The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry


Lessons from Real Estate Connect

Posted on: August 16th, 2013 | Filed in International, Market News, Technology


Screen-Shot-2013-05-08-at-9.09.10-AMTime just sails away when you’re having fun – especially when you’re in the City of Sails!

It’s been almost two weeks since I got back from the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco; timed to coincide was also the Property Portal Watch Workshop, which looked at specific issues facing property portals, like (as opposed to the wider topics covered during Connect).

Hearing what the big industry players around the world are doing is always inspiring. The challenge for us Kiwis is how we take what might work in a huge market, like the US, and apply it locally. is not alone in this; successful New Zealand based businesses know that it’s not enough to try to squeeze a square plug into a round hole. What we’re really good at doing is working out what (and how) works internationally and then shaping those ideas to fit our unique market.

property-portal-watch-logoOver the next little while I’ll be consolidating those key ideas, trends and the specific learning I took away from my time in San Francisco. I’ll expand on what does and will continue to do to make your property buying, selling and renting experience easier (and cooler) as our lives become not only busier, but also digitally easier. In the meantime, I’ve managed to narrow it down the 6 core topics I got the most out of. I look forward to exploring these more with you over the coming weeks.

1)    Content for the small screen and responsive site design. What are the crucial bits of information we need to convey to those browsing on their smart phone? How do real estate agents and property portals monetise premium mobile content?

2)    Content syndication for overseas markets.

3)    Social media. Yep, it’s part of everyday life now. We’re an e-commerce site, yes, but how can we use the platforms you use to nail a great and useful relationship?

4)    TV apps – taking the previously small screen to the big screen. Is a TV app on the cards?

5)    User customisable floor planner tools. Imagine if you could check out what the property you’re considering buying would look like if only you could move that wall…?

6)    What else can we do to make your property search or selling experience easier? Push notifications might be one way; standing outside an open home and you receive an information pop up on your phone letting you know what the local schools are like, for example. What next?

phillip.dunnI’m also going to wrap up what the big players are currently doing in this space and how their data insights can help to inform where NZ property portals head. Think Trulia,, Zillow, etc.

My head is still buzzing from my time away. I feel really lucky to have been able to connect with some inspiring people, and am now looking forward to planning and sharing the exciting stuff we have ahead! As I put together my presentations and future blog posts about these areas (and more) I’d love to know if you have any burning questions or thoughts you’d like me to cover off. Please comment below or get in contact with us.

On a side note – today marks seven years since the site launched, please join us in celebrating our 7th Birthday.

Phillip Dunn, Acting CEO,

Connect with me via twitter: @phillipnz

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