Blogger of the Month – April 09

Congratulations to David Garratt, our ‘Blogger of the Month’ for April.  David works at First National, Johnsonville and covers the Northern suburbs of Wellington.  He has been blogging for almost ten months now and his blog is becoming a great resource for those interested in the market activity in this area, and in the real estate market in general.

David is also a keen photographer and you can check out some of his work here.

Well done David, your $100 petrol voucher will be on its way to you shortly!


May 04 2009 | Blogger of the Month | 3 Comments »

Looking For A Home That’s Out Of The Ordinary?

We have had a spaceship on before, but today I came across another unusual listing that I thought was worth a mention!  It’s a geodesic dome home:

Geodesic Dome Home For Sale!

I think it’s pretty fascinating.  Take a look at the Open2view photos and let me know what you think. Would you live in a house like this?  I was quite interested to know whether there were other homes like this in New Zealand, so I had to check it out on Google! According to the results there is an Auckland based builder, John William Rich, who has designed 68 geodesic domes which have been built throughout New Zealand and Australia. No doubt there are others too, so it may not be the only one of its kind, but this home is certainly more unusual than most!

According to what I have read, geodesic domes are the most efficient building system known.  Due to their unique design and shape they use less building materials than standard construction, are more energy efficient and extremely strong.

The curved dome facilitates the natural circulation of air inside the home, while outside wind can pass over the home with less resistance thanks to its aerodynamic structure.  In strong winds or earthquakes, the stress is distributed evenly throughout the structure, meaning there is less chance of damage to your home. For more detailed information about the advantages of this type of building click here.

Disadvantages include difficulty conforming to code for sewers, chimneys and fire escapes (if required). The dome shape also results in areas which are difficult to use due to lack of head room and the fact that standard furnishings are rectangular.

Seems to me the advantages outweight the disadvantages, particularly if you have the money for custom-made furniture and fittings! So why don’t we see many more of these homes around the country? If you’ve owned or lived in one fill us in on your experience?

Geodesic design is not just limited to housing. Check out this alternative venue, children’s climbing frame and aviary!

If you would like to know more about geodesic design and structures, check out the following links:

If there are any salespeople who have had, or currently have, any ususual properties among your listings let us know!


April 17 2009 | General | 3 Comments »

Bad Listing Photo #10

Seriously, how hard would it be to remove the towels before taking the picture?!!

At least you’ll save some money because you don’t have to buy a washing line…

Bad Listing Photos

March 31 2009 | Bad Listing Photos | 1 Comment »

Top 10 Tips for Writing a Blog, Tweeting and many other things…

As I was saying in a recent post, the number of agents blogging in New Zealand continues to rise, yet there are still a lot of agents who are not sure what a blog is or how they can use one to their best advantage.  Whether you’re thinking of starting a blog, or consider yourself a pro by now, check out propertyadguru.coms Top 10 tips for Writing a Blog.  There’s always something new to learn!

While you’re on the site, check out their other Top 10 Tips articles, there are some pretty interesting ones there including Top 10 Tips for Real Estate Agents Using Twitter, which seems to be everyone’s flavour of the month. I might just have to give in and try it!


March 31 2009 | General | 3 Comments »

Bad Listing Photo #9

Here’s a picture that was sent to me recently – and what says “This house has absolutely no storage space” better than this?  Who needs a spare bedroom anyway!

March 26 2009 | Bad Listing Photos | 1 Comment »

100 Blogs and Growing…

It is now just over a year (and maybe a few months!) since we launched the Voices blogging platform and we recently reached a significant milestone – our 100th agent blog!  It’s great to see so many agents embracing the opportunity to increase their exposure and online presence in this way. 


Of course blogging is not for everybody, and about 40 of those blogs are no longer active.  Of the remaining 60 blogs, about 30 are updated infrequently – maybe once or twice a month -and the other 30 blogs are updated on a regular basis, ranging from anywhere between once a week to three times a day! 

While blogging is hugely popular with agents in the US, it is still a relatively new phenomenon in New Zealand and I often meet people within the industry who are not quite sure what a blog actually is.  So, don’t be afraid to ask questions or to give it a go yourself.  If it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world.  And on the other hand, you might find that it’s your new addiction.  It’s a lot less fattening than chocolate, won’t break the bank like gambling and is likely to result in more business for you…so as addictions go, you could do worse! 🙂

There’s no doubt that the number of agents blogging will continue to grow.  The question is, do you wait until all your competitors are at it, and you feel you have to, or do you start now and leave everyone else trailing behind as you become the expert in your chosen field or area? 

Over to you…


March 20 2009 | Voices Blog | No Comments »

Blogger of the Month – February 09

Sorry we missed out on awarding the ‘Blogger of the Month’ title for the months of December and January – due to the fact that I buggered off on a long holiday – but we’re back on track now!

So congratulations to this month’s winner…Margaret Wilson. Margaret has been posting on her blog, Ashburton Property, for just under three months now.  She claims that real estate and Ashburton are two great loves of her life and that’s pretty clear to see from her blog.

Last week Margaret celebrated that fact that her blog has attracted 1,000 unique visits, which is something given that she wasn’t really sure what a blog was only four short months ago!  Well done Margaret and keep up the good work. I’m sure it won’t be long until you’re posting about your 10,000th visitor.

Your $100 petrol voucher will be on it’s way to you next week. 

February 28 2009 | Blogger of the Month | 1 Comment »

Spam Alert: seoblogreviews

You may have received this email or something similar lately:

Subject: Interested in a review on


I’m writing to you to know if by any chance you would be interested in doing an unbiased review (in English language) of our site on your blog
Here is some information about the site –

Buying a New Car, Truck or SUV? This site will help you research and review all new cars. You can find New Car Photos, Specs, Videos, Reviews, Pricing and much more. The site gives you one of the nation’s largest selections of previously-owned vehicles, with thousands of new used cars added daily. Select your vehicle above to start searching now.

Click on the link to see a snapshot of the website –

If you agree we will send you a payment for the review.
More information about the site would be sent to you along with the payment.
Please let me know if you are interested.

If you are interested please click here to receive your money:

If you want to receive more paid review proposals, just click the following link:

If you don’t want to ever receive mails from us, just click the following link:

If you have any questions just send a reply to this email.

Thank you

Ok, so even if you’re pretty sure that it’s spam, there’s a little bit of you dying to click on that link and find out how much you can get paid, isn’t there?!! Clicking on unknown links can leave you vulnerable to viruses and spyware, so how can you be sure it’s not a genuine email and that you won’t be missing out on easy cash if you delete it? 

Remember, Google is your friend!  If you’ve received this email you can be pretty sure that many others have too, and you’ll generally find out quickly enough if the email is spam or not.  In this case, a Google search brings up some interesting results.  From the online discussions, it’s pretty clear that this is another email which should be sent straight to your trash!

So if it looks too good to be true – it probably is.  We’ll just have to come up with some other ways to earn extra cash…let me know if you have any ideas!


February 26 2009 | General | 1 Comment »

Bad Listing Photo #8

Top tip: Try not to photograph your listing in such a way that it appears it might be slowly making its way over a cliff!

February 19 2009 | Bad Listing Photos | No Comments »

A Word of Warning!

Be careful when you take extended leave from work. This is what my lovely colleagues did to my desk in my absence…

Warning - office pranksters at large!

Yes those are ‘Missing’ posters! Hmmm, I think the heat must have got to them, but I guess it’s nice to know they care all the same!!! Although if you ask me, there should have been greater effort made with the Post-it notes. There are gaps everywhere!

Anyway, I was lucky enough to have six weeks off, during which time I headed back to Ireland for a few weeks over Christmas and then visited some friends in Canada.  Maybe not the best time weather-wise, but you can’t beat being with your family at Christmas…awh!  And I know I should have been blogging along the way but frankly I had better things to do, like trying to keep myself warm in sub-zero temperatures! However, I’ve been back for over two weeks now, so I’m fully thawed out and back in the swing of things! 

Whether you had two days, two weeks or two months off, I hope you have all had a great break and have come back to work refreshed and ready to face the challenges of the coming year.

As you may have read on our ‘On the Road’ blog, we will be continuing our presentations around the country this year, so keep an eye out on the blog for further details and dates.

Information will also be emailed out to offices and I’ll hopefully get a chance to visit your office beforehand too, so don’t worry, you definitely won’t miss out!   

See you on my travels  🙂



February 18 2009 | General | 2 Comments »

Next »