The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry

 
7

When it comes to searching for property nothing beats the ease and functionality of the web – true?

Posted on: November 12th, 2010 | Filed in Agent Tips, Featured, Website news

Searching for a home istock - croppedThat fact holds so true and has been validated in consistent research and usage – especially as everyday close to 100,000 unique visitors check out property information online in NZ (on realestate.co.nz we average of 22,000 per day) – far in excess of any print media. They love the ability to refine searches and be notified of new properties; as well as view dozens of photos, maps, videos and property statistics; all from the comfort of their couch or desk.

Having said all of that, there comes a time in the process of house hunting when printed information is invaluable.

The printed page is still one of the best ways of sharing vital information in a close group of people. In the case of open home viewings, I know from personal experience the ease of grabbing a set of printed details for each of the properties we are going to visit. From listening to our customers this is often their experience as well. It is interesting how that contrasts with earlier responses I remember well when the response was “we are a website – why would you want to print details?”

To help just such people (I suspect more than we might imagine!) we have made some tweaks and added some technology so that now you can print details of an individual listing in a nicely formatted pdf file that can be shared with your friends and partner.

pdf printThe print function lies at the top right of every listing page (and has a clear highlighter saying “New PDF”) – depending on the browser you use, it will create and download a pdf or it may open a new tab showing the document.

In addition to collating all the information presented on the listing – photos, address, specifications and a map; we also have added the latest data of viewings for the listing. These statistics are presented in a chart showing the number of viewings of the property day by day over the past month as well as where those viewings have come from, anywhere around the world.

Sample pdf print of a realestate.co.nz property listing

Listing view stats(By the way these charts are accessible for any listing and are updated dynamically – just click the link in the top right hand side of the page marked “listing viewed xx times”).

So whenever you want to grab a record for a property and scribble some notes, then you can now use this great tool and have all the information laid out in an easy to read format.

We do however ask you to act responsibly and not print excessively! – we don’t wish to be the cause of environmental devastation as our print media colleagues are!

Article Discussion

  1. I bet that’s the closest we’ll ever see you to print media Alistair! Keep up the good work.

  2. Ross Brader says:

    I am sure we will soon see people turn up at properties with these pdf’s already printed out.

    With regard to print media one way the property publications may survive or at least prolong their demise would be for the company ordered page layout to be dropped and print in a suburb order layout.

    With the ease of property hunting on the web it is no wonder I often hear buyers complain that they have to look right through the printed property publications in order to find any properties in the suburbs they are keen on and sometimes finding nothing at all.

    A suburb ordered layout with company logos on each individal advert would solve the problem but it is doubtful the large real estate groups would ever allow this to happen as the print media current layouts are all about corporate profile.

  3. Good point re suburb order Ross. Maybe people would pay for a Property Press that was that user-friendly?

  4. Alistair Helm says:

    Steve,

    My first reaction to your comment was going to be “Steve, how could you suggest that anyone would pay for a magazine that is just a collection of paid for adverts !” – but then I thought a bit more… your comment by implication makes the judgment that people consider the Property Press un-user friendly. DO they?

    I actually feel they that do not even think about it – and this may be the issue. The Property Press is widely circulated and by their own research widely read (sample panel research – not actual reader count). But given this simple comment as to how ‘illogical’ its layout is, maybe speaks to how casual the use of the Property Press is – what I am alluding to is the habit forming fast flick through, people do with the publication – it could be argued that it is a simple piece of advertising in itself, for the vast majority of readers – simply advertising the concept of property for sale – the publication is a stimulation (a virtual wetting of the appetite) for property.

    So where does this leave the age old argument of “print vs web”. The reality it is that is an “and” not an “or” argument. The web will always trounce the print media – it is ultimately configurable – less than 2 seconds and you have all the 3+ bedroom properties in Epsom for sale today for between the price of $500k and $700k, with all the details and locations and of course the best part of 20+ photos for each property.

    As for the Property Press – it is the TV listings something to be scanned as to what you should do tonight and whereas the web can give you the full news that is the News at 6pm, the “Property Press / TV Guide” just tells you it is on.

  5. Your points are valid Alistair. Web is clearly the better solution but not for those that don’t embrace the web. And although you and I can’t quite understand why someone wouldn’t spend lots of time on the web gathering all sorts of info to help them live & breathe, it seems there are still plenty out there.

    Yes most of my customers use property portals, but I still get the occasional comment (this actual comment this week) “my wife cut out your ad from the PP and left it on the dining table for me to have a look at”. People of this age (early 60s I think) will eventually go online but it seems for many it’s not their first choice.

    I reckon Ross is right-on with his comment above. Shifting to suburb order will prolong the life of print publications and preserve some people’s dependence on them. Eventually of course they will die, but it may take a little longer than we think?

  6. PP will die, not the people :) well I suppose they’ll die too….spose I should just quit while I’m ahead…if I am?

  7. Sam Newble says:

    Ross, I agree, it is completely ridiculous that buyers have to hunt through the property pages of print media to find what they’re looking for. Large real estate companies seem to use these publications to build their own profile as much (or more than) they are promoting property for sale. And at the vendors expense!
    I suspect they would be reluctant to see their listings split up and mixed in with other agencies ads…

    The next generation of first home buyers already embrace the web in most other areas of their lives. Real Estate will be no different. Wonder how much longer the Property Press etc. will survive??? I’m picking within the next 5 years.

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