I received this letter the other day (as I know a lot of others in this industry have done) from a company called “Get Leased” – now you have got to laugh! – they think that I would sign up !! – great bit of direct marketing??
Anyway their claim is interesting:
A new independent website specialising in commercial and residential properties for lease or rent. It is the only online marketplace designed to meet the specific needs of real estate agencies, property management companies and private landlords seeking tenants for premises.
Now I am all for competition – competition is healthy and ensures innovation is brought to the market as well as keeping costs at a market competitive rate. What I cannot understand is why people in this industry believe in what almost amounts to a “lemming like” behaviour that a new website somehow has to be another valuable place for their listings.
Lets look at this new websites offer:
- Do they have any viewers? – no! – they are not advertising either offline or online (try a Google search for commercial property or property for rent – after page 10 give up they don’t appear)
- Do they want to make money off of your company? – yes! -$100 per month for 50 listings, and then in multiples of 50 listings
- Does it represent value? – no! – how can it they have no audience and they charge $100 per month for 50 listings. Realestate.co.nz charges $200 per month for an unlimited number of listings – and has a regular audience of 270,000 unique visitors per month!
I am sorry but I get incensed when I see real estate offices sign up to these sites – an they are, just search on the site and you find companies advertising their listings – who do they think will see them!!
The web has become a massive, complex medium – every website, let alone a listing is like a single grain of sand on the beach – no body will find it unless it is part of a site that has an audience – 100 grains of sand are just that 100 grains of sand scattered on the beach.
Please – I know because you are reading this you will be smarter than to fall for this opportunistic business being offered through an anonymous letter, don’t believe that money you save from cutting back newspaper adverts should be spent of more websites – invest your money wisely and ask what can this marketing do and what will I get!
Updated 22 August
I have today received a follow up letter from Terry Kearns of Getleased. I have attached the letter here as a reference. Naturally and respectfully Terry takes me to task on a couple of my comments in my original post. I am keen to answer those issues and choose to detail them here in an open and transaprent manner to which others (inc Terry) can add their comments:
1. The letter is disappointed that I chose to use the phrase “opportunistic business” sighting that the website is the “result of many years working with real estate and the culmination of five years design and development work..” I stick to my opinion that the site is an opportunistic business; the judgment is that with the benefit of 5 years planning this website could have had a massive lead on the current key players in the market if it had launched 5 years ago. If the past 5 years have been spent on development, I would respectfully question the chosen technology provider as websites are today a commodity able to be developed in weeks rather than years. The whole realestate.co.nz website was a 4 months end-to-end project. I therefore submit that the site is an opportunistic development reflective of an ever growing proliferation of new websites starting for all types of real estate almost every other week.
2. The letter challenges the use of the phrase “anonymous letter” in the context of the letter I received. I concede that a better chosen word could have been “poorly targeted” as my name and company was clearly bought and used “unfiltered” from a mailing list as clearly we would be the last company likely to subscribe to getleased. The letter then goes on to imply that my comments were akin to an “overdone Nigerian scam” - these are the chosen word of the author, not my words – I certainly have a much higher regard and respect for competitors than to liken their tactics to such an illegal and immoral scam. I did (as you will see from the original post above) detail my respect for healthy competition.
3. As a final comment and one not addressed in the letter to me, but something I have noticed on the letterhead. The author uses the phrase “your independent website for commercial lease premises and residential rental properties” – I am confused – what is an independent website? – and by inference what is a website that is not independent?
Are not all websites independent, or is by some inference realestate.co.nz because it is owned by the real estate industry somehow not independent?
Anyway as ever I am always keen and open to discuss this matter through comments on this blog post – that way a fair and balanced opinion can be fostered as to the merits of one website vs another. I concede that there is much to be learned and innovative new entrants into a market can be a valuable addition to the customers in the market.