Many people are guessing about the myhome.com.au development and what difference it will bring to the market and I am going to place my guess here!
The style and navigation cannot really change too much, but I do hope the focus is on property listings and not advertising – this will be a huge test for a company that receives most of its income from advertisers and one which time and time again major media companies fail to do (and this includes all current portals)
Domain.com.au is the closest to getting it right, but perhaps this is more to do with the fact that more people want to advertise on the number one site realestate.com.au – which is so heavily laden on every page with advertising.
My focus will be on ease of use and the layout of information, which I think no real estate portal has got right just yet.
Not one bit as far as vendors listing data – this is because they will be receiving the same data that all of the major portals like realestate.com.au receive from the major franchises – so do not look for any difference whatsoever here – especially since they are rushing to market. This is important because all major franchises already have systems in place to send data to the real estate portals and they are not about to invest money to change the structure of this data, not yet anyway!
It is the layout of this data that will be important.
I think they will use the Microsoft Mapping Service and this could be a very interesting addition – if done correctly, which no-one has done well at all so far – but it is early days with mapping and I expect all offerings to continually improve.
I think the site will be in a wider format, such as 1024 pixel width, which domain.com.au comes close to. However realestate.com.au is still working in 800 pixel width for the less than 20% of people that have small monitors.
There is nothing wrong with 800 pixel width but I believe 80% of the population should not have to suffer for the 20% that do not have monitors less than 5 years of age.
THE WINNING EDGE?
So how can they win? A Digital TV Real Estate Channel! One where member agents can upload listings (movies, photos and text data) and viewers can search (subscribe even) and view movies/photos and text information of selected properties in the comfort on their couch in front of their TV at home.
Or maybe IPTV (TV over the Internet) will do this and I am sure realestate.com.au/domain.com.au are looking into this already. IPTV whilst impressive on paper is yet to set the world on fire but it shows promise.
Imagine coming home from work and simply clicking a button to have all the latest listings (sent via your options) appear any time you wish!
Now that beats sifting through magazines and even sitting in front of a computer. The biggest warning I can give anyone, is do not think for one second PBL will simply enter the market and be a lame duck, they will already have plans, perhaps not as lofty as mine, but they will have plans!
PBL through Channel Nine has experience in this medium and with the Internet, Television and Magazines, they can form a lethal combination.