AIMIA Awards Domain Best Classifieds Site!

Firstly congratulations are in order for Domain.com.au for winning this award up against some pretty stiff competition, or was it?
Here is what part of the email said……………..

Australia’s peak body for recognising excellence in the digital industry, the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA), has honoured domain.com.au in its 13th annual AIMIA awards.

Australia’s peak body for recognising excellence in the digital industry, the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA), has honoured domain.com.au in its 13th annual AIMIA awards.

domain.com.au was presented with the prestigious award for ‘Best Classifieds’ at the AIMIA ceremony last Friday night.

National and international experts judged domain.com.au on a range of criteria including design innovation, visual impact, usability and accessibility, and technical expertise.

“This year’s awards are testament not only to the depth of innovation and imagination in the market, but indeed the dynamism and optimism of interactive media in Australia. Congratulations to all winners and finalists,” said AIMIA CEO John Butterworth.

Thanks for being part of the best classifieds site in Australia. We are constantly innovating to provide the best property website for our clients and property-seekers.

Award

Ok, couple of things
Firstly, you have to enter these to win them, secondly some of the claims are actually false. They were not the first real estate site in Australia to support videos, there have been a number of sites (one of my sites has supported videos since 2001) and they were not the first real estate site in Australia to show sold property data on maps. But what the judges don’t know wont kill em…

I really do not know why anyone enters these competitions, I can understand smaller companies doing it to gain recognition. As an example Telstra’s Australian Business Man/Woman of the year, is not the best, it is the best of the few that enter. Out of the hundreds of thousands of small businesses in Australia less than 1% enter. I would hardly call that the best.

I love how most people who win or come close with these types of awards say they were humbled to even get nominated – well did it shock you when you filled in the form to be nominated?

Yes other people can nominate them, but these other people are usually family and friends….Now I am not saying that winning is not a good thing and you have to be good to win, but at the same time understanding how these things work is just as important.

So the best classifieds site in Australia. Congratulations and let’s get on with providing agents and consumers with a greater experience.

AIMIA, Domain

SEO For Real Estate
Listing Leads
Agentpoint Real estate

About Peter J Ricci

Peter Ricci is the Director of Agentpoint.com.au, Business2.com.au, Ginga.com.au and ZooProperty.com and has been involved in designing and developing real estate systems and websites since 1997. In July 2001 Peter founded Business2.com.au to help real estate agents better understand the power of the Internet and the real estate landscape in Australia and New Zealand. Since then he has penned over 300 articles on a variety of subjects in the real estate technology industry. Business2.com.au is now the leading real estate technology site in Australasia.

123 Responses to AIMIA Awards Domain Best Classifieds Site!

  1. snoop March 6, 2007 at 9:03 am #

    Certainly bad research by the judges,prob all the research was done by Domain.
    Bit embarrassing really for the judges who obviously dont think for themselves..
    That said Domain does look a heck of a lot better than its major competitor.

  2. Melina Cruickshank March 6, 2007 at 9:41 am #

    (I work for domain.com.au)

    Thanks for the congratulations Peter and Snoop.

    Our team is really pleased the hard work over the past 6 months has been recognised by the industry.

    We’re continuing our focus on delivering the best product for both consumers and agents, and we look forward to improving the site and service further in the coming months.

  3. Peter March 6, 2007 at 10:01 am #

    Thank Melina

    And welcome to Business2!

    Look forward to you and your team contributing valuable information to this site over the coming years.

  4. Simon Baker March 6, 2007 at 11:30 am #

    Peter

    Congratulations to Domain however … who did they beat? Well the finalists were …

    Open Offices Australia
    Trading Post Mobile
    Domain

    Not exactly serious competition. So where were Seek, carsales, careerone, mycareer, drive, realestate.com.au etc …

    My guess is that they didnt even enter the competition and I am unaware of realestate.com.au entering the competition.

    So is it really the best classifieds site in the country or did it just beat the stiff competition from Open Offices Australia and Trading Post Mobile. Isnt that a bit like England beating Bermuda and Canada in the cricket and then claiming world champion status

    Simon Baker

  5. Melina Cruickshank March 6, 2007 at 11:38 am #

    HI Simon

    As I understand there were record entries this year; only a few made it through to the Finalist category.

    Shame you were unaware of a major internet industry award – would assume your PR Manager would be advising you these events?

    We are pleased and it is motivating for our team.

    When England beat Australia recently in the Cricket One Day Series the underdogs rightly celebrated.

    🙂

  6. Robert Simeon March 6, 2007 at 11:53 am #

    Awards are awards and they engender great team spirit. I see this first hand with our network awards as it drives the passion of sales people and certainly keeps them focussed with the job at hand.

    They now hold the mantle of being the best classified online site in Australia – now who will challenge them for this position.

    Congratulations to the Domain team because you deliver us the results – which is all we ask !! I look forward to seeing your pending new online releases.

  7. Robert Simeon March 6, 2007 at 11:57 am #

    Simon maybe this will assist in your somewhat clouded judgements.

    RWM Portal figures February 2007

    Domain 27,227 visits 72 emails

    REA 12,982 visits 54 emails

    Results speak for themselves – please try harder !!

  8. Michael March 6, 2007 at 1:55 pm #

    My Dads tougher than your dad.

    Come on guys – please.

    Look competition is healthy – it’s improves all who compete. And what happens on the field should stay on the field. Congratulations Domain on your award. Congratulations REA on 3.7 Million Visitors. Congratulations MyHome for entering our industry.

    And remember it’s OK to acknowledge someone else’s effort – I would nominate myself for awards – it generates good media awareness and is recognition for your team – Just like Press Releases of how many visitors – or how many properties i have sold etc etc. Self Promotion is ok.

    If you don’t talk about yourself no-one else will.

    How about we nominate (have it come from Business2) all major property portals in next years awards if that is possible. That would generate some transparency and a far better benchmark.

    Or Peter what about a REALS WEBSITE of The YEAR (Sounds like wheels if i add the right accent 🙂 )

  9. Simon Baker March 6, 2007 at 3:28 pm #

    Robert

    Thanks for sharing these numbers. Now what is interesting about them is that although domain had over twice as many views of properties in Mosman, they could generate only 33% more or 18 more emails.

    What is more intesting is that on a post in December 2006, you talked about Domain having 39,367 visits to REA’s 14,908 – so the ratio stays about the same of visits. However the emails generated were 57% more (127 to 81 or 46 emails) to domain.

    So as 18 emails difference in February is better than 46 emails difference in November (your figures) – i can draw only one conclusion WE ARE TRYING HARDER.

    Now Robert – how many phone calls and OFI walk ins did the advertising on realestate.com.au and domain generate? I think you have already answered that one – you dont track them!

    Also – i am still waiting for an answer as to how many leads the $1m spent in print is generating for your vendors.

    Peter – as usual – love the blog.

    Simon Baker
    MD REA Group

  10. Dave Platter March 6, 2007 at 4:15 pm #

    (I work at realestate.com.au/the REA Group)

    Peter, I liked your awards better. 🙂

    Congrats to domain on their achievement. I’m certainly happy for them to rack up all the awards they want, while we focus on agent leads. (as per Simon’s comment)

    Hitwise awarded us their award earlier this year, as the most popular website for property. That at least had the benefit of being based on actual measurements of traffic and market share against all competitors. However, it isn’t anything we trumpeted at the time (with no offense to HitWise).

    In the beginning and in the end, agent leads are what’s important. And that’s what we try to stay focused on. We sent 580,000 leads to agents in Jan. alone.

    dave

  11. Michael March 6, 2007 at 4:47 pm #

    Dave

    Definition of a lead – is it an email inquiry generated from a visitor – using the inquiry button – or does that number also include Property Alerts?

  12. Dave Platter March 6, 2007 at 6:04 pm #

    (I work at realestate.com.au/the REA Group)

    Michael, thanks for the question. Our definition of a lead is strictly an email inquiry generated for an agent.

    Our consumer research shows that if you also count the consumers who contact agents by phone or go directly to an OFI in response to advertising on our site, realestate.com.au generates about 2.5 times more total leads than email leads.

    However, we don’t track those leads and thus don’t count them when talking about hard numbers like this.

    dave

  13. Dave Platter March 6, 2007 at 6:05 pm #

    (I work at realestate.com.au/the REA Group)

    Now don’t ask me any hard questions, I’m going offline for a while…

    dave

  14. Sam March 6, 2007 at 6:39 pm #

    “In the beginning and in the end, agent leads are what

  15. Sam March 6, 2007 at 6:40 pm #
  16. Peter Ricci March 6, 2007 at 7:03 pm #

    Sam, I think leads are important and quality leads even more so. Agents can cut down the “tyre kickers” easy enough by providing as much information about the property as possible.

    Do a search on real estate.com.au and look at any 10 listings. For every good one there is one which lacks quality photos, no land/building sizes, addresses hidden, prices hidden, poor descriptions, and price ranges are all factors in limiting the amount of tyre kicker time….

    and can lead to frustrated buyers from the get go……………

    I think the more agents commit to providing excellent copy online the less time that will be wasted with ‘tyre kicking’ calls.

  17. Simon Baker March 6, 2007 at 7:29 pm #

    Peter

    I agree with you

    Here is a funny story from our UK office (where i am at the moment)
    Some agents measure success by volume of leads.

    So we did an analysis of some of the agents and found those that we happy because they had lots of leads had one or no photos and poor text. We reviewed the quality of the leads and most were clarification questions – more photos please etc.

    We then compared this with some agents that had lots of photos, great text but less leads (but of higher quality) and they were less happy because of volume.

    Of course consumers / visitors to the site were happier with more photos and more text.

    This is an evolution and we are seeing that things are changing.

    Simon Baker
    MD REA Group

  18. Robert Simeon March 6, 2007 at 8:04 pm #

    Simon,

    Yes mathematically you are correct with the ratios and imagine what they would deliver us if REA could match the Domain traffic ?

    Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty of our business model. In recent times we have been experimenting with print in that we have of late entirely dropped advertising in The Mosman Daily with three properties this year. The result : all are currently under negotiation or awaiting exchange. We will under no circumstances be dropping Domain North and Saturday Domain – this simply won’t happen.

    We are simply no longer interested in monitoring where the leads come from as our business model is forged on collecting email addresses for our benefit. That simple !! All we use REA and Domain is to send more interested parties so we can get those whom inspect under our database umbrella. Yes, it has never worked better as we see our online business much better equipped to match and identify buyer criteria. I say this based on the fact that our team are on the phone with buyers/vendors six days a week and we provide the ultimate service with our email alerts and “Virtual Realty News”.

    I did take on board your recent comments on the cost of videos – so this week I will launch in Virtual Realty News our latest online business Virtual Realty Media (stage one) an industry first. We will be releasing property podcasts. Virtual Realty Media in conjunction with VR Media will then be more live property media orientated (with amazing economies of scale) as consumers will then be able to view our podcasts online (like YouTube) or they can go to “Virtual Realty Media” and view Video iPods or in iTunes free of charge (no download costs). Yes – a bold experiment and a first however, I am of the belief that this concept has great friction and worth pursuing.

    I can read between the lines and see that you need to direct agent attention away from print. This then allows you to increase your revenues by absorbing these adjusted print revenues into your coffers.

    Good luck with it – just that we are focussed on our business model. Not yours. At the end of the day I am tinkering with our online model specifically designed to accommodate a specific audience not a group audience that caters for thousands and thousands of niche markets.

    Our online business is user specific – neither Domain or REA can be as precise as ours. I am sure that you would recognise this point of difference also.

  19. David Rob Slattery March 6, 2007 at 8:05 pm #

    Simon – what percentage of your leads are from renters?

  20. David Rob Slattery March 6, 2007 at 9:45 pm #

    Simon – what percentage of your leads are from buyer?

  21. Robert Simeon March 6, 2007 at 10:07 pm #

    David,

    Fair questions however, property portals simply don’t sell properties or lease them for that matter. Their sole responsibility is to deliver enquiries and then let the agents negotiate the deal.

    The agents win the listing, then upload the property on the respective portals. Personally, I think Simon thinks that they play a much more integral role – which is certainly not the case.

    Yes, we stack the listings on their shelves. However, the agents put the deal together whether the lead comes from a newspaper, portal or window display.

    One can present an argument on online v print and the associated costs. However, online offers a few centimetres across and down. Where print offers an entire page (for example Domain North), plus display with Saturday Domain in the Fairfax real estate model. Online offers ten properties to a single page, which explains why their online costings are much cheaper.

    Leads go to agents who then convert to sales.

  22. Simon Baker March 7, 2007 at 2:12 am #

    Robert

    Thanks for responding

    So let me tackle a couple of the issues you have raised.

    Firstly, i think the reality is that there are buyers and sellers and everyone else plays a role in bringing the two together. Agents, portal sites, papers, lawyers, surveyors, banks etc … we are all middlemen who play a role in bringing a buyer and seller together.

    Secondly, the role that advertisers (portals, print, signboards, etc) play is a simple one – generating high volumes of quality leads. No more than that. We dont sell properties and we dont lease properties. We just make sure buyers and renters find the properties and sellers and landlords find the agents.

    Thirdly, it is interesting that you will continue to advertise in print. I am still not sure if this is to drive buyer and renter leads for a specific property, to build your database or to promote yourself and to secure the next vendor. If it is to build your database or to promote yourself and to secure the next vendor – shouldnt you pay for that advertising rather than the current vendor?

    Finally, your comment about “I can read between the lines and see that you need to direct agent attention away from print. This then allows you to increase your revenues by absorbing these adjusted print revenues into your coffers.” This is actually incorrect. I would rather vendors pay for marketing that truly drives the sale of their property. If online can do the same job for a fraction of the price, then the vendor should benefit by having lower marketing fees.

    Robert – i am still keen to know how many buyer and renter leads the $1m of vendor marketing dollars spent in newspapers drives. Or it is truly the case that “We are simply no longer interested in monitoring where the leads come from as our business model is forged on collecting email addresses for our benefit.”

    Simon Baker
    MD REA Group

  23. John Simmonds [edited by moderator} March 7, 2007 at 6:18 am #

    Robert

    Online Vs Print – Are you stark raving mad? I sit here and read your posts each day and allot of it makes sense, but this comment had me and my colleagues laughing our heads off.

    “One can present an argument on online v print and the associated costs. However, online offers a few centimetres across and down. Where print offers an entire page (for example Domain North), plus display with Saturday Domain in the Fairfax real estate model. Online offers ten properties to a single page, which explains why their online costings are much cheaper.”

    Print you pay for every single line you use. I have yet to see a print ad show 15 photos, land, building size, full description, full mapping, floor plans, block plans, feature list, bedrooms, bathrooms, car parks, area profile, virtual tours, movies and so on…………..

    Oh and one other tiny, tiny, tiny little thing, a print ad is for one, did you here that, ONE DAY and with limited readership vs online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and every single day until it is sold to anyone anywhere in the world!

    Sure, tell us about your amazing database – your competition must be reeling, not being able to compete with you. Also your claims of amazing uniqueness with podcasts (by the way a podcast is an audio file) which if you do a search you can find thousands of agents doing this across the world….

    Keep it real!

  24. Elizabeth March 7, 2007 at 9:55 am #

    Good morning LADIES and Gentlemen,

    How wonderful it is to have more women participating about our glorious industry on this blog.

    This morning I have sat and read this particular topic twice, and also gone back to some previous topics. It is with interest that I notice that many topics which have been debated (sometimes venomously) are the direct result of the promotional material sent out by the portals.

    What ensues is the usual debate over who is better.

    However, from my observations I note the following.

    realestate.com.au
    Simon Baker participates in this forum. No CEO from Domain, realestateview nor myhome has participated. So is this a FIRST?

    Mr Chico Roll David Platter was also the first PR person to participate in this forum. Another FIRST?

    Shaun the General Manager also has participated, but Eddie from homehound bet him to first, so Shaun comes SECOND.

    Domain
    Robert S, although an agent, is none the less on the domain discovery group

  25. Peter March 7, 2007 at 10:16 am #

    Elizabeth, thank you, I will put this trophy up next to my 2000 Tasmanina Touch Premiership Medallion (which I did not actually play in, but the guys felt sorry for me anyway).

    I think you raise some great issues here. Recently Domain.com.au has become involved and all I can say is better late than never…I am wrapped that Mark (who is a techo – that also helps me with some issues and gives great tips off site) and Melina have come on-board.

    I think it is important to discuss the issues of the day. I would send out an invitation to Institutes to get their people on here and discuss issues.

    I would also like more of the visitors to participate, I think many come here and look around and then eventually post a comment.

    First, second and third do not matter much to me. What matters is that the industry as a whole moves forward….and understands the importance of taking control of their own destiny!

  26. Melina Cruickshank March 7, 2007 at 10:23 am #

    (I work in Product at domain.com.au, not PR)

    Thanks for the welcome Elizabeth.

    At domain we enjoy this blog – Peter has created a brilliant community.

    I take from your message that domain is sending you more leads than REA which is good to hear. I know your sales rep and she is great – please feel free to provide her with feedback on anything we can do to help in service.

    Regarding our AIMIA Award – not really sure why it has touched such a raw nerve with our competitors!

    We were judged on a a range of criteria including innovation, visual impact and aesthetics, usability and accessibility and technical expertise. We believe our site continues to move forward in these areas – and know that we have a lot more to do, so stay tuned.

    Awards are awards – we are pleased – but are moving on.

    Cheers

  27. John (Land Agent) March 7, 2007 at 12:03 pm #

    Quote:

    “Peter Ricci
    Mar 6th, 2007 at 7:03 pm /
    Sam, I think leads are important and quality leads even more so. Agents can cut down the

  28. Dave Platter March 7, 2007 at 12:23 pm #

    (I work at realestate.com.au/the REA Group)

    Great points, Elizabeth, Peter and John.

    dave

  29. Simon Baker March 7, 2007 at 12:42 pm #

    Robert

    Can you help me out here

    In you reponse above you said

    “RWM Portal figures February 2007
    Domain 27,227 visits 72 emails
    REA 12,982 visits 54 emails
    Results speak for themselves – please try harder !!”

    So they guys pulled the stats from our system for your business for February 2007 and low and behold the numbers are different.

    The stats from our logs (and the same stats that you have access to) say

    Total Views of your properties listed on REA were 21,195 (i assume this is visits)
    Total Emails sent were 88.

    These do include visits and emails for rentals and for sale listings.

    Assuming the domain numbers are true – realestate.com.au is generating more emails than domain. I guess we are trying harder!

    I have emailed the report to you.

    Simon Baker
    MD REA Group

  30. Robert Simeon March 7, 2007 at 1:03 pm #

    Simon,

    Yes, low and behold the numbers are different. The REA figures were on the report we printed 18,557 with 84 emails. However, this figure incorporates both sales and rentals. So I extrapolated the rentals from sales, given that the Domain figure pertained to sales only.

    Also, I did not mention that with every top – end house that we load onto the REA portal a News Limited journalist sends a message each time enquiring as to whether the owner was a well known business person.

    The Domain numbers are true and I am more than happy to foward them to Peter. Just that in the current rental crisis I remove rentals as in my opinion they do not represent to true market positioning.

    I hope that this clears the matter up – and by all means ask your number crunchers to validate my figures.

  31. John (Land Agent) March 7, 2007 at 1:05 pm #

    Dave Plater,

    Ta/Thank you for the comment.

    For the record here in Adelaide South Australia my favourite website is http://www.realestate.com.au for searching for properties to buy.

    Agents!?
    Pleae put full disclosure in your adverts For Sale on this site.

    Eg:
    Full
    Address
    Proper Price
    pics
    Land area in m

  32. Dave Platter March 7, 2007 at 1:53 pm #

    (I work at realestate.com.au/the REA Group)

    Melina, I think you’ve misread Elizabeth’s note. She said she gets the “exact opposite results” as Robert Simeon. In this case, that would mean she gets more leads from realestate.com.au.

    Elizabeth, since you came up with the name Mr Chiko Roll (which I love!), you’ll be happy to know that I just enjoyed a Chiko Roll lunch with one of the guys from homesite.com.au.
    (I won’t use his name so his wife doesn’t find out he broke his diet, but he knows who he is.)

    In case you didn’t hear about it, Homesite.com.au gets 450,000 unique browsers a month (investors, renters and homeowners). Those who want to rent or buy a home will click through to do a real estate search on realestate.com.au.

    That way we don’t risk their going to a competitor’s website, they can easily tap the largest online source of real estate listings in Australia, and we can deliver more good leads to agents.

    dave

  33. Michael March 7, 2007 at 2:07 pm #

    Dave / Simon

    I would like to advertise my clients properties on your website.

    If you won’t accept my ad’s

    Could you explain the following

    1. Developers – aren’t they effectively selling privately?
    2. REDDIRECT – advertises private sales on your site and Domain too
    3. I am fully licenced – and can provide full licencee details in every state and territory.
    4. Wouldn’t it be better – to represent to buyers all the properties for sale in any given area?
    5. Most of the agents comments within this forum suggested they wouldn’t have an issue based on they deliver far more personalised service.
    6. I’m a good payer
    7. My clients would love to see their properties advertised on this site.

    I would love to talk.

  34. Peter March 7, 2007 at 3:51 pm #

    Michael, full marks for trying. I think you will find you will need at least an Agency agreement signed between you and your ‘vendors’ for acceptance on the sites…..

  35. Michael March 7, 2007 at 5:55 pm #

    That’s easy – done – what else would i need to do

  36. Robert Simeon March 7, 2007 at 8:51 pm #

    Simon,

    With regard to an earlier post by you.

    “Robert – i am still keen to know how many buyer and renter leads the $1m of vendor marketing dollars spent in newspapers drives. Or it is truly the case that

  37. Tom S (edited by Moderator) March 8, 2007 at 1:10 am #

    Melina Cruickshank

  38. David Rob Slattery March 8, 2007 at 7:24 am #

    Tom

    I thought this was a community of opinions – not a sledging ground.

  39. Robert Simeon March 8, 2007 at 7:49 am #

    Don’t you love some of the anon posters – full of s%$# !!

    Happy to attack an individual – but always yelling from behind a fence. Tom S – you are so brave !!

  40. Michael March 8, 2007 at 2:11 pm #

    My God – I actually agree with Robert on that one.

    And REA also went silent on my request?

  41. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 8, 2007 at 2:39 pm #

    Hi all,

    Here is a question to all listing & selling real estate in Australia using either Domain or http://www.realestate.com.au for listing/posting properties for sale or rent on behalf of vendors.

    Q: How much are you charging vendors for advertising/marketing their property on these sites?

    Q; What should it cost?

  42. Craig March 8, 2007 at 4:23 pm #

    John, it would indeed be interesting to see how much they charge vs how much it costs to advertise online for the agents. I don’t think you will get a satisfactory answer though as it’s another of those ‘secrets’ of the RE industry that consumers are not meant to find out.

  43. Peter Ricci March 8, 2007 at 6:03 pm #

    Well John

    I am not an Agent, but this is what I would charge and it all depends on what type of marketing plan a person wanted to go on.

    But I would have (if I could afford)

    1 Full Time Professional Photographer/Videographer/Commentary (MP3 Streaming)
    2 Full Time Editor.

    So lets say the average Inner City Agency had 10 sales staff and each staff member took on 30 listings a year. That is 300 listings.

    Now wanting to remain in business I would want to make money out of this investment in staff.

    So let us say each staff member costs (including office space, phone, Internet car expenses) $110,000 per annum x 2 = #220,000 per annum. Now lets divide 300 into $220,000 and we come to over $700 per listing.

    Now this is a premium service, add on top portal expenses at $20,000 per annum…and we are getting close to $1000 per listing with a margin of just 20%.

    I know it is easy to say that they are making money from it, but think of all the time it takes to get one photo shoot, movie, mp3 out the door and the costs involved…

  44. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 8, 2007 at 6:40 pm #

    Peter thanks for the reply.

    The scenario is very top end as an agency or say major franchise operation, not many of those in Adelaide Town. Sounds very Eastern Statish!

    OK I will start the debate or the hide and seek game Agents are playing, I will keep it clean and not name anyone or agency by names here, but this information I will convey is from first hand experience.

    One I have heard charges nothing to list for advertising, only approx $1,800 admin fee when the property is sold which covers advertising on http://www.realestate.com.au mind you only internet adverts are conducted, no adverts in the press. And the commission on top of that when sold.

    Another franchise agency charges a flat $145 to list on http://www.realestate.com.au, thinking of increasing to $245 soon when charges per month are increasing to list on that portal. (www.realestate.com.au)

    I have heard in Adelaide Town the going rate correct me if I am wrong here for a standrad per month contract for 12 months with http://www.realestate.com.au is approx $650 per month. For as many listings on the site per agency as they have till sold.

    Another agency charges a flat $250 per listing for vendors until sold. Digi pics by sales people conducted.

    Peter your scenario you have given is taking into consideration a professional internet listing package, but Agents in Adelaide Town do not solely just use the net. They also use the press mainly on a Saturday. A credit card size display advert could cost between say $550 to $750 each. That is one per week. In the local press a double credit card display advert is approx $260 each per week. If you are looking at say 3 to 4 of these adverts for the period of the sale campaign, statutory searches, council search, metal signboard 6 x 3, colour brochures to give out at opens, photography for brochures and internet, sketch and floorplan it can easily go to say $3,000 before you even take into consideration the commission or professional fee due when sold of say 2.2% to 3% plus, more closer to 2.2% is the average here in Adelaide Town.

    So what do you charge to list on the net say on http://www.realestate.com.au or say domain the main two portals used here in Adelaide Town??

    Dear blog forum who might be in the industry listing & selling, what are you doing and charging?

  45. Peter Ricci March 8, 2007 at 6:50 pm #

    Ok

    Now let us say that you are taking the photos yourself. First thing you should do is get to know your camera inside out. Get a book on digital photography.

    Now….If it takes you 30 minutes to get to the house, 30 minutes to take photos, 30 minutes to get back to base and 30 minutes to prepare (use picasa.com FREE Google software for quick touch ups.)

    That is 2 hours at $100 bucks an hour, then add your costs. 2 portals at say 12k per annum….

    I think $330 per listing is fair and reasonable (on Domain and REA).

    Oh….and if I had an agency, I would make sure I had a website so my Newspaper Ads went like this.

    “Just go to adelaidetownproperty.com.au and enter the ID number to go directly to listing…

    Adelaide – House. 3 Bed 1 Bath $265,000 ID#25468
    Glenelg – Apart. 2 Bed 1 Bath $265,000 ID#25457
    Adelaide – House. 3 Bed 1 Bath $265,000 ID#25468
    Glenelg – Apart. 2 Bed 1 Bath $265,000 ID#25457
    Adelaide – House. 3 Bed 1 Bath $265,000 ID#25468
    Glenelg – Apart. 2 Bed 1 Bath $265,000 ID#25457
    Adelaide – House. 3 Bed 1 Bath $265,000 ID#25468
    Glenelg – Apart. 2 Bed 1 Bath $265,000 ID#25457

    Make the newspapers work back to your website…………….every single time. Have a box clearly displayed on your site where they can input number and enter….

    Regards Peter

  46. Peter Ricci March 8, 2007 at 6:56 pm #

    and John, I am not talking about Eastern States with the hiring of professionals, even you can do it, maybe on a case by case basis. But it will be the quality of the content that will be the differentiator between you and your competitors going forward, as newspapers move aside, the Internet will be all about the 2qaulitry of your listings, photos, movies, vr tours, commentary, copy etc etc….

  47. Robert Simeon March 8, 2007 at 7:01 pm #

    John,

    We pay (these are approximate figures) REA $600.00 approx each month and Domain $1,200 – $1,400.00 (approx) per month. The reason we pay Domain more is that we have priority placements and also, “top spot” in Mosman and Cremorne on their portal.

    I hope that this assists you.

  48. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 8, 2007 at 7:09 pm #

    Peter,

    I think $330 each per listing is fair and reasonable (on Domain and REA).

    Thanks again

    So a flat $300 bucks to charge is more closer to the say the $250 some agents are charging in Adelaide Town.

  49. Craig March 8, 2007 at 8:16 pm #

    Peter, your charging for the web site listing seems pretty reasonable based on the work. How do you decide which services are to be charged by time and materials and which are covered under the commission on the sale of the property?

  50. Robert Simeon March 8, 2007 at 9:43 pm #

    Tom S,

    Whilst you continue to hide behind your fence of anon posting. Please allow me to address a few issues that you raise in your 1.10 am post – which was later moderated. One can only assume that your wine consumption marinated your excitement in posting here in Business2. No doubt you were with John Simmond’s enjoying the amber fluid.

    Tom S > “Robert, you should go in to politics. It is rare for you to answer a straight forward question and you

  51. Peter Ricci March 8, 2007 at 9:48 pm #

    Craig, I am not an agent, and I do not know what is covered by commissions and the such. Best to get agents advice on that. I was asked what was a reasonable price to charge a vendor for an online ad campaign. I simply did the maths on a professional service (hiring a professional photographer etc and doing it yourself…

  52. Michael March 8, 2007 at 11:26 pm #

    Open2view offer a great service in our area – i assume it can vary area to area depending on franchise – but for $200 they do a great day shoot complete with colour correction etc through photoshop (sorry peter – picasso really isn’t what any photographer would use) plus they offer all the pole cams – night shots – virtuals etc you would expect.

    Also saw a great concept in Thailand last year when on hols – they use a remote control helicopter with a complete digital slr mounted which can take pictures from any angle is far less sun dependant in terms of shooting angle etc.

    (Robert would be great for waterfront shots – as you can take the picture from over the water and from air)

    Now here is a curly question.

    The agents employs the photographer to take pictures of the owners home which he bills the owner for and then places them on a website such as Domain. Who own the copyright of those pictures?

    🙂

  53. Peter Ricci March 9, 2007 at 6:08 am #

    Michael, small steps Michael…..

    I tell them to use Picasa as a stepping stone, it is great to organise pictures and also offers some very basic features. It is also easier to import from a camera, it is simple to learn, it allows to export images at files sizes easily (800 x 600)

    I use Photoshop every day but at $1500 a box I doubt people will use it and learn it as a first step. Then there is Photoshop Elements which is good and alot cheaper. But as a first step Picasa.com is easily the best starting point.

    As for copyright. In Australia the photographer owns the copyright by default. If the photographers works for the agent, the agent owns the image. Thats is why all old 35mm images are owned by the purchaser, but the negatives are owned by the photographer.

    If the vendor asks the agent for ownership and agent agrees in writing – ownership is passed onto the vendor.

    The same applies with website design. Under normal circumstances the agent only owns the finished artwork and not original files. Agents MUST get these as well if they ever want to use any other designer.

  54. Elizabeth March 9, 2007 at 7:35 pm #

    Good Evening,

    Michael, you asked Simon Baker if you could advertise on his site.

    To answer your question from an agent

  55. Robert Simeon March 9, 2007 at 7:52 pm #

    Elizabeth,

    I love your animation 😉 Domain allow private sellers to advertise on their site and I have no problems with that as private sellers have just a few photographs (and a hope)- we have a database.

    I drive by my first ZeroAgent property that is on the market and chuckle every day (sorry Michael). A little corflute board on a skinny stick, then when you look at the hero shot the owners photographed the garages which they don’t have (no parking).

    Have a look at the advertisement for roller doors.

    http://www.zeroagents.com.au/Search/View-Property.aspx?PropertyID=1383

    Clearance rates at a high here since 2003 – still on the market (weeks later) and probably will remain so until they appoint an agent or give it away.

    Selling a car is easy, I guess that is why they photographed the garage. Just that the property has no parking !! Oh hum 😉

  56. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 9, 2007 at 11:21 pm #

    I heard at a property seminar in Adelaide today that the REI Professional bodies are thinking hard to introduce properties for sale & rent on their websites?

    Similar to REA & Domain.

  57. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 9, 2007 at 11:25 pm #

    In my honest opinion, if REA allows private sellers on their site it would be a positive to all players.

    They could charge up to or between say $500 to $1,000 for each listing until sold or withdrawn by vendors. Now that could be an excellent revenue.

    Or they could put a total package together for say $1,000 per listing eg sign, internet pics, editorial.

    The day will come when they will have to do it. If R/E Professional bodies start advertising properties on their websites in Australia.

  58. Danny March 9, 2007 at 11:26 pm #

    Robert/Elizabeth

    Don’t lose sleep, I don’t mind whether zeroagents are permitted to advertise on mainstream websites (well done Michael – love your site and those antimated talking heads essentially preaching agents should have “666” tatooded on their foreheads are a masterstroke!).

    Notwithstanding the above compliments, I have visited the zeroagents.com.au website and simply want to know what sort of “super hero” wears his undies below his lycra and not on top?

    Michael – Market reseach mate! – Batman/Superman/Spiderman, even Batfink! – they all knew undies came second – on top!!

    Was this a major marketing faux pas or have I missed something?

    Sorry Michael – just kidding – long Friday lunch … please forgive me … unlike your lunch Robert, mine wasn’t courtesy of Darling Park.

    By the way – no RWM enmail as at 2pm? The highlight of my week will have to wait until, tomorrow (anon …as you say!)….

  59. Michael March 9, 2007 at 11:39 pm #

    You know – it’s all those comments Above Robert and Elizabeth – that is the reason sellers want to do it themselves.

    THANK YOU

    Hey Robert – a sign of the property always beats even if it’s the garage – a sign of the agent 🙂

    Oh wait a sec let me guess – they should have done sophisticated advertisements costing thousands in PRINT with you – or that nigerian minister whom emails you regularly 🙂

  60. Nick Buick March 10, 2007 at 2:38 am #

    Peter is often referring to the ‘genius nephew web designer’ – its a scenario most web developers are all-to familiar with and for the purpose of my argument – it shall be my metaphor.

    When a client tells me they have a genius nephew I don’t run around in a panic, threaten hosting providers, computer stores and software vendors not to service the genius nephew. That would simply make me a badguy. I’d look pretty unprofessional and leave clients wondering why I was being so threatened by a ‘kid’.

    Instead – I politely explain to the client what I can offer them, give them my card and tell them to call me when ready. Then I leave them alone – with the respect they deserve as a client to use whoever they want.

    In 3 months time, when the genius nephew has inevitably stuffed things up, the client will call me. After a few friendly I-told-you-so’s I’ll get paid to do the job right and also get to bask in the warm glow one feels when they get to be the good guy who saved the day.

    Maybe you should try being the good guy some time, Liz?

  61. Elizabeth March 10, 2007 at 11:24 am #

    My Dear Dear Nick,

    In what way am I not the ‘good guy’? Apart from the obvious anatomy reasons perhaps.

    I appreciate and understand the arguments fore and against the Private Sales/For Sale By Owner models and their ability to advertise on the major portals. And I appreciate your analogy. However it misses the mark considerably.

    What ZeroAgents sets out to achieve is to tarnish the name and reputation of Agents and the industry, instilling a false fear about the industry.

    Perhaps, and this is JUST a perhaps, if companies like ZeroAgents went about their business in a less aggressive and falsely accusatorial manner, and catered to a segment of the market which saw value in their offering, I might not have taken the stance I currently employ.

    However, for a portal to accept marketing dollars from myself and other agents, and to also accept money from a company whose modus operandi it is to do damage to the industry, then I take issue.

    ZeroAgents is not a Nephew, it is an attack on the real estate industry. More particularly the sales side of the real estate industry. Something that is somewhat missed from thepropertymanager company?

    Let us apply the ZeroAgents marketing approach to a practical situation. Imagine the uproar and ensuing legal battle if my local Charles Tarby outlet starting spruiking ‘Do not buy a house off LJHooker as they do not disclose the full history of properties to potential purchasers. Do not risk buying a Murder House’.

    I think it is more a case of good luck that ZeroAgents has not been presented with legal papers in relation to its claims. Then again, the local institute is more than likely too busy thinking of ways in which to get more attendees at the annual golf day than engaging with ZeroAgents.

    Now to address Private Sales on Domain, I have written to the ‘powers that be’ in relation to this, and I have not received anything back. My rep understands my concerns and is extremely sympathetic, and we have agreed to wait for an answer to my letter.

    In the mean time, I do my utmost to target the vendors choosing to not use an Agent.

    E

  62. Elizabeth March 10, 2007 at 11:31 am #

    Robert,

    You are correct in what you elude to, it is the lack of marketing panache and skill which is absent from ZeroAgents.

    They apparently drive business by instilling fear and emotion, and make money by selling basic and dated models.

    I can sleep easy.

    Mind you, if we persist in our points of agreement, I may start questioning myself. (Stated with a wry grin I assure you)

    E

  63. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 10, 2007 at 3:42 pm #

    About zeroagents in Adelaide Town????

    I have studied this site for weeks now.

    It had 10 properties for sale a few weeks ago now it has 9.

    It does not appear any newies!!!???

    The concept is fine but the bagginbg of agents is appauling!!!

    I am an Agent.

    Thank you zeroagents for giving me information to chase prospective private sellers who do not end up selling themselves.

    The biggest two reasons they do not sell are?

    1./Emotionally attached to the property.

    2./ Selling in Adelaide Town involves being able to negotiate on a negotiable instrument which is a standard REI contract schedule. When a prospective purchasers says I would like to make an offer? Me the agent says OK I will write it up ijn REI contract schedule format. Unless you are a member of the REI (Real Estate Institute of South Australia)how are you going to write up an offer?? When this is done you go to the vedor and say I have an offer to produce. The vendor then either accepts the offer by signing it, or says I WANT MORE!!! Then as an agent you say OK Mr/Ms/MRS vendor what do you want??? Then get them to comit on the contract schedule by crossing off the offered amount and signing up the amount. This esculates the negotiation process, Yopu might go back and forth until an amount is agreed and which is binding to the vendor. Then when negotiation is complete cooling off disclosure statements are served on the purchaser. After 2 clear business days the contract is binding to both parties and the purchasers needs to come up with the agreed deposit. The next stage is waiting for say the subject to finance clause to be forfilled. If a subject to contract is contained in the contract.

    My big question is can PRIVATE SELLERS do this??????

    I say no way!!!! Unless they have a wood duck coming in to buy their property!

  64. Michael March 10, 2007 at 3:54 pm #

    It appears i cannot reply as they are being deleted/moderated – even though there is no abuse contained

  65. Nick Buick March 10, 2007 at 4:07 pm #

    I can appreciate you points Liz – but as an objective 3rd party, I just see you and Robert ridiculing ZeroAgents and making public threats to his suppliers. Which is only serving to add (A LOT) of credibility to the very argument being used against you.

    You guys know the value you add to your clients – focus your effort on raising customer awareness of this and sucess will be yours. Trying to control unionist networks and mudslinging will eventually only result in your customers regarding you with contempt.

  66. Peter March 10, 2007 at 5:09 pm #

    I can assure you Michael, I would never delete/moderate any moderate comment. I have not received any in my moderation box…so I hope the problem you are having is rectified soon. I have tested this on 4 machines and it seems to be working fine…

  67. Michael March 10, 2007 at 5:47 pm #

    Peter

    I have replied about 3 to 4 times

    Each submitted – appeared immediately

    Then doesn’t when i re-visit site

    I assume it isnt Mac/Firefox – as i know you use Mac

    ?????

  68. Michael March 10, 2007 at 5:50 pm #

    Nick

    You are absolutely right – it’s about adding value and being able to justify the expense.

    Delivering a property sale as a result of internet and sign – does not justify a 2% commission.

    Thats the real message

  69. Michael March 10, 2007 at 5:54 pm #

    John – regarding Adelaide / SA

    Our stats indicate

    We have only had 11 properties advertise – 3 have sold – 8 still active.

    SA seems a relative quiet location for private selling across the board, we review classifieds weekly and QLD/NSW seems to represent the most active locations for people actively private selling.

    May suggest John – you guys deliver better value than your neighbours in the other states.

  70. Elizabeth March 10, 2007 at 6:01 pm #

    Dear Nick,

    I appreciate what you are saying, but respectfully disagree. I put it to you, that ZeroAgents is the one making public statements which undermine, and do little to enhance the profile of the industry. They are doing this through their marketing messages and tactics.

    Are you suggesting that as an industry, we should welcome such scandalous claims with open arms? With no retort? Should I not also be afforded the opportunity to make a statement to the contrary?

    Perhaps there is some merit in watching how ZeroAgents performs in light of John’s comments.

    Please accommodate my request to not refer to me as ‘Liz’. I appreciate that you are being friendly, however I was born Elizabeth, and have always been referred to as Elizabeth.

    However, E works just as fine for me in this blog.

    E

  71. Craig March 10, 2007 at 6:12 pm #

    Elizabeth,

    I understand that you are upset about ZeroAgents negative claims about Agents. It seems the Real Estate Agent profession seems to suffer from more negative publicity than most, except maybe used car salesmen and politicans. Why do you think this is? As as outsider looking in it seems to me to be obvious. Any commission driven occupation is inherently succeptable to dishonest behaviour. Removing commissions is the first step to Agents regaining their acceptance in society (you possibly don’t know how badly you are thought of by the general public).

  72. Anthony March 10, 2007 at 6:15 pm #

    Elizabeth – i welcome debate.

    I can arrange for you to be interviewed on TV – to express your views. I may even agree with them, as long as the process is transparent and the buyers and seller benefit.

    What better way then to be involved in Public Debate. I am sure the profile would add to your local business as well.

    Interested?

  73. Elizabeth March 10, 2007 at 6:16 pm #

    Adding Value whilst tarnishing the name and reputation of others?

    Says more about the person running the company I would suggest!

    E

  74. Elizabeth March 10, 2007 at 6:33 pm #

    Craig,

    Unfortunately I am all too aware of the varying degrees of ‘popularity’ of agents everywhere. Choose a country and I think you may find it is the same the world over.

    In the boom, agents could do no wrong. Now in a normal market attitudes and expectations are different.

    I suspect that the acknowledgement that real estate is the biggest investment most families will make. It will be their home, and in some instances an investment. When you tie these factors in, acknowledging that they involve highly emotional bonds, then you have a situation where everything is magnified.

    Some time ago, there was an analogy on this blog to doctors. If a doctor displays malpractice, there is a review and if proven the doctors licence is removed. Interestingly the medical profession usually is not judged by one person

  75. Anthony March 10, 2007 at 6:48 pm #

    Well the REIQ president works for a Real Estate office in senior management.

    Guess what – that office doesn’t charge for advertising and does not promote open homes. (They are not JENMAN and they are very vocal about that – but they know what advertising works – and what is self promotion)

    This organisation in my opinion has taken a very ethical position. I applaud the position.

    They focus on property promotion not self promotion.

    Signs are for property details – not a picture of the agents face.

    This is GOOD REAL ESTATE.

  76. Sam March 10, 2007 at 7:13 pm #

    “I ask you, where are the institutes?” On a boozy free lunch courtesy of REA in NSW , in other states it’s not much better.

    Re the integrity of real estate agents, please note there are more lawyers in jail than real estate agents – next question ?

  77. Peter March 10, 2007 at 8:24 pm #

    Okay, I will weigh in on the perception of real estate agents in the community. I believe the industry has many (vast majority) of good people working hard and being rewarded well for their work, but as in any commission based industry there are a few people that do the wrong thing. These people get publicised more than any other industry.

    Zero Agents is cashing in on this perception, just like Mr Jenman did a few years ago.

    Now from looking at their listings when I wrote the first article they had 244 6 weeks ago and have 268 active listings as of today.

    Sites like these will get bigger and bigger, and agents are going to have to work together to make sure these types of sites are limited to the lower end of the market. This is where these sites will make their money, from the lower end of the market, that is until it matures – and then who knows.

    Now, as far as agents are concerned some of the criticisms are justified and make it hard for all of the 90% of good agents across Australia.

    Here are some things.
    1. Federal Rules- Currently each state controls industries which means varying degrees of rules and regulations. People buy from all over the country now that the Internet has matured – not just in their own suburbs and having different rules and regulations governing agents in each state is getting more and more ridiculous.

    2. Fixed Pricing Rules – Having offers over, by negotiation, buyer ranges and all of these other selling models forces the buyers to place too much trust in agents. If the law stated that if you wanted to sell your property you had to advertise a fixed price then it would be better for all involved. Some agent might not agree, but I can tell you as a current buyer it is a completely frustrating process. Some agents are great and open and some just play stupid games and this effects the publics perception of agents. So now I just do not bother with properties without pricing information. If you don’t want your properties price advertise then you Auction it!

    3. Rental ‘Crisis” – Now that rental properties are becoming scarce some agents are making renters bid for properties. This just makes the industry look worse in the eyes of consumers and this should be legislated also.

    Now these are just my opinions, but if you had these rules, it would make your industry 100% more transparent and therefore harder for the so ‘called’ shonks to play their games and over time will boost the publics perception of agents.

    Keep playing nice people, this blog is for everyone to voice their opinions….

  78. Peter March 10, 2007 at 8:26 pm #

    As for the real estate institutes, I sent an email off to all institutes last week asking them if they would like to participate. Will let you all know if I get a response (none as yet).

  79. Robert Simeon March 10, 2007 at 8:49 pm #

    As I have stated before I don’t have a problem with private agent businesses – after 20 years in the industry I have watched them come, then watched them go. I have no doubt that it works at the lower end of the price spectrum. It can’t work at the top end – as it has a greater potential to damage the property. Which in turn can have a severe cost impact on the vendor(s).

    I am watching my first ZeroAgent campaign up the road from me and I wish the owners all the best. However, surely they would be better advised by ZeroAgents that taking a picture of garage doors (when you don’t have parking) is not in their best interests.

    It would serve them better to have their hero photograph on their lounge room, or the view (if they have one).

    As each week goes by so does their ability to achieve the asking price. Also, prospective purchasers ask for a comparable sales document and private sellers do not access to this information.

    Unless, they call agents in to provide them with a market analysis and – they in turn use this information for their own benefit.

    I guess taking photos of a garage door says it all !!

    As I said they come and they go – most then become Buyers Agents.

  80. Craig March 10, 2007 at 10:33 pm #

    Peter, as someone currently looking for property I whole heartedly agree with you on the issue of ‘Fixed Pricing Rules’. Of all my experiences with agents are extremely frustrating in trying to work out a price that both the vendor and buyer are happy with. It is basically a guessing game. And trying to extract information out of the Agent about price really puts them into ‘used car salesman’ mode leaving the buyer really suspicious. Sure the agent will just say do some investigation and comparison to work out the price for the area, but why should they? Just put the price the vendor wants on the table and using an open and transparent auction system (not a traditional auction) people can put their offers down the price will work itself out. The current auction system only has one reason, to try deceive the buyer into paying a higher price.

    Why do these private seller organisations like ZeroAgents even exist? Every customer they have is drawn to them from bad experiences with Agents. People who have had good experiences with Agents would never think of going to ZeroAgents. So for every one of the 300 properties on the ZeroAgents website you should be thinking that means at least 300 people have had a bad enough experience with an Agent to want to look elsewhere.

    The basic problem is that Agents need to respect buyers the same way they respect their meal ticket, the vendors. Doing this they would soon lose the dodgy tag.

  81. Peter Ricci March 11, 2007 at 7:48 am #

    Craig, I agree with the frustrations with buying a house with the ‘offers over’ and rubbish like that. I have found most agents are fine and are pretty good about it, one or two have been dodgy.

    As for Auctions – I think that is what they are for to get the highest price and good luck to people who go for that!

    As for Zeroagents – I doubt that they have all had baad experiences, some just want to save a heap of money.

    What I think ZeroAgents should do is get out of the ‘Sell your House” with us syndrome and get into the ‘advertise your property’ mode. After all the Internet is just another marketing tool – albeit a great one.

    However I understand they have been having difficulty getting listings onto some of the major players portals – and I think the owners do know why. It is pretty in your face and kinda funny too. I actually kind of like the angle they are playing, but it will not serve them well with other agents and I am sure local competitors would have quickly made sure they could not advertise on major portals.

    Internet advertising is just that, it is advertising, not selling, a salesperson ‘sells’ the house or the house sells itself. Now some private sellers will know how to negotiate and many will not – that is the skill an agent brings to a table.

    Think about this – if all I did every single day was negotiate pricing, then I would get better and better at it – I would also learn from people and understand what it is about them I can work with.

    That is what good agents bring to the table…….

  82. Robert Simeon March 11, 2007 at 8:10 am #

    Craig,

    You make some very valid points. Today, agents must comply with with the guidelines stipulated by (in NSW) the guidelines of the Office of Fair Trading. These guidelines do NOT apply to private sellers.

    An agent must quote the price listed on the agency agreement signed by both vendor and agent. As a prospective purchaser you can request to see that agreement. Also, the comparable sales that the agent applied to determine the opinion of value.

    Should you find an agent not being consistent with their quote price you can report them to the Office of Fair Trading, and they will be investigated. If they are not conforming with the Act, they will be fined and their selling certificate/ license will then be reviewed.

    Industry standards have never before been as strict and I for one support this 100 per cent.

    And yes, the Office of Fair Trading will accept anon complaints against an agent.

    Private sellers do not come under this jurisdiction – and they can tell you anything and get away with it. They do not come under umbrella of the Office of Fair Trading, as they are not registered nor trained by the governing bodies. You can make a complaint however, private sellers generally have not a single understanding of these laws.

    Purchasers are protected today with agents having to provide full disclosure to interested parties as against private sellers who get away with “zero” disclosure.

  83. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 11, 2007 at 8:12 am #

    Some great reading forum and debate.

    Here is another story to read about from Adelaide Town.

    I will keep it clean.

    I am an Agent, I am a Valuer, I also am a prospective purchaser actively looking to buy property of interest in the marketplace.

    I had asked weeks ago via email sent to an Agent using one of those on the nose selling systems which do not advertise address & full price of the subject property For Sale from a REA advert, “whit is the full address and full price” please!!!!

    Guess what??? I did not get a prompt reply.

    The Agent knows exactly who I am.

    Totally unacceptable!!!

    I was not interested in snaching the listings, just interested in what was for sale and at what price!!! I am a shopper!! I need proper information before I go shopping.

    I have mentioned this before on this site.

    FULL DISCLOSURE on internet adverts is paramount for all players.

    But we know why this practice is still occuring, these Agents are in the business of collecting names & phone numbers first and selling property second!!
    This is not in the best interest of vendors or purchasers, both are equal customers to the process.

  84. Peter Ricci` March 11, 2007 at 9:04 am #

    Robert. Ok, I put in an offer on a property that was “offers over $650,000” (my offer was $660,000), the agent told me that this bid was not high enough and could not tell me what offer would be accepted.

    All I wanted to do was to know what price the vendor would accept, I was not told, so I just moved on.

    Do they have to tell me???? I can tell you it is pretty darn frustrating, dealing with these agents that do this and I have made a decision to only look at properties that have a Sale Price quoted, I also pop into an Auction every now and then, just to get used to the practise.

    As you can see I can only afford 1/20th of a listing in Mosman 🙂

  85. Robert Simeon March 11, 2007 at 9:48 am #

    Peter,

    I can see why this frustrates you – all agents must quote the property if asked at the selling price as entered in the agency agreement.

    If you ask an agent what price the vendor will accept and he/she does not give you an answer or figure – he/she is in breach of the Act. You then reserve the right to report him/her to the Office of Fair Trading.

    Agents never before are as accountable for what they say than ever before. The days in NSW of underquoting selling prices no longer exist. If an agent does this then report them – that simple.

  86. Peter March 11, 2007 at 10:01 am #

    Thanks Robert, will do this….

    It seems like a great ruling, this is why I think it should be legislated nationally. Every state has different laws governing real estate.

    Again thanks for your help.

  87. Anthony March 11, 2007 at 10:26 am #

    What about legislated – FIXED PRICE – supported by Professional Valuation – This would make buyer and seller comfortable.

    Because whilst agents “brag” about achieving record prices for a property sale – how do you think it makes the Buyer feel. Especially if they were lead to believe it was a great value buy.

    And buyers deserve just as much price protection as a seller. And a buyer may still decide to buy over valuation – if the emotion really kicks in.

    Agents can focus on the marketing!

  88. Robert Simeon March 11, 2007 at 10:40 am #

    Anthony,

    An agent has to provide a vendor anecdotal sales evidence that supports their opinion of value when assessing the property.

    A prospective purchaser is well within their rights to request that the agent provide them this data. After all it is the agents best interest to validate the likely price point to purchasers – as provided to the vendor(s).

    A prospective purchaser today, has under the Act the opportunity to ensure that agents provide full transparency with all ongoing discussions in the acquisition of a property.

    All you have to do is ask – if you don’t like the answers report them to the Office of Fair Trading. Every complaint is investigated.

  89. Anthony March 11, 2007 at 10:59 am #

    I am aware of that – plus they could generate a myriad of pricing reports from one of the online sites.

    What about questions regarding advertising effectiveness for vendors?

  90. Robert Simeon March 11, 2007 at 11:41 am #

    And what questions might they be ?

  91. Anthony March 11, 2007 at 12:42 pm #

    For instance do you recommend a “typical” advertising package.

  92. Nick Buick March 11, 2007 at 1:08 pm #

    How can portals refuse to allow ZeroAgent access? If they are fully liscenced agents – surely the portals would be legally obligated to provide them with service under the Trade Practices Act?

  93. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 11, 2007 at 2:29 pm #

    Good point Nick B. Agree.

    Proper Pricing and full address on Internet adverts is a must.

    In Adelaide Town Jenman agents waste my time with this issue.

    No price no address.

    In the pricing issue there are plenty of ways to approach it.

    Eg.

    Question?

    What is the price agent????

    Answer

    The vendor is seeking…..obviously is a high starting point, but should be within 10% of acheivable price.

    The legal valuation states……

    The price range is……within 10% either way of what the vendor is seeking

    The fixed price is…..then as a purchaser this again must be within a 10% range of what the vendor is seeking.

    and so on.

  94. max March 11, 2007 at 3:21 pm #

    John, I cant agree enough. As a young investor and keen industry on looker I can

  95. Anthony March 11, 2007 at 4:55 pm #

    Max …. do you think Zero Coke is a scandalous reference to normal coke?

    🙂

  96. Anthony March 11, 2007 at 5:38 pm #

    silly me – you would prefer Pepsi Max

    And collectively there is a huge Groan

  97. Robert Simeon March 11, 2007 at 6:58 pm #

    Anthony,

    Not sure what you mean by a “typical” advertising package ? We offer a variety of options namely, internet only where we mine our database, advertisning campaigns where the property only appears on our website and the property portals. Private treaty with an asking price and website/property portals and Saturday Domain print advertising. Expressions of Interest and Public Auctions that have full online advertising with local newspaper and Saturday Domain advertising.

    In every case we sit down with the vendor(s) and discuss what they most feel comfortable with in terms of marketing strategy and advertising campaign alternatives.

  98. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 11, 2007 at 8:17 pm #

    Robert some good points.

    The vendors are not always in the best position to know what is best!!!

    I can only talk about Adelaide Town Real Estate.

    My qualifications:

    Qualified Valuer
    Licensed Land Agent
    Certified Business Broker
    Grad Dip in Urban & Regional Planning
    Grad Dip in Project Management
    Bachelor of Business Property
    Dip of Bus (Real Estate Management)
    Certificate in Real Estate Sales

    I practice as a Valuer and also list & sell mainly residential Real Estate.

    I can honestly say and point out that the times are a changing.
    Vendors are still getting scammed in the advertising stakes BIG TIME.
    Guess by who???? I will leave that assumption to the forum readers.
    In my honest opinion BIG adverts in the weekend paper are wasting vendors money. It has been an elusion for years. All it is doing is advertising these agencies who post them on behalf of the vendors.
    Line classified at approx just under $7 aline sell just as well.
    Jenman Agents in Adelaide do not use full display adverts anymore.
    With REA’s force in the Adelaide Town marketplace now, I do not feel that big money and big adverts in the paper is needed any longer.

    A good and effective marketing campaign should include the following.

    Mandatory statutory searches (Council ($33), Section 7’s ($235) & strata ($65))
    Large enough sign with full address, pics if needed and good description say $200
    Posting on REA – as Peter R stated on this site min agent cost to do this say $300 until sold and agent doing editorial and taking pics.
    Maximum line classified advert of fair size in Sat papers say up to $150 for up to 4 weeks.
    And colour property brochures with floorplan to give out at opens say for 100 $250

    Total cost for the above for all of four weeks say $1,610 inc GST
    On top of that nil admin fee and Commission or Professional Fee average in Adelaide at 2.2% but I know some agencies are doing as low as 1.1% of the sale price.

    A four week advertising campaign with fair pricing should sell the property listed. If pricing is over the top?? Then property could take longer to sell.

    Please note in South Australia us Agents negotiate the selling price, write the contracts, serve cooling off notices or disclosyre statements, the whole box and dice.

    Negotiation ethically should be conducted on standard REISA schedule of contract paper work. Instigated by a willing prospective purchaser to make an offer formally using this paper work NOT a letter of offer. The standard REISA schedule of contract forms become negotiable instruments between willing seller and prospective purchaser who wants to make an offer and therefore start the negotiation process.

    Vendors in my opinion are still getting sucked in to spend mega bucks in the Sat paper.

    The day will come when sign in front of property and REA listing would do the trick, thus less advertising $$’s would need to be spent to get a good price for the property offered for sale.

  99. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 11, 2007 at 8:26 pm #

    Some more food for thought.

    What if Domain or REA become actual Agents????

    Eg employ someone like me who negotiates the sale and directs advertising solely to REA or Domain, whoever say employs me.

    This would cut a wedge into the industry.

    Advertising would be done professionally by say advertising people employed again within these structures as Peter R has mentioned on this forum eg professiomnal editorials, speaking editorials and written ones, professional pics, etc etc etc. Value adding and these portals using this system can charge, listing agents employed by them can drive business into them, they cannot only earn the negotiated commission when he propertry is sold but also a rebate or kick back from these portals when the propery is listed and then advertised on their sites.

    Eg

    I could be;
    John Agent of REA
    or
    John Agent of Domain

    ANREPS in South Ausalia offer this type of service I beleive??

    Campaign could be run in the pappers and TV driving business towards these portals having a one stop shop?

    What does the forum think?

  100. max March 11, 2007 at 9:56 pm #

    Haha.. No Anthony I wouldn

  101. max March 11, 2007 at 9:57 pm #

    woops… distracted while typing

  102. snoop March 12, 2007 at 8:18 am #

    I am a professional investor.
    I make a point of not calling any listing I see that does not have a price.
    I find it intensely annoying.
    My next biggest annoyance with agents is the ones who have 80% of their window properties with sold on them ,and the even stupider ones who send me junk mail with sold on them.

  103. Elizabeth March 12, 2007 at 9:21 am #

    Good Morning everyone,

    Since my last blog I have taken the time to digest many of the comments on this site. Snoop we must have a connection, as your comments are hitting my ponderings.

    What elements of my own marketing are strictly for the listing? And which are strictly for maintaining my businesses prominence?

    In some instances my vendors do not want an address or price displayed. At what point do I have a level of influence on such requests?

    I must confess to putting sold stickers on my window displays, but not to the extent that my local franchise colleagues do. I prefer to put in my local community announcements and achievements.

    No definitive answers at this stage I am afraid. However it is something I am going to monitor.

    John, you make a great argument, but also an alarming one. I see your suggestion as an extension of ZeroAgents and the like, not just advertising with a portal, but forming a Joint Venture with them.

    Imagine the day, should a portal start selling through the tools and messages like ZeroAgents. Here they would be selling and approaching my vendors direct to ‘save money’ and ‘avoid the thief

  104. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 12, 2007 at 12:43 pm #

    Snoop if you are interested in FREE info for residential investment in Adelaide greater metro?

    Contact Peter R ask for my email and contact me.

    I will help as best I can.

    Regards
    John

  105. max March 12, 2007 at 2:39 pm #

    Snoop, at least you look at the flyers you get. Mine sit in the letter box until there is a pile of them for me to take to the bin.

    The biggest mistake agents make is assuming consumers think like the agents do.

    Elizabeth, don

  106. max March 12, 2007 at 2:47 pm #

    further to the suggestion that might portals start selling property, its just like saying why wouldnt google make portals of their own for everything? they have all the data! and the cash!

    Well the answer is again, they already make bucket loads doing what they do best. And well…it would draw a lot of attention to the internet which is strangely flying under the radar of any ACCC type cross ownership/monopoly regulation.

  107. snoop March 12, 2007 at 5:46 pm #

    My neighbors have even gone to the extend of putting signs on their letter boxes saying no junk from xxx agency….they could be competing agencies ,but their are two culprits that put sold info in our boxes all the time.

  108. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 12, 2007 at 9:34 pm #

    Snoop!?

    My flyers I use in South Australia on the bottom have something like this stated/written.

    Read below?

    PLEASE DISREGARD THIS NOTICE IF YOU ARE ALREADY LISTED WITH AN AGENT
    Please note this notice is not junk mail.
    If you find no use for this notice at present we advise you store in a safe place to use in the future.

    When I get a call from a Greenie, or someone maybe like you snoop, or others who waste a cost of a phone call to call me and say to stop putting the flyers in their letter boxes??
    I say to them they are NOT JUNK MAIL.

    The other point I make is that their is an offer always on the flyer that will save a person who wants to sell their home MONEY!!! Big money if they use me.
    But fools sometimes cannot see the wood from the trees.

  109. Peter March 12, 2007 at 9:44 pm #

    John, I must say I get between 10 or 15 of these each week, I never really look at them except if the design looks good.

    It would be interesting to know how well agents actually do out of this. One thing did strike me when I moved to Sydney as few years ago, was the amount of flyers drifting around the streets on windy days…..

    The only time I have contacted agents is the few times I received like 10 of the same flyer in my box – just to let them know they are not being delivered responsibly….

    I actually do not like any of this type of mail – but this does not reflect the effectiveness, I just think it is a waste…………

  110. max March 12, 2007 at 10:25 pm #

    John,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_marketing

    looks like the rest of the world thinks it junk mail mate.

  111. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 13, 2007 at 2:53 pm #

    Max, Peter, it is all debatable.

    I read my un-stamped mail. All of it.

    Well I am a selective reader really.

    But still make an effort to see what is in the box.

    In Real Estate you need a point of difference on these flyers.

    Or at the end of the day it is top of mind awareness when say a potential vendor finally decides to sell their house??

    Adverts on TV, net, flyers in box, For Sale signs out in the area, etc etc make a top of mind awareness therefore brand building for any Real Estate operation.

    That is how it works.

    JUNK MAIL???????

    Well that is debatable.

  112. Peter Ricci March 13, 2007 at 3:10 pm #

    I think it is easy to distinguish junk from normal mail, normal mail is addressed to a user (and sometimes can be junk).

    I think a problem you have and other people have is ‘thinking’ it is worth reading as that is entirely subjective to the person reading it….

    I am sure all companies think it is worth reading their ‘un-addressed’ mail!

    I do not have much of a problem with it – but personally I think it is a waste of money and causes so much rubbish around the streets.

    I think in the coming years it will be banned entirely – and that will just force people to come up with new ideas….

  113. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 14, 2007 at 7:12 am #

    Flyers?? make your own assumptions.

    My experience.

    Target a smaller area eg 500 homes instead of 5,000.
    Better results.

    Eg put a result and an offer on it, you will get a call(s) for an appraisal.

    Had deliver them yourself.
    Put them in face up in the letter box.

  114. max March 14, 2007 at 9:08 am #

    John, please don

  115. John (Licensed Land Agent) March 14, 2007 at 11:32 am #

    Max, If you read some classic farming books etc

    You need to broaden the radar when you farm.

    Eg’Flyers
    Internet
    Radio
    TV
    Open For Sale signs
    Local paper adverts
    Sat’s press
    FSBO’s
    Door knocking
    Sausage sizzle in front of office say once a month offering FREE advice/info.
    Local community forums
    Sporting team sponsorship
    Networks you are involved in
    Direct calling on the phone
    etc etc

    Plant a seed it will grow into a listing and a client for life.

    Not just one farming technique.

  116. Paul D March 14, 2007 at 12:14 pm #

    Do you seriously spend money in all those areas. You must be joking.
    Tell me how much income you have generated by Sporting team sponsorship, Radio and TV. You can forget about cold calling by telephone, because once the National Privacy initiative comes in there will be a “Do not call” register. It will be the agents responsibility to check this register to make sure the number is not a “do not call” number before they call.

  117. Anthony March 14, 2007 at 12:34 pm #

    Max,

    Agents upon listing – can get a quote for all the registered “buyers” in an area on REA. It works really well – and then you send the property information on the property to all those people.

    The only issue i suspect is that alot of the people registered in an area are other agents who are tracking new listings etc. REA should separate the AGENT alerts from BUYER alerts – so agents don’t pay to inform another agent.

    🙂

  118. max March 14, 2007 at 5:25 pm #

    Anthony, good point.

    I dont get it.. lets assume that most of the registered buyers, and therefore sellers, most of them are actually people saying “yes, I want info on property in this area” how can a flyer in random letter box be better?

    I remember reading somewhere that the old rule that people buy within 5kms of their last house is out the window – I know it is for me. EG. I have no want for info on properties in the area I live right now, but I am signed up for info on properties in other areas on the portals. I get flyer after flyer that goes in the bin but I read every email I get – who is spending their money better?

  119. Anthony March 14, 2007 at 6:48 pm #

    It’s simple Max – it’s all about frequency of message.

    The more times you receive a “sold” flyer in your mailbox from a agent – the more likely you will recall that person when you think of selling.

    It’s just a listing tool predominantly – if you get a buyer as well – bonus.

    That’s the idea anyway – and i think you will find the more active an agent is in area with letterbox deliveries – more than likely they will be successful in that area.

    You just have to remember that this part of the process is predominantly about self promotion not property promotion.

  120. Craig March 14, 2007 at 10:38 pm #

    With all this talk about sale by owner agents there is one thing thats been missed by all.

    Realestate.com.au do allow sale by owner agents onto their website – Go Gecko have been offering a sales package as any normal agent BUT they also have a sale by owner model where you basically pay them a marketing fee.

    Simon have they found the loophole to offer sale by owner on your website?

  121. Craig March 14, 2007 at 10:39 pm #

    Simon you never did answer the question of what your rental traffic vs your sales traffic is?

  122. Michelle S March 14, 2007 at 10:55 pm #

    “Go Gecko is one of the fastest growing Real Estate businesses in Australia. Go Gecko is a truly unique business that fulfils an enormous market demand. Franchises are now available Australia Wide and as a Franchisee you will enjoy”

    This company competes with us…. Been around for a while now – 28 properties on their website – 11 of them sold (been up there for who knows how long)

    That is hardly a fast growing company – however, I think it would be dangerous for portals to start telling us agents how we should run our businesses and set our pricing.

    Yes cheaper alternatives will have a market in any industry, but the majority of people still use agents with experience in their areas….

    Bye M

  123. Craig March 14, 2007 at 11:15 pm #

    HI Michelle

    My challenge is not against go gecko or to tell agents how to do things.

    My comment was to realestate.com.au who say they dont have sale by owner agents on their website when in fact they have had them and still do.

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