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Domain supporting videos?

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Domain.com.au has added videos to the mix when you view property listings images [view here]. However an agent I spoke to today informed me that there is nowhere in the administration back-end where you can add movies. Maybe this is a feature that is coming soon? Maybe it is a feature for Adore clients only?

Earlier reports of extra images also seem to be false as it seems only 5 images can be added. I must say the image viewer from Domain is far superior to that of REA which gives you a next and previous with print only. The only painful thing is the amount of ads on Domain’s image viewer (2 large banners) compared to REA’s one that is nicely placed below and not as in your face.

Domain allows you to view images, virtual tours, movies (maybe) and also a great map!
If videos do become available you can be sure REA will also be hard at work adding this capability…

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38 Comments

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 7:38 pm 0Likes

    Peter,

    Yes – Domain are offering all agents that subscribe to their portal the video/movies facility. Domain and Adore are two different stand alone businesses that just happen to come under the one Fairfax Digital umbrella. It is afterall a media company exploring new and exciting property markets. My understanding is that agents will not be charged extra to upload videos/movies to the Domain portal. With Adore as discussed here agents/vendors will be charged on a per property basis.

    I was advised on the telephone last Friday by Sam Plowman, who is General Manager Fairfax Digital, that the number of photographic images will be increased from 5 to 27. Agents will also have the opportunity to upload property videos/movies to allow them to better showcase their listings.

    Simply put – they are offering choices of technology to the agents, vendors and prospective purchasers.

  • Peter
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 8:46 pm 0Likes

    I had a call today from a representative of Fairfax Digital. They are in the process of adding many more images per listing. They are also going to be adding Videos, but this has not occurred as yet. They are still testing this with a couple of agents and will more than likely roll out once testing is finished….

    The Videos will come from the Agents site (or bulk upload systems) and just a URL will be provided and it will stream within their window as if it is coming from their site. This is why their will be no cost as it will be no cost to domain. A fair fee from providers would be around $5 per month per listing.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 9:34 pm 0Likes

    Peter,

    Given that agents are charged to list their properties on the paid portals – REA and Domain. Their respective employees do all the manual labour to upload the properties which the real estate owners pay for this labour on top of the subscription.

    Peter said – “The Videos will come from the Agents site (or bulk upload systems) and just a URL will be provided and it will stream within their window as if it is coming from their site.”

    So why should the agents wear, Peter said ” This is why their will be no cost as it will be no cost to domain. A fair fee from providers would be around $5 per month per listing.”

    My understanding is why would a portal charge a $5.00 per month per property when the agents pay the price for hosting the videos with their respective ISP.

    As you pointed out in your initial post that Domain sell space to third parties. This ugly flash advertising with border action graphic advertising on their image viewer. This is designed from an advertising perspective to entice the viewer to their brand – as against the actual reason why the viewer activated their interest to view a property of interest.

    Yet, again a classic example of using the agency to lure the advertising dollars that third parties provide additional income to the paid the portals.

    Both property portals need to finally understand that there will come a time where agents say, enough is enough. Yes, they host however, individual real estate proprietors pay the wages for their staff to upload properties, which they then on – sell to third parties.

    If they want to charge us for videos, where we wear the hosting costs then get rid of third party advertising as then the agents should then brand their page. The agent voice is getting louder and louder!!

    Whereby, real estate agencies optimize themselves better on search engines like Google for example. And we all know that Google is the number one search engine in Australia and free.

    The only free property search engine that continues to flourish is Google. All our listings on REA and Domain appear there.

    Therein lies a clue.

  • David Slattery
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 9:47 pm 0Likes

    Ah Robert

    I can almost guarantee those flashing advertisements are worth a pretty penny or three to Fairfax Media…

    Both my domain and realestate reps tell me this is the harsh reality of the online world. Surely you would realise this Robert, being at the cutting edge of online???

    I just looked at domain’s new gallery – I think it looks smart and the map is a terrific idea. No VT or video listings of yet, but hallelujah they will finally get additional photos.

    Domain keeps moving.

  • Peter
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 10:10 pm 0Likes

    Ok

    Robert – Domain are not charging for Videos (not a cent)………But as an example my company allows videos (up to 2 per listing) to be added with each listing and then distributed. (I have had this feature for 3 years)

    However if Domain purely link to my system and the videos stream from there then I will have much greater costs from my server, both with resources and bandwidth. So what I am saying is that my company (and companies like mine) will have to charge for this…

    So this is what I am talking about in relation to charges….Sorry if that was unclear.

    On David’s comment that (not yours I know David) “harsh reality of the online world” is to me a complete slap in the face to agents and if you ever get told this I would tell them to go and jump!

    Scenario: If 3000 agents said they will walk from one portal if the advertising on their property pages is not dropped, then the harsh reality of the online world would hit them hard and fast…

    Agents problems is that the majority just say yes…..

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 10:25 pm 0Likes

    David,

    I agree however, I will continue to argue with both portals where they continue to take advantage of the agents to further up – sell our products for increasing revenues.

    What also concerns me is when Simon Baker assures me in another blog that – ” Your understanding is not correct. While there continues to be incremental changes to http://www.realestate.com.au, there will be no new release of http://www.realestate.com.au in the new 2 weeks.”

    Yet, a few days earlier to this post I am presented a totally different scenario ?

    Then when I catch up with our highly respected REA representative I posted that, “Maybe I misunderstood Janelle when we caught up last Friday. During the course of our conversation I was told that REA had an exciting release that will be launched within two weeks time. Janelle told me that she would not tell me exactly what it was – and that I would have to wait until it is released.”

    I think that we all know that it has been a very long time since REA made significant improvement(s) to their site.

    Atleast the “new” management at Fairfax listen to our concerns.

    I have absolutely NO interest to what REA is doing overseas. I pay for what they are doing in our market.

    If the Managing Director tells us very little is on the horizon, yet, our representative tells us that a new release is pending within two weeks.

    The portal then continues to fail in meeting agent credibility !!

    The only thing that meets conformity with REA is their billing !!

    To REA, please release us of your impending changes !!

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 10:41 pm 0Likes

    Peter,

    You make some very interesting points. As I administer one of the few busineeses that run a 100% per cent database business in years to come this will challenge the property portals.

    I disagree totally that print is a spent force as most clients that I know rely totally on (in Sydney) Saturday Domain. Email alerts just whet their appertite.

    In the majority of cases every person who inspects a property has something in their hand (paper).

    One thing I do notice here is that often commentary is from non – related real estate contributors. When you are at the coal face 6 days a week you get a very clear idea.

    However, I love the variations of opinions.

  • Peter
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 10:56 pm 0Likes

    Robert, my assumptions about newspapers will never change. With value for money they are finished and will never recover unless they give the papers away for FREE!

    Newspapers are still fine for a quick hit, but for effectiveness I think it is a stale medium…..I would prefer agents pour more resources into their online content and marketing, harder to charge vendors for but allot more effective….

    My humble opinion of course…..

    Linking to your website from your advertising in newspapers, now that is a smart move….

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 11:25 pm 0Likes

    Peter,

    If you had the power to remove the print functionality from every computer here at Business2, I would argue that your opinion would struggle.

    What developers, stock brokers and like do not understand, is that we address each and every enquiry. Why, do we ask their name and telephone number ? Because we want to database them.

    Print is here to stay for the moment. Times will change – however the teacher’s of society still recommend print from online searches.

    There are very little computers that are not coonected to printers … otherwise known as that print thingy !!

  • Tom S
    Posted February 19, 2007 at 11:38 pm 0Likes

    “The portal then continues to fail in meeting agent credibility !!”

    I like your sense of humour Robert – Using the words ‘agent’ and ‘credibility’ in the same sentence. Sunday Age (October 23, 2006 p.23), “5 least trusted jobs, including that of the real estate agent”

    “To REA, please release us of your impending changes !!”

    I don’t know why you continue to use REA as a supplier. You’ve said it yourself many times on this blog, you get heaps more traffic from Domain. Sounds like a waste of money to me.

    Oh, and keep the jokes coming! Terrific.

  • Peter
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 12:11 am 0Likes

    Robert, not sure what point you are trying to make here….

    My argument is that with print advertising you pay for each and every line of content…….

    Example: looking at Domain Guide Now Print….
    1 small picture….
    2 brief 2 lines of text, price, agents logo
    3 advertising days = 1
    4 reach = hard to say as newspapers quote figures on what they distribute multiplied what how many reads they estimate read each one paper…

    cost $500, $1000?

    Example: Web
    1 26 photos
    2 detailed description, property type, property size, land size, staff details, floor plans, map, movie etc
    3 advertising days = unlimited

    cost $15

    Newspapers are here but they are on their way out, vendors just cannot see the value as much as they used to and more and more will understand that this is an overpriced value poor medium…. As for readers, allot pick it up, but 90 % of all research is done online.

    My advice for all agents is to direct readers with each ad to the website….preferably with a system that takes them directly to each listing.

  • Simon Baker
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 7:35 pm 0Likes

    Robert

    I would like to clear up a misunderstanding. In a previous entry, you referred to realestate.com.au having a new release. This implied that there would be a new version of http://www.realestate.com.au in the market. This was not the case.

    What Janelle was referring to was the release of a new portal site, http://www.property.com.au. This site is provided free of charge to agents and is being used to explore new interfaces. Worst case, some consumers more from realestate.com.au to property.com.au as the interface to get to agents properties. Best case, we actually get more people to look at the websites (in combination) and at no extra cost to the advertiser.

    I look forward to your candid views on the new beta site.

    Simon Baker
    MD REA Group

  • David Slattery
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 7:43 pm 0Likes

    well this site just looks like a rip off of fairfax’s site

    Propertyguru

    http://www.propertyguru.com.au

    Pretty sure this is domain’s site?

    Do you know Peter?

  • Simon Baker
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 7:45 pm 0Likes

    Robert

    I have a question for you.

    How much do you charge your vendors for internet advertising?

    What i am trying to understand is to what extent the online advertising costs are just passed through or is there a mark up to cover the production expenses?

    Simon Baker
    MD REA Group

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 9:10 pm 0Likes

    Peter,

    When Saturday Domain run a feature on a property the numbers quadruple, as this is the bible and we will spend over $1,000,000 with Fairfax print this year. It delivers us results, and always has. Online with property portals is nothing more than a back – up.

    When the property markets moved to electricity ten years ago, real estate businesses subscribed to portals. Then technology that was available was different and difficult to fathom and implement. Today, it is a very much different story where many agencies are much smarter, whereby database mining by individual agencies will identify the likely buyers.

    Since 2000 – we have posted $553,209,100.00 in sales to our subscribers. This would be the highest in Australia.

    Yes – Tom S it gets funnier and funnier !!

    Ten years ago agents understood very little about the electricity of IT. Today – a much different story.

    Simon, it is not about what we charge our vendors to appear on property portals. Rather, what REA can offer them !! Guess how many times they say that they refuse to look on your portal ? Which bank !!

    I will have absolutely no hesitation to review contracts when they expire. With REA (in my opinion) it is bank oriented not agent friendly – that is why we won’t renew.

    The URL says realestate, yet it should read banks.com.au !!

  • Simon Baker
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 9:37 pm 0Likes

    Robert

    I read with some disappointment that you will not be renewing your subscription with realestate.com.au. On the surface i am not quite sure why you are doing this however i respect your decision and hope that we can work with you to keep you on the site.

    However i do have a question for you. You stated that you spend over $1m per year on newspaper advertising and have also talked about spending $600 per property to advertise on the new domain site.

    Why then would you discontinue to advertise on realestate.com.au when you are spending less than $700 per month (i checked) for all your listings and we generated in the last year alone just under 900 email leads and probably a similar number of phone calls and OFI walk ins for your office?

    So on a comparative basis, the newspapers must be generating more than 200,000 leads per year. No wonder your office is going so well.

    I am keen to keep your business but i would love to understand why $1m in papers continues to be good value as does $600 per listing on adoreproperty but $700 per month for all your listings on realestate.com.au is not good value.

    After all, you did state that realestate.com.au drives more rental leads than domain.

    Simon Baker
    MD REA Group

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 9:49 pm 0Likes

    Simon,

    A very simple response in that REA do not listen to “their” subscribers. Time and time again, we tell your business to correct your homepage – which continues to fall on deaf ears.

    How many times do agents have to tell REA to fix their homepage !!

    The rental market is simple as it is in crisis mode – we now offer just 1% availability.

    You need to make your site agent friendly, not third party friendly. It is just not me discussing the exodus.

    Homepage !! Homepage !! Homepage !!

    At the meeting of all agents in your offices we all were in chorus that this was our major concern – REA did absolutely nothing to address this.

    Fix this – or we are out !!

  • David Slattery
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 9:49 pm 0Likes

    Robert – Simon B has you there, it all adds up

    No wonder he is the 7000% man!

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 9:56 pm 0Likes

    Maybe David – however no portals can afford to let the agents “leave the building”

    What amazes me is that we keep calling homepage – and that remains an item of ignore. They get 3.700 million on the current homepage – ponders what they would get if they improved it ?

    Nah – that makes sense !!

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 10:51 pm 0Likes

    Tom S – are you an employee or employer ?

  • Tom S
    Posted February 23, 2007 at 10:51 pm 0Likes

    Robert, I

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 23, 2007 at 11:11 pm 0Likes

    Well Tom – aside from the costs to subscribing to both REA and Domain, I also need to factor in the employment costs of paid staff that upload properties to the portals. That includes wages, superannuation, pay – roll tax, holiday pay etc. As to what we charge is our business – given the high costs of employment we do not make a profit.

    Not sure when our contract expires as I am hopeful that the impending release of the PBL site on Monday will facilitate this online move. As for your mention of my e-zine which just so happens to have the highest readership in the country – I thank you. I hope that you enjoyed today’s edition.

    The Richardson & Wrench network is independently owned and operated. However, it is quite conclusive that agencies follow the market leaders.

    Tom, when I show a vendor the traffic from Domain as compared to REA it is embarrasing to REA. In Mosman, they simply fail the popularity test as the preferred portal as Domain smash them on a 3:1 online performance.

    Now please tell me what part should a vendor understand ? Nothing to marvel on that vision aside from your ignorance to real facts !!

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 23, 2007 at 11:47 pm 0Likes

    For those curious on the e-Zine that Tom mentioned here is the link.

    http://www.rwm.com.au/new_newsletter.php?action=display&vrndate=2007-02-23

  • Nick Buick
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 1:01 am 0Likes

    Hi Robert – am wondering – what is it you dislike about RealEstate.com.au’s front page? How do you believe it should be improved? Is it the banners? and if so, why?

  • Nick Buick
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 1:02 am 0Likes

    PS: Where the heck is my Gravatar? Everyone else gets one… mine still isn’t showing up 🙁

  • Simon Baker
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 9:44 am 0Likes

    Robert & Tom

    I can help with the expiry date for Robert’s contract – April 15.

    Now some thoughts and questions for you Robert.

    From the figures published by Peter yesterday, it looks like the average sale price for a property you market is around $1.5m. At 2% gross commission margin, that means $30,000 in gross commission for each sale.

    Therefore, just from a listings capture perspective, as long as your annual advertising on realestate.com.au brings in 1/3rd of a seller, you have covered your costs. On a comparative basis, $1m in print needs to bring in over 30 listings each year to cover their costs.

    Now, we all know that this actually doesnt matter as these vendor are generally paying $10k or so for their marketing campaign. Therefore where is the real cost to your business?

    In fact isnt the real risk that by coming off realestate.com.au, you give your competitors a point of difference in their marketing against you? If you lose just one listing to them, you will have managed to save $8k in costs but lost $30k in revenue.

    I would still love to know how much you charge your vendors for internet marketing. Yes, an office does incur costs in production and upload but dumping realestate.com.au is not a cost savings here as you still need the same staff to up load to domain, your site and any other site you advertise on.

    All of this has to be taken in the context of the 900 or so email leads (and probably a similar amount of phone calls / OFI walk ups) realstate.com.au generated for you last year.

    While i respect your decision to come off realestate.com.au, i just dont understand it from an economic perspective or from a service to your vendors / landlords perspective.

    Can you please help me understand what perceived lack of changes to the home page or too much advertising on the REA home page has to do with the economic realities i have posed above.

    I would love your thoughts.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 10:52 am 0Likes

    Simon, will add my two cents here…..

    Every decision people make does not only come down to money. As an example I recently told a client after winning a proposal (admittedly only 10K) that I was no longer prepared to do business with them.

    The reason was simple, the process became arduous and I have a life to live. I am reminded of my brother in laws comment to me 10 years ago, that was, “if you don’t feel comfortable with a client, let them go”.

    It is clear Robert is unhappy with the way your company presents their listings. My preference would be for your company to stop using pop ups and pop overs. Roberts, is………….. that if a person wants to view his property – then his property should be the biggest show in town (as far as the actual listing page is concerned – not what price my home or whether or not he some one wants a home loan).

    Sometimes every decision does not come down to purely money.

  • Simon Baker
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 12:45 pm 0Likes

    Peter

    You do raise a good and fair point. Anyone who is the end consumer of a product has the right to determine who he buys his products from. No problems from me on that one.

    However, who is the end consumer of the online portal product? Is it the agent or is it the vendor? I would have thought that it is the vendor that is the final consumer of the product as he/she is paying for it – either through VPA or through the commission he/she pays to the agents.

    If this is true, doesnt the vendor at the end of the day have a fair say in where his property should be advertised so that the vendor can maximise the price he receives for his property. Of course the agent has the role of advisor/recommender and should be providing the vendor with the best possible marketing plan to maximise the sale price.

    If this is true, and i as a vendor want to go on realestate.com.au, how can an agent justify the fact that i wont be there because of the look and feel of the site? Also, if the agent is asking the vendor for a $10,000 marketing fee, how can he say the advertising on realestate.com.au is expensive? (our average revenue per listing is around $15 / month – so around $45k for a 3 month campaign – perhaps a little more if a feature property is purchased etc).

    Perhaps the only legitimate response is that it doesnt work – ie it will not generate leads so it is not worth advertising there for the price being charged. But we know it does generate leads.

    Peter – i would love to hear your thoughts on this meaty issue.

    Simon Baker
    MD REA Group

  • Peter
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 1:36 pm 0Likes

    Simon, I find it hard to disagree with many of your thoughts. I want to make it clear that if I were an agent I would be on all major portals. It takes a number of years to establish yourself as an agent – so let’s pretend I am established and an agent.

    Here is what I would do with marketing…….

    1. Have a professional photographer on staff
    2. Create a database of copy for promoting properties
    3. Have a set standard as a minimum for properties before they go online – with ALL data each and every time to the same standards:

    Example:
    Residential Listing: Property Type, Property Address, Long/Lat Co-Ordinates (even if just street level) 26 Photos, 2 Floor Plans, Headline, Description, Beds, Baths, Cars, Building Size, Land Size, Local Services.

    The reason is simple, my staff are busy and I want my potential buyers to be well informed before contacting me.

    Immediately this sets me apart from my competitors.

    Now for YOU Simon:
    I would have a team like Google has, that is separate from all of your other parts of your business – that concentrates 100% on user experience, both from an agent and from a site user perspective.

    Every change to your website has to be approved by them before it goes live, your sales and marketing teams have to pitch to them and get approval by them. Ones that do not – have to go back and think of other ways to get this through.

    You as MD can override these decisions, but only after both teams meet with you to discuss why. This new team will become hated within your organisation but loved by visitors and agents……

    I say this Simon for you and for any of your competitors, because when Google come into the market you will be up against a site that is all about usability – not vested interests….

    This would take a complete re-organisation of your company for your new website launch…..but it would also set you up for the future…..

    Have a look at every system and site Google has (apart from YouTube), everything is about the end user experience. I use many of their systems and they are all clean and precise.

    Your success has come down to many many different things, most of them clever, some of luck – but the market is turning and the Internet has always been about the end user.

    If PBL take 12 months to get to 70% of your listings, then comes a Malcolm Gladwell “Tipping Point” (you all should read this book), it will then be about who cares the most – as to who will win…….

    But if Google enters the market in a big way – I do not know of any agent that has said to me that they will NOT be involved.

    So immediately you have a competitor that is much, much, much larger than your company and a site that will no doubt be super fast, super efficient and will focus on the very reason people go there….

    I understand the reasons why you have so much advertising, but so much of it detracts from the user experience and that is something portals have to start thinking about…..

    I sit her as a little web developer talking to a MD of Australia’s largest online business, this tells you something about the Internet and the power of thought……

    So your site is the best – no question – but you have to be 100% honest with your business – see the threats and react.

    The bigger you get – the slower you move, you have conceded it will take a long time to rebuild your site – that is not because it will take a long time technology wise, it is because you have to consult so many parts of your business, much like a newspaper would have to re-negotiate a contract with a client who has been guaranteed page 3 lower right for a year – only to be told that it is not available after 3 months, and they will have to move….

    I have tremendous respect for what people like yourself have built in the market – I have more respect that you get involved in these discussions – and if you are a leader in the market in 10 years I will walk the harbour bridge in goggles – a g string and flippers, if you do not drastically change the way your site operates from a user perspective….

    So in this long and tedious (to read) comment, I have highlighted what I would do as a successful agent and as an MD of a large real estate portal…..

    I feel a little stupid looking at my bank account!

  • Nick Buick
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 4:07 pm 0Likes

    Simon, if you believe the vendor is the end-consumer, rather than the agent – why don’t you allow end-consumers to list their properties?

    I always assumed this was a political decision on realestate.com.au’s part to protect the interests of their agents who are viewed as your clientelle (not the vendors they represent).

  • Nick Buick
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 4:14 pm 0Likes

    QUOTE: “Every change to your website has to be approved by them before it goes live, your sales and marketing teams have to pitch to them and get approval by them… This new team will become hated within your organisation…”

    Heh, I was just thinking as I read that “man, I’d HATE to work with those guys”… Cool idea – but you’d want to make sure your review team weren’t just a bunch of stuffed shirts – you can measure the effectiveness of sales and marketing teams by their results, but it’d be a lot harder to measure the benefit provided by a review panel of ‘nay sayers’.

    Tipping point was awesome. Have you read NoLogo? Also really good. Gladwell’s new book ‘blink’ isn’t as good – got it a few months ago. All about the power of (for want of a better word) ‘gut reaction’.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 4:35 pm 0Likes

    One more inspection to go than I will be at home. Having been giving this topic plenty of thought today – I look forward to responding.

    Cheers

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 8:29 pm 0Likes

    Simon,

    I am going to do some copy and pasting here to address my issues of concerns in response to your questions. So here goes and I can also address Nicks question regarding the homepege.

    Last year REA held a ‘think tank’ with around eight invited agents to discuss what they need to do to improve their site. The chorus was simplify the homepage – since then nothing has been addressed. Recently, actually at the Adore launch I spoke with an agent who attended the ‘think tank’ where he expressed these very same frustrations. I met with Shaun and Dave last year – we dicussed the same and nothing has happened.

    I understand and don’t object to third party advertising. It just appears to me that REA is convoluted with too many advertisers 26 actually. Why not – given that you have 3.700 million visitors sell less space for more money. The third party advertisers could not argue with your traffic data. In my opinion the third party menu offers too many meals – that distract from property search functionality.

    Every week we send our vendors a weekly report which includes online traffic and purchaser feedback. Here is the online traffic for a property in Cremorne for example.

    Please find your website traffic below

    http://www.rwm.com.au 342

    http://www.realestate.com.au 446

    http://www.domain.com.au 1104

    This is after three weeks of advertising. This is just not a one off as these results are mirrored through all our properties. With apartments REA do improve however, with houses generally this is a 3;1 ratio difference between the paid portals.

    Simon – “From the figures published by Peter yesterday, it looks like the average sale price for a property you market is around $1.5m. At 2% gross commission margin, that means $30,000 in gross commission for each sale.”

    Actually our average sale price is $2,675,000 it is just that with many high – end sales we are prohibited from declaring the sale price in a public forum.

    Simon – “Therefore, just from a listings capture perspective, as long as your annual advertising on realestate.com.au brings in 1/3rd of a seller, you have covered your costs. On a comparative basis, $1m in print needs to bring in over 30 listings each year to cover their costs.”

    Vendors still judge an agents activity by adverting dominance in newspapers in terms of market share. At this point in time they do not count listings in portals.

    Simon – “Now, we all know that this actually doesnt matter as these vendor are generally paying $10k or so for their marketing campaign. Therefore where is the real cost to your business? ”

    The real cost that I am looking at is where do we as a business derive our best online results. We currently subscribe to two online portals whereby on a weekly basis we monitor individual property traffic. PBL are about to launch and Google probably will before year end. I am looking at more long term than short term. The fact that REA have in the past hinted at improving the homepage and nothing to date has happened – has us looking at alternative online marketing. The REA V Domain traffic that we look at identifies that in our case REA can do much better. Why subscribe to something that the our market is obviously not as supportive as the figures Domain delivers our vendors. Maybe PBL is our answer – time will tell.

    Simon – ” I would still love to know how much you charge your vendors for internet marketing. Yes, an office does incur costs in production and upload but dumping realestate.com.au is not a cost savings here as you still need the same staff to up load to domain, your site and any other site you advertise on.

    What we charge has nothing to do with this. What it is all about is what we pay the portals and what they deliver. I and others share an opinion that the homepage reduces our traffic – and many vendors have echoed this sentiment. A purchaser can search properties in Mosman on Domain much quicker than they can in REA. However – we all know that once you have searched in Domain on your next visit the search bypasses their homepage. This in my opinion is in all probability the smartest innovation online with portals that I have seen.

    Simon – “All of this has to be taken in the context of the 900 or so email leads (and probably a similar amount of phone calls / OFI walk ups) realstate.com.au generated for you last year.

    While i respect your decision to come off realestate.com.au, i just dont understand it from an economic perspective or from a service to your vendors / landlords perspective.

    Can you please help me understand what perceived lack of changes to the home page or too much advertising on the REA home page has to do with the economic realities i have posed above.

    I would love your thoughts.

    A decision to leave REA would have to be made collectively by all directors of our business. Naturally, as I am in charge of IT they would listen to my thoughts. Given that they all weekly sign off on property marketing reports they see first hand the traffic differences.

    My biggest complaint with REA is that you ask for our opinion. REA then agree and nothing then happens. Having been with REA and Domain since they first launched not much happened as REA was clearly the dominant player. Domain, were very inactive until management brought out the corporate broom and then presto !! Innovation after innovation (which I had nothing to do with).

    If we are not to come to this forum sugar coated – I believe that REA were in a comfort zone. Your challenge in my opinion is addressing >

    http://www.rwm.com.au 342

    http://www.realestate.com.au 446

    http://www.domain.com.au 1104

    In my opinion the problems start after someone types in http://www.realestate.com.au !! I know that different suburbs return much more positive results to REA. Just that with my business I address our traffic for client results – not there traffic.

    I hope that I have clarified your matters of concern(s). Simon, I admire and respect what you have done for our industry – yes we can have a beer and discuss. Just that the report card for Mosman (in our case) requires more study and improvement.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 24, 2007 at 8:53 pm 0Likes

    Just another point. Simon “All of this has to be taken in the context of the 900 or so email leads (and probably a similar amount of phone calls / OFI walk ups) realstate.com.au generated for you last year.”

    At a guess I would suggest that at least 600 of these were actually rental enquiries.

    I do stand corrected on this !!

  • Nick Buick
    Posted February 25, 2007 at 2:07 am 0Likes

    Do you make a direct connection between the number of banners on REA and the fewer leads they pressent? Or are these seperate issues to you Robert?

    I would have thought a greater number of ads would be detrimental to advertisers (dilution) but not users or agents as ads would be largely ignored (banner-blindness). Number of leads is quite surprising – do your listings feature more prominently on domain or are these apples & apples?

    According to Jacob Neilson: “Selective attention is very powerful, and Web users have learned to stop paying attention to any ads that get in the way of their goal-driven navigation.”

    I don’t even notice the ads on REA as they’re non-invasive and I just look at the areas I need to. Always thought REA advertisers would be far better served if their ads were more targeted. eg: a lender could sponser the repayment calculator which linked directly to their application form, etc.

    Do you also get significantly more rental prospects from REA or Domain?

    Interesting stats Robert – will have to look into domain more carefully – Thanks for the info.

  • Tom S
    Posted February 25, 2007 at 10:57 am 0Likes

    Robert,

    For all of R&W Mosman’s leads generated through REA and Domain, is there an equal proportion between local and international? Given the segment of the market that you service, I would have thought that R&W would get a higher proportion of overseas enquiries, in comparison to the average agency.

    As REA have a more dominant overseas presence, I would have thought that it would be to your detriment not renewing your REA subscription on April 15 2007. If this subscription resulted in one overseas sight-unseen transaction, you would still be well “in the money”.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall, during the meeting when the person in charge of IT at R&W recommends to the Principal, Stephen and the rest of the directors that you will not be renewing your REA subscription. Any chance of filming this and posting this on your home page? Now that would generate traffic!

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 26, 2007 at 10:00 pm 0Likes

    Tom,

    Maybe you would prefer that I post the discussion on YouTube ?

    What does resonate through our business are these statistics.

    http://www.rwm.com.au 342

    http://www.realestate.com.au 446

    http://www.domain.com.au 1104

    The myhome, launch was disappointing so the video may not be released as I reserve the right to renew. If we did after discussion it would only be the 12 month option.

    Maybe Tom, you can tell REA why Domain smash REA in so far as our traffic, given that you work with most of them.

    Or, is it a simple case that “blue collar” prefer REA, and “white collar” prefer Domain ?

  • Philip Muscatello
    Posted May 16, 2007 at 2:32 pm 0Likes

    But when will REA get a property button??

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