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Latest Flyers

Posted on: March 15th, 2014 | Filed in Real Estate Industry News

To help spread the news of our recent successes in NZ, we have two new flyers to show buyers why they should 1. download our app, and 2. look on Realestate.co.nz for their next home.

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Property Report – January 2014

Posted on: February 3rd, 2014 | Filed in Featured, Market News, NZ Property Report, Real Estate Industry News, Regional News

blue pen and small houseThe January 2014 NZ Property Report published by Realestate.co.nz 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 2014 is published below and is available for download (800kb) and distribution.

Summary of the market – January 2014

Growth of new listings seen, as buyer interest surges to record heights

CoverPage_Report_Jan14

The new calendar year starts with a healthy flow of new listings, which will help to meet the rising demand for property that historically is seen in the coming two months of February, and March. In total January had 9,267 new properties come on the market, up 5% from the same time last year. This increase in new listings was apparent across most of New Zealand, with 13 of our 19 regions seeing an increase in listings from January last year.

Early indications of higher buyer demand are already being seen by Realestate.co.nz, website traffic in January hit record levels, with over 1.6 million visits to the Realestate.co.nz sites (Source – Google Analytics). It will be interesting to see how this increase in site traffic translates into sales in the coming months.

Asking prices of new listings rebounded in January, with the national (seasonally adjusted) mean reaching $476,797, just short of the record asking price seen in October last year of $482,063. Record high asking prices were seen in Canterbury ($449,149 – up 11.5% Year on Year) and Otago ($304,720 – up 1.6% year on year).

Asking Price

SA_AskingPrice_Jan14

The seasonally adjusted truncated mean asking price for listings recovered from the fall seen in December, up  5.6% to $476,797 (from December), and represents a 8% growth on January 2013.

The trend seen in the chart opposite, continues to show strenght in seller expectation, on the back of healthy listings, and a strong demand for homes across New Zealand.

Regional Summary – Asking price expectations

Regional map of asking price NZ Property Report Jan 2013

National asking prices recovered in January to $476,797 (Seasonally Adjusted Truncated Mean) from the fall seen in December, nearing record asking prices recorded in October 2013.

Record high asking prices were seen in 2 regions in New Zealand; Canterbury, where the average asking price reached a new high of $449,149 (up 11.5% on January 2013); and Otago, where asking prices reached $304,720 (up 1.6% on January 2013).

In the other main centers, both Auckland and Wellington reported an increase in average asking prices from last month, Auckland rose by 1% to $663,372, and Wellington rose 4.2% to $463,912. Both sit close to the record asking prices set in their respective regions in October 2013.

In total 8 regions saw asking price increases, with 3 regions reporting asking price increases greater than 5%. Coromandel reported the largest increase, up 28.7% from December to $493,934, followed by Waikato, which rose by 9% to $381,413.

Of the 11 regions witnessing asking price falls there were 4 that reported a falls greater than 5%, the most significant falls were recorded in Central Otago / Lakes, Wairarapa, Taranaki, and Hawkes Bay. Central Otago / Lakes fell by 9.2% to $619,516, Wairarapa fell 7.2% to $265,828, Taranaki fell 5.7% to 325,241, and Hawkes Bay fell 5.5% to $331,032.

Regional Summary – Listings

Regional map of new listings NZ Property Report Jan 2014

New listings rose across most of the country in January, with 13 of the 19 regions seeing an increase in listings on a year-on-year basis.

Of the 13 regions that reported higher new listings than January last year the most significant increase in listings was seen in Coromandel, rising 39.8%, Central North Island, which rose by 29%, and Waikato, where listings were up 25% year on year.

Record low numbers of new listings were seen in Gisborne – which had just 52 new homes listed in January.

There were 6 regions reporting year on year decreases with Gisborne reporting the biggest decrease of listings (down 34.2%).

In the main centers, Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury saw an increase in new listings. Auckland reported 2,723 new listings, up 1.2% from January 2013, Wellington reported 836 new listings, up 5% from last year, and Canterbury, saw a 8% rise in listings, with 1,082 new listings coming on the market.

Regional Summary – Inventory

Regional map of inventory NZ Property Report Dec_2013

The level of unsold houses on the market at the end of January (40,219) was up, when compared to December (38,804). The inventory as measured in terms of equivalent weeks of sales rose in January to 26.8 weeks, recovering to levels not seen since April 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 37 weeks of equivalent sales.

 

For Media Enquiries, please contact:

Paul McKenzie, National Marketing Manager, Realestate.co.nz | +64 21 618 537

Notes:

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.

Methodology With the largest database of properties for sale in NZ from licensed real estate agents, realestate.co.nz is uniquely placed to immediately identify any changes in the marketplace. The realestate.co.nz 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 97% of all offices. With an average monthly level of over 10,000 new listings, the realestate.co.nz 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 Realestate.co.nz 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 Realestate.co.nz Realestate.co.nz 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:

Realestate.co.nz is the heart of the business and is focused to the residential property market. The website attracts a significant monthly audience of over 615,000 unique browsers (Source: Google Analytics), with over 130,000 of those visiting from countries outside of NZ. In addition Realestate.co.nz receives over 30% of all traffic to property listings from mobile devices, including their iPhone and Android applications. To date these applications have been downloaded by over 190,000 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 3,000 listings for all types of farms and agricultural land as well as over 10,000 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 25,000 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 3,500 listings for all types of businesses – retail, tourism, wholesale as well as franchise opportunities.

Realestate.co.nz is the official online property listing website of the New Zealand real estate industry, currently hosting over 100,000 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 2014 can be downloaded here (800kb 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 Realestate.co.nz. The next NZ Property Report for February 2014 will be published on this website on 1st March 2014 at 11am.

By Paul McKenzie, Marketing Manager, Realestate.co.nz

If you have any comments or enquiries about the NZ Property Market or about marketing your property online, please contact me via EmailGoogle, or Twitter

 

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NZ Property Report – January 2013

The January 2013 NZ Property Report published by Realestate.co.nz 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 Realestate.co.nz, 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%.

 

Inventory

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.

 

Lifestyle

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).

 

Apartments

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, Realestate.co.nz | +64 21 618 537

Notes:

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.

 

Methodology

With the largest database of properties for sale in NZ from licensed real estate agents, realestate.co.nz is uniquely placed to immediately identify any changes in the marketplace. The realestate.co.nz 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 realestate.co.nz 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 Realestate.co.nz 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 Realestate.co.nz

Realestate.co.nz 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:

Realestate.co.nz 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 Realestate.co.nz 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 Realestate.co.nz 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 Realestate.co.nz. 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, Realestate.co.nz

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Australian real estate industry lines up to challenge web leader

Posted on: June 27th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, International, Real Estate Industry, Real Estate Industry News

NZ’ers are always interested to see what is going on in Australia and when it comes to online real estate we here at Realestate.co.nz are always interested to see what is happening on the other side of the ditch. At the moment it seems quite a lot judging by the front page headline from the Australian Financial Review.

Real Estate Agents ready to “revolt” reads the headline. It appears that after more than a decade of benefiting from the online transition of property buyers from print to the web,  with the consequential financial savings; the industry is now revolting from what they see as exorbitant charges from the online market leader realestate.com.au (just for clarity there is no connection between our site realestate.co.nz and the Australian site of the same domain name).

Realestate.com.au (REA Group) has been a stellar success of web marketing, founded before the dotcom crash of 2000 it has grown from nothing to now be valued at in excess of A$1.6bn as an ASX listed company (the majority shareholder is News Corporation). The site holds the lion’s share of web visitors and around 95% of all listings. The chart below tracks the leadership in web traffic by realestate.com.au to its nearest competitor (Fairfax owned domain.com.au).

With this powerful position of dominance of the collective eyeballs of property buyers and the dominance of content, the company has over the past decade grown revenue from a couple of million dollars to well over A$160m. On average each real estate office in Australia pays realestate.com.au over A$1,000 a month and this scale of fee combined with the regularity with which they increase this fee now has the industry up in arms in a very public manner. The industry as reported in the article is looking to band together under what they are calling “Project Rebellion” to power an alternative website with which they hope to secure a competitive threat to submit realestate.com.au into reducing fees or potentially remove it from the market.

Could this happen? – the rich and comprehensive content of real estate listing is what property buyers seek, in theory they will go to the site that has the most content. That content is totally in the control of the agents, so in theory this is possible. However consumers are creatures of habit and have no idea what constitutes comprehensive content. A new website would have to spend a lot of money promoting itself to create awareness to say it was the “new home” of property listings online. At the same time the agents would all in unison have to stop using realestate.com.au, something many in the industry might be wary of doing as it is a very powerful and effective advertising medium for their clients listings with over 7 million monthly unique visitors.

The whole challenging conundrum is very well detailed in an article by Simon Baker in the Property Observer – his summation is that there is very little chance of this initiative having any legs. As a point of note Simon Baker is the former CEO of realestate.com.au and still remains a shareholder. As he states in his article, the publication of this story in the Fin Review last week knocked 5% off the market value of REA amounting to a paper depreciation of the company’s value of some A$80m – that personally impacts Simon.

New Zealand

What implications might this initiative in Australia have for the NZ industry?

In NZ there are really two key online real estate websites. Trade me Property has the highest level of website visitors. In the past month it received over 1.4 million unique browsers as measured by Nielsen online, by comparison realestate.co.nz received just over 400,000 unique browsers (as a point of reference there were just 5,766 properties sold in the month, which just goes to show the casual browsing appeal of property to kiwis). In terms of content realestate.co.nz holds the most comprehensive selection of listings from licensed agents – around 95% of all such listings. Trade me property has more listings in total on their site, however their licensed real estate listings are supplemented by a significant number of private sale listings.

Trade me Property is owned by Fairfax media whereas Realestate.co.nz is owned by two shareholders – the Real Estate Institute holds 50% and the balance is held by 6 of the larger real estate companies (Harcourts, Harveys, Ray White, Bayleys, Barfoot & Thompson and LJ Hooker).

In NZ there is a disparity of what each website charges for its services to its agent. Realestate.co.nz has a two tier subscription based on office size. Large offices (more than 6 active salespeople) are charged $300 per month with small offices $225 per month. The charges for Trade me are higher at $799 per month. Certainly the real estate companies in NZ do not pay as much as their counterparts in Australia, however when seen in perspective of the relevance of online marketing and how much it has made print media so redundant for property marketing, it is somewhat surprising that this reaction is happening at all.

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New Year brings new business models for real estate

Posted on: February 8th, 2011 | Filed in Featured, Online marketing, Real Estate Industry News

It is often said that the best time to launch a new company is in the depths of a recession. To survive in the midst of such adversity should surely provide a proof of the potential when and if the recovery comes, and the economy begins again to fire on all cylinders.

Well, we are from all accounts climbing; albeit slow out of recession across the general economy. The real estate market though is still not as yet firing on all cylinders. Sales in 2010 were barely above the all time low of 56,071 in 2008 at just 56,303.

When compared to the 5 year period of 2003 to 2007 when the average total year sales were just under 107,000 it is very clear to see how slow the property market has become in recent years. Even during the recession of the Asian Crisis of 1997/8 the average sales volumes during those years was over 80,000.

So despite this slow market it is therefore not surprising to see some new companies emerging in the real estate market. With these new companies comes some new approaches which clearly are trying to define a new business model to attract what is still a significant business.

The real estate industry in the residential sector alone accounted for total transacted sales of just under $25 billion in the last year. With an average commission of around 3.5% that adds us to close to $850 million in fees earned by the industry per annum in the depth of the property market recession. In the height of the market the figure reached over $1.4 billion.

Such revenue opportunity supports a large industry of over 11,000 sales agents working out of a total of close to 1,100 offices around the country.

These new entrants to the market that have emerged over the past couple of months share a two key things in common:

1. They focus on online marketing

2. They offer a lower fee for selling a property

The two most recent companies to highlight are 200Square and The Property Market. Additionally it has recently been speculated that Mike Pero may be looking to enter the property market. It is interesting but not surprising that the proposed concepts is also a solution based on a lower fee structure combined with a focus on online marketing.

NZ Real Estate  - new business models for 2011Late last year details emerged of an Australian company Refund Real Estate looking to enter the market with a rebate scheme of fees and a focus towards online marketing.

This focus online is logical. As has been detailed in the blog previously the focus of property buyers and sellers is to use the web first and foremost for searching and researching property. This focus online in the home or the office is now fast being complemented by the evolution of the mobile real estate applications. At this stage with the Realestate.co.nz iPhone app which is gaining significant traction and usage, with over 14,000 downloads and well over 1,500 daily users. So for smart new companies to advocate the priority to online marketing is both logical and appealing as in so doing they not only save their clients significant amounts of money compared to print advertising, but also provide great analysis of lead generation.

The other aspect of these new companies, being the low fee offering as compared to the established operators. Certainly the consumer appeal of paying a flat fee or a lower percentage is undoubtedly strong, the key question will be as to the ability of these companies to make the business model work. There have been those who have tried and succeeded with a low fee structure, uniquely in the Christchurch market with Diane Astle and Premier Real Estate both offering a 1% fee service. Equally there have been those who have tried and failed, most notably The Jones.

What is certain is that the web marketing advocated by these new companies is pointing the way to the future for this industry, with it comes cost savings for vendors as compared to print media. As for the fees for professional services of real estate agents – the judgment will ultimately be made by the consumer who will trust in agents that deliver true value whether that will be in a low fee, or a full fee structure will be interesting to see and well worth watching as the year progresses.

5

The smartest agents recognise the power of technology – how we are helping

fore-logo-homeLater this week Realestate.co.nz will host its first ever conference focused on the role that technology in all its forms is having on the real estate industry. Titled the “Future of Real Estate” the conference to be held on Friday 3rd September at Waipuna conference centre in Auckland and will feature both domestic and international speakers as well as workshop sessions focused to the key business tools of the web – Facebook, blogs and Twitter.

The conference is very much influenced by the experiences I have encountered in attending the Inman Connect conferences in the states each year. Coupled with the style and richness of the Inman conference the NZ conference echos a quotation which I first heard at least 3 years ago and still to this day rings so true:

“Traditional agents will not be replaced by technology.. they will be replaced by agents with technology”

The quote comes from an Australian real estate conference and every time I use it; it reinforces to me the critical requirement of real estate professionals to recognise that technology is not the threat, but rather it is the means to take a giant step forward and surpass all those in the industry who believe technology is the threat. Over these past years I have been keen to get together an event in which we can help those in this industry who want to move ahead and who are keen to meet like minded individuals and listen and collaborate with the best in the business. This conference is the realisation of this ambition.

The event features some great contributors:

From the US we have invited Joel Burslem. Joel is a respected expert within the real estate industry. He is a blogger, real estate marketer and consultant. He founded the Future of Real Estate Marketing blog whilst working at Inman  News and now is a key part of the consultancy firm of 1000 Consulting. Joel will be providing an overview of the trends in digital marketing around the world with detail around the role of social media in this industry.

From closer to home we have Nicholas O’Flaherty who is MD of Bullet PR, a respected specialist media consultancy company whose clients value the skills and innovation Nicholas’ company brings to the implementation of social media. Bullet recently hosted the enormously popular Social Media Junction conference with outline plans for a further event later in the year. Nicholas will be picking up on Joel’s presentation and bringing the local perspective as well as the practical examples of the best in the marketplace today in NZ using all forms of social media.

Addressing the ever present question in relation to the web – that of search we are very pleased to have Charles Coxhead joining the conference. Charles has a long and distinguished career specialising in search. As an online search and marketing consultant he has worked with clients such as Air New Zealand, Expedia as well as Realestate.co.nz. He will bring some focus to the ever evolving search landscape that nowadays transends beyond just Google into real time search as well as hyper local search and in so doing will apply the test as to the relevance for the real estate industry.

Our final keynote speaker is Simon Baker. Simon is well known and highly regarded within the real estate industry primarily in Australia where for 7 years he lead the stellar growth of realestate.com.au into the substantial ASX listed company with revenues exceeding A$160m. Since leaving the REA group, Simon has persued a strategy as an investor and consultant, his focus in online classified businesses with international scale and within that area he has investments in a number of Asian real estate portals. He brings to the conference a reflection on the criticality of the real estate portals and the heart of the business which is exposure to real estate listings through online marketing. He will also provide some interesting insight into the comparison of development between Australasia, Europe, US and Asia when it comes to real estate online.

The event promises to be a fast paced, rich content experience which in addition to the keynote presentations will feature workshop sessions on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and online etiquette. The day culminates with a panel discussion on the topic of the future of real estate and its implications for all involved in the industry.

The event is for the real estate industry and anyone involved in the industry at whatever level or in whatever capacity is welcome to register. There is a limited number of spaces still available so if you are interested please register before the event as registrations need to be made online prior to the event.

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New appointee directors and independent Chairman for REINZ

Posted on: July 15th, 2010 | Filed in Real Estate Industry, Real Estate Industry News

Rosanne Meo - Briscoe Group AGM - Photo - LIFEThe Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) has announced that it has completed the appointment of the new board which will provide future governance for the industry member organisation. Key to these appointments are two independent directors – Dr Richard Janes and Rosanne Meo, who will take on the role of Chairman.

Additionally the 9 person board will comprise two industry representatives with extensive management experience, these being Bryan Thomson (Head of Australasian operation for Harcourts) and David Rankin (Chair of the Real Estate Network in Christchurch. The 5 other directors are all regionally elected representatives Jean Smith, Auckland; Philip Searle, Gisborne; Euon Murrell, Wellington; Paul Hedwig, Nelson; Liz Nidd, Dunedin.

The appointment of these directors completes the final stage of transition of the organisation from being a mandatory legislated body under the former 1976 Real Estate Agents Act to a new independent member representative organisation freed from the legislative requirements with the passing of the 2008 Real Estate Agents Act.

The governance model of REINZ formerly operated through a Council will elected representatives and a National President elected biannually from within the Council. This new structure which operates under a new constitution. With this new board comprising as it does independent directors and industry experts, it will certainly be keen to present the organisation to the industry as a valuable resource to help promote and advocate for the benefit of the industry and its members.

Full disclosure: Realestate.co.nz Ltd of which Unconditional is a part, is 50% owned by REINZ.

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When in doubt ask “WWGD” What would Google do?

Posted on: June 17th, 2010 | Filed in Agent Tips, Real Estate Industry News

What would Google do? - Jeff Jarvis, NZ Real estateThe previous post on the subject of aspiring new real estate publicly proclaim their intention to seek a license, posed the question “There has to be a better solution” than using the old medium of public notices in newspapers. Well the fact is there is a better solution.

That better solution lies in the answer to the smarter question:

What would Google Do?

This is both a smart question, but also the title of a great book written by the excellent commentator and leading light for the future of business – Jeff Jarvis.

The answer as to “what would Google do” in this situation is as follows.

The purpose of the REAA insisting that aspiring real estate agents / salespeople make a public notice of their intention (I am making this assumption and I welcome and encourage input and feedback from the REAA) is to allow anyone who has an objection to raise that objection so that it can be heard and in so doing ensure that the industry solely comprises people with high public standing.

So what I am suggesting is finding a way to make the intentions of aspiring real estate people public. In this way  so  if there are people who have genuine concerns, then those concerns can be heard. So here is my suggested solution.

A website is built onto which all aspiring real estate salespeople register their details. This can also provide them with the opportunity to use the web to link to referral documents and repositories of information which will support their status – specifically profile pages on LinkedIn, their own website or Facebook profile (if that is appropriate).

Having aggregated this database on a single site on the web, the key thing is making it easily found. This requires search engine marketing. The key to successful search engine marketing is the link economy and contextual content. Hosting this website / database as part of Realestate.co.nz would provide both of these requirements straight off. Realestate.co.nz is a highly Google indexed site for all matters concerning NZ real estate, this would provide this service instant visibility in Google search.

In addition the use of keyword marketing using Google Adwords would ensure that peripheral searches around keywords such as “new agents” “agent profiles” “public register” would point back to the database and direct those who want to be know who is seeking appointment a direction to take to find the answer.

Further using the standard tools of the web, would allow anyone to set up email alerts or RSS feeds filtered to locations or names so that should anyone have any reason to be alerted to as to a person’s aspiration, technology can come to the rescue.

Should anyone have any concern around privacy then they should address that to the REAA, after all it is their requirement that people have a obligation to openly disclose their public request for “approval” – if they have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear.

This functionality is very simple, it is more importantly far more effective than using the 19th century mode of public notices in newspapers – surely the real estate industry can be seen to embrace new technology with all its benefits and efficiency.

What I have described is what is needed and is in my judgment the answer to the question “What would Google do”? – the question is now posed to the REAA – would you like us here at Realestate.co.nz to build it?

Here is an open public offer to the industry and the REAA – we will build this system and database and undertake the search engine marketing activity around it. We are an industry owned website and in our judgment this is in the best interests of the industry – those in it today and though keen to enter its ranks – at the very least we can save a significant amount of wasted money propping up dead sections of newspapers.

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Links to the REINZ Plain English Forms

Posted on: August 13th, 2009 | Filed in Real Estate Industry News

Below are quick links to samples of the recently introduced REINZ Plain English forms.

1.         REINZ Agreement form: Section A of the Agreement for Buying and Selling Real Estate

2.         REINZ Auction Agreement form: Section A of the Agreement for Buying and Selling Real Estate by Auction

3.         REINZ Tender Agreement form: Section A of the Agreement for Buying and Selling Real Estate by Tender

4.         REINZ book of standard clauses which accompanies every agreement: Section B of the Agreement for Buying and Selling Real Estate

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Plain English Forms – REINZ Agreement for Buying and Selling Real Estate

Posted on: June 29th, 2009 | Filed in Real Estate Industry News

REINZ have drafted new forms for the sale and purchase of real estate in New Zealand. I recently attended a seminar in Thames where Tim Jones of Glaister Ennor presented and explained the new agreements to local real estate agents and salespeople. Anyone who is already familiar with the current forms for sale and purchase, will appreciate that they are NOT written in plain English. Aside from the actual content, the design and layout is not conducive to faxing. By the time an offer has gone back and forth a few times through the facsimile machine, the agreement is barely legible – fortunately more and more people have access to email, as a scanned agreement maintains far more of its original clarity.

At this stage the new forms include the following three: (more…)

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