Archive for the 'Web facts' Category

Providing greater insight into the NZ property market

I have just returned from the annual Inman Connect conference in San Francisco. This conference is an intense 3 days of technology and real estate fused into a demanding schedule attended by over 1,500 agents together with around 200 technology and web company participants – all very much focused on the future of real estate online.

A key theme of the conference (a broader outline is detailed later in this email) was the transparency and critical importance of good information on the property market. This is something that at realestate.co.nz we see as a key principle which we uphold to assist the industry better manage their relationship with clients by providing timely, relevant and unique information.

Since April we have been publishing each month the NZ Property Report a unique insight into the property market from the perspective of inventory movements – new listings and asking price expectations. This data is being seen very positively by economists and commentators as it provides a lead indicator of the trends in the market.

In addition to the latest NZ Property Report citing the rise in listings, we are tracking a very strong level of web traffic on realestate.co.nz as with other real estate websites over the past month. These statistics are detailed in this short report which can be downloaded here which provides some helpful charts and statistics on the market and the website which you can print off and use in client presentations.

Some key points to note in the presentation:

• Overall search traffic on real estate website in general climbs back over 1,000,000 sessions per week
• Strong seasonal early spring pick up in searching for property
• The top 2 websites dominate the market with a clear split of audience between them
• Realestate.co.nz continues to drive more international traffic – it is clearly the #1 site with 50% more traffic than any other website

August 14 2009 | Market stats and Web facts | No Comments »

Website Business Report – March 2009

The real estate market enjoyed a strong performance in March with total sales of 6,694 a 29% increase over March 2008 – certainly not of the volumes seen during the heady days of 2005 -2007, but certainly enough to stimulate some optimism that we could be past the bottom in terms of sales volumes.

In the online world the level of activity continues to grow and grow. The latest statistics from research in the USA for the latter half of 2008 shows that 94% of all property buyers aged 25 to 44 used the web as part of the buying process! The update for the NZ data will be released in late June of this year and is likely to show similar high levels.

In terms of visitor numbers for the period covering February and March total visitor sessions across all real estate websites (as measured by Nielsen) consistently exceeded 1 million per week, up 21% on the prior year.

Realestate.co.nz continues to outperform the market with a significant 377,939 Unique Browsers in March an increase of 42%; more than twice that of our competitor and over 4 times the market growth.

The full report can be downloaded here

April 20 2009 | Market stats and Nielsen Online stats and Special offers and Web facts | No Comments »

February 2009 – realestate.co.nz report

This month’s report on the realestate.co.nz website is titled “Supporting and protecting the industry” – this is a key principle of the operation of the realestate.co.nz as we continue to be challenged by major media competition.

What is pleasing is the fact that whilst the industry continues to experience the most difficult trading conditions with the consequential decline in the number of real estate offices our subscriber base continues to grow – ever closer to the 100% of all licensed offices which is our goal. At this time we have close to 93% of all office. This clearly demonstrates the recognition the industry has as to the value the site brings to their offices, agents and clients.

I am pleased to have received so many favourable comments from around the industry on the previous 2 reports, clearly this monthly report is helpful in selling vendors on the value of online marketing and for promoting the website as a valuable marketing tool.

Download a copy of the presentation here or review the pages below:

March 09 2009 | News and Online marketing and Web facts | No Comments »

Realestate.co.nz market report – February 2009

Delivering more property buyers – that is what realestate.co.nz 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 »

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 realestate.co.nz, 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 »

Prepare for a huge upsurge in viewings

Whilst traditionally the viewings of real estate listings on websites starts to slow in late November and through December, the first week of January by contrast always sees a massive surge of viewings.

Over the past 2 years we have seen increases of between 40% and 50% in the month of January as compared to November and December – January generally results in the biggest month of the year for website visitors.
This year will be even bigger for realestate.co.nz and your listings on our site – why?

  1. Because with the closure of the website of allrealestate.co.nz the buyers will be flocking to our site
  2. All traffic from allrealestate.co.nz and realestate.com.au in Australia will be boosted even further the traffic to realestate.co.nz
  3. With more than 113,000 listings people will be very eager to review the most comprehensive selection of properties to make sure they get the best deal – realestate.co.nz remains the clear leader in content of any real estate website – this is what is important to serious property buyers

So get ready for a surge of interest and email enquiry (as well as telephone enquiries) as your listings are showcased to a global audience that will hit record levels in January.

November 27 2008 | Market stats and Web facts | No Comments »

Smart marketing with realestate.co.nz

The real estate industry is facing a challenging environment – the scale of business being transacted is down significantly and the immediate outlook is not bright. However the industry as a whole will be around next week, next month and next year – it provides a service that the public value.

The key element of success for long term thinkers in this industry at this time is investing wisely – whether that is time or money. I want to reinforce to this industry some really important points about marketing – because marketing is so much of what this industry does. Lets look at the facts:

  1. FACT – over 80% of all real estate searches start on the web – that number grows everyday

  2. FACT – the web is the most important media for marketing your listings, it is not a nice to have – it is a necessity

  3. FACT – people looking for real estate use search engines – thousands of searches everyday

  4. FACT – Google is the home of search in NZ used by over 90% of people

  5. FACT – Google loves realestate.co.nz, whatever you search for you will find links to realestate.co.nz – try some of these searches:

  6. farms for sale in waikato

    farms for sale in hawkes bay

    lifestyle property for sale in Northland

    Try a random search for yourself – just go to Google

  7. FACT – realestate.co.nz is the most comprehensive website in NZ, currently 111,000 listings as compared to Trade me with 89,000

  8. Have a look at the breakdown within the important Rural category – the appeal to the buyers of a single source of the most comprehensive content is compelling that is why over 20,000 visitors per month just look at farms and agricultural land

  9. FACT – realestate.co.nz attracts more international visitors than Trade Me.

    Whilst Trade Me Property has on average 690,000 unique browsers per month looking at their listings, only 67,000 of these in a month were from overseas. Over the same period the visitors to realestate.co.nz from overseas was 91,000. That is a 1/3 more visitors looking at your listings

  10. FACT – realestate.co.nz is focused on real estate

    It may sound strange but this sole focus ensures that the visitor to the site gets quickly to what they want with rich information. That is why we have a dedicated Farms and Agricultural Land section of the site separate from Homes. That is why we provide rich information of Google maps with Terrain perspective valuable to analyse topography of property. That is why we provide dynamic traffic reporting graphed by property. That is why we uniquely offer video presentation for any listing

  11. FACT – realestate.co.nz is the best value marketing on the web for real estate

    The cost of using the website, profiling your listings to an audience of over 270,000 unique visitors per month costs $200 per office – the same price now as when we launched 2½ years ago – in that time Trade Me Property has increased per listing fees from $49.95 to $99 (June 2006), from $99 to $149 (May 2007) and from $149 to $199 (Jan 2008). A 298% increase in 2½ years.

  12. FACT – realestate.co.nz is industry owned

    It is established and run with a business model to first and foremost protect the online interests of this industry from the profit aspirations of media companies. The commitment of the industry to the website has enabled it to grow and challenge all other websites for the attention of the buyer – it is very clearly the strong #2 player with a clear view of objective of being the #1 website for real estate.

October 30 2008 | Online marketing and Web facts | No Comments »

Rental property inventory growth is matched by visitor traffic growth

The level of stock of rental listings has grown markedly over the first half of the year, peaking at close to 6,500 listings before falling back slightly over the past few months – potentially a large part of this could have been as a consequence of properties being withdrawn from sale for lack of buyer interest and thereby being placed on the rental market through property managers. This was the subject of a recent post on the Unconditional blog titled “Home owners opt to rent out properties that are struggling to find buyers

The graph below shows the movement of inventory (blue bars) over the past 18 months as well as the level of web traffic (red line) to rental listings over the same period.

It is very clear from the graph the extent to which the website has grown in relevance and appeal for rental properties in NZ – from an average a year ago of around 35,000 unique browsers per month to the current level of 50,000 per month.

The website of realestate.co.nz truly delivers a comprehensive audience looking for a comprehensive presentation of available listings be that rental properties, properties for sale, commercial properties, businesses for sale, lifestyle property as well as farms and agricultural land.

October 07 2008 | Market stats and Web facts | No Comments »

Web performance of business listings

The great benefit of this blog as with blogs in general is the ability to respond to a question and in so doing share the information with a much wider audience. So it was today when I was asked about the ability of the site to provide a valuable marketing platform for business listings.

As you will see I have posted a piece on the Unconditional blog about the comprehensive content of business listings on the website at this time – close on twice the content of any other NZ business broking website, which is interestingly not one of the “usual suspects”.

When it comes to visitors the business listings section has been consistently growing in audience terms over the past 2 years since we relaunched the whole website back in 2006. This is clearly demonstrated in the graph opposite that shows quarterly average unique browser traffic to the site over the past 2 years – we are receiving on average around 12,000 unique visitors per month. Just a year ago we made further modifications to the site designed to better reflect the specific needs of the differing segments of the overall industry. We consulted widely with the Business Broking community as well as Commercial Agents to ensure their needs were adequately met.

The outcome of this work were the following changes to the Businesses section of the site:

  • Distinct and personalised look and feel to remove references to homes
  • Creation of a “confidential location” allowing listings to feature with no physical location requirement under a confidential location category
  • Reclassification of the categories of listings
  • Re-establishment of the photos for all listing, previously there was a category icon for each listing on the search results

Whilst in absolute terms the traffic to these business listings is relatively small; representing as it does some 5% of all visitors, it is traffic to just 3,500+ listings from the total of 105,000+ that are currently featured on the site which actually means that traffic per listing for business is pro-rata higher than residential!

Another very important point worth highlighting is the value that this section of the site delivers – the subscription to realestate.co.nz – just $200 per office per month brings all business listings, and residential, rural, commercial and rental. I could not help but draw comparison to the much talked about site of nzbizbuysell – their published listing costs is $98 for a basic single listing and $176 for a featured listing – and that is for 2 months! (it might be interesting for someone to share an indicative costs per month for an office subscribing for unlimited listings – which I presume they do??)

I also notice that there is no differentiation of licensed business broker listings from private advertisers! – as you well know realestate.co.nz does not feature any private listings.

So to get a clear view of the whole picture:

  • Realestate.co.nz is the most comprehensive source of business listings
  • Realestate.co.nz has designed and adapted the site to meet the needs of the industry
  • Realestate.co.nz recognises the professional integrity of business brokers and only features their listings
  • Realestate.co.nz provides the greatest value for money for a business broking office

In some ways the only issue left unanswered is the comparable level of monthly traffic – NZbizbuysell does not get monitored by Neilsen Online, whereas realestate.co.nz and realcommercial.co.nz do – I have used the services of Alexa to estimate the traffic for nzbizbuysell. The NZ ranking on Alexa for nzbizbuysell is 4,462 (that is to say according to Alexa nzbizbuysell is the 4,462nd most popular website in NZ, by comparison realcommercial.co.nz is the 10,474th most popular website in NZ, and the total realestate.co.nz website is the  96th most popular website in NZ.

Anyway I found by chance that the Century21 website was actually the 4,562nd most popular website in NZ and it has a web traffic of 14,604 unique browsers in August, I have therefore deduced that nzbizbuysell has a traffic of around 15,000 unique browsers – ahead of the business section of realestate.co.nz as shown in this graph.

September 18 2008 | Market stats and Web facts | 2 Comments »

Who do you credit when that phone call generates a lead?

A constant question raised by real estate salespeople around the country whenever Peter or I talk to them is – how many leads should I expect to get from my listing on realestate.co.nz?

Occasionally we also get the statement that the web does not deliver as many leads (emails) as telephone calls (from newspaper adverts).

Well you may be surprised to learn that a large number of those phone calls could very well be coming from the website contact details. Data from the #1 real estate website in the UK is very revealing…

The web reveals information and facts that before would never be known. The fact is in the past 3 months realestate.co.nz has sent out over 39,000 emails from interested buyers to agents and in the past 12 months over 336,000 referral leads (including web links and emails). Could any newspaper or magazine tell you that?

In reality though the performance of the web may well be vastly under-represented. I came across the annual report of the #1 real estate website in the UK – Rightmove. This website is very comparable to realestate.co.nz with a subscriber base of over 90% of the UK industry. What interested me was the fact that over 2 years ago they started tracking telephone enquiries from web listings.

Over this period it turns out that for every email lead sent to an agent from the website there were two phone calls made.

This data is accurate as the website actually offers every agent a unique local call number through which interested buyers contact the agent, so this is not analysis of sample research – but actual calls made.

The data also provides some perspective of the ratio of emails that agents receive in the UK as compared to here in NZ. With over 5 million emails sent to agents in the UK from the rightmove.co.uk website this represents a response rate of 22 emails per 1,000 browsers sessions on the website. Our comparable figures for NZ are 171,000 emails sent from realestate.co.nz representing a response rate of 28 emails per 1,000 browsers sessions. As ever it is quality over quantity.

So when next you get a call about one of your listings don’t assume that the lead came from the newspaper – it is far more likely that the web listing drove that enquirer to call you.

June 11 2008 | Web facts | 3 Comments »