The Unconditional Blog

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Archive for the ‘Website searching’ Category

1

Mortgagee properties lose some of their lustre

Posted on: April 22nd, 2009 | Filed in Media commmentary, Website searching

There was a time just a few weeks ago when the media wires were abuzz over the shear scale of mortgagee property sales. It reached a crescendo in mid February with the somewhat exceptional Sunday Star Times headline of Mortgagee sales rise ‘frightening’

Well it appears that our national fascination for such properties has waned significantly both in terms of the interest in searching for such property and also for the availability for such properties on the market. The chart below shows the level of inventory of mortgagee listings (blue area of the graph) tracked against the level of searching for the keyword of ‘mortgagee’ on the site (red line) as represented by the % of all keyword searches each week.

Mortgagee listings and search data NZ - Realestate.co.nz April 2009The word ‘mortgagee’ is still the #1 search phrase on the site with over 1,000 searches in the past week, however this was dwarfed by levels of 3,500 per week in mid February – such is the power some might say of the media to drive interest in this property market.

In addition to a cooling of searching interest the number of mortgagee property listings on the website has been steadily declining with the level of new listings not keeping pace with those on the market finding buyers. From a peak of 412 listings in the second week of February the number has declined to the latest level of just 335. Out of interest this total is an audited number that excludes listings (18) which seek to leverage the keyword of mortgagee to attract viewer attention.

On a regional basis the majority of mortgagee properties definitely lies within the main metropolitan centers with Auckland accounting for 45% of all the listings closely followed by 17% in Canterbury, then followed by the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato with 7% a piece and Wellington a distant player with just 3% of all listing. The graph below shows the average number of listings over the past 6 weeks as compared to a year ago.

Mortgagee listings by region of NZ - realestate.co.nz April 2009The trend of mortgagee listings had shown a steady rise through all of 2008 to reach a peak of 423 in the middle of November whilst declining at Christmas time before rising again through January. The one irrefutable fact of mortgagee properties is that they cannot sit on the market for an indefinite period unlike normal property listings – there is urgency on the part of the lender to liquidate to clear the outstanding debt.

18

Examining facts on the state of the real estate market

Posted on: March 10th, 2009 | Filed in Buying / Selling a home, Website searching

At this time there seems to be a steady debate as to the health of the property market and the usual collection of critical questions:

Have we reached the bottom? / Are property prices going to dive? / is this a good time to buy? / should I sit tight and save for the future?

As I stated in the interview on TV One’s Breakfast the best advice I would offer is research, research, research. To assist in this process I have collected together what I think are the key statistics on the market today. These statistics provide an insight into the general level of interest in property, the degree of supply of properties onto the market, the level of enquiry of agents regarding properties and the current level of sales. These statistics are accurate objective numbers and are presented showing at least 2 years data. I have not included any data on price movements, these are well communicated in other articles, equally my belief is in the need to look for liquidity in the property market as a forward looking indicator – price is a market messaging device, but without sales there is no property market.

I should make one observation at this stage. All of this data is based on the whole country and therefore are an aggregation. Clearly within a suburb or region the scale and trend may be somewhat different. It is important to better understand your local market to really be well informed, however a combination of these statistics and the great information to be found on Zoodle will go a long way to assist property seekers to be better informed.

Interest in property searches

The web is now the most actively used medium for real estate search. Recent research from the US indicates that 82% of all real estate transactions involve the internet at some stage (NAR Survey of home buyers 2008). It is therefore safe to say that the level of web site traffic to real estate listings on a comparative basis can provide an indication as to the health of the market. The graph below shows the indexed level of traffic to all NZ websites featuring real estate listings based on Nielsen Online domestic traffic. (The index weekly tracking tries to eliminate the inherent growth of web traffic as a function of growing broadband penetration).

NZ real estate online traffic of domestic visitors March 2009

The blue line representing current levels of web traffic is showing a more sustained growth than the same time last year. Last year was characteristed by two very marked downturns in viewing activity – in late March at the time the awareness of the economic downturn started to be reported; and then again in the middle of September when the banking collapses dampened any spring burst of activity.

Inventory – the supply side of the market

Tracking the number of listings on the market and the number of new listings coming onto the market provides a view of the supply side of the market. The graph below shows that the NZ market continues to be burdened by a large number of listings. At this time there are just over 116,000 listings on realestate.co.nz. This is represented by the blue area of the chart, compared to 18 months ago the level has increased by over 30,000. However the majority of the increase occurred in the period Feb – May 2008.

Listings of NZ real estate on realestate.co.nz - Mar 09

Whilst listings did slip downwards in the early spring of 2008, they did rise again to the current level prior to Christmas. The red line (left hand axis) tracks the number of weekly listings added to the website. The most telling information from examining this line is the very high level of listings coming onto the market in the Jan / Feb period of 2008 (4,500 per week), 12 months later whilst showing a similar pick up after the Christmas holiday dip the level of new listings is down relatively to less than 4,000. This is very likely to be a function of better informed vendor recognising the quieter selling market.

As a point of note these stats cover all listing types and therefore cannot be used to compare directly with property sales – the data does provide a guide to property movements as residential property does constitute the largest portion of the listings (c. 70%).

Real estate enquiries

Whilst traffic to websites provide a guide to the level of interest – emails enquiries sent out from realestate.co.nz to real estate agents does more accurately reflect intention to act by prospective buyers. The graph below uses an index basis to track the past 2 years weekly enquiry levels.

Level of email enquiry to agents from realestate.co.nz - Mar 2009

The blue line for 2009 activity whilst not reaching the peak of activity witnessed in Jan / Feb 2008 is still showing an activity level ahead of 2007. The peak of enquiry appears to have occured in the last week of February at a point that cut throught the 2008 level. Whilst it is not clear where 2009 will proceed from here the historical trends of this graph have been effective in indicating consumer sentiment. The most conspicuous demonstration of this was the collapse of enquiry in Sep 2008 at the time of traditional spring resurgence and equally the rise in the pre-Christmas period which mirrored sales activity at those times.

Property Sales

The February statistics for sales as reported by the REINZ will be released within the next week. The graph below shows the actual sales of property for the past 8 years up to Jan 2009.

NZ Property sales 2000 to 2009

Clearly as seen from this there is no sign yet of a pick up in sales with the January figures hitting an all time low. As to the future predictions I would venture to suggest that 2009 will see a turning point in sales – the rationale for this is the subject of a blog post written on the Zoodle blog in January titled “Property sales likely to pick up in 2009” which I would encourage a review for insight into the relative state of sales.

7

The right time to buy a house ? – that is an individual decision, but people are looking

Posted on: February 26th, 2009 | Filed in Media commmentary, Website searching

nz-herald-front-page-26-febThe headlines of the papers are again flashing lights on the housing market – only a week ago we had “frightening rise in mortgagee sales” and today “ Expert’s tip – Now’s the time to buy a house“.

This latter quote not from a real estate professional but from the chief economist of the BNZ Tony Alexander. His view is that if you feel that you have security of employment then now represents a good time to buy a house – especially if you can secure that mortgage at a rate below 6%, ideally around 5.5% fixed for 5 years which based on historical trends would be an excellent rate.

The article naturally provides insight from sections of the industry and regular commentators, all of whom provide insight but not a lot of facts. With the exception of Barfoot & Thompson who report a record week of sales for last week at 241 – the highest level since November 2007, which coincidentally was the market peak of prices when median price hit $352,000.

It will take another couple of weeks until the REINZ monthly sales stats show the state of the market and whether the sales will reach anything close to the Feb 08 figure of 6,356, certainly a long way from the January 2009 sales of 3,706.

In the meantime a key lead indicator of the market can be seen by the scale of online searching for property. This research is now fairly stable as online searching is now the first point of entry into the market for most property hunters. Tracked on a weekly basis over the past 3 years the statistics from Nielsen Online show a very active start to the New Year.

The graph below tracks all property listing websites, this includes the major property portals of realestate.co.nz and trade me property as well as the leading 6 real estate company websites as well as open2view. The data is presented on an index basis to provide a realistic year on year comparison.

NZ online traffic to real estate websites Jan Feb 2009The blue line shows for the first 8 weeks of this year that having awakened from a traditionally quiet period around Christmas. Activity of searching for property climbed well past the early peak of last year and is now at an index of 120 as yet not showing the traditional plateauing of activity witnessed in 2007 and 2008. In fact the week just ended (16 – 22 Feb) saw an all time high of activity – 1,096,703 individual sessions viewing property online in the week.

The comparison on a week by week basis for the past 8 weeks is shown in absolute terms in the bar graph below – this clearly shows the activity level in February has been spurred on – likely as not by the interest rate reductions.

NZ online real estate traffic Jan Feb 2009These graphs and statistics are no guarantee of future sales, but demand has to start somewhere and potentially these stats could be a lead indicator. Certainly the circumstances a year ago when negative consumer sentiment impacted online searching in late February certainly impacted sales later in the year – as ever time will tell.

13

Mortgagee listings on the rise – search activity however is subdued

Posted on: February 10th, 2009 | Filed in Regional News, Website searching

The latest statistics for mortgagee property featured on realestate.co.nz shows a rise over the past few weeks. After a fall off in the lead up to Christmas, the stock of such listings has grown from a low of 218 in the last week of December to 285 today.

The graph below tracks the weekly level of listings (blue area on the graph – left hand axis) against the number of keyword searches (red line – right hand axis). As a point of note the extreme spike in searches for mortgagee property in April of last year when the spike broke through the graph was a direct result of a feature on Campbell Live on TV3 which covered the extent of mortgagee property sales at the time referring to the site data.

NZ mortgagee properties for sale Feb 2009

Whilst the number of listings is increasing once again, the number of searches for the key words of “mortgagee”,, “mortgagee sale” and “mortgagee auction” have only marginally increased over the past month since their peak in the early spring when just under 2,000 searches were carried out on the site each week – the figure for last week was just under 800. It will be most interesting to track these searches in the coming weeks as the inventory rises.

A deeper analysis of the make up of these listings shows exactly the type of property comprising mortgagee listings. In terms of price point the majority are in the sub $300,000 bracket with nearly half of all mortgagee listings in this bracket as compared to representing a third of all listings on the website. The mid price bracket of $300k to $600k is interestingly under represented in mortgagee listings with just 31% of the 285 listings as compared to 44% of all of the listings on the site.

NZ Mortgagee listings by price band - Feb 2009

Analysing the listings by region is equally illuminating with a clear domination of Auckland based listings – over 55% of all mortgagee listings are in Auckland, whereas they represent just 28% of the total of all listings on the website. Almost all other regions of the country are less represented in terms of mortgagee listings, with the slight exception of  the Waikato with 7% of mortgagee listings as compared to the 6% of all listings the website features.

NZ Mortgagee listings by region - Feb 2009

It is important to note that the base of 285 mortgagee listings featured on realestate.co.nz represents just 0.5% of all residential listings – equating to 1 house in every 200 that is currently on the market being subject to or advertised as a mortgagee sale. This very small base can cause some of the data for the regions above to be heavily skewed by small listing number changes.

4

Real estate market online heats up

Posted on: February 3rd, 2009 | Filed in Website searching

Coming off the back of the lowest recorded year for property sales – the current activity online foretells the opportunity for a change in the market. There is an awful lot of people researching property at this time and the vast majority of it is being done online.

In total during 2008 a staggering 49 million visitor sessions were undertaken across the main 10 real estate listing websites as monitored by Nielsen Online, represented an increase of 17%. Not only did more people visit these websites to research property for sale or rent, but they also are spending longer on each visit. In total 11.6 million hours were spent analysing real estate websites an increase of 22% over the prior year.

The new year has started where the last year ended with a further surge – January 2009 has seen over 4.4 million visitor sessions across the range of property listing websites, in total visitors spend over 1 million hours viewing listings in the 31 days of the month!

Judging by the scale of the interest and tracking it against 2008 and 2007 as the graph below ably demonstrates there is an active interest in property buying at the moment.

NZ property websites - traffic Jan 09

The important thing to remember when reviewing these statistics is that this time last year whilst the early indicators were beginning to foretell a downturn and sales had slowed up; consumer sentiment and thereby buying activity was still in a favourable position, it was not until mid to late February as is shown by the downturn on the blue line above when the market really collapsed.

So we are now seeing a level of activity which is at least as strong as the start of last year in relative terms (the graph above uses an index basis to reflect seasonality and component changes in the make up of website within the data set).

To support this heightened activity level we are now able to analyse the activity of people searching for property information through our sister site Zoodle. Whilst only being active for just over 2 weeks the level of visitors is incredibly high with over 70,000 unique addresses being searched and over 1,300 property reports being ordered online. The comprehensive detail on individual properties as well as profiles on suburbs with market stats on prices and inventory movements is attracting a very active traffic. This would certainly support the argument that prospective buyers are active in the market analysing the available listings and researching full details to be better informed in the property buying process.

2

Foreign buyers clearly recognise the leading website for NZ property

Posted on: January 12th, 2009 | Filed in Online marketing, Website news, Website searching

The online landscape for New Zealand property has radically changed in the space of a month with realestate.co.nz now firmly established as the most popular and most comprehensive website for overseas buyers.

With the closure of allrealestate effective 1st December and all referrals re-directed to realestate.co.nz the outcome was fairly certain – the scale of the visitors viewing NZ property from overseas was surprising. December is normally a much quieter month as people interest tends to turn towards holidays, families and Christmas.

International web traffic - NZ real estate Dec 08

A total of just under 113,000 unique visitor checked out properties on realestate.co.nz during the past month – some 80% more than the #2 site of Trade me property.

Source of international web traffic realestate.co.nz Dec 08The largest representation of visitors from among the 113,000 was from Australia closely followed by the UK and the USA, overall some 235 countries visited the website in the month. In total over 2.7 million pages were viewed by foreign visitors in the month across the 114,000 listings on the site.

0

Top 10 real estate web searches for 2008

Posted on: December 18th, 2008 | Filed in Website searching

After analysing the viewing habits of over 7 million visitors, viewing over 110 million pages on the realestate.co.nz website over the past 12 months we have been able to identify the most actively searched terms as related to property in NZ. The findings make interesting reading.

The top 10 comprise keywords and phrases which reflect both the wish-list of property attributes as well as the reality of today’s property market.

Top of the list comes mortgagee – generating by far and away the most searches – 6% of the total number of searches were for this word more than twice as many as the #2. Partnered with mortgagee was the #10 mortgagee sale. In fact adding mortgagee + mortgagee sale + mortgagee sales generated one of every 12 searches during the year.

The other top 10 reflect the aspirational side of kiwi property wish-list, with lifestyle related words. Overall the top 10 amounted to 1 in 5 of all searches.

Delving deeper into the search terms created some interesting sub-categories of search term Top 10’s.

Top 10 Selling phrases

Here are the anticipated phrases searched for by buyers recognising the language of the real estate agents who produce these listing ads. Strong representation here again for the mortgagee terms as well as auction and trade, equally reflective of the market are the phrases of desperate, motivated and urgent! In overall terms 1 in 10 of all searches was for one of these 10 terms. (There were only 9 actual terms directly related to selling descriptors which made the top 500 searches).

Top 10 Superlatives

Mirroring the top searches of key selling terms is the list that some might call the hyperbole or puffery Top 10. Anyway these are the ones which people search for rather than a reflection of what words are most actively used by agents. In absolute terms the collective appeal of “oozingrestful” and “exudes” as with the others amounted to just under 2% of all searches.

Top 10 Building Materials

This list is interesting as it reflects the potential issues that home buyers are interested in searching for – particularly well placed are materials that are perceived to be good forms of cladding that are less likely to be vulnerable to leaky buildings – brick and weatherboard. The presence on the top 10 of heatpump at #3 speaks to a growing interest in this aspect of energy efficiency and heating systems, as does underfloor as in “underfloor heating”

Top 10 Suburbs

The important note here is that these suburbs are key word search terms and do not reflect use of the website by people selecting suburbs from regional selections or by maps. This is more a reflection of commonly known locations and possibly international searches for locations that are well known. Having said that it is somewhat surprising to find amongst the predictable lifestyle locations such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Taupo and Devonport places such as Prebbleton, Mapua and Tokoroa – there is certainly nothing wrong with these places – just somewhat surprising.

Top 10 Fastest Rising Searches

This is the list of search phrases to look out for. These are the ones that have popped out of nowhere in the past year. Interesting inclusion is “Metropolis” which delivers 26 results of which 22 are apartments in the Metroplis tower in Auckland. Looking through the others could lead you to the belief that people are looking for properties as investments rather than family homes with phrases such as “flats” “sections” and “freehold” – the latter likley as a result of Auckland issues recently highlighted into leasehold ground rent increases.

8

Google Street View launch enhances property searching on realestate.co.nz

Posted on: December 2nd, 2008 | Filed in Website searching

The world is shrinking and the power of the internet is the catalyst for this transformation and the leading force behind this transformation is a company by the name of Google that a decade ago was unheard of!

Well today everyone with a computer accesses Google at least once per week, per day and sometimes per hour! With this omnipotence comes innovation and the latest innovation for NZ is the release of Google’s Street View– the most comprehensive photo library of NZ street by street, road by road and avenue by avenue. The view is a  powerful human view rather than a satellite view.

There may be concerns expressed by those who feel that this raises issues of privacy as every property on ever street is visible from your couch – not just houses but main streets and beaches. The fact is of course all Google has done is all anyone can and has done for years – photograph a view from the street, the only difference is Google has collated them all and made them searchable in a massive global directory – we are joining a pioneering group of countries comprising at this time the US, Australia, Japan, Italy and France.

For the real estate industry this free service offers buyers and sellers a wonderful extension to the view of property for sale or rent – no more is the view of a property restricted purely to the photos presented by the agent. The enquirer can now clearly see the context of the neighbourhood in which the property sits – ever closer to the rich Open-Home experience from your couch allowing you to rotate your view from the property itself to see the neighbours either side and across the street. This experience will enable more comprehensive evaluations to be undertaken in the process of property purchasing.

Naturally as a leading real estate website, realestate.co.nz has been preparing for this launch and has actioned this option within the spectrum of views accessible from Google maps on a listing – this Street View option compliments the satellite, map and terrain view for every listing profiled on the website for which we recieve an address from the agent acting on behalf of the agent. For information we currently recieve an address for close to 99.6% of all properties, however agents only confirm that around 62% of all their properties can be presented with a displayed address, this grows week by week, yet means that over 30,000 of the more than 80,000 residential and lifestyle listings are featured on this website without an address.

To see an example of Street View on a listing here is a 3 bedroom house in Wanganui on the market for $209,000.

13

The credit crisis – New Zealanders’ interest in real estate takes a hit

Posted on: November 4th, 2008 | Filed in Website searching

Seven weeks ago the headlines started to sound ominous warning bells – Meltdown on Wall St – shades of October 1987. What followed was an alarming tsunami of economic news which has undeniably impacted consumer confidence and shaken financial institutions. It is no surprise to learn then that interest in searching for property has equally been significantly impacted by these intervening weeks of somber news.

Earlier this year in a post entitled “Media seriously impacts the psyche of NZ’ers when it comes to property” the correlation was shown between the media headlines and visitor traffic to real estate websites. Well with the benefit of 7 weeks of tracking analysis the same metrics can highlight in the graph below the direct correlation of consumer confidence and incidence of property website viewings during the recent exceptional period.

As can be seen when viewing the tracking of website visitors to this “basket” of 7 real estate websites for the year to date of 2008 in red – a promising early start to the year was shattered as interest rates spiked and property sales ground to a halt with speculation of a major crash in the market.

From a healthy peak in the early months of the year far above 2007 levels, the traffic volume slipped to below 2007 levels by April and so began a 4 month period of flat visitor traffic at 2007 levels – until in mid August the first signs of spring started to appear and traffic started to build and broke free of the doldrums of 2007 levels. But then as sure as late spring frosts appear to wipe out early blossom so the credit crisis froze out consumer confidence and the level of traffic slipped back and for the past 5 weeks has been showing all the classic signs of “flat-lining”.

Not only is general property searching impacted by the credit crisis but very active searching for mortgagee property has also suffered the same degree of nervous apprehension by would-be-purchasers. The graph below tracks number of searches (blue bars) made per month on realestate.co.nz for the word mortgagee since the start of 2007 matched to the quality of listings (red line) on the site identified as mortgagee.

The peak of searching in April was influenced by some significant media coverage of the subject area and the reference to the website, however since then whilst inventory has grown the level of searching has come back somewhat and has shown in a “perfectly paralleled” visual to the graph of web traffic the same eerie “flat-lining”.

These graphs analysing website activity on the most comprehensive real estate website provide a valuable insight into the lead-indicators of the market for property. The data expected within the next week from the Real Estate Institute (REINZ) will report the sales for the month of October which could show some potential impact of this credit crisis; however given the lead time of purchase intent to unconditional sale the full impact may not be seen until the November or December figures. I wait with interest to see these latest figures.

5

Information the perfect antidote to buyers remorse – especially when it comes to property

Posted on: November 2nd, 2008 | Filed in Website searching

The affliction of buyers remorse can result from any transaction – “could I have bought it cheaper, if only I had checked out a few more stores?” or “if I had been firmer with the salesperson?”. Wikipedia defines this condition as

Buyer’s remorse is an emotional condition whereby a person feels remorse or regret after a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of higher value items which could be considered “bad” although it may also stem from a sense of not wishing to be “wrong”

Not surprising at this time in the real estate market we are seeing not only buyers remorse, but significant buyer hesitation. A recent article in the Australian newspaper on this subject triggered my attention “Market education to avoid an attack of buyer remorse” it speaks to the fact that around the world over the last few years many people purchased properties well beyond their means in the belief that real estate “always goes up in value” – well sadly for many the cost of this belief is weighing heavy right now. The key point of the article and the key message now is buying within your means – not rocket science as they say, but worth reinforcing.

The other point of the article is the power of information. Whereas the last time we experienced a similar property market downturn matched to a NZ recession  (at that time triggered by the Asian crisis of the late 90’s) the available sources of property information were very limited. Contrast that with today’s situation – the web provides a wealth of information – some might say far too much and far too hard to make sense of ! – well that depends on your approach and knowledge. I thought it would be of value to highlight some insight into the range of information potentially at your finger tips to allow you to become better informed.

Property information

Gradually more and more of the property files for every one of the 1.6 million dwellings in NZ will be made available online. It is a fact that each local authority is approaching this matter in their own way (that seems daft – but i don’t want to get into a discussion on local government!) so there appears to be no unified date by when this will be complete, nor what details are accessible for free and what are charged.

I live in North Shore City and they are one council that has embraced online property files as well as rich imagery and data accessible for free. This sample screen shot provides an insight into properties on the shore, high resolution imaging is backed up with details of waste water as well as mains water and zoning details – all free of charge. Other councils around the country certainly also provide this rich information source.

Information on property on the market

There is no excuse for not being the smartest buyer when it comes to availability of property for sale. Clearly the web showcases every property actively being marketed. Real estate agents now fully realise this medium is the #1 place people go when searching for available property. You will find duplication when it comes to individual sites, however as with most things consumers want the most comprehensive information all in one place. At realestate.co.nz we constantly strive to deliver the most comprehensive portfolio of properties on the market – at this time over 78,000 homes listed from over 111,000 listings in total. Other portal websites and agency own sites have equally a portfolio – although the portals provide the easiest single site presentation to make life easy for buyers.

An interesting point worth bearing in mind when assessing the market is the fact that professional agents may well have properties which are not as yet being actively marketed on the web or in any media. It is always worth speaking to local agents to see if exactly what you are looking for is actually available, but not being marketed.

Historical property sales information

This vital information is becoming easier to access – your options are online (for which you have to pay) or through real estate office (for which you need to ask nicely!). QV is the current site that provides reports on prior sales as well as property information. Being in a position of seeing what has sold where, when and for how much empowers buyers and makes the negotiation for a specific property  baa lot mosed on fact rather than emotion.

Property listing information

This is a bit of a double edged sword within the real estate industry and one that I personally meet opposition on fairly regularly. The fact is as the best advice to a seller – the more information you encourage your agent to provide on a listing the more likely it will be that you will find a buyer whose needs are met, rather than wasting everyone’s time with unnecessary questions.

When it comes to images – as many as you can and the bigger the better – simple, but so often overlooked. When it comes to description – a fact often forgotten is that the web does not operate on column inches (although by the very brief description some agents provide you would think it was restricted) – more words to describe every aspect of the property will help to fine tune genuine buyers.

So what of the double edged sword? – simply there is a section of the real estate community who want to provide very brief sketchy information in an enticement for people to call them. The fact is the more content provided on a listing, the more that agent will be held as credible – in this case “less is not more”!

Property viewing information

Become a property expert – on realestate.co.nz anyone can analyse the level of interest of any property – just click the link in the top right section of a listing page where it say the listing has been viewed xx number of times. This opens up a detail of how many viewing each listing has each day over the past month and from where in the world those visitors viewed the listing.

Local community information

Firstly because you are reading this blog post you are clearly in the best place to understand the opportunity presented by the web – you recognise the value of blogs!

Blogs are becoming and I think 2009 will be the year when for real estate, blogs become the defining medium for this industry to to demonstrate a new face – an open, honest, authentic face; one that is open to discuss and receive feedback.

We launched the Voices blogging platform in January of this year, since that time more than 70 agents have started blogs. Naturally not all are active or actively contributed to (the average for all blogs is that 60% fail within 3 months). However there are many that are active and more start each week. Their content is eclectic, that is only to be expected but each provides a window to the subject-matter-expertise of the writer – an agent who wants to engage in a conversation with like minded individuals on matters related to property and a majority of that is related to local communities – go on have a read of a few.

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So information is ever more accessible and available to provide buyers (and sellers) with more facts and information – so become more informed and through that become empowered, greater information and transparency will improve the comprehension of the buying process – and will hopefully overcome some degree of buyer remorse!

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