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Archive for the ‘Website searching’ Category

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Back to work? – how property websites provide a comfort blanket to ease you back

Posted on: January 7th, 2008 | Filed in Website searching

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It’s back to work today for a fair number of diligent workers after the perfect summer holiday – blessed with summer like-weather!

What’s really interesting is the level of interest in the website around this time of year, the image above was featured as part of a outdoor billboard campaign last year and was not designed to create distractions from the workplace environment, rather it was reflecting what actually happens in the workplace these days!

It may interest you to know that the busiest days of the week on the website are Monday and Tuesday – usually around lunchtime. What is even more interesting is the fact that the first workday back after the Christmas and New Year break tends to be the days with the highest level of visitors. In many ways the power of the internet when used for real estate provides a far more efficient means of keeping in touch with the property market than trawling through endless magazines and newspapers (which doesn’t look so good on the office desk!).

This year appears to be continuing the trend with the first day back (Monday 7th) looking to achieve a traffic of over 27,000 visitors sessions on this one day alone, so if you are one of these web searchers – happy hunting!

These facts of New Zealand real estate also echo those of this recent international survey of workplace usage of the internet by Burst Media provided in the results of their latest survey from early December showing that most respondents indicated that surfing while on the job is often not work related. One-fifth of respondents state that the workplace is the main locale for where they access the internet.

Pretty interesting results from the survey speak about boredom. Respondents indicate that surfing while on the job is often not work related, with over a quarter of online time at work spent on personal activities. When asked why they surf the web at work for personal use, respondents most frequently cited the need to stay informed during the day, other reasons were boredom, staying in contact with family and friends and convenience (i.e. faster Web connection than home, more accessible computer, convenient time to conduct online services).

Only one-quarter of employees feel guilty about using the Internet on company time, so grab that comfort blanket and ease yourself back into workplace life!

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Google “Street View” mapping will add richness to real estate websites

Posted on: January 2nd, 2008 | Filed in Media commmentary, Online marketing, Website searching

Too much information.. invasion of privacy… big brother watching us. Those are the emotive headlines at the news that Google is out in force capturing ground level images around NZ with camera mounted cars driving down your street.

Twenty years ago it was a very real concern as to the degree with which our privacy was being impacted by advancements in technology. Those Orwellian visions have materialised in a very different form from that envisaged at the time, far from being restricted and controlled, I would judge that in today’s world we are more empowered and enlightened than ever to make better decisions.

The ubiquity and pervasive power of the internet has transformed our lives – where would we be without its ability to answer our every question and provide us with a communication tool which has truly destroyed the tyranny of distance and brought NZ to the shop window of the world (or probably brought the world to the NZ shop window).

So given we should not fear this new level of information, lets look at what “Street View” can do for real estate online.

To start with let’s not forget what the current service offers as mapping has really only been available on real estate website for just over a year – street layout and satellite images to all areas of the country (satellite image resolution is variable, however with time the coverage and definition will only improve). This facility enables a very intuitive ability to search for property for sale based on where you want to live.

As an example let’s say you fancied buying a bach on the Coromandel and you fancied checking out Matarangi – the Google mapping on the site clearly shows where all the properties are located along the beach front and allows a clear understanding of which ones are real “beach front”. The standard view can be enhanced to show the satellite perspective as well – all photographed on a perfect summers day from 183 km above us.

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Now the new capability of Google Street View will provide images taken from 1 metre from the ground rather than 183kms. This will provide the opportunity to not only see the house you are interested from the front gate of the property so you can see the true perspective of the house, you will then be able to spin round and look in more detail at the neighbourhood – what the adjoining properties look like, and also what’s at the end of the street!

All of these enhancements and developments will provide a richer and more valuable experience for real estate search – for both the buyer and the seller enabling a more informed buyer to better evaluate prospective properties. Bring it on! – greater openness and access to information empowers the future.

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