Many on this site like to get stuck into realestate.com.au and domain.com.au from time to time. Love them or loath them, they are the dominant forces in residential real estate in Australia and will continue to be so for at least the next 3 years.
So how can these sites improve? Improve for who? Well there are 3 main areas that they all can improve…….
1. For Agents.
3. Shareholder Returns.
In my opinion these are all related. Some good things have happenned over the past few years by forcing agents to comply with minimum guidelines. As an example each property on realestate.com.au must contain a main image and also a headline.
So I will start with Agents. How can portals improve their relationships with agents. There are a number of ways.
1. Member packages: Make these packages clear and with clear benefits. We all know agents need to be seen to be doing as much as their competitor acroos the way (getting vendors) but really one level to the next and a few thousand dollars extra annually for your logo to appear next to a listing is just money grabbing.
2. Realestate.com.au and Commercial listings: Making residential agents pay extra just because they have a few commercial listings is all about money, make it so residential member agents can have a maximum of 10 listings per membership at any one time (per office)
3. Agents Data comes first: On property pages agents data should come first. Having other advertisers all over the place confuses users of the site.
4. Smart Advertising: Stop this pop over, pop up, pop under nonsense. This just shows a complete disregard for your users. Look at how Google do it, clean, efficient and clearly defined.
Also for the love of whoever you believe in, build your own advertising platform that is at least clever and at most clean. If a block of land is advertised, then having builders, surveyors etc advertising alongside makes sense and will also attract more advertisers.
We call this targetted advertising. Don’t just throw any junk up there. Also build the advertising system so it is regionalised, so that smaller businesses that want to advertise alongside listings in particular suburbs can do so. This will bring you untold wealth and triple your advertising revenues and also be good for the consumers.
5. What price my Inbox?
If I want to know how much my house is worth then I will contact an agent, all these other nonsense businesses that just annoy and deceive people are not clever businesses to partner with and will soon be seen by the public for exactly what they are, deceitful for both agents and the general public. Dump them….NOW!
6. Innovate: Open your development teams to new innovations, set up an arm of your company that just comes up with ideas, implements them on test sites and then make quick decisions on these developments. Innovation with mapping systems, user interfaces etc will make a big difference in the future.
Remember that there are so many companies baying for your blood and one of them just might (doubt it) come out with something from left field and catch you unawares.
7. Domain.com.au: Simple, 5 images per property (including floor plan) is not nearly enough, get with the program. Realestate.com.au allow up to 26 images per listing.
8. Remember that agents made you, without their listings you would be useless, visitor numbers would plummet and your advertising revenues would dry up. So get personal with them, let them know you are listening, doing the right thing by your major customers more often than not results in long term customer loyalty.
I am sure there are other things, so let me know your thoughts on my thoughts, good or bad!