 7 tips.


Recruitment in this digital age

Posted on: September 20th, 2011 | Filed in Online marketing, Website news

We have recently been recruiting for a new Marketing Manager. It is always difficult to replace such a key role in an organisation; we were sorry to see her depart, but equally we much appreciated what she had done for us as she headed for a new and larger career opportunity.

The recruitment process for her replacement is well under way now with applications for this role compiled and the interview rounds started. We very much hope to make an appointment shortly.

I just thought that it would be useful for me to provide some feedback on this recruitment process in terms of effectiveness of recruitment marketing which might be of interest to others thinking about how to approach recruitment in this digital era.

This role of Marketing Manager for our company is a very nearly pure digital marketing role (we do some offline media) and as such given the importance of the capabilities we seek in digital marketing and social media, I decided that more than any other role within the company the candidates must be living in the online space. As a function of this profile for the role I decided we would manage the recruitment process ourselves rather than employ a recruitment company.

Let me be clear (for fear of alienating recruitment companies) I value the role of recruitment companies and have utilised them extensively in the past. We have used their services in recent times to find for us sales and finance roles. They add significant value in candidate database search, as well as the initial stages of recruitment screening and objective reviewing the interview process, as well as reference checking. My motivation for not using a recruitment company this time was not to save money. It was far more the desire to better understand the recruitment process, especially as it so closely mirrors the property marketing arena.

I wanted to test the various recruitment websites (Seek and Trade me Jobs) as well as to see the value of using our own social media contact network. In addition I was also very keen to try the recruitment offerings on LinkedIn. I have to apologise to the team at, it was my intention to use their services, however time was against me and I never got the advert established in time.

In total I received 50 applications for the role, of these I was able to immediately cull 14 as they were not able to work in NZ. They were from a variety of countries (US / China / Chile / India) and yet all had excellent experience and qualifications.

In terms of source of leads the most came from Seek (16) closely followed by LinkedIn (14) and Trade me (13); direct enquiries totalled 7.

However when accessing qualitative performance the outright winner was LinkedIn that delivered 13 credible and applicable candidates, Seek delivered 10, Trade me with 6, together with the 7 direct enquiries all being credible.

LinkedIn provide a great toolkit of solutions including a slightly spooky ability to “pitch” to prospective candidates who meet the specifications of the role and who live and work in Auckland. I chose not to use this service, preferring to act in a more passive manner. Their dashboard though is an excellent reporting capability that adds significant credibility and professionalism to the service they provide.

As ever, just as in real estate the recruitment process comprises far more than simply advertising; and this is the hard task we are currently undertaking to select a worthy new marketing manager. It is though very useful to have had the opportunity to evaluate the various methods of recruitment in the new digital age.


Mobile property searching – the way of the future

Posted on: August 24th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, mobile, Online marketing

Homebuyers who search for property online are also turning to their mobile devices to locate properties for sale. This fact has been presented in the latest survey undertaken by Nielsen in the annual Nielsen Real Estate Market report.

As would be expected, the survey continues to show the trend of online being the most preferred and useful source of real estate information – over 95% of those surveyed stated that online was “useful or very useful”- this as compared to newspapers which dropping down from 42% to just 38% (compare this to earlier reports when more than half of respondents stated that newspapers were a useful or very useful source of property information).

The key insight though came when the survey respondents who had an internet enabled phone were asked if they had ever accessed a real estate website on the device? – 32% stated they had. This is significant as whilst there are dedicated real estate apps for the iPhone (the app) there are no mobile website versions of any NZ real estate website. People are clearly showing that they are keen to use their phone to access property information when they are out and about.

The report also discovered that real estate researchers online were much more likely than the national population to own an internet-enabled phone or device, with 48% compared to 34% of the population overall (Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights, Q2 2010 – Q1 2011).

What is significant is understanding the behaviour of accessing real estate information on a mobile device as compared to a laptop or desktop. Computers on your desk or on your lap are excellent for the “lean back” character of browsing property listings via ever more extensive galleries of high quality images. This is why real estate websites collectively attract a daily audience of over 134,000 unique browsers per day when only around 180 homes are sold each day in NZ.

Compare this with the behaviour of mobile users – they want and need information that is contextual to their location right now – what’s for sale around me? / what’s for rent here now? / When is the open home for that property 2 blocks down? / I need to contact the agent selling that home! / I want to look at the aerial image for this street to see what the backgarden looks like… and so on. People on mobiles accessing property information are not casually browsing, they are committed, active, passionate property searchers.

Back to the survey, other illuminating information provides some great insight into these mobile users.

Globally the Android platform for smartphones is now the #1 market leader with a 48% market share according to Canalys report of August 1st, additionally the platform dominates in 35 of the 56 countries surveyed. In NZ however whilst no published data is available industry opinion (web search analysis) would have the iPhone with a leadership of installed users with a ratio of close to 3 to 1 – far different to the US.

It is therefore very interesting to see from the Nielsen survey that 40% of those surveyed whilst searching for property online who had a smartphone claimed to have an Android device compared to 35% with an iPhone or iPad. This result surprised us and provided the impetus we needed to get an Android version of the app (please be patient it is in development!).

Given the scale of adoption of the iPhone app (over 35,000 downloads since launch in Nov last year) we were keen in the survey to see firstly how many mobile device owners had downloaded and used an app and also which app they had chosen to use.

The survey showed that of the 586 respondents that had a mobile internet enabled device 7% had downloaded an app and used that application to search for property / discover property. In terms of popularity – the clear winner is the iPhone app – 49% people spontaneously identified that as their tools for property search.

The Nielsen Real Estate Market Report is based on a site-intercept survey on New Zealand real estate web sites conducted during May to June 2011 with a sample size of 1,219 respondents and a margin of error of 2.86 percent.

Specialised real estate search – Farms / Business / Commercial

Posted on: July 21st, 2011 | Filed in Businesses for Sale, Commercial, Featured, Online marketing, social media

Real estate as an industry is a large and diverse business employing over 15,000 people and transacting over 60,000 residential properties per year. As well as the residential sector the industry undertakes extensive activity in the transaction of commercial properties for lease or as investment, the negotiation of business sales and also the transaction of farms and other agricultural businesses.

Such diversity and specialization requires a different approach to web marketing, than a simple one-size-fits-all solution. That is why last year took the decision to establish separate websites for each specialist category of the industry. These websites – the farming site of nzFarms, the business broking site of Prime Business and the commercial property site of Prime Commercial have ably and professionally represented the interests of the specialist agents in each category and their respective clients.

These websites have just gone through a major redesign – a design which reflects the successful re-design of the main website which was released in May. provides the most comprehensive selection of listings by licensed rural agents for all types of farms and agricultural businesses as well as lifestyle properties around NZ.

The site currently displays 4,621 farms and agricultural business, with a further 11,807 lifestyle properties and lifestyle sections.

There are 9 categories of farms covering dairy farms, specialist livestock farms, grazing land, bare land, horticulture and viticulture as well as forestry.


Prime Commercial provides the most comprehensive selection of listings from licensed commercial real estate agents for all types of commercial property around NZ. The selection includes both property for sale as well as for lease.

The site currently displays 7,663 commercial properties and land for sale, with 18,613 commercial premises for lease.

There are 4 property types for leasehold premises covering office leased space, retail premises, industrial premises as well as hotels and motels for lease. The selection of properties and land for investment covers office buildings, retail property, commercial land and well as industrial land and buildings.


Prime Business provides the most comprehensive selection of listings from licensed business brokers for all types of businesses for sale across the whole of NZ.

The site currently displays 4,033 listings of businesses for sale from over 1,500 licensed agents providing services to business owners looking to sell and investors and business managers looking to take that first step on the ladder to owning their own business.

There are 12 specialist categories of businesses to search for on the site, from retail businesses to tourism, from age care facilities to hotels, motels and lodges. Whatever the type of business from just $5,000 to over $16 million!


The re-design of these sites is however not just cosmetic. We have added features and enhanced the presentation to make these sites even more effective as a business tool to these key audience groups.

More extensive search filters

There’s a property finder tool bar now located at the top of every page, which allows you to define your criteria. The selection is targeted to recognise the unique and specific types that exist within the farming sector, the business sector and the commercial sector. We’ve also extended the price range options and the ability to select surrounding suburbs by ticking a box.

Advanced search

This is an enhanced capability found on the Prime Commercial and nzFarms sites. Whilst it has always been a part of these sites it has now been upgraded to include much more advanced search criteria. You can now select multiple districts and regions. For example, searching for within the Canterbury region for Ashburton district, as well as Waikato region for the Matamata district, together in one search.

Other very useful new advanced search options are the ability to type in an exact price range (i.e. $740,900) and search by pricing method (i.e. Auction, Display price, etc.), as well as search by properties with a displayed address.

Larger images

The new sites display larger property photos on both search results and listing page. You can also view the properties in a full screen overlay, which shows off the listings to the maximum. You may notice that some listings have very different image sizes to others. We are constantly working with our customers to secure from them the largest available image which we process to give you the biggest and best impression of the farm, commercial premises or business you are interested in.

List view or gallery view

In addition to the standard list view of search results we also now provide a gallery view, which presents property purely by first image. You will also notice that all listings now have the ability to view all the photos from within the search results, making for a far more efficient process for browsing the property or business on the market.

Social share your listing

Located on the listing page, there is now the option of socially sharing your listing on Twitter, Facebook and Google+1. This feature enables any user to these websites to recommend a property to their peers and the rest of the world.

We plan on adding more enhancements throughout this year and next to these websites and will keep you updated. We hope you are as excited about these new redesigned websites as we are!






Energy efficiency – something worth celebrating

Posted on: July 20th, 2011 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Green, Online marketing, Website searching

You cannot have ignored the extensive TV campaign for “The Energy Spot” by EECA Energywise. This government agency has shared with us some of the myriad of ways in which we as a country can do a little bit to make ourselves more energy efficient. To all save a little, so we can all save a lot.

When it comes to your home the benefits of energy efficiency run deeper than cost savings. It can go as deep as your health and well-being. It is well know and often reported that the housing stock of NZ could be improved – making our homes more comfortable, warmer in winter, cooler in summer and healthier, while using less energy and water.

This focus on the overall performance of your home is the principle behind a parallel initiative: Homestar which is a Joint Venture partnership between BRANZ and the New Zealand Green Building Council. Through an assessment process homeowners can better appreciate the differences that can be made to the performance of their home. Armed with such information appropriate decisions can be made as to improve the living environment of your home.

The Homestar initiative was launched at the end of last year and involves a free online self assessment as well as a far more comprehensive and professional certified onsite assessment. As a result of the latter certified assessment; properties can be rated on a 10 point scale – the first of these properties having been assessed, are now on the market with the assessment rating providing a real point of difference in the marketing of the property.

At we are totally committed to this initiative on behalf of the industry and also as a service we can provide to buyers, sellers and agents by profiling these properties on our website differentiated by this certified assessment. Have a look at these recent listings of properties rated by assessors.

It is important to point out that whilst the rating scale is 1 to 10 the vast majority of NZ properties are rated 2 or below, rating a 4 is a reflection of a reasonable amount of attention to efficiency. Rating a 10 is all but impossible without being able to generate your own power and recycle your water. A new house built to the current Building Act would likely score a 4.

As stated we want to support the Homestar rating process and we are putting our money right on the line. We have made a commitment to the real estate industry to say for every property listed on our site between now and the year end with a certified Homestar assessment we will provide the vendors of that property through the listing agent a marketing package worth $359 – comprising a feature listing and 2 weeks of showcase listing.

Just to be clear this is not for an online self assessment- it does require a certified assessor to visit the home to undertake the assessment. The costs for this assessment are not fixed, but indications are that it would cost around $500. So we are prepared to give back to vendors who want to demonstrate the performance of their property a large portion of their costs in the form of premium advertising their property on – a powerful means to promote their property online.




Are signs of economic stress leaving the property market?

Posted on: April 21st, 2011 | Filed in Featured, Online marketing

Nearly two years ago I wrote a post asking the question “Have signs of distress left the property market?” – in retrospect this was a bit of an early call as since that time I am not sure we would collectively feel that we have yet got over the worst.

That article was written to analyse the searching behaviour of people using to seek out properties that were being sold with signs of distress and desperation as a function of the very severe economic conditions brought on by the Global Financial Crisis and our own recession.

Bringing this analysis up to date provides a perspective that things have improved – and some things have not!

Back in 2009 we examined 4 keywords that were being used in searches which we judged reflected an interest by eager buyers to find properties where the owners where suffering and in need of a fast sale. These words were: Motivated / Urgent / Desperate / Must Sell. The chart shows the tracking of the total for these 4 keywords over the past 2 years.

Clearly the searching for these keywords has fallen off – both in absolute terms (blue line) and as a proportion of all searches (red line). From the highs of 2009 when the rate of these searches was up to 150 per week the scale of such searches has calmed down to a level of less than one in every 200 searches.

However what is interesting is comparing the level of properties on the market which include these keywords.

Back in January 2009 there were 93 listings on the site using the word “Desperate“, 6 months later this had fallen to 67, now in April 2011 this is number is still 67!!

The phrase “Must sell” has 3,269 listings in January 2009, falling to 2,527 in July 2009 and today back up to 3,444!

The keyword “Urgent” showed up on 436 listings in January 2009, falling to 344 by July 2009 and today – up to 386!

The keyword of “Motivated” showed up on 1,377 listings in January 2009, falling to 1,080 by July and again today it has risen to 1,477.

So it would seem that whilst the urgency of buyers to seek out properties whose vendors are experiencing pressure of mounting financial stress has declined markedly over the past 2 years the use of these key emotive phrases by real estate agents on behalf of clients has not diminished.

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