Archive for February, 2009

How to double your lead generation and reduce your cost per lead by 60%?

Simple answer! – switch to online marketing!

These amazing figures have been shared by Century 21’s Senior Vice President of marketing (Beverly Thorne) who was recently interviewed for e-Marketer magazine.

As was reported on a post on the Unconditional blog back in January, Century 21 in the US has made a strategic decision to back away from main media including TV to focus their marketing online. Whilst not sharing the exact cost of acquisition of leads Beverly did say:

From December 2007 to December 2008, we improved the efficiency of our lead generation by reducing our cost per lead over 60%. At the same time, we multiplied our number of leads by over 235%.

There is no doubt that the real estate industry is fast realising the cost effective tool the web provides to attract a relevant and targeted audience and through that to generating leads for vendor’s properties. These opportunities are not purely restricted to buyer enquiries the web is a very powerful tool to build leads for prospective vendors.

These are the key topics are comprehensively covered in the forthcoming series of presentations offered for free by which have commenced again after the Christmas break.
The first ports of call for March are New Plymouth and Palmerston North. Other venues around the country will be added over the coming weeks and months. To keep in touch check out the special “On the Road” website or call at anytime our support team on 0800 732 536

February 26 2009 | Online marketing | 2 Comments »

Blogging – when to know that you are spending too much time on it

I sometimes think there will an emerging organisation “BA” in the same vein as “AA” – yes we (well I) could succumb to blogging overload and need a dose of therapy provided by Bloggers Anonymous!

But seriously the question is key – how much time should you spend blogging and when should you say enough. I blog because it drives traffic to and now to Zoodle. It is critical in search engine optimisation and establishing an audience who can respect and appreciate the conversations established on a blog. I also honestly love blogging, it is relaxing and satisfying.

But I am employed to run a website – it is different if you are an agent out there trying to juggle the roles of business advisor and online marketer. So to help you establish how much time to devote to blogging I would encourage you to read this great post by Teresa Boardman entitled “When blogging goes too far“.

Teresa is a highly respected blogger from St Paul, Minnesota – she is a realtor and balances the two roles magnificently. I have had the pleasure of attending the Inman Connect conferences which Teresa actively contributes to.

This article was published on the Inman News site, however it is only accessible to subscribers which I think is a shame – I have allowed you access to the full article as a pdf with due and appropriate attribution to both Teresa and Inman publishing – both of whom I have a huge respect for and as a subscriber to their website I hope they can appreciate my intent in sharing this with key readers of this blog across the NZ real estate industry.

Have a read and be inspired to add blogging to your marketing toolkit.

February 19 2009 | Blogs | No Comments » market report – February 2009

Delivering more property buyers – that is what is doing week after week and month after month.

The performance of the website continues to grow and set more records. January took us to our highest ever month for visitors – 386,910 that is a 34% increase as compared to January last year and twice the growth of any other real estate website.

We have produced this monthly report to provide complete information on key facts about the website for the month of January 2009. The report is able to be downloaded here as a pdf document (700kb) or else you can select each page you need and download then as single jpg pages. Hopefully the information is of value. If there is ever any other information you require never hestitate to contact me by email or a blog comment below.

February 04 2009 | News and Nielsen Online stats and Online marketing and Web facts | No Comments » – continuing to support and protect the industry

The start of a new year is a chance to reflect and plan. For the real estate industry the past 12 months have been the toughest in recent memory, for those that have stuck with this business there will be rewards for the hard work and dedication that it has taken to make it this far.

The challenge is that the next 12 months are going to be far from easy – personally I believe there is the potential for the volume of sales to rise (have a read of a recent blog post I wrote and the feedback comments of others), however it is very unlikely we will see sales volumes of the order of 100,000 per annum again for quite a few years, more likely will be of the order of 70,000 – better than last year’s 56,000!
Here at we appreciate the challenges facing the industry – we are a part of the industry and are directly affected as the majority of our income comes from subscriptions, so when offices close as they have done this year we lose income.

We are an industry owned site and our role is to provide the best online marketing for this industry at the most cost effective price, in order for us to support and protect the industry from the aggressive profit motivated media owned competitors. In terms of performance of the site that speaks for itself in the growth and development of the past 3 years, but let me remind all in this industry that set a subscription rate in May 2006 – nearly 3 years ago now, at $200 per office per month for all of your listings. Today that subscription is still $200, and as communicated last year at this time it will not increase in the next few years – the commitment I made was to the end of 2010 – that still stands.

It will be interesting to see how other websites offering services to the real estate industry react this year to the challenge of continual demand of shareholder dividends from profits which more and more come from online businesses. The major real estate website in Australia ( announced only yesterday after much speculation that they will freeze their subscriptions until February 2010, this comes after many years of twice yearly increases which sees the average price of basic subscription to their site at over $700 per office per month.

Not only will our subscription remain at $200 per office per month, I just wanted to remind all of our customers that we have no contractual period; every office pays for the service on a month to month basis, no forward commitment. The only offer we make is a 10% discount for the pre-payment of 12 months which any office can switch to at anytime.

I hope you can appreciate how we strive to deliver for you and your clients a great and valuable service at a very competitive price. One of our competitors closed down last year as they could not longer compete with our proposition – that speaks well of our model and support which stands today at over 91% of all licensed offices in the country subscribing to the site, and that number is still growing.

February 04 2009 | News | 3 Comments »

Top site for international buyers

The website is now firmly establish as the biggest and most popular website for international buyers eager to check out the attractive buying options of NZ real estate. Given the plummeting dollar we are far more likely to see an increase in overseas buyers made up of expat kiwis and international migrants and investors, which is great news for your business.

In January over 145,000 unique visitors from overseas checked out the listings on, this was 80% more traffic than the next most popular website

Not only did more people from overseas use the website they also searched very comprehensively An average kiwi spends around 10 minutes on the site during a visit, however international visitors spent on average 12 minutes per visit. As ever the leading countries of UK, Australia and USA dominate traffic, however over 145 other country’s prospective buyers visited the site in the month from the far reaches of the world.

February 04 2009 | Web facts | 2 Comments »

How to attract more interest in your client’s property

With over 114,000 listings on the website at this time of which 80,000 are residential properties it is ever more important to find ways to capture prospective buyer interest – featured listings are the most cost effective way.

Think how much on average you recommend a client spends on vendor paid marketing – $500, $1,0000 or even more? – what do you and your client actually get for your money. A quarter page ad perhaps – here today and gone tomorrow, buried in the middle of pages and pages of newsprint!

For just $250 you can get 14 days of high visibility on this website – with standout results.

Check out this latest real example where we have analysed 2 very similar properties last month.

Same suburb, same style, same price range, same price marketing and listed on the same day in November. The property with a featured listing for 2 weeks in January received 4,114 views in the month, the other just 232 views – that is a stunning 17 times more viewings. We guarantee in our sales leaflet 10 times the viewings!

Normally this featured listing costs $795, but we have a summer promotion on until the end of March where for this offer price of $250 you get the most powerful form of marketing – real viewers reading and reviewing your listing. Here is the sales leaflet with details of how to order.

February 04 2009 | Online marketing and Special offers | No Comments »