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Will MyHome be unique?

3 minute read

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.
DIFFERENCE
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.

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10 Comments

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted December 5, 2006 at 10:24 pm 0Likes

    An interesting thought process Peter. I still remain of the mindset that an email alert is the most powerful tool for vendors/agents as it requires an action – open and or delete.

    It is much more cost effective !! And it is the only way that assures a 100% marketing bulls eye.

    The magnet still remains database mining. First, telephone dialogue, then data entry then a reliance on automated electricity.

    Where this falls down is that just a few agencies offer a 100% one and only, honest database. As against those where sales people keep a few hot buyers to themselves, which then destroys this principle.

    Whatever the case, the times are changing !!

  • Elizabeth
    Posted December 6, 2006 at 12:03 am 0Likes

    Peter – of course the franchise groups will be able to change their systems – as they will be earning DOLLARS from all the franchisees (who pay their franchisor twice) and independants who are advertising on the site.

    The money they earn here – will be used to update their systems… which might come in hand if you are LJH.

    The TV thing is interesting – but lets look at what you are saying here – you are talking about future new products.. all of which come at a price.

    Pretty soon – you will have to have the Suburb Banner, with the premium listing, with TV and mobile viewing .. just to be in the game.

    Robert is spot on – email leads and your own database and your own knowledge of your area.

    I wonder if they will get Eddy McGuire to host the TV Listings…. “we have found the perfect property for you… and we will be back right after these messages”

    .. see where the advertising comes in!

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted December 6, 2006 at 12:18 am 0Likes

    Do not think for one second Elizabeth that any of these, realestate.com.au , domain.com.au , myhome.com.au or any other major portal are in it for the agents sake, they are in in to make money and with any new service they will want to make more. This is how they spend their days, they are revenue driven businesses.

    That is why for 5 years I have been talking about Control, agents taking control of their own future. The Internet can do this, not all of it, but the focus should always be on how I can make my site better so that vendors and consumers connect through my site.

    You should need real estate portals, but rely on them entirely at your own peril….

    In my humble opinion.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted December 6, 2006 at 8:16 am 0Likes

    Peter I agree totally!

    Heard of the new Jenman portal?

    http://www.error404.jeman.com

    🙂

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted December 6, 2006 at 9:20 pm 0Likes

    When the PBL (whatever it is) property portal launches it faces one test – the litmus test which will determine its test of time. Take the dogpound oops, I meant to say homehound.com.au which since it launched – changed name and/ or rebranded they upload our properties on our behalf. Since it rebranded we have received just the one online enquiry and that was the test enquiry that I sent myself – fact !!

    When REA and domain launched they were not under the same scrutiny that property portals find themselves under today. Today, a property portal is either a highway or a dead end. It it fails to perform the reports will be scathing as its performance as a potential pay site will be measured against the performances of REA and domain.

    I will measure the traffic daily given that we have been told that we will be featuring on the portal. I guess this now places me in a very unique position as I can monitor its performance first hand – with full access to the back end.

    Let the electricity begin !!

  • Elizabeth
    Posted December 7, 2006 at 8:24 am 0Likes

    OK – So here is a Franchise office on board PBL – being FEATURED and with full access to the back end.

    So can someone from PBL tell me why I am not afforded the same opportunity?

    I never thought that being an independant agent classed me as a second class citizen, but that is exactly how I am feeling right now.

    Tell me Robert – what else have you been promised, and can you get your PBL person to get back to me on my statement above please

    Thanks

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted December 7, 2006 at 9:01 am 0Likes

    Hi Eizabeth.

    Just a quick comment. You are a second class citizen in the eyes of all of the major portals you are members with right now. Major franchises pay different fees, in a lot of cases far less than independents.

    Being featured (if this is true) is not a good idea and I think PBL should dump this immediately, this is one step further than what REA or Domain have gone (even though they both offer discounts to franchises) and I think if it is true and becomes public it will ruin the PBL business!

    This is just economics. They spend a week signing you up and they get one office, they spend the same time with a franchise with 500 offices and they make hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Same applies in print!

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted December 7, 2006 at 11:32 am 0Likes

    So as to clarify my comments better – what I was saying is that when PBL launch they have in discussions agreed with Head Office to upload all properties that feature on their website. We have had absolutely no dialogue with PBL – all we have been told is that they will be using our properties.

    Until they reach their designated number of properties that feature on their site it is free for all – then you have to commence paying the monthly subscription which I understand is $170.00 / month.

  • David Slattery
    Posted December 10, 2006 at 8:52 pm 0Likes

    So overall, may I ask my fellow agents….are we seriously welcoming a third portal to the market?

    I run a small independent agency – and list with both domain and realestate. I don’t think I will be able to justify a third player sub, unless my vendors a willing to forgo elements of the print cost.

    Peter – I now read this website regulary (actually mentioned by a domain rep) and I find it fascinating. We haven’t had a place to discuss how we all feel about the market changes.

    And Elizabeth, Robert, keep the banter up!

  • Rodger C.
    Posted January 12, 2007 at 8:52 pm 0Likes

    Mmmmmm. PBL have been out of this arena for way to long. They have been plotting this one for sometime and they know they’ll have to bring something fresh to market with a significant barrier to entry to protect their investment. They’ll be giving it away to get agents onboard for the first 6 months. It’ll be technology on the edge I’d say with massive media support through 9… think about it!
    Of interest is ‘MyPackage’, a site that appears to be moving up in the new home market. The site is a little rough but the content is high end. So Iguess that leaves out the PBL conspiricy theory??? or wolf in sheeps clothing.
    Good thread ppl.

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