Monthly Archives: March 2009

Congrats to this Photographer!

Just goes to show that “Marketing” can most emphatically make a difference. Check out the numbers of folk clicking through on this listing?

Congrats to the photographer, and if the photographer is the Real Estate Agent, then double congrats.

The vendor of this property simply couldn’t be unhappy with these shots.

Great photography, uncluttered, just simply done!

I’m not an Aucklander, so am not 100% au fait with Sandringham as a suburb, but considering the size and age of this property, I would think its quite fair to say that this property is getting a fair proportion of the clicks for the area / type of home, one agent must be very happy with the amount of interest that their auction campaign is generating. Searching on other 3 bedroom properties in the suburb for sale, shows they have no where near the hits of this one in such a corresponding short amount of time.

I’ll upload one or two to Flickr (as in a few days when the place is sold the photos won’t be available and will sort of make this post pointless, and I’ll take the risk of incurring the photographers wrath?) but just can’t believe that more property owners don’t indulge in ensuring that their home is shown to its best, undeniable in this case.

In the case of these photos its very easy for any potential buyer to feel as if they have seen 95% of the home just from these pics alone.

And in case you are wondering why so many have clicked, there is definite psychology behind the colour choices in these images. I stand to be corrected, but I suspect they actually were taken by a professional photographer, for whom the photos colour composition would probably just come naturally and he/she wouldn’t have even given it a second thought.

For anyone who would like to improve their own Real Estate photography take particular note of the greens and blues, and the combinations / angles / percentage of screen that they occupy. And then you need to master lighting, in and out, and that’s what professionals do best, believe you me, I’ve tried but if you don’t have all the expensive equipment they’ve got then you just aren’t going to get the same results they do.

I note also that this listing is shown on the front landing page of in a feature spot, so undoubtedly there has been extra exposure there too.

Some further Real Estate Photography tips published earlier,  here and here.

PHOTOS – here’s some others … 1 2 3 4 5 they are quite high resolution so may take some time to load on a slower connection….so, what do you think?

Other than Real Estate Weekend spot

You know that Pothole on the road to work? The ones thats been getting bigger each day for the last week.

The one you missed last Wednesday and Thursday, but it just so happens you were listening to something on the radio Friday morning and that other car was quite close in front, you sort of forgot about it, until…… monster bump ….. as your front wheels drop 75mm into it and then exit the other side! There goes the wheel alignment?

Well guess what?

With all the non positive media reports about finance and property, I though a change might be in order.

In not exactly related news to Real Estate, but under the title of Transportation which I guess is defined as getting from one real estate location to another, comes this news just in from The Colonel’s company. It seems in Louisville they can get their potholes fixed with just one small adjustment.

That adjustment?

Simply really, and this is what they say in their press release….

LOUISVILLE, KY – For more than half a century, KFC has “filled up” its fans with the Colonel’s world famous, freshly prepared fried chicken. Today, in a marketing first, KFC is celebrating its continued dedication to freshness by launching a pilot infrastructure renewal program, becoming the first-ever corporate sponsor of “fresh”ly “filled up” potholes in up to five major cities across the U.S.

The KFC Colonel and his professional road repair crew got started in their hometown of Louisville by filling up potholes and re-freshing roads around the city. KFC also issued an open offer to mayors of cities nationwide, asking them to describe their city streets’ state of disrepair. Four of these lucky cities, chosen at random, will receive KFC’s road re-“fresh”ment, promising citizens a smooth drive that is fit for a Colonel……..

……brings a smnile to my face anyway. And credit to the creative sorts, maybe their advertising agency CD, who came up with this one. Certainly guaranteed to get media coverage. Can’t help but think they might have got even more media covergae had they of released this news a week later.

Therefore, In the back of my mind I can’t help but wonder if this Press Release may have accidentally been released a week too early, and was perhaps originally slanted to be put out on the first day of April?

A new trend in corporate sponsorship?

Nelson is more than just one place

Although many people generally think of Nelson as just one place, like most NZ towns its actually made up of many different suburbs, most with their own characteristics, definitely different geographical and topographical layouts, and different socio-economical and commercial mixes.

Nelson, Stoke, Tahunanui and Richmond are but the main well known ones.

So here’s a bit more information on the suburbs make up;

  1. Self-promotion hat on here – on the left panel here I have attempted to detail, albeit somewhat briefly, basic information on the suburbs. (be aware it is still, as I get time, a work in progress)
  2. Government statistical data, on Nelson and some suburb breakdowns (example here is the Stoke sub-suburb of Isel Park, where our office is, more areas here, although the names are not that well known as the convention they use relates more to political boundaries)
  3. Zoodle, quite comprehensive info on suburbs here, aggregates info from many sources (for example here’s the Stoke suburb of Nayland the suburb info pages are at the bottom so you may have to scroll down a few pages)
  4. Suburbview – as of recently, many of the reports / charts are now free, if you like graphical reports, then you’ll find some here, although some aren’t quite there yet, for example it shows Stoke as having the following # of houses for sale…Jan = about 12, Feb = seems about 11, March = near 50 and I know we didn’t have that sort of explosion in new listings. In their For Sale listings for Stoke they also forget to mention our company who have 40 odd listings for sale in the suburb, but don’t get a mention other than in making up the “extra’s”  (guess that’s just the nature of commercial sites today though)
  5. NZ Ministry of Education, school search might be of some assistance here.
  6. If sports is your thing, then here’s where our parks and playing grounds are.
  7. If access by walking or biking is important, go here.

If you’re after anything more specific, you know what to do….just ask or email me.

Real Estate, opportunities just locally, or more?

You may have noticed this blog just happens to have a language translation service on the sidebar at left.

I’ve mentioned previously as a nation and on currently available data, Kiwis make up the 2nd highest ex-pat population in the world, behind Ireland. Therefore as so many of us are out there all over the world, it makes sense that in our travels as we bump into people from other lands they in turn may be curious about ours, and some….more curious than others. Many Kiwi’s return with non NZ born partners, and those new extended families now have a new found interest in NZ too.

Its timely therefore that Steven Swanepoel has just published an extract and update from his latest 2009 edition of the Swanepoel TRENDS Report, a leading industry annual report published since 1995.

Although this is written obviously from a US perspective many of the items touch on commonalities with NZ, so here it is……

Real Estate is Local, Buyers are Global – 3 International Trends Impacting Everyone

For a long time most international markets have felt far away, and many Americans didn’t care nor were they very interested in foreign cities. Although the Web has brought us closer together as a people we still remain apart. Few products or services illustrate this better than the buying or selling of a home.

But today with air travel becoming increasingly more commonplace, immigration and living choices becoming more readily available and our own market in a recession, many smart real estate companies have turned toward international expansion as a new means of controlled growth.

At the same time many buyers in foreign countries are looking at the United States as an investment opportunity, in spite of or in some cases even as a result of our current depressed housing market.  Concurrently, fluctuation in currencies and the advantages created as a result of exchange rates have also increased business opportunities in different markets around the globe.

And at the heart of many strong economies lies a strong real estate market. One where people have the right to live, own and transact freely with their homes. It is that ability to search, market, buy or sell real estate that forms the focus of this trend.

Three international trends that can impact your real estate business, irrespective of where you live or practice real estate are:

1. Global and Multi Language IDX (IDX = Internet Data Exchange)
2. Global Multi Listing Systems
3. Global Social Media Websites

For individual Realtors® ( read Real Estate Agents here in NZ ), working the online global tools, websites, services and communities has become a key component in a comprehensive real estate strategy.

Even when just serving the local market the importance of being able to translate listing data and serving customers in the language of their choosing is vital. Have buyers from foreign countries be able to find you, communicate with you and even browse your properties for sale. You never know where the next buyer may be coming from.

If you aspire to become an international player the time to start acting global is now.

I feel the part about air travel is particularly interesting, well interesting until a barrel of oil costs US$500.

I meet so many people in Nelson who fly out of town on Monday am and arrive back home Friday PM, they go to Auckland, Tauranga, lots to Wellington, Taupo, Napier, one to Palmerston North, etc ….all because they want to live in Nelson, they tell me that’s where they want to bring their kids up, it’s the lifestyle they want. A high percentage of these people were not born here in NZ.

Just a generation ago not many in Nelson would have thought anyone would do such a thing. In a generations time will it be commonplace for Nelson or residents of other NZ cities to travel internationally for work and yet be home for the weekends? The world is definitely getting to be a smaller place.

Here’s another story, this time back in 2007 about local US real estate agents (realtors) having aspirations outside of their local zones.

In coming decades, could NZ become an even more popular place, where millions of others want to live?

There are those who say exactly just that, one day we will be the place to live. And they’re not the only ones.

View large graphic of above map image here (you may need to click again to open it fully).

SOURCE – New Scientist article here

Interest in Rates ticks upward…..

On the day in history that a nation got its independence, Russia elected a new President, and Tennessee Williams was born, how fitting that we learn also that “Funny Girl” opened on Broadway.

Recent events sort of remind me of Barbara a bit, she’s would be under the radar for years, and then she would pop her head up or announces another “last concert”, her fans would go wild, and so it sort of prompted me about the news today that ASB fixed rates are going higher.

I mentioned in an earlier post about the advice I was offered by more than one mortgage industry type person last year that if fixed rates get well into the 6’s then fix for as long as poss. So what happened when they did go way below 7, into the low 6’s recently?

Well more print copy was generated telling everyone that once they reach the fives then look at fixing for as long as you can. Look, its no different than housing, its still all about supply and demand. It wouldn’t surprise me if some reporters still had some pre-written articles sitting in their “draft” folders today, with a pre-written headline “Wow 5% – should I really fix now?”

On the second to last day of Feb 09, BNZ man, Tony Alexander said……

“As long as I figured on keeping my job I would be out there actively looking for a property at the moment,”

…and really that’s what it is about. If you have a great choice of homes on the market in your desired location, you’ve been shopping around for months, and see one that starts to tick 8 of your boxes, then think seriously about waiting for that ultimate one that ticks 10 out of 10 boxes, because you might just find it doesn’t exist, sorry…., it probably doesn’t exist in your desired spending range.

Many buyers discover that, after looking around for a property within their budgeted spending range, all of their problems with finding a property would fade away and they would get everything they want/desire if only they just had “another 20%” more in that budget.

Yes its true (and as Tony Alexander touched on above) we have seen a spate of unfortunate events, even announcements locally in the unemployment category. We have also seen incredible media focus on this category. Still the rates debate seems to take centre stage and generates heaps of copy.

However do your own research …read what the experts advise….from Page 7 of the current National Banks Property Focus is a well written article about what should I/you be doing in so far as my cost of funds and duration of borrowing is concerned?.

Finishing on a local perspective again….and another dynamic that potential buyers of property in our region must be aware of… covered in the feature article in the same latest above March 09 NAB release, headed up…. Location, location, location.

The article brief says

“we compare the growth in house prices for holiday hotspots with prices over the remainder of New Zealand. Our findings show that over the past 16 years dwelling prices in the main holiday locations have increased faster than the rest of NZ. It is not surprising to see that the price adjustment for holiday houses is now surpassing on the downside too….. “

Amusingly enough the Nelson region isn’t mentioned as a subset of their dataset, it mentions that Motueka, Takaka, and the Marlborough Sounds data is included in their aggregated totals. I suspect that is because they talk about “holiday homes” and “holiday hotspots” so maybe they too aren’t sure themselves that Nelson is officially classified as a holiday destination.

One thing that can’t be denied though, is that spike you can see on the above chart in 03-04 that shows the holiday location indicator going a bit “nuts” in comparison to the “remainder of NZ” trend line.

I say amusingly because if you look at my chart here that I graphed a while back and posted about, to my eyes the Nelson data is absolutely un-missable, so I’m surprised they didn’t appear to include & name it.