Archive for January, 2009

What should not-so-busy real estate agents do?

This post is not intended to be flippant, it is just the question asked by one of the great marketeers in the world today – Seth Godin.

Seth is something of a maverick as typified by some of his book titles “Meatball Sundae” / “Small is the new big” / “All marketeers are liars” / “Purple Cow”. His views are classically very left field and personally I like what he suggests.

So with this inĀ  mind I would recommend a read of the blog of the same name “What should not-so-busy real estate brokers do?” – in it he recommends starting a newspaper. Strange as this may seem it is all about a real estate agent being the centre of local knowledge. As for the concept of a newspaper – Seth actually recommends an email version, for me – a blog is a the answer. So give it a go and use the Voices blog platform to start your local news feature.

As for a recommendation of Seth’s many books – read “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” it is great.


January 22 2009 | Blogs and Online marketing | No Comments »

Zoodle – it’s all about property

Today we are launching a new website. A website developed specifically for home buyers and sellers, but equally a website that will be of great benefit for everyone in the real estate industry.

Zoodle provides for the first time an easy, simple way to find out key facts about every property in NZ. Just type in the address of a property and you instantly have reference material on the property, together with mapping and aerial imagery. Additionally we have aggregated valuable information from the likes of Terralink, QV, Statistics NZ, REINZ as well as our own data to provide really unique perspectives of the community in which every property is found.

Zoodle is a joint venture between Realestate.co.nz and Terralink International. As a company we saw the opportunity to sell property reports and decided that we could provide a new service to NZ property buyers and owners, improving on the experience of existing players. As an industry owned website we also saw an opportunity to supplement our revenue and in so doing ensure that the realestate.co.nz website could continue to be the most cost effective form of real estate marketing. In this way we can continue to protect and support the industry from the challenging competitive media owned websites. Zoodle is not a listings website it is a property information website and therefore the 2 websites work together. You will find links on realestate.co.nz to Zoodle and likewise people on Zoodle will be directed across to realestate.co.nz.

Built leveraging the joint skills and rich information of the two companies (Realestate.co.nz and Terralink International) the website allows access to 3 types of paid reports as well as free information on over 1.5 million properties across NZ. The site is designed for everyone, enabling people to be better informed about property – the best way to explain all about the site is to encourage you to go and try it out.

Zoodle will continue to grow and develop in time – it should become a key part of the tools of your job in real estate, as well as a great talking point with buyers and sellers – embrace the rich information, and share the reports with clients.

January 14 2009 | New feature | 13 Comments »

Monthly report – December 2008 fact sheet

December was a record month with 300,000+ unique visitors an increase of 55% over last year and 22% more than in November.

Most significant is the specialised appeal of the website – within the total of 300,000 unique visitors was 189,500 who DID NOT visit Trade me property website in the month – that is over 58% of the total just visited realestate.co.nz to check out the most comprehensive selection of property on the market.

Full details of these facts are in the January 09 fact sheet here.

January 08 2009 | Market stats | No Comments »

Spam – we can help you, if you can help us!

It is the greatest waste of time that we have to endure with the internet age – you know because you see it everyday in your email inbox. The global statistics are mindboggling about how much spam is out there – but roughly 90+% of all email is spam and thankfully most of it you don’t see because spam filters block up to 20 times the amount you see.

We are constantly fighting to make sure that we minimise spam attacks through the real estate website – we employ the latest tracking software and block access from suspicious sources, but some does get through.

If you find that in the email enquiries you receive from the website there is spam it would really help us if you could forward any such examples to us here at realestate.co.nz and in that way you can help us to help you clean up the system – please send any spam from email enquiries the realestate.co.nz website to spam at realestate.co.nz (sorry can’t make it a hyperlink as to do so creates its own problems with spam attacks!!

January 08 2009 | Online marketing | No Comments »

Proof those listings!

Here is a salutory tail! tale!

Only this week we saw a very amusing – but equally serious consequence of not taking the time to proof your listings on the web.

A property listing had not been checked and the letter “b” had been mistakenly typed as an “n” in the word bigger (yes you guessed it!). This seemingly innocuous action had major ramifications for the agent and the office.

The listing had only been on the site for a week when this error was spotted by an observant visitor to the site. That visitor shared the amusing mistake with an online forum that was read by a handful of people. Within 24 hours that handful of people had shared the story with hundreds of others and over 5,000 viewings had been made of that listing (by then the typo had been corrected), additionally over 100 emails were sent to the agent – many not complimentary!

Whilst amusing there is a serious issue – that of credibility and professional presentation. Whilst we might all like to have 5,000 viewings of a listing – this is not the way to go about it (a featured listing is though).
It is so important to treat every listing on the web exactly the same as a press advert – proof it! Check the content to make sure it is not only accurate and spelt correctly – but also that it helps really sell the property – and remember the web does not have the space restriction of newspapers so write lots of good information.

January 08 2009 | Online marketing | 2 Comments »

Record end to 2008!

We are right on target for 2009!!

The month of December was the most active month ever for realestate.co.nz since we launched two and a half years ago – we broke the barrier of 300,000 unique browsers for the very first time!

Clearly the benefit of the closure of allrealestate and the redirection of traffic has assisted the site reach out to a new audience, but this level of audience in December (which is always the slowest month) is unprecedented. Just look at the numbers.

December 2007: 193,418 Unique Browsers visited the site

December 2008: 300,164 Unique Browsers visited the site

That is a 55% increase over last year. It was also over 20% higher than the traffic in November, all other real estate websites recorded a drop in traffic between November and December.

Very importantly the new visitors spend even longer on the site than the prior months. There were some detractors who believed that a growth in audience would lead to shorter duration visits – far from it. In November the average visitor used the site for 8 minutes 51 seconds, in December 9 minutes 53 seconds.

It is really important to remember that whilst December is historically the quietest month of the year in regard to viewing property – the months of January. February and March are the most active. Last year realestate.co.nz traffic went from 193,418 in December to 288,476 in January!

2009 is going to be a very exciting year – it has started that way already and it is only the 5th day.

January 05 2009 | Market stats | No Comments »

What will be the outlook for real estate portals in 2009?

This was the questioned posed by Simon Baker over at Property Portal Watch in a blog post titled “Predictions 2009 – New Zealand“.

As you will see from my posted comments on the blog, I have added my perspective of how I respond to his comments.

The predictions he makes are very pertinent and are borne of a long experience in his role as CEO of Realestate.com.au before leaving midway through 2008. He is pretty close to how I think things will play out – of course excluding that belief that we will raise subscription fees to satisfy the expectations of shareholders. Our shareholders are in the industry and at this time the need is to keep costs in check.

It is worth also reading his observation regarding the Predictions for Australian online portal market in 2009, and particularly the view that Realestate.com.au will raise prices again to agents over there.

This is certainly going to be a very interesting year ahead for the real estate industry – no less challenging for us in running this website. Rest assured we are as excited about the forthcoming year as we have ever since we launched this site back in August 2006. There are many new developments we are planning – all of which will assist all of the professionals in this industry to become more succesful and valued as providing service to the property owners and buyers of this country.

January 05 2009 | Competitive activity and Online marketing | No Comments »