Realestate.com.au Backs Down From The Fight!

Realestate.com.au has always promoted itself as a portal for real estate agents but recently we have seen a surge in real estate agents using technology to operate from a digital storefront and list their properties on the portal. At first many of these websites were not run by real estate agents but REA quickly enforced this rule.

To counter this requirement many of these websites started to be run or at least associated with licensed real estate agents.  The truth was that many of these solutions were really just a glorified property listing portal that had just one effective tool and that for a private seller they could list your property on realestate.com.au.  They did not act as an agent but they seemed to get around the rules because they simply held a real estate license.

Realestate.com.au responded by creating the Private Listing Policy which effectively listed the minimum requires an agent had to provide to clients before they could list property on realestate.com.au.  These websites now became what was coined Agent Assisted websites that provided a bare minimum of a limited range of real estate services such as negotiation, contract preparation or assitance  and market appraisals. All of this was done from afar and often over the telephone or internet.  The policy was confusing for everyone and left a lot to interpretation because at one point  Hubonline, a subsidiary of RealEstate.com.au was building websites for these digital agents in contravention to their Private Listing Policy.

After plenty of pressure of the subject many of these digital agents in February 2011 had been removed or threatened to be removed from the portal, an issue they did not take too kindly to at all. Complaints were quickly lodged with the regulatory bodies and the fight ensued. A fight that traditional agents thought Realestate.com.au would follow through with.

And there we were waiting for the outcome until an email about 30-40 minutes ago.

Because of the instant delivery of email  its a golden rule to send good news on Monday morning so its at the top of the inbox when the recipient arrives at work and conversely to send bad news late on a Friday so it loses gets lost amongst the clutter. So its not surprising to see that when its really bad news its released on a Friday just prior to a long weekend  so its buried deep!!

Greg Ellis has just notified agents by email that effectively immediately the minimum levels of service have been in the Private Listing Policy are no longer to apply.

The real effect of this for traditional bricks and mortar agencies are that with service criteria totally gone private listings can now effectively engage one of these digital real estate agents to list their property on realestate.com.au. When you combine this with the fact that we have unlimited accounts and can list as many properties as you want any licensed real estate agent can now create a business to list property on realestate.com.au and charge a small fee.  As long as they get enough clients to cover the base subscription its going to be profitable.

I believe that for many the provision of these limited  real estate services will be thrown out the window because they were only added to get around the pesky Private Listing Policy in the first place.

It’s not totally clear yet just what was behind the complete reversal of Realestate.com.au. It could be that BuyMyPlace and others were successful with applying pressure with their complaints to the ACCC.  Similarly it could be financially motivated as the industry suffers across the country discretionary spending on portals like realestate.com.au has plummeted and its a move to get as many accounts as they can get their hands on.

One things for sure, with RealEstate.com.au backing down from this fight Private Sellers are going to have a stack of choices now to get their property listed on the realestate.com.au portal.  How low will they go ?   One guy operating from his bedroom might be able to offer listings on realestate.com.au for just $30 or $40 a pop because he is getting private seller listings form all over Australia.  How will vendors react to paying higher VPA levels for a realestate.com.au listing through a traditional real estate agent?

Here is a copy of the email :-

*************************************************

Dear Customer,

Our business has been providing online marketing services for the real estate industry since 1995, growing to become Australia’s No.1 property site by working with licensed real estate agents such as yourself to help you market properties on behalf of vendors.

From time to time we need to update our policies to keep pace with changing market dynamics and I am writing to update you on changes to the subscription requirements for realestate.com.au.

It’s important to note that our Terms and Conditions are not changing.  realestate.com.au will continue to require subscribers to hold a valid real estate agent licence and comply with the relevant regulations (including entering into agency agreements with vendors in the form required by state regulators). Vendors can only advertise on our site by engaging the services of a licensed real estate agent who is a realestate.com.au customer.

However, we have recognised that the minimum services requirement outlined in our Private Listing Policy – prescribing a required minimum range of ‘usual’ real estate agency services that agents must provide to their vendors – is out of step with the market and industry regulatory practices.

For these reasons, effective immediately, this minimum services requirement will no longer apply.
We wanted to share this decision with you and assure you that realestate.com.au remains committed to delivering innovative advertising solutions to our licensed real estate agent customers.

If you have any questions about these changes, please don’t hesitate to discuss them with your account manager.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Ellis
Chief Executive Officer
REA Group Ltd (realestate.com.au)

**********************

What are your thoughts on Realestate.com.au backflip in just 4 months?

What’s really disappointing for me is that realestate.com.au has been picking fights everywhere recently and the only one they seem to back down from is the one that many agents wanted them to make stand for.

So is it just a sign of the times as realestate.com.au would have you believe in their email.?

Why have they totally reversed their position in the past 4 months?  and has Realestate.com.au sold out the industry by allowing Private Sellers to get onto the portal through the backdoor?

buymyhouse, private listing policy, Private Sellers, REA, Realestate.com.au

SEO For Real Estate
Listing Leads
Agentpoint Real estate

About Glenn Batten

Glenn Batten is the General Manager at First National Real Estate Nerang and Principal at the First National Real Estate Upper Coomera office and has over 20 years real estate experience and a passion for technology. Glenn has been writing from an agents perspective on industry issues and covering a range of topics on Business2 since 2007.

144 Responses to Realestate.com.au Backs Down From The Fight!

  1. Glenn June 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    I’d say for some reason this restriction was in contravention of consumer law but I don’t agree, if you own a business ie REA you also make the rules.

    In any case I still hold a license so I can list properties on REA ? or CRE for that matter.

    I’d lose all my mates in real estate if I did, but if there’s enough money in it I can buy new ones 🙂

  2. Peter Mericka June 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Tears in your beer Glen, over what? Another crack in the monopoly? Welcome to the 21st century!

  3. MAC June 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Consider FSBO (which is what REA’s decision is allowing really), as just another little bit of competition when pitching for a listing or advertising your agency’s services. And hope that there aren’t too many more agents like RT Edgar in Toorak (Vic) to make your task in promoting your trustworthiness more difficult! viz Toorak agent accused of fake bidding

  4. Greg Vincent June 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    It’s a sad day for our industry…

    Peter Mericka if you thought that our industry was on the nose before just wait until National Licensing roles out in July next year and all the back yard operators start gaming the system and listing property all over the country.

    For the record, REA your stand on this issue is absolutely piss weak!

  5. Peter Mericka June 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Greg Vincent, are you telling me that you’re not a backyard operator? The sale of real estate is a legal transaction. When the real change comes you’ll be back to selling white goods!

  6. Greg Vincent June 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    And there I was thinking that REA’s response was weak… Is that the best you’ve got Peter? How pathetic!

  7. Chris June 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I agree Greg. what i would like to know as an industry when will we grow some balls and stand up against these types of Operators. REA seemed to be confused who their real customers are??
    Once again i challenge our industry to turn off REA for a month and see 1. how it effects their business ( it won’t ) and 2. how REA might react???

  8. The Truth of the matter June 10, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Glenn.

    I have decided to again post on this website for two reasons. One is because the editors of this website have deleted incorrect and defamatory comments about PropertyNow made a few months ago.

    Second it is essential to put the record straight Glenn.

    There is one company alone that instantly , consistently and unambiguously took the fight to REA via the ACCC.

    PropertyNow launched the ACCC action and in fact I was in touch with the ACCC by phone again today. There was only one other company who assisted and that company was ForSaleforLease.

    PropertyNow will be interviewed by ACCC staff on Wednesday next, in relation to our long standing complaint against REA. Our case is incredibly solid. We intend holding realestate.com.au ( specifically REA Pty Ltd ) liable for losses suffered by PropertyNow over the past 5 years.

    There is much still to sort through and this fight is not over however I remind readers that PropertyNow’s accounts were destined for termination twice this year and on each occasion REA has declined to proceed with that threat, while it closed down at least one other company’s account.

    Similarly, several companies were allowed trade under conditions known to REA that were less than those required by REA towards PropertyNow.

    While I detect the scorn of our achievements in this thread, the reality is that PropertyNow has already been vindicated in its stance.

    Those who care to research this forum will find entries wherein we predicted precisiely the current outcome, many months ago. In fact we caused it.

    We were approached by REA before BuyMyPlace. We approached BuyMyPlace to work in support with us against REA even before that company was approached by REA.

    I was personally told over phone by the most senior management levels within BuyMyPlace that “PropertyNow ” was on its own in its fight with REA. Less than 3 weeks later BuyMyPlace had its 500 clients removed with one weeks notice by REA. To be specific, I was told by the highest levels within BuyMyPlace management that their board had said to “not talk with Andrew Blachut ” and that it was ” our fight not theirs ” It turns out that was correct , it was our fight and not theirs….

    Our clients remained on realestate.com.au this entire year and we continually challenged the behaviour of REA with the ACCC.

    Glenn , you may have reported the facts as you known them but you did not the facts as they are.

    There is no mention by you Glenn about our company even though we were ( and still are ) as absolutely central to this fight, as it is possible to be.

    No PropertyNow, no change in REA policy – full stop>

    Andrew Blachut
    http://www.propertynow.com.au

  9. Ryan M June 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    Chris – “Once again i challenge our industry to turn off REA for a month”
    I’d love to see that, at least they’d get plenty of FSBO listings.

  10. Vic June 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    If you turned the industry feed to REA for one month you will definitely give FSOBs the leg up that they have been looking for. Imagine 5/6 million visitors(REA claim not mine) looking at FSOBs only. The FSOB sites would become the only game in town for sellers.

  11. Greg Vincent June 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    Andrew I have mentioned this previously on this blog when one of the agent assist sites complained that Domain had raised their subscription fees.

    I must admit that I’d hoped that it wouldn’t come to this but at this point I can only see one option for REA and that is that they may need to allocate service areas for their subscriptions so that agents can only feature listings within say a 40 – 50km radius and maybe have larger areas allocated for the rural agents.

    But I doubt that they will do this because they are at saturation and they will be looking at the opportunity for more subscribers as more and more virtual agents pop-up over the next few years through National Licensing, where we will see that a agent’s office location will be defined by the location of their SIM card at any given moment.

  12. Glenn Batten June 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Andrew,

    Seriously??.. you are really complaining I did not specifically name you and your company as the reason for REA’s decision.??

    When I wrote the article I hardly thought it was the ***others*** in the section “It could be that BuyMyPlace and others were successful with applying pressure with their complaints to the ACCC” that would upset somebody..

    If I knew that or even thought that was seriously the case I would have mentioned it but to be honest it did not even cross my mind. Whether you were central to the ACCC investigation as you claim or just one of the many complainants in the bigger picture does not really change the matter much anyway as far as I can see.

  13. Tatiana Mijalica June 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    Clearly you are unable to change company terms and conditions at whim. Moving away from the FSBO issue for a moment, I am happy that a precedent has been set by the ACCC on this type of behaviour by REA.
    Thank you Andrew Blachut for initiating the groundwork for this.
    I am sure this precedent will go a long way in the future on a magnitude of possible REA issues that may arise.

  14. Glenn Rogers June 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Andrew, the comments you refer to as being deleted were deleted at my request as they appeared to offend YOU.

    They were neither incorrect or defamatory but merely fact and were the result of you requesting a listing on DMOZ.

    I’ll say no more on this as it seems it is all too easy to offend you and this post is only by way of clarification for those that do not know what you’re referring too.

  15. Sal Espro June 10, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    1. I assume this still means REA isn’t accepting FSBO(?) (Not that I could care less!)
    2. Does this mean small multi-office rural chains now allowed to combine their listings thru one account? Why shold they be treated differently from PropertyNow who is allowed to do it for non-agency listings?

    Ps I don’t really have anything against your simpering around your agency clients in here, Greg, but I do think you need to moderate your language 🙂

  16. PropertyNow June 10, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Glenn, it is not that you didn’t mention PropertyNow it is that you credited a company that as far as I know had absolutely nothing to do with the ACCC action that we Propertynow started. Am I supposed top stand by and let you simply get away with a startling inaccuracy like that?

    Over the past 6 months PropertyNow presented the ACCC with a massive collection of information about the REA abuse of power. So much so that the ACCC asked us not to send any more because the sheer level of it would slow the investigative process up.

    With respect Glenn ( Batten ) you have absolutely no possible conception of the amount of grief imposed on our company and our clients over the past 18 months ( and 5 years ) by REA. You both have vested interests and so do I, however facts remain facts. The facts are PropertyNow demanded a higher level of corporate behaviour by REA and so far at least we have made a major impact and an improvement to the provision of real estate sales in Australia. I now expect REA to regroup and I have no doubt at all that our company will again remain the most obvious target, as it has been the past half a decade.The only difference now is that some else is watching.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  17. Sal Espro June 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    So, Andrew, are you able to shed some light on my 2 questions above, please?
    It would seem anti-competitive to allow PropertyNow to advertise listings from anywhere and yet not allow 3 offices of the same brand to list thru one account, simply because they have 3 offices!??

  18. Slippery Slope June 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Perhaps this is not the win for FSBO companies.

    REA will need to think of ways in which to stop the hemorrhage of revenue from the bulk listers.

    Enter – Pay Per Listing. The model long feared by the industry in the 2000’s.

    Or just perhaps, if FSBO sites can influence REA (allegedly through ACCC intervention), to allow them to list FSBO listings on REA then surely the argument can be made by the consumer/property seller, that REA is adopting third line forcing, by making them use a business which does nothing but – yep – list their property on REA.

    A few FSBO “businesses” lobbying the ACCC compared to 5% (just guessing the average of FSBO of total transactions) of property sellers lobbying the ACCC.

    Which group makes more noise?

    It would take a good legal team to make the argument (rules you out Peter), but the argument could be made.

    Interesting times.

  19. Ryan O'Grady June 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    It

  20. Peter Ricci June 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    Although this decision will affect real estate agents, I have said all along that this is coming. Realestate.com.au has been a real estate agent portal, but real estate agents come in all shapes and sizes.

    I actually think REA wants to lose these fights to open up more revenues, the only way I see this affecting REA is if agents leave the site and take their listings with them – en masse

    Consumers go to where the content is – and the content is with REA!

    I know this is upsetting to some, however be confident that if you provide the service to your customers and provide results to your vendors nothing much will change in the short term.

    How this plays out is anyones guess and REA are being fairly vague about this.

  21. Bill June 10, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    Peter, here’s how it will play out. Eventually REA will allow owners to list directly on REA for around $1,000. Agents will scream and yell but will keep listing even while the REA fees are increasing. Then one day agents will realise they have been price gouged to such an extent their margins will become unsustainable and see them out of business.

    Who thinks that can’t happen should go and spend some time on AllHomes.

    By my calculations 5 – 10% of AllHomes business is from private sellers. I’m sure REA are watching them and doing the math, 5- 10% of the Oz market at a $1,000 per listing is business they cannot ignore.

    All that’s got to be maintained for it to happen is for agents to keep building the REA brand.

  22. Vic June 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

    Again Salespro has come up with a gem and it is being ignored by the threaders on this blog. REA has been brought to account by Andrews (and others) persistence with an issue of anticompetiveness. (Well done Andrew, by the way) .
    The major issue agents should now be concerned about is the subscription costs aligned to individual offices of agents compared to the one fee a FSOB portal is being charged. This is anti competitive which should be lobbied through your REIs, surely???
    Ryan, are you saying “tongue in cheek” that agents should not pay their subscriptions to REA for a few months? Can’t see this happening en masse – each agent will weigh up the benefits that REA give them re leads and would be reluctant, particularly in the present climate to act on a “principle” when their vendors are expecting their listings to appear on REA.

  23. Vic June 10, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

    Bill, agree with your comment. Seems a natural progression.
    However, what is wrong with a portal like REA charging on a per listing basis, surely the agents can then collect via VPA and the calcuation of the direct cost to a vendor would be much clearer than trying to work out a share of a subs cost. Then it becomes the vendors call, like it used to be when, before portals, all that was on offer was an advertisement in a news paper?

    Heading that way for sure.

  24. Bill June 11, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Vic I don’t think there is anything wrong with a portal charging per listing. But agents should be wary of assisting portals to become monopolies unless they have operational control over said portal. I don’t think I can think of any monopoly in any industry that isn’t price predatory.

  25. Bill June 11, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Vic I recall some study which suggested a vendor selling an average priced property is psychologically prepared to pay $10,000 (may have increased) in agent commission and advertising.

    If monopolies price gouge, the agent will pay from their bottom line because the vendor is stuck mentally in this $10,000 price range.

    My understanding is it’s not so easy for agents to extract exorbitant advertising fees from the vendor even though the vendor will expect to be listed on the predatory portals and publications.

  26. Vic June 11, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    Bill, don’t be stuck on a price charged by Allhomes. REA can charge $100 per listing and still come out well ahead of the agent subscription fees currently charged.

  27. forsaleforlease.com.au June 11, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    I am with Peter on this and my bet is the REA will start to allow private sellers direct for around the $1000 mark. They will then try to blame this decision on businesses like mine and Andrew’s when the probability is they had planned for this result. It hard to believe anything else considering the amateurish and heavy handed way the REA has tried to deal with businesses like mine if they actually expected to get away with it.
    Sorry to hear your upset by this decision Greg V its probably time to now focus on your own value proposition and to stop expecting handouts.

  28. Sal Espro June 11, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    $1,000 per FSBO listing!!? Gimme a break! *L*
    Ps Now waiting for 3 small rural agencies to post thru one account. I don’t see how they should be discriminated against when a squillion FSBO can post thru one (portal) account.

    Ps Propertynow ain’t working at the moment! Is there a discount to vendor clients for time down during valuable Sat morning searches 🙂

  29. James UK June 11, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Glenn thanks for setting that out so clearly and picking up the 4th paragraph of a standard looking email on a friday afternoon.

    The Australian market really does lead the way in online real estate, it always seems like you guys are having so much more fun than us in the UK 🙂

  30. Bill June 11, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    For those interested here is the AllHomes price schedules and plenty FSBO’s in the ACT accept them http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/research/listing-private-sales/view

  31. Greg Vincent June 11, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    forsaleforlease I’m not sure what hand outs you’re referring to?

    This decision will only send me more agent clients as they go looking for ways to add value and compete against the agent assist sites. Even though I know this to be the case, I have been openly against the agent assist sites because I know that we are going to see lots more of these crop up through the National Licensing (in july next year) and the lure of cashing in around some 500,000 listings being uploaded each year.

    Unfortunately, i believe that we will see this have a similar impact to our industry as Ryan Air did with the airline industry and just because the listings are being uploaded by a licensed agent many of these FSBO style homesellers will actually believe that they have an agent working for them in their corner and our industry will get flooded with fly-by-nighters looking to cash in.

  32. Glenn June 11, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Charge by the listing and you reduce your content level immediately as many will watch how many they list and with less content REA becomes less comprehensive.
    Better to have the basic fee as is for “X” number of listings and a charge per listing above that, most agents will be unaffected but the prolific listers will pay as they should.
    This may reduce content slightly but not as much as charging for every listing.

  33. Vic June 11, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    If the listings reduce by half on REA, through a pay per list at $100 per list, REA will still make twice as much as they do under a subscription. Make this $500/1000 for FSbo listings and the rewards are huge.
    Subscription based “membership” implies it is owned by the industry- it is not and the “membership” is now an anachronism. Time will see REA follow an advertising enterprise model and charge for space and give discounts to clients (agents) who give repeat business. IMHO

  34. PaulD June 11, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Well done Andrew, I guess the legal fees are starting to mount up. I heard recently, must have been down at the pub, that you have been trying to flog PropertyNow. Any takers ? Good luck with your legal action – you’re going to need it. Don’t forget the win-win situation with your legal team. Perhaps you and Peter Mericka should team up.

  35. Glenn June 11, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Vic if thats the case they will do it, they have limited choices to increase revenue but they need to be careful they don’t give Domain a free kick.

    I don’t know what the fees are these days but I heard some outrageous figures being bandied about for an annual spend if you include featured listings and so on.

  36. Chris June 11, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Don’t see what all the fuss is about – its called competition.

    If as agents you’re afraid that because REA will allow private sellers to list that the world will end…???

    Gimme a break. Agents in Australia have been price gauging for years and having vendors pay for advertising is a rort. All it does is advertise your brand for free.

    Welcome to 2011 (if a little bit late) in the regulated nirvana that Australia is.

  37. Property June 11, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Re Greg Vincent comment – quote – REA may have to “allocate service areas for their subscriptions so that agents can only feature listings within say a 40

  38. Ryan O'Grady June 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Bill, in relation to cost per enquiry REA are struggling across Australia. Many Sydney agents could drop REA if they had a valid reason. Only this week I was chatting to a new client in Mission Beach QLD (REA heartland) and she has dumped them along with the majority of her competitors. All because the enquiry is not that great and prices are always increasing.

    Who knows whether this will be the tipping point for other agencies. But if they don’t then REA will be “licking their chops” as they’ve just found an excuse to allow private sales and generate more income.

  39. Glenn June 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    As a side issue, how do the vendors of private sales know the value of their home ?

    Does the Agent Assist Portal provide the information ? if not the only other way is to get a few local agents in for their opinion unless you want to rely on your own judgement from Auction results and very few people could do that.

    If this is the case the whole model is flawed as it needs to use local agent knowledge to exist.

    A use up.

  40. Follo Rup June 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Andrew, be interested in your feedback on Sal’s question re. multiple agents per account re ACCC, please?

  41. Wayno June 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Hi Guys, I can see where this is going and you can’t stop it. All agents have built REA to where it is with their listings (your data and being charged plenty for it) and now by doing this they have the opportunity to become the biggest FSBO site in the country. So if the trend continues that more people will sell privately REA will be the big winner whether you stay or not. Someone said purchasers go where the data is and I agree, now is the time to take your listings (data) to Realestateview as an example and promote it like mad, thats when it will get interesting as REA will hold very little data and guess what? to go list where the data is who can only list there?
    Simple isn’t it?

    Wayno

  42. Bill June 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Glenn,

    As a side issue, how do the vendors of private sales know the value of their home?

    Good question that, at the moment it would be difficult for most to obtain an accurate value, but I don’t think a minor detail such as that will prevent monopoly portals from marching on with their strategy of having FSBO’s listing directly.

    They will develop tools to present a vendor with a value they will feel comfortable with.

    The portals will be saturated with testimonials from successful vendors who used the tools to establish a sale price and then topped the sale price in their suburbs etc.

    Not unlike we can see the share trading software sold on pay TV at the moment, they just make it seem soooooo easy.

  43. Glenn June 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Bill to overcome that someone has to create a tool using all sales information, auction results private sales etc all can be obtained from Council and more recent results can be obtained first hand from Auctions.

    When thats done agents will be in real trouble as half the reason for using them will have disappeared, once the vendor knows what the property is worth they can do it themselves or let an agent do it for 2 1/2 % and I would imagine THATS where the Assisted sales sites will come into their own.

  44. Ryan O'Grady June 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Wayno, couldn’t we be creating another REA monster if every agency in Australia supports just one other portal eg realestateview? What would be ideal is, if all the current and sold data was sent to one central location and then everyone had the right to access that information. Unfortunately, this can’t be realestateview as they won’t feed data to a broad number of 3rd parties.

    Bill, can’t vendors go and use homeguru or Ozhomevalues (services provided by REA) to value their homes?

  45. Glenn June 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Realestateview are owned by the agents in effect therefore it will/should run at cost, there won’t be another monster emerge from that camp.

    Agents are like sheep, the answer to rising costs is in front of them but they can’t see it.

    So pay and continue to pay more and more and empower the monster/s with your data, feel stupid ? You should,

  46. Peter Mericka June 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    It’s was as obvious as it was inevitable:

    1. REA creates and maintains a monopoly for real estate agents.
    2. Opportunists give FSBOs access to realestate.com.au.
    3. REA sees that the FSBO sites are taking its revenue.
    4. REA sells FSBO services direct to consumers, bypassing the FSBO sites.
    5. Estate agents lose their monopoly as REA deals direct with consumers.
    6. Competing portals woo consumers while estate agents decline.
    7. Professionals offering legal, conveyancing and real estate related services gain the ascendancy.

    Now, it’s just a matter of adjusting to the change.

  47. George Rousos June 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    I think with so many legal deficiancies within the current real estate system and a new compliance regime to be rolled out next year – that will form part of the new National Licensing System in 2012. I’m almost certain you will start to see businesses merge with others and progess towards a much safer and cost effective option for selling real estate – being fixed fee services.

    Under this model the lawyer oversees compliance of the operations – sales agents and property managers become portfolio managers who oversee particular customer service tasks, control resources and execute decisions.

    The conveyancers would manage the conveyancing side and facilitate the settlement process. It

  48. Glenn Rogers June 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    George, perhaps a copy of all material used to determine the value should be kept by the vendor as well, but only if they proceed with that agent, no free valuations with evidence thanks.

    Also it needs to be recognized that demand is almost impossible to determine and put a dollar value on, with Auctions agents have been amazed over and over again as the market climbed. This will change no doubt but what must be protected is any chance that the property will be undervalued, selling cheap is the worst possible outcome.

  49. Vic June 12, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Glenn B, if what George pronounces comes to pass, what actions do you think agents will need to address in their appraisal routines to meet the rquirements? It almost appears that an agent will need to employ a full time valuer, or alternatively only take vendors who bring their own licensed valuation to the transaction.
    Otherwise Peter M’s 7 points above, may be prophetic.

  50. Glenn Batten June 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Vic,

    My first thought is that if agents were legislated to provide a formal valuation before they could list a property that would solve a lot of problems around pricing and buying the listing. Small agencies would just contract it out and larger agencies would hire an inhouse valuer.

    As to Peter M’s points…. if a solicitor did become necessary in an agents functions then you have to look at what is more likely to occur. Agents hiring a lawyer for the role or vice versa. Solicitors have slashed prices to compete with each other and conveyancing firms and the concept of an inhouse lawyer is already out there.

    Think about it.. which do you think is the shortest route from current conventions and thus the more likely to actually happen?.

    Remember, Peter M is a real estate agent now in his real estate agency practice.

    He had to get his real estate license and is now what he claims to despise. Peter claims his 7 points were obvious yet he failed to predict them except for his point 7 which he has a large financial stake in and is yet to come to reality anyway.

    What these sort of requirements will do if they ever come in is place higher pressure on smaller agencies and a greater financial burden on owners. Peter would have you believe that its agents that are over priced yet have a look at what he provides for his fee. For me that’s hardly value especially if you dont actually achieve a sale which is happening more and more.. Compare Peter’s cost and an agents cost if the sale does not eventuate.

    PM cant help himself and will no doubt respond to drum up more traffic to his website so here are some questions for you Peter.

    What is the ratio between agents who employ or hire lawyers … and lawyers who employ or hire agents..?? 10,000 to 1??

    You have told us on numerous occasions that the industry was going to be turned on its head with massive changes in 2011..Where are all these changes 🙂

    What support have you had from your own industry… how many lawyers real estate franchises have you sold?

    Peter… You have claimed incorrectly that you have been censored and posts not , had links removed, that Tatiana was and agent and then a journalist. You have claimed that 2011 see this big shakeup.. You claimed you could prove that Lawyers real estate had sold property for higher than an agent could yet when pressed admitted you could not do that at all. I respect you have the opinions you do and I respect that you have a right to those opinions… but thats all they are.. opinions.. because these days I have trouble believing anything you spout as facts as you too often proven wrong.

  51. forsaleforlease June 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Sal

    The ACCC will not be interested in whether a small country agency has to pay for 3 subscriptions and an online business can work with one. It is a commercial decision for the individual principles whether they can justify the $1200 per month for a aditional office. The commission difference of $15,000 vs. $500 and the fact you need an office close to your vendors if you want to be able to earn the big fees would also work against you.
    The ACCC only investigate 1% of all complaints received and this one would not get up.
    The ACCC represent the public at large the decision of the REA to attempt to cancel http://www.forsaleforlease.com.au and Andrew subscriptions would have happened by now if it was not against the general public’s interest. They do not get involved in disputes between businesses. One of the areas that was of particular interest to the ACCC was the discrepancy between the percentages of Australian vendors selling privately vs. the overseas trends. The Australian vendor has been deprived of a viable alternative other than pay an agent the full fees for the full service otherwise risk potentially underselling their homes because their marketing would inferior. The REA is an obvious market power which makes this legislation even more onerous on them.
    Maybe main stream agents can make the argument that the professionalism and service that Australian agents provide here is that much better than agents OS. Good luck with this.
    To all the agents that have complained to the REA about my legitimate real estate agency business. Thank you for pressing the accelerator pedal on this issue. This market change will likely now only take two years instead of the five I had previously anticipated. Congratulation’s to the REA for acknowledging their error of judgment and making a brave decision.

  52. Peter Mericka June 12, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Glen Batten, you will still be in denial as you go down with your ship and your words turn into bubbles. You have little understanding of what Lawyers Real Estate does, how it does it, and why it endures.

    In a real estate industry that is required to operate transparently, without its monopoly being propped up by the likes of REA, and with codes of honesty and fair conduct being properly enforced, you will have no alternative but to compete with true professionals. This means having to bundle the services essential to any real estate sale, including legal advice and expertise with the legal documents and procedures associated with the sale and the transfer of ownership from one party to another.

    Professionalism and competition will be the main features of the real estate industry of the future – so get used to it or get out of it.

  53. Tatiana Mijalica June 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Oh dear, Peter, please don’t start all that again. Surely this is done and dusted.
    More importantly, where does this decision leave your model? In REA terms, do they consider you the same as a FSBO?

  54. Glenn June 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Peter Mericka your site says you can negotiate the highest possible price, don’t know how you can claim a private sale will do better than an auction, are you licensed auctioneers ?

  55. Glenn Rogers June 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Don’t know where the Rogers part of my name went, perhaps it’s different on my laptop.

  56. Glenn Batten June 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    Peter… no answer to my questions…?? Gee .. I wonder why 🙂

  57. Glenn Batten June 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Glenn R

    I have had that very discussion with Peter when he claimed he had proof to support that claim and in the end I have his acceptance that he could not prove it at all. Marketing puffery is all that is… the very thing he says he despises in agents 🙂

    It seems he is becoming more and more of a real estate agent every day !!

  58. Peter Mericka June 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    C’mon guys, don’t vent your spleens on me – I’m just the messenger. Your days of dishonesty and deception are numbered. If you want to know where I’m coming from on this, see my video blog posting at http://www.facebook.com/LawyersRealEstate

    Glenn, as for auctions, you and I both know that they’re just conditioning tools for lazy real estate agents. The formula goes like this:

    1. Over-estimate the value of the property to win the listing.
    2. Recommend auction as the way to achieve the highest price.
    3. Spend up with VPA (for non-agents that means Vendor Paid Advertising).
    4. Conditiont the vendor during the inspections to lower expectations.
    5. Run the auction for those who bother to show up on the day.
    6. Pull the odd dummy bid to give an appearance of competition.
    7. Pass the property in when the reserve is not met.
    8. Convince the vendor that “the market has spoken” so price is lowered.
    9. Sell at a price that the vendor would never have accepted otherwise.
    10. Claim in the newspapers that the property was actually sold at auction.

    This tried and proven formula wins real estate agents fat commissions every weekend. It’s just one of the corrupt elements that is heading south with the real estate agent concept as it exists today. Roll on real estate reform!

  59. Glenn Batten June 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Peter,

    As I said.. you are all about drumming up more traffic to your own websites.. You bitch and moan when you think anybody is censoring you here but on your sites you delete stuff all the time when it differs from your own view.

    Are you just going to ignore my questions again and confirm to everyone just what the answers would be with your silence.. 🙂

    Also, just so its clear to everybody… are you saying that I am dishonest and deceptive as a real estate agent Peter ?

  60. Peter Mericka June 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Well Glenn Batten, your offer is just too tempting. If you have EVER tricked a client or a purchaser, then you will have committed a deception, and acted dishonestly. Are you prepared to state in writing that you have never, ever, tricked a client or a purchaser in a real estate transaction?

    A “Yes” or a “No” will do Glenn.

  61. forsaleforlease June 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Tatiana

    Don’t let Peter hijack an interesting debate again with his narrow viewpoint.

    Let the numbers tell the story.

    http://www.realestate.com.au/buy/by-reocro/list-1 10 listings

    http://www.realestate.com.au/buy/by-prgtik/list-1 387 listings

    Peter the public has spoken regarding the value you offer.
    Selling Real Estate will remain the domain of real estate agents.

  62. Glenn Rogers June 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Peter Mericka don’t talk to me about real estate agents, I just paid $850 to get my will updated, you lawyers are thieves but EVERYONE knows that.

    You guys have been sitting on your fat spoiled backsides doing paperwork, sometimes correctly, for outrageous fees now you think the grass is greener and you want to sell property as well ?

    Hate to tell you this but no one will want to bid on line I mean just how bone lazy can you get ?

    You actually have to WORK to do the best by your client, you should go back to ripping off little old ladies for doing wills and other menial jobs for which you are best suited………….and so I advise.

  63. Peter Mericka June 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Glenn Rogers, perhaps you should have a nap and come back when you’re not so cranky 🙂

  64. Glenn Rogers June 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    I was an agent for 20 years (still licensed) so if you want to drag out those old worn out arguments you should expect some home truths in return.
    The REIV will still be there long after your effort has been tossed aside like so many others that try to cash in on the industry using methods that require little work.

  65. Peter Mericka June 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    Take another sleeping tablet Glenn Rogers, you’re not quite there yet.

  66. Peter Mericka June 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Glenn Batten, please step over the snoozing Glen Rogers, and continue the thread.

  67. Glenn Batten June 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Your running on empty as usual Peter.

  68. For sale by owner June 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Sal and username – Follo Rup… sorry I haven’t gotten around to answering your questions above regarding multiple accounts until now.

    – Quote – “So, Andrew, are you able to shed some light on my 2 questions above, please?
    It would seem anti-competitive to allow PropertyNow to advertise listings from anywhere and yet not allow 3 offices of the same brand to list thru one account, simply because they have 3 offices!??” – end quote

    Sal, Michael Atwell explained this quite well in terms of the ACCC not being interested in disputes between companies but rather whether the public’s interest is being served with fair competition in a marketplace. Agents would need to sue REA as it would not be a matter for a Government regulator.

    I will add however that currently PropertyNow pays about $40,000 per year to REA and any business can do likewise if they wish to do a risk versus reward and effort equation. To operate as we do you will need to work 7 days a week however and until at least 8pm.

    Sal the suggestion you make of real estate offices potentially sharing one account to reduce costs ( that seems to be what you suggest and forgive me if I read you wrong ) is not remotely what we do at PropertyNow. In fact what you suggest is very clearly a breach of REA’s terms of account usage and would get your account closed overnight.

    Besides that, the situation could not work in any case.. as only one office’s banner and contact details would appear on all listings. Naturally that won’t work in what you suggest. Sal, your suggestion regarding fairness may stem from not knowing how we operate.

    We spend a lot of money and endure very low margins for extremely long hours of service to our clients. Only a vested interest can find fault in a company providing a better service for a lower price.

    It was a valid question Sal but I hope this puts it to bed. After all we would prefer not to pay for multiple accounts with REA, but of course we do it to comply with their directives and I am sure you would not want us to do anything less would you?

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  69. Bill June 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Maybe Ryan can run a Poll:

    Do you think the industry is heading where PM suggest it is heading?

    Yes

    No

    Or a similar question, writing it like my example may bias the responses.

  70. Glenn Rogers June 12, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    The answer is NO Bill , I’m a consumer as well and there’s no way I’m paying a lawyer to sit in his office and charge me $5k for selling my own property.

    The PropertyNow model has a far better chance, but still will only appeal to those willing to take a chance on stuffing up the sale of their biggest asset.

    Once again the agents fee is justified by the reponsibility he/she takes on when representing you and the majority will continue to support full service agents.

  71. Peter Mericka June 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    You’ve answered the question Glen Batten.

    Bill, do you really think you can change the future by having real estate agents complete a poll? Who cares whether real estate agents are industry change deniers, climate change deniers or whatever.

  72. sale by owner June 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Glenn, in relation to your question above –

    quote”
    As a side issue, how do the vendors of private sales know the value of their
    home ?” end quote.

    Glenn, vendors form opinions about price in precisely the same manner as real estate agents i.e. they peruse sold data of comparable sales made within the same area within recent times. They do this in a variety of ways. Where there is little or no comparable data they make an informed guess just as an agent must.

    There is absolutely nothing magical that an agent brings to bear in this regard. Some agents get it badly wrong and some private sellers also get it badly wrong. Some agents nail it precisely and professionally and so do some private sellers.

    Do some private sellers and agent assisted sellers use agents to garner an idea of price? – yes that certainly occurs and therefore I suggest agents start charging for market appraisals. The quality of their stock would soar and their efforts would be appreciated more if they all charged.

    As long as agents keep arguing they can do a better job than private individuals, no progress gets made. It’s an argument neither side can win. Far better to simply concentrate on providing outstanding value to clients you have.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  73. sale by owner June 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Re Glenn Battens questioning of Peter Mericka about who is better placed to achieve the highest price – a private seller or an auction?

    This is an absolutely nonsensical question Glenn.
    Do you mean when clearance rates are at 80% or 50% ….or all times everywhere? Do you mean that all properties should be auctioned. Do you seriously believe with the hundred and one variables in any sale that auctions are always better than traditional or private sales?

    There is zero evidence that auctions achieve higher prices on any property whatsoever. Besides this, several PropertyNow clients also employ a Licensed Auctioneer as well as PropertyNow.

    Glenn, I have to say that Peter’s counter post to you,really said it all.

    In my opinion Auctions ( as a general rule ) are a tool to elicit vendor paid advertising which will benefit an agent regardless of the outcome of the auction. The benefit to an agent accrues in two ways –

    1 – the vendors auction money pays for enquiry via a newspaper,featured internet listings and larger sign and

    2 – the perception of people wanting to list is that their appraisal should go to the agent who has the most ads in a newspaper.

    These occur regardless of the auctions success.

    Anything an auction can do will be equally well done by other methods with the same budget and commitment that an auction might provide.

    People don’t compete for a property because it’s at auction, they compete because the house has something they want. They may just as easily compete via Private Treaty or indeed private sale.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  74. private sale June 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Re – Glenn suggesting Peter Mericka is only interested in drumming up traffic to his own website –

    Glenn, I can’t believe you criticize him for that. It would be an issue if it were not for the fact that there is a lot of content provided at the same time in Peter’s posts.

    I am equally guilty of promoting my website in here and also equally proud.

    I am not an associate of Peter Mericka and if anything he might be a competitor to PropertyNow…. but it seems everyone is on his case in here. He is an agent, you guys are agents and I am an agent. Being an agent doesn’t give anyone the high ground, nor does being an fsbo company, nor a hybrid of the two.

    I am happy to be judged by our clients, as would Peter. I only care if we provide value to clients not these constant circular arguments about why agents are better placed to sell a home. Agents ( including myself ) are better placed to sell than Joe Public only when we have the advantage of sites and data that the public cannot access. In a foot race it would be called – handicapping.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  75. Bill June 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    Hmm, I don’t think I ever said I wanted to change the world, I’m just interesed in peoples opinions. No harm in that is there?

  76. Peter Mericka June 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    Not at all Bill, go for it. But we both know the real estate agents will be clinging to the past, and all they will do is encourage each other to believe in fairies.

  77. real estate agent June 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Hi Glenn, just getting round to putting my two bobs worth in …during this terrific thread.

    You stated above (in response to Peter Mericka) – quote” The PropertyNow model has a far better chance, but still will only appeal to those willing to take a chance on stuffing up the sale of their biggest asset.

    Glenn, I am not sure that was a compliment but if it was – thanks.

    I cannot cop the theory you have, that people selling via PropertyNow or Peters service or via ForSaleForLease ( Michael Atwell ), will get a lower price than via a traditional sale.

    Honestly Glenn, what on earth do you base that idea upon ?

    I will provide proof, that this notion you propose is both intellectually and factually ridiculous. View this video ( link below ) of a client who saved $35,000 via our PropertyNow service. The 35k was a combination of commission saved and a higher sale price, than the agents appraisals she was given.

    Glenn, you either believe it was a fluke, or you believe she is an exception to the rule ….but the truth is that this is far from an isolated instance and we have many such successes… as well as some failures. Except it would be wrong to call them failures any more than we would call a Ray White or Raine and Horne agency a failure if one of their houses failed to sell within an agency period.

    This woman ( in the channel nine video ) knew what she was doing and did it extremely well. But if she didn’t get the level playing field that PropertyNow provided… then who knows?

    Glenn it’s time to let go of the notion that the public either can’t sell, or else can’t sell as well and as high as an agent.

    Lets just have the future arguments based on value for money, customer service and equality for the public.

    The YouTube link referred to is given below – or view it on PropertyNow’s front page. I left out the www in case it gets treated as spam, i.e. copy and paste to view.

    youtube.com/watch?v=vWjD8HIzI_M

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  78. real estate agents June 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Tatiana – in response to rating Peter Mericka via the number of listings he has on realestate.com.au versus Michael’s company -what a low blow – its interesting at best but hardly an argument to say his service is lacking. As far as I can tell they both offer a great service.

    By that logic realestate.com.au is approximately a ten thousand fold better company than mine or Michaels or Peters.

    But Tatiana, the statement you made that utterly astounded me was this one – “Selling Real Estate will remain the domain of real estate agents” – huh???

    You have been following this thread right?

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  79. Sal Espro June 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Meanwhile, what smart operators out there want to join our new single office agency running 200 individual agents a la the USA. We’re going to out-max REMax. We can provide you with listings on all the major portals, letterheads, b/cards, great website, blog, SEO, CRM etc, for …whdya reckon…, $1,500 pmth all up and no % commish. What you make will be all yours! No 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 here. A little side benefit is that we won’t need to charge big fees because we won’t have many!
    Thanx for the prompting REA.
    Any thoughts Glenn’s?
    The older I get the easier I try to make it!

  80. Tatiana Mijalica June 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    Umm, not sure where that came from Andrew. Are you going through the old threads?
    My only comment on this thread was this:
    “Oh dear, Peter, please don

  81. Vic June 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    Andrew,
    If you read back on the thread, it was Michael (for sale for lease)
    who dealt “the low blow” not Tatiana.

  82. Glenn Rogers June 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    Andrew, seen the video and I would think it’s a one off, people regularly got more than the quoted range while the boom was in full swing, (now fast reversing)

    Agents have full access to the best evidence for placing a range on a property.

    There’s a place for your model but I don’t believe it will have any effect on traditional methods.

    As far as the lawyers go, it;s a failed concept, they charge more than you and deliver less as far as I can see.

    BTW your site is under review by senior regional editors at my request, don’t know if and when I’ll hear and not sure of the effect of the directory these days, it’s a bit of a mess in there but Google still takes their content so may as well be there than not.

  83. Glenn Batten June 13, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Andrew,

    You are having a a great time misquoting.. First Tatiana and then me regarding the auctions. Youtires from the fight or ben celebratingto much 🙂

    As to Peter…i said he is ALL about drummingup traffic. I have asked him a bunch of direct questions and he has not answered one choosing to try and deflect his clear implication against me. He still has dozens of unanswered questions from other posts as well. He has never liked my questions since he admitted on his facebook site that his claims to have conclusive proof that he can get a higher price was marketing puffery and unprovable. He did not have the fortitude toback up his implication against me with a simple yes or no answer. He likes to sling mud but wont back it up. He wants to ask the questions butnot particpate in the discussion by providinghis own answers. Once he had a go at me for not answering his questions…. but they were only asked to deflect from questions i had asked him and that he did not want to answer. It’s his standard mode of operation and he thinks he is smarter than everybody else and they dont understand what he is doing. If he does not want to particpate in the discussion and only preaches then IMHO he is ALL about drumming up traffic and interest in himself. His invitations to read his blog and facebook post are what he is all about. The difference between you and Peter is that you participate. Whenever he does he has had to remove his foot from his mouth.

  84. Glenn Batten June 13, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I blame typing on the tablet for the typos 🙂

  85. Vic June 13, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    Andrew,

    A little question: Why do you always keep changing your post ID?

  86. Glenn Batten June 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Its for seo purposes vic. The links are all nofollow’d so technically he should get no benefit from it at all.. But I think Andrew’s position is that there is no harm in trying and it will defintely not harm him at all.. Google definitely will not honour the links (nofollow links never turn up in the webmasters dashboard) but others might

  87. Glenn Rogers June 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Incredible, I never would have thought of that, wonder if that attitude accounts for trouble elsewhere.

  88. australian real estate June 13, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Glenn, I didn’t know the history between yourself and Peter….. so fair enough. We all have to back up what we state in here , that’s for sure.

    Taitiana – yep , you may be right, your comment may have been on an old thread. I was just making the point that what you were suggesting will never happen… has already occured, some time ago. It’s no longer a monopoly. Agents will not die out and all of this is just a natural evolution. Telstra once had a monopoly on telephone network sales also. They adapted and still do ok. I expect good agents will become great agents with more opportunities overall in the future.

    Vic – Hi Vic. You are naughty chap. You weren’t listening when I discussed seo with you by email and phone a few months back 🙂

    The reason I change post id is because it acts as a link back to PropertyNow and may have a rather insignificant use in serps ( search engine positioning )

    As some one once famously pointed out to me in this forum some months ago, the links in this forum are nofollow. Google discounts no follow links which basically almost negates any worth in the backlink anyway. I haven’t checked recently but last time I looked we still aren’t even listed as a portal on this website whereas several less well known sites are….so we need all the help we can get. If the site owner wants me to stop doing that I shall but it harms no one at all. I think it would be an issue if one was either hiding an identity, a motive or spamming in general.

    Anyway Vic, it’s an old seo habit I got into 5 years ago ( as I do my own seo ) and when you are on as skinny a budget as I am for seo, it all helps. You will notice however that I always sign my name at the bottom of posts and am always clear about being an agent and also clear about being sympathetic to people selling their own home via an agent assisted sale with us or a private sale on their own. Agent assisted sales form the majority of our business at PropertyNow. Hope that answers your question Vic.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  89. real estate June 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Glenn and Tatiana – my apologies to Tatiana as it was Michael who made the point on Peter’s listing numbers versus his own. You are right Glenn, a bit of fatigue on my part. I thought it was odd that Tatiana would post a link to the two sites in REA ……she didn’t of course…. Michael referred to her at the top of the post which is what I saw. I am officially a goose.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  90. real estate June 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Glenn ( Rogers ) – Thanks Glenn I really appreciate the review by regional editors which you may have helped me with. I just noticed your post above.I really appreciate the effort Glenn

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  91. Sam June 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    So, is this (REA backing down) a good thing, or a bad thing for agents, vendors and buyers?

    I got lost somewhere.

  92. David June 14, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Having observed the shot and shell raging through this thread with some interest it would appear to me that the comfortable old real estate establishment is being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Real estate salesmen need no qualifications. They are usually on commission which provides powerful incentives that are not always in the best interests of the vendor. VPA is a wonderful tool for ongoing business promotion and many of the services provided are available to intelligent vendors if they know where to look. With respect Glen Batten many vendors do not need to be led by the nose and many have a very good idea as to what their home is worth. Internet based sales will increase as they have overseas and the rearguard action to preserve the comfortable old order will fail. Look at Amazon.com and others. I am not a real estate agent but I have spent many years in marketing and have a couple of successful businesses under my belt. In my view realestate.com.au have recognised that the old monopoly is no longer relevant and have bravely looked to the future. They have taken a courageous decision which recognises that many Australian vendors have the desire and the nous to get hands on involved in selling their own houses and given the green light to ForSaleForLease.com.au and PropertyNow.com.au (who still need to observe the rules) to provide the modern cost effective services that are relevant today. It’s interesting to note that neither of these companies is commission based and it can be assumed that the services they provide are free from bias. Maybe people like that.

  93. Sal Espro June 14, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Can anyone tell me how big Carsales’ FSBO site Homesales, is getting? Seems agents are uploading there despite it being FSBO! We’d better bring them into line too guys!
    (Meanwhile, I nearly have one of my 200 one-office agents on board paying a flat monthly fee for services while they get on running their own show without sharing commish. Who’s next? 🙂

  94. Peter Mericka June 14, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    You guys don’t realise that I’m doing you a favour by coming onto this site and offering you a differing view. I can see that some are prepared to stop and wonder, while the rest of you want to snap and snarl. I find it quite amusing that your industry is being engulfed in flames, and yet you attack me for, in your view, making too much noise about it.

    Be that as it may, I will continue to tell you what I see, whether you like it or not.

    The change in REA policy spells the end of the real estate agent as we know him, and will result in the gradual dismantling of the real estate agent monopoly.

    As I have said all along, as soon as REA and domain begin to allow private sales on their sites, the change will roll in like a tsunami. It seems that the tsunami may be preceded by some king tides, however, as the FSBO agent sites step in to represent the vast numbers of consumers seeking direct access to REA and Domain. But when these portals realise that they can compete with the FSBO sites and tap into the FSBO market themselves, that’s when we’ll see the tsunami.

    Once the tsunami has receded we will see further change. As I have stated on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LawyersRealEstate#!/LawyersRealEstate

    “…the only way we can ever find out if there are any “good agents” in Victoria is to expose them to genuine competition by dismantling their powerful monopoly. When lawyers and licensed conveyancers start offering one-stop-shop real estate services and consumers have a real estate, then we will see “good agents” emerge and endure.

    Whether you like hearing this from me or not doesn’t really matter.

  95. Vic June 14, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Thanks for your explanation Andrew. So, if what Glenn B says is correct and you get no benefit from the practice, why do it? It doesn’t really enhance your image on a serious blog like B2?

  96. Peter Mericka June 14, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Oops, the quote above should have read:

  97. Tatiana Mijalica June 14, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Somehow I don

  98. George Rousos June 14, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Hi Tatiana,

    It will also be interesting to see how things play out with National Licensing for Real estate agents and Conveyancers next year and ASIC’s future role in regulating the housing market.

    The latest on the ASIC front, is that any change in legislative responsibilities would need to be agreed to by each state minister and properly a matter for parliament.

    I predict with confidence it will eventually happen.

    ASIC as Safe House

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/asic-as-the-safe-house-20100719-10hx8.html

    Housing Market in ASIC ‘s sights

    http://www.brokernews.com.au/news/housing-market-in-asics-sights/47180

  99. Vic June 14, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Andrew, Michael and Peter M,

    Now that the market has been set into a decline of sorts I would be interested to know whether demand for your services has increased? We certainly have received a steady flow of FSBO requests in recent times.

    On the issue that Glen wrote about which Sam rightly is trying to put back on track, I’d like put something into this debate that has been seriously missed. REA as responsible corporate entity must at all times continue to define what it actually is. A couple of historical examples of company’s failing to define are
    1. The American Railways in the early 1900’s continued to see themselves as a “Railroad” company. It failed to recognize that its business was “Transport” and that motorized transport was fast entering the market place- it went broke
    2. Scandanavian Airlines failed to recognize what SERVICE meant. It kept its planes on the runway until the very last passenger boarded then took off- sometimes an hour late- to the detriment of the other 120 passengers who got there on time.
    REA has defined it self, and to the chagrin of a lot of real estate agents it is not a real estate site it is an Advertising business. It’s Strategic plan is based on this definition and if it is to survive through saturation of agents subscriptions and a shift in consumer behaviour it needs to change. That is what we are seeing now.

    It is interesting to put forward opinions (and sometimes facts) and this is what blogging is all about, but just keep in mind that REA are beholden to its share holders as an ADVERTISING business.

  100. Peter Mericka June 14, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Vic, this is precisely why REA must eventually allow individuals to list. REA shareholders will not allow REA to have its revenues filtered through a few estate agent owned portals who provide FSBO access to REA’s services.

    There is little doubt that REA is alreadyt working on a strategy that will allow it to give FSBOs direct access, while maintaining the flow of real estate agent uploads. And REA knows that it must ensure that it gets the balance right, so that the inflow of FSBO uploads will outstrip the decline in real estate agent uploads.

  101. Vic June 14, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    Yes Peter,

    and it why REA has been frustrated to know that 500,000 vendors on their site (or whatever the number is), who pay for their ads (the agents don’t pay, they get it from VPA ie vendors funds) have not in the past been able to be accessed.
    They want vendors to know directly that a better placed ad, that is an up grade, may get them a quicker sale. They don’t trust agents to effectively get this message out so they are now doing it themselves.

    I guess they figure that because it is the vendor who pays for the REA Ad, therefore indirectly the vendor is their advertising client. JIMHO.

  102. Peter Mericka June 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    REA has been cynically clever in realising that real estate agents will always squabble among themselves (commission based remuneration does this), and that it simply needs to control them until it has changed is business model.

    I know the real estate agents don’t like me saying this, but all they do is give vendors access to advertising. This used to be in the form of photos in agency windows, but REA took the windows from the agencies and put them into cyberspace. For their part, the real estate agents were content to see this happen, as it made their job easier, and allowed them to gain further VPA. However, they didn’t take into account how exposed they would become if REA decided that it no longer needed them as a source for clients.

    The real estate agents now realise that they have nothing to offer to vendors who gain direct access to REA. (Sure, they will bleat on about the value-add they provide in real estate sales, but it’s as meaningful as the stuff put out by the pro wrestlers on TV, some of whom seem to believe their own propaganda.)

    Only those real estate agents who have a genuine understanding of their industry are going to survive, and it will not be through the propping up of the old order. They are going to have to compete with lawyers and conveyancers in the future, while REA and Domain etc. become the new force in real estate advertising services.

  103. Vic June 14, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Andrew and Michael and Peter,

    Would still be interested if the market downturn has increased enquiries for your services. My guess would be yes. I know that I would now seriously consider going this way as a way of reducing the costs that would come off my considerably lower sale price.

    Or maybe too early in the downturn cycle, coupled with the seasonal low, to see any discernable shift in seller behaviour.

  104. forsaleforlease June 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Vic
    Too early to make a call on this. The seasonal downturn as well as the uncertainty of my REA subscription has also created a few variables that are hard to measure. I also think a depressed market will make our models even more attractive to a broader market. Ask me again in three months. One thing is sure the time to sell has pushed out.

  105. Peter Mericka June 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Vic the market downturn hasn’t affected my business to the same extent as the Consumer Affairs Victoria court case has. Since CAV issued its Supreme Court writ in its turf war against Lawyers Real Estate we have had all kinds of difficulties. One problem has been an anonymous person who obtained a copy of the writ from the Supreme Court and has posted photocopies to all of our clients with a notice stating “PUBLIC NOTICE – DID YOU KNOW Peter Mericka is charged with alleged DECEPTIVE AND MISLEADING CONDUCT BY CONSUMER AFFAIRS”. There tend to be two kinds of reaction from clients who receive this. Some become even more angry about the real estate industry and the fact that it harbours such types, and others decide that the don’t want to risk being “involved”. Suffice it to say that we have lost clients because of this.

  106. Vic June 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Peter,

    That is fairly malicious. But thanks for that feedback and also for your contributions to this blog. Unlike many I do think that the divergent views you put on these threads are good for provoking thought and debate if not the occasional bile. Your wry sense of humour also is appreciated by many.

    Good luck with the court case.

  107. Vic June 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    Sorry, also thanks Michael for your response- challenging times ahead.

  108. Peter Mericka June 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Thanks Vic. I do like to get straight to the point, and I like deliver my points forcefully and right between the eyes when necessary.

    I appreciate that you see my involvement for what it is – the intervention of someone who is passionate about righting what’s wrong and getting this industry on track.

  109. James June 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    In relation to:

    There is one company alone that instantly , consistently and unambiguously took the fight to REA via the ACCC.

    Show me the actual determination on the matter that you receive from the ACCC and I might award you a Gold Star!

  110. Andrew Blachut June 16, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    James. Please keep to the facts for the sake of accuracy.Your post makes an incorrect supposition. There is no determination and there may not be for months or years. We lodged a complaint and nothing more. Having said that, the complaint was followed through and in fact it was very difficult,time consuming and stressful. The complexity of our complaint should be very obvious as are its ramifications – this will take time….probably a lot of time.

    I will not be discussing anything about our complaint but will be quite happy to debate the future of real estate or the PropertyNow service.

    James, I presume your Gold Star comment to be derogatory but if that is the case it demeans the effort made to date.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow
    http://www.propertynow.com.au

  111. Glenn Batten June 16, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    Just reviewing this thread and noticed that I have had comments attributed to me a few times now that i did not actually make. My posts have my full name and my photo. Comments by “Glenn”…. are just not me 😉

    Whilst he has a fantastic name, Glenn R is not me in disguise..

  112. Tatiana Mijalica June 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Hi Peter, no offence, but I can’t think it be a bit of karma coming your way.

    You have run http://reic.com.au/ for years, ranking it extremely well in Google and putting derogatory feedback about agents on it.

    However, you point consumers to it to

  113. Glenn Batten June 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    I cant say I agree with with the anonymity of the tactics. His own style of negative dirty tactics used against him. Oh the irony!

  114. Lewis Nelson June 17, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    All Agents reading this post. You have a choice to STOP REA and all the other non-agent controlled sites from destroying your business model. REA nor any other portal owner cares about your business as they only see you or others as sources of profit. They will do whatever is in THEIR best interests only!!

    A NEW portal, owned and controlled by professional agents can be funded, created and online in under 90 Days. It will be generate hundreds of millions of dollars to the agents who support it within the first year!! Advertisers will line up to pay you millions of dollars for the priviledge to be on your site.

    You will have 100% control of all search engine results for your industry.

    Add to this you pulling all your inventory off these other non-agent owned sites and no one will ever visit realestate.com.au ever again.

    They have built their business on a non-sustainable model because they don’t own the listings. They know this and are simply trying to destroy your business so they can replace you.

    In the last 30 days a group of Canadian agents have removed entire mls listing databases from Zoocasa.com ( our realestate.com.au threat), eliminated our country’s biggest private for sale portal attack (propertyguys.com) from our first test city and have eliminated the need of the high cost lead generation companies.

    Don’t Agents in Australia want the $1.8 Billion valuation realestate.com.au currently is making from them?

  115. Real Estate in Australia June 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Come on everyone. Don’t forget that you have all chosen to make your living by “servicing customers” ie. AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY OWNERS not yourselves.

    Real Estate Agents, Agent Assisted companies, Seller Advocates and FSBO companies DON’T OWN the product that they are selling. You are all essentially acting “on-behalf of” or “assisting in the sale of”. However, you are acting as if YOU OWN the properties that you are selling and you’re getting angry that new competition is entering the market? Please! Servicing vendors is about achieving the best outcome for the property owner not about how you can protect your ridiculous commission levels by forcing an advertising site to support one business model.

    It’s high time that the real estate industry be shaken up by new competition and business evolution. This idea of “I know what we’ll do guys, let’s all get together and make our own portal” is calculative and unethical to your customers to which you make your living from. It stands out like dogs balls that what you’re really wanting to do is ensure you secure your high income levels at the cost of Mr & Mrs Australian homeowner’s equity.

    Let’s exercise a little more humility here and show some respect for the home owners that OWN the product that you are “acting on behalf of” and essentionally making your living from.

    Mr PropertyNow, you say that you launched action against REA with the ACCC years ago. On what grounds would the ACCC see that you have a case if REA accepted your business each month for the past 5 years?

    Interesting times ahead for real estate agent but even better benefits for Australian property sellers!

  116. Vic June 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Lewis,

    You have been spruiking this line for a while on every blog you can get your hands on. You have every right to do so. However, it would be better if you were able to answer some questions on your own motives ie. how many $100 contributions have you collected since you launched your strategic plan to start your own portal? And what stage are you at in its development. From my reckoning you are now six months behind your stage one.

  117. PaulD June 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    The thing is Vic, most of what Lewis says is right on the money. The big variable, hurdle, mineshaft or whatever you want to call it, are the Agents themselves. A long time ago, on this blog, I likened the agents in Australia to a herd of Wilderbeast. They just keep following the herd. They never step out of line long enough to ask what is it all about. Some of the crowd get eaten by lions or crocodiles, the others don’t even look sideways, they just keep on going. The following year – they do it all again, and the only reason they do it, is because that’s what everybody else is doing.

  118. Vic June 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Paul D, you use the analogy of wildebeeste and Peter M uses the analogy of trying to “herd cats”. You both come from different philosophies re the industry but you both come to the same conclusion. Andrew D, did an article on this blog on “the analogy of the Cave”, (which I happen to agree with), which fundamentally espouses what you and Peter have said.
    If you look at Lewis’s philosophy (click on his name to go to his web site) it follows a line where agents as a mob should follow, in a wildebeeste manner, to the riches of an agents’ owned portal which would give you guys trillions of dollars of revenue from something that is not your core business- that of advertising.
    It will never happen. The good agents amongst you aren’t that foolish. They will read they state of play and adjust according to their own needs and enviroment.

  119. Vic June 17, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Pied piper of Hamelin comes to mind when I think of Lewis’s philosophies.

  120. Lewis Nelson June 18, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    Vic,

    As stated previously no portal owner is an advertising expert, they don’t employ advertising agencies for expertise in this area and the webheads who think they know how to market online are nothing more than SEO supporters whose entire marketing strategy has been proven to be wiped out in less than 60 days. Like print media in the past current portals are selling ad space and ad space alone. If they own the dominant advertising medium in a marketplace then they can sell space. If they don’t they can’t.

    The owner owns the home.
    The Agent owns the Listing Contract.
    The Listing Contract is what legally requires the advertisements.

    Agents: They like everyone else (webheads included) were unprepared for the rapid rise of singular online control. No one envisioned an idiot like Mark Zuckerburg could compose accurate psychological profiles of 100’s of millions of people as they willingly handed the needed information to create those profiles over to Zuckerburg. The nature of man, is the same today as the days they first walked out of the cave or picked the first apple, and that is to act first and think later (sort of like sleep walking and then waking up).

    As per Canada,
    As stated previously Zoocasa (owned by a corporation far larger than the owners of the REA group), ProperyGuys, ComFree (FSBO sites that Australia has no dominant comparision) have all been affected in a 30 day legal attack that cost under $400 dollars. Which represented less than $1.75 for each agent in that marketplace or the price ONE AGENT would pay for a single print ad. This is no longer debatable and the webheads have NO way to stop it.
    We have remain online, have rebated (not refunded an ownership share per agent was maintained) all deposits, secured funding in the form of 18 month from live, advertising contracts in 2 areas that are dependent on agent support to survive and grow and additional funding by agreeing to make certain aspects of our portal “Flash” dependent which came from well known Apple competitors.

    Agents are being educated about Portals, Listing Syndication and Advertising revenues generated by Listing Data, all online is a series of videos. It really is quite easy and this viral thing is great!

    We have not posted in Australia much lately as we were faced with having to plan for 3 additional portals, one for rentals, another for new homes and a 3rd for private for sales, that will all be intertwined with our main portal.
    We have gotten support from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who was previously oblivious to the data collection being preformed by independent portal owners.

    So REALTORS (it’s great to have a trademarked name in a democratic country) or Agents, are now signing up for FREE and available after sign up is the ability to purchase one (and only one) share for one dollar of the 100,000 shares that produce revenue.

    Did we say over 50 innovative and new revenue streams have been identified for our portal, many that actually benefit the home owners who will be MARKETED on our channel.

    It was great to see REA go back on it’s policies and provide proof of what these guys are really about. The same way they acted as print media providers. They provided a medium that could be offered by anyone with a printing press(xerox) and distribution system (the mail) that’s value was based on advertisers content not editorial or news.

    The biggest con job in the history of business is the media business.

  121. hemp June 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Google recently announced that it was going to release major changes to their search engines. Now it goes without saying that this is obviously not the final version as they would have released it if it was ready. I have only checked the first page for each keyword and if there are no more changes to Caffeine before its launched it appears on a national level at least that Myhome will be the biggest winner and Domain the biggest loser………….Source ………………………………..

  122. Vic June 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    RYAN, sort of related. Someone posted on propertyportalwatch that the IPO for onthehouse is in trouble. Do you have any feedback?

  123. Bill June 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    I saw it has traded as low as 73cents now trading at 77cents. Hope you didn’t dive in too deep Vic:)

  124. Vic June 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Nope, not me Bill. I just wonder whether it was fully subscibed?

  125. Bill June 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Vic, yes it was.

  126. Vic June 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

    Bill,

    Any info on who subscribed. Intitutions, agents the general public ?

    The general opinion on the thread of the article posted by Ryan suggested that this proposition was doomed to failure because of the little funds remaining for redevelopment and marketing. Have you seen any evidence of a marketing campaign. I haven’t seen any TV and even adwords don’t seem to be in play. Certainly they would not get a run on the print media.

  127. Bemused June 21, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    I am having a good laugh at all this bickering. REA is a PRIVATE company owned partially by Rupert Murdoch. I see no problem with a private company deciding who can advertise on their website or not. If you own a bar, you can refuse entry to anyone, if you are a right wing newspaper, you can refuse to print the points of view of lefties.If you are a Fernwood gym you can refuse membership to males. REA set up and built realestate.com.au as an Agents only porta, so where is the issue with ACCC. I really want to go online and purchase my next vehicle through the dealer auctions of Manheims – but I am not a dealer so I can’t subscribe to their website – hmmm, I might complain to the ACCC – PU-LEEEZE!

    The ACCC should only be interested if REA is forcing FSBO businesses out of business by their tactics. If REA suddenly allows private listings, the several hundred FSBO business will close overnight – so REA will have another fight on their hands.

    As for Peter Mericka, he is just an ex-cop (and lets not talk about corruption in the police force here) who had the State pay for his degree and then couldn’t hack it just doing conveyancing for $770 a pop. So he decided that he wanted to shaft vendors by charging them $4,400 for conveyancing but under the guise of a real estate business. All he really does is what For Sale For Lease and Property Now do for around $500 (plus conveyancing) – but for 8 times the cost. Its amazing to see him being self righteous when all he is is a conveyancer offering assist sell with the very REA subscription that he bags.

  128. Vic June 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Bemused- putting up an opinion is fair enough, but taking cheap potshots behind anonymity is pathetic. Many of us here take a shot at an individuals opinions if we are passionate about our own position and sometimes we slip into “you don’t know what your’e talking about” : but you crossed the line well and truly with your personal insights into Peter Ms background particularly as nobody knows who you.

  129. PropertyNow June 24, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    I agree whole heartedly with Vic, who states that the person posting as ….bemused.. has over stepped the line in the personal attack on Peter Mericka

    I also agree with Vic’s note about the cowardice of the anonymity of the comment.

    Besides that it’s vitally important for a reader to know the background or at least the profession of a poster if not their name, because how else can a reader determine legitimacy of comment versus simple vested interest.

    Well said Vic – Andrew

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  130. PropertyNow June 24, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Been away lately and now that I have a few minutes to spare I wanted to answer a comment made by Glenn ( Batten ) on June 12th above.

    Glenn I make the following comments with respect for your own viewpoint and also for balance in countering what you have said in earlier posts, which to my way of thinking is partly or wholly incorrect.

    Glenn you made a comment suggesting that the video evidence I provided above ( of an extremely successful agent assisted private seller) was a “one off ” and also that it could really only occur in a bull real estate market.

    Glenn you also said that the market is now rapidly reversing…..hence my post below.

    Given these comments, I am going to show further evidence in the form of very recent testimonials provided below – of successful PropertyNow clients from just last week. This of course should be impossible given the retreating market comments which Glenn makes.

    I do believe that Glenn may well firmly believe what he said and I accept that this comes from his own experience. We all form opinions based on our experiences. It’s very important to me to correct the statement by providing evidence to the contrary. If we don’t do this, people who come to this blog ( and PropertyNow intending clients do come here ) may form an erroneous view that is is hard to sell their own home. It would therefore be a complete disservice to let such black and white statements go unanswered.

    So at the almost certain risk of it being said that I am self promoting ( which of course is also partly true ) I would now like to post two completely unsolicited comments from 2 separate PropertyNow clients of last week.

    Every time I hear any person claiming that agent assisted private sales… or even private sales …are inferior to real estate agent traditional sales, I will post a new Testimonial. Given that we are approaching some 200 testimonials I don’t expect to run out before the agent versus private sale debate finishes in here.

    Here is the first Testimonial. The only editing done is to remove the name and address …however if the person allows me to I would be happy to give his name out later – nothing fake here.

    START OF COMMENT

    My property has now gone

  131. PropertyNow June 24, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Quick note about previous testimonial – The client accidentally wrote 2010 when the month was in fact the current month. Again happy to place people in touch who doubt the veracity . New testimonial …also from last week also unsolicited…follows

    COMMENT STARTS

    Prior to listing with Property Now I received an agency appraisal of $350,000 for my property in Longlea, Victoria. I instantly knew how that particular agent had obtained so many sales! I already had some idea what it was really worth, even the council rates indicated cmv of $360,000. I listed at $375,000 with the view of a $10,000 negotiation range, but i did not expect to sell this fast!

    Less than a week after listing, I had received 2 offers and over the long weekend a buyer offered me the full $375,000 cash sale! We now have an unconditional contract signed & deposit taken!

    In essence had I gone with the agency @ $350,000 i would have lost over $35,000 Unbelievable !

    Im now in the process of booking a photographer in preparations to list another of my properties, in a challenging part of Qld, near Agnes Water,. interested to see how things go with that one.

    Would you be able to amend the Longlea listing to under offer ?

    Im Very happy with how things have gone & thank Andrew for putting up with all the inquiries received.

    END COMMENT

    There we have it….another fluke I suppose.

    As mentioned I will post a new Testimonial every time someone makes the absurd statement that people do not have the ability to effectively sell their own home. If there are no such statements then you won’t see me posting more testimonials – should make it all self correcting this way….

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  132. Glenn Batten June 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Andrew,

    You are getting your people mixed up AGAIN. How many times do you have to do this before you start checking properly. You have screwed up not just between Glenn Rogers and myself but also Tatiana.

    I admit is harder when Glenn Rogers posts as just Glenn but those comments were clearly made by Glenn Rogers… I always post as Glenn Batten.

    Now Peter is very open on this blog and despite accusations he does not remove comments very often and only under extreme circumstances.

    Posting testimonials has gone too far.. Imagine if we all posted a testimonial whenever someone disagreed with us… SHEESH. There would be no conversation just testimonials and I certainly have far far more than just 200 to draw from.

    Trying to silence your critics with Noise rather than sound reasoned arguments is childish. It’s like putting your hands over your ears yelling “nah nah nah nah nah” like a toddler.

    I expect Peter to delete the testimonials from those comments or I can see this turning into a testimonial shoutout because I doubt everyone will always agree with you.

    IMHO you should reconsider your position on this voluntarily.

  133. PropertyNow June 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Glenn and Glenn

    I just said didn’t I that I would not post a single testimonial ( I prefer to call it proof ) as soon as people stop making stupid and unsubstantiated statements. You are knocking me for providing evidence. Glenn Rogers just made a stupid statement without any evidence submitted at all…is that your preference then?

    I have tried sound reasoned arguments in here – it doesn’t work Glenn Batten

    Andrew Blachut

  134. Guy Robinson June 24, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Dear every other Blogger on this thread,

    This debate is highly entertaining. This is my first post on this site, I am the managing director of Robinson Property, a Newcastle NSW based agency with 6 offices, 100 staff and over 3,000 residential sales in the last 5 years.

    With that out of the way I just wanted to add that I believe REA and all other sites should allow aggregators, FSBO’s and whoever else they want to list on their site to genuinely sell their property on their own or others behalf. Property Now doesn’t have any listings in Newcastle, but I wish you well Andrew in growing your business into our region.

    I would also welcome any quasi real estate office combination of lawyer/agent, conveyancer/agent, lawyer/agent/aggregator etc. provided they do their job professionally and ethically.

    The more competition our real estate industry is exposed to the better. Property sale commissions are too high for the service provided, and the “closed shop” attitude is simply a front to protect a fee that is often extremely difficult to justify.

    With some extra competition, and the current low volume market creating extra pressure, I cannot wait to see what the next 12 months brings!

    Guy Robinson

  135. Peter Mericka June 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Hi Everyone,

    First, I note the comments made about me by “Bemused”, and I believe that I know who he is. Suffice it to say that I understand why he chooses to remain anonymous.

    Glen Batten, your concern about Andrew’s testimonial is misplaced. He’s not on this forum to drum up business, and his testimonial is simply an example of consumer satisfaction with his concept.

    Like “Bemused” above, your attacks come across as ill-informed and contrary to consumer sentiment. If the services you offer are superior to those offered by Lawyers Real Estate and PropertyNow you would feel under threat.

    Perhaps you and “Bemused” could get the debate back on track by explaining why consumers should be deprived of the opportunity to sell through either PropertyNow or Lawyers Real Estate if that’s what they want to do. I assume that you do have some cogent argument to call upon?

  136. Glenn Batten June 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Andrew…

    Nice of you to sort of correct the wrong attribution about the comments..

    As to sound reasoned argument not working, what makes you think that? if you really think that everybody is going to agree with you, then you are fooling yourself.

    I respect your opinion and whilst I don’t agree with all of it I think your involvement here has been fairly positive.

    But just so it’s crystal clear… I think your posting of testimonials here is pathetic as is your threat to continue to post them if someone disagrees with you…. and that’s my opinion 🙂

  137. PropertyNow June 25, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    Thanks Peter. I appreciate that.

    I think Glenn ( Batten ) is missing the point of what I am trying to do. I know its provocative but its also very valid.

    You know Glenn, I hope I never have to post another testimonial in this thread because that will mean one basic tenent has finally been accepted and put to bed – and it’s this – real estate agents can sell a house successfully and private sellers can as well….but only on level playing fields.

    What I said to Glenn is that I will do it ( post a testimonial )not every time someone disagrees with me…..but every time someone says that private selling is flawed.

    Such statements can’t go unchallenged because they are just flat out wrong.

    They are factually incorrect and since no amount of argumentative evidence will convince my fellow agents, I will stop arguing the toss and just present the unequivocal evidence.

    If the testimonials get deleted then I will contact the people themselves to come over to the forum and post their own comments, so that Glenn can have no quarry with it all.

    Just to be clear – every time someone says that private selling does not work , I will simply balance the equation by showing that it does – what could be fairer…?

    Saying that private selling or agent assisted selling doesn’t work is a completely worthless statement. It is a head in the sand attitude for which there is zero evidence. Does this mean that all private sellers succeed ? No, of course not. Do all agent sales suceed? Again – no of course not.

    So I would just like to lift the bar of the conversation by acknowledging what really are self evident facts. Help me out here guys – stop knocking and bellitling private sales and the private sale process and then I will stop defending it……deal?

    I wish there were more agents like Guy Robinson of Robinson Property.

    What an amazingly modern and refreshing attitude. That is an agent who will flourish under any kind of market or competition.

    Guy you are absolutely welcome to list your agency listings on PropertyNow as hundreds of agencies have already. I love supporting fellow agents just as much as I love bringing choice to consumers…..and at the end of the day, this whole topic ( realestate.com.au and their policies ) is about choice in the marketplace. As I have always said – good agents will become great agents regardless of what changes the future brings to the industry.

    Andrew
    PropertyNow

  138. PropertyNow June 25, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    On another matter. Real estate agents may have a new champion in the making. The new champion of the industry may end up being Enzo Raimondo and RealEstateView.

    PropertyNow last week sought to add its listings to RealEstateView and that portal has said no to us, just like realestate.com.au tried to do.

    While they ( realestateview ) have not put it in writing yet… as I have requested they do, I was told by Jim in their office that the decision to disallow PropertyNow real estate agent listings was ultimately made by Enzo after he got some legal advice this week.

    As they haven’t put in writing the reasons so far, I can only assume that they will hold that they have a legal right to do this on commercial grounds. And in fact they may well be right as they are not a monopoly.

    Of course, it would suit them very nicely to be seen as the white knight in resisting agent assisted sales ( which are not the same thing as private sales ) and they may choose to say that they protected agents who were abandoned by realestate.com.au and domain. One could envisage disaffected agents leaving realestate.com.au and going to realestateview ( in theory at least )

    Of course, I see this as a mighty big gamble and I hope that for Enzo’s sake he really did get sound legal advice before making his decision this week.

    One thing is for certain and it is that realestateview now has the dubious tag of being the only real estate agent portal in Australia ( to my knowledge ) which does not accept PropertyNow ( and similar company’s ) agent listings. REV is in good company however with the majority of newspapers around Australia who also refuse to accept our PropertyNow advertisements. I think we will find that this is all quite legal….I think we will…I mean it’s almost certainly not illegal…

    This does mean that while REV will be able to lay claim to not allowing agent assisted sales, it conversely will be open to the other claim that it does not respresent all realestate listings. Investors and buyers will have to be told that the portal is not representative of Australian real estate sales…..but rather a sub section of those.

    I would like to ask Enzo from REV to come over to this forum next week to put his point of view. I would be very interested to hear it.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  139. forsaleforlease.com.au June 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Andrew
    I think it is time for another letter to Mr Zawa from the ACCC, he might be primed to over hall the entire industry.
    Enzo Raimondo personally rejected my application for REIV membership although my full service business has been a member for around 10 years why would this be? I have been given recent approval for a realestateview subscription why have you been refused? Maybe they will be silly enough to reverse my contract as well. Enzo I am putting my hand up if i have have managed to slip through the cracks. I will be very interested to see his written reply.
    This is almost as stupid as Domain.com.au trying to increase our subscription costs by 3000% overnight even after I notified their head of marketing that the REA was likely to be investigated by the ACCC for misuse of market power for similar behaviour. I had also laied out a strategy to help them gain market share through a series articles in fairfax owned papers and in tern give the public some awareness of alternative ways to sell real estate. Fairfax have backed away from this insane price increase as they are now also being investigated by the ACCC for preditorey pricing tactics. This was a massive opportunoty lost for them and if the decision makers worked for me they would have been fired. Sell your Fairfax shares first then the REA shares as they have both peeked.

  140. Peter Ricci June 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    I would like to just make everyone aware, that commenting on the issues relating to a post is fine. However blatant self promotion of yourself or your business will not be tolerated.

    This is clearly in our terms of use. I dont want this site to become a chest thumping site. I want to make sure we remain engaged with the issues.

    Most of your comments are fine, it is just the ones with testimonials (anyone can make up testimonials) and the like step over the boundary.

    I hope you understand. Just a note, I have sent this reminder a few times of the years, so just so you know i am not picking on you – if you feel a tinsy bit guilty 🙂

    Keep it robust and real please folks…

    Peter Ricci
    Editor
    Business2.com.au

  141. PropertyNow June 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    No problem Peter.

    Even though I received a brand new and astonishingly good testimonial this morning I won’t post it. Even though he saved $45 grand lets not tell anybody.

    Remember that I stated I would stop posting the clear evidence ( because that’s what it is ) when agents stopped telling lies about the inability of private sellers to get their property sold either at all or else sold effectively.

    Given the warning from you Peter, I will just tell clients to post in here directly or will that also be unnacceptable?

    I thought the forum was called business2 not realestateagent2.

    I have no desire or need to self promote in here. If it occurs fine, if not fine… but why do I have to witness complete falsehoods being touted as fact…. by agents who have no clue about the emergent agent assisted sales industry.

    Thanks Peter for leaving my earlier comments intact. I appreciate that.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  142. PropertyNow June 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Hi Michael and thanks for the heads up on realestateview. I have contacted Enzo repeatedly and cannot get any form of either verbal or written response at all. I phoned him again just moments ago but alas he is still in a meeting.

    I have asked him to put his rationale in writing and thus far he has not. I also asked him if his rationale would extend to MyHome which is owned by REV now.

    Michael, the fact that he refused you membership of the real estate institute of Victoria, is even more compelling. I am shocked to hear that. Did you get that in writing Michael, as I would think that in itself is quite explosive?

    I would also certainly agree with you about the fact that domains intention would look for all the world like predatory pricing Michael.

    Andrew Blachut
    PropertyNow

  143. Late Bloomer July 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Ryan O’Grady – Letting a subscription lapse won’t upset REA in any way shape or form as they automatically renew them.

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