What can newspapers do now?

There is much debate in the Internet Industry about newspapers and many pundits have been writing them off as a spent force for years. Whilst their revenues have dropped considerably and they are set for further falls in classifieds – what is it that they can do to stop the bleeding?

Over the past few years we have seen newspapers become a little like trash magazines, trying to get young generations to buy papers, a strategy that has only cheapened the mastheads and for the most part has failed. With quotes from ‘sources close to Angelina’ and a ‘close friend’ which to anyone who has the slightest amount of grey matter means ‘no sources’ and ‘no friends’ and just a made up story – maybe from a photo!

This type of ‘news’ would make seasoned journalists cringe and really makes you wonder – how can they survive? Newspapers make more money from agents in tougher times – it is a historical fact that in buyer markets – sellers have to do more to get noticed, so this has helped somewhat in recent years. When the going is good and boom times come around – properties do not even get to the papers before they are sold.

There are still some excellent papers out there for the business person – The Fin Revue (Fairfax) I have always found to be reasonably fair – even with rivals companies products. But how can they last?

Newspapers and Magazines in the US over the past year have turned their entire marketing to subscription services and they practically give the magazines away. One of my favourites is Fast Company (Geeks and Cool Stuff), which a 12 month subscription costs $9.95 USD – yes $9.95 and most of the major magazines and newspapers are the same.

In my humble opinion newspapers must do the same here in Australia, they must stem the tide and win back readers and the only way to do this is to give daily subscriptions away for about $10 AUD per annum. This will excite many people into buying papers – I mean why not? Only $10 and it keep the advertisers happy. Remember, circulation is all about advertisers. The bigger the circulation the bigger the advertising revenues.

This is not to say it will stop the bleeding completely – Graeme Samuel gave a talk last year to the media industry and told them that 18-24 year old simply do not buy newspapers – and never will. They want it on their mobile phones, delivered to their computers. So that would have made the execs cringe. Rupert Murdoch has also conceded that newspapers have to change their ways dramatically and that revenues in classifieds will continue to fall. Now don’t forget these will make up the bulk of your buyers in 10-15 years!

This is why it is so important for these big companies to control agents on the Internet, if they lose it on paper, then they think they can make it up online – sorry – wrong tree! However, there is a limit to what agents will spend online and we are getting close to it now. I think an online advertising budget for a single office will max out at around $20,000 per annum.

Now Sunday will always be Sunday without the Sunday Telegraph, and Nine will have to wait until 2009 before 2009 is Nine (well kind of), but one thing is for sure, the next 10 years will see massive changes in the newsprint industry and even more changes online!

One good thing for PBL is the Internet and if the MyHome strategy is successful we will see more product placement than a Big Brother Commercial/Show and we will see on the 9 News and property shows these very placements. If PBL is going to be successful and get agents to pay I think the money will have to come from somewhere other than the budgets for Domain and REA and this means newspapers could be hit yet again.

Now if Google/Yahoo and MSN all get into property, it is going to hurt all current players and newspapers will not know what hit them – ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch and ouch!

Newspapers may be able to keep property in newspaper classifieds for the time being, but long term I think they are going to have to switch off the life support system as only the boldest of newspapers CEO’s will offer papers for free and that is some war I would love to see played out!

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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.

48 Responses to What can newspapers do now?

  1. max March 17, 2007 at 11:17 am #

    “Newspapers and Magazines in the US over the past year have turned their entire marketing to subscription services and they practically give the magazines away. One of my favourites is Fast Company (Geeks and Cool Stuff), which a 12 month subscription costs $9.95 USD – yes $9.95 and most of the major magazines and newspapers are the same.”

    Who bloody Ray.. they have finally figured it out. Print have woken up to the fact that they actually make very little from the sale of the product to end users! We all know that the money in print is made from the advertisers. Print learning form online?

  2. max March 17, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    “This is not to say it will stop the bleeding completely – Graeme Samuel gave a talk last year to the media industry and told them that 18-24 year old simply do not buy newspapers – and never will. They want it on their mobile phones, delivered to their computers. So that would have made the execs cringe. Rupert Murdoch has also conceded that newspapers have to change their ways dramatically and that revenues in classifieds will continue to fall. Now don

  3. Paul D March 17, 2007 at 3:02 pm #

    Peter, what you are saying is right, I thought you must be a mind reader. It’s scary seing your thoughts articulated by someone else !!
    It’s interesting to see in an office situation, the emphasis placed on certain media by the individuals. I have to really convince a couple of older i.e. over 40, salespeople that the internet is the way to go. The younger i.e. under 40 sales people need absolutely no convincing, and interestingly the much longer established, and much more well known agents are losing out to the ones who are ready to deal with enquiry NOW. People want more and more information, they want it emailed as you speak to them. If you can’t cut it with today’s technology, look out you will be run over by a younger smarter and more technologically savy salesperson.

    And please don’t reply to me and say that isn’t the case, because while you’re doing that, they’re gaining on you, and you won’t know it’s happened until it has. If you depend on a PA to be able to do all that, you better put some time into learning how. I heard of a case where someone rang one of our competitors and asked for them to email a plan and photos of a particular property. They were told that the only person who can do that was not there and wouldn’t be back until after the weekend. Well, what would you do if you were told that ??

  4. snoop March 17, 2007 at 5:31 pm #

    News have it right
    Invested early in REA.
    Now if you note all their property sections in are branded realestate.com.au

  5. Elizabeth March 17, 2007 at 6:33 pm #

    My Dear PaulD,

    Not all people over 40 resist the internet. Look at Robert and myself.

    A contrast I give you that, but none the less, some old fossiles of the industry who have embraced the internet. (insert a yellow smiling face here)

    However, I know the old fossiles running the neighbouring franchise outlets have difficulty understanding anything electronic. The Charles Tarby principal next door gets his assistant to print out his emails so he can read them!

    Rather amusing when you consider the brand in the window.

    E

  6. Paul D March 17, 2007 at 7:52 pm #

    Sorry Elizabeth, present company excepted of course !!
    And John, don’t be appalled, you should be delighted that your competitors are not up to speed. I am. It’s a definite selling point when you come to list a property. One of the things I say to a prospective vendor is to tell them the average sales prices for street , suburb etc. and then say, by the way, ask the next agent that you get in for those numbers, and if he can’t tell you, ask him what is he doing trying to sell your house ? You don’t have to be miles ahead, you only have to be a couple of steps ahead, and make sure you stay there.

  7. Robert Simeon March 17, 2007 at 10:17 pm #

    Most interesting commentaries with great diversity of opinion. It becomes quite obvious that property markets differ significantly depending on which state you reside.

    It is well documented from my posts that I still believe that certain newspapers have capital growth in years ahead. Yes, the internet has absorbed the cheaper markets – rentals, as print is too expensive.

    In Sydney, the strongest and most profitable market is that of Saturday print domination where Fairfax have total control. Most interesting to see this week that News Limited and REA (put aside their dislikes) and agreed that “Australia’s biggest online property portal realestate.com.au will be significantly expanded as a national brand when the residential property sections of News Limited newspapers are rebranded under its banner.”

    Indeed – a very smart move.

    However, the expensive high cost color page advertements will be what comes under the greatest scrutiny. Fairfax, were indeed very smart and savvy when they opted for newspaper print over the more expensive high gloss page productions.

    So with the News and REA marriage – one can expect to see News launch yet another Saturday attack probably through The Weekend Australian – all previous attempts have failed miserably.

    Their still remains plenty of gold in Saturday print revenues – any newspaper will tell you that this is the numero uno of print incomes. Yes, newspapers made a motza out of high gloss color advertisements. Those days are diminishing at a rapid rate. Any wonder why News Limited have been quiet on their FPC acquisition, as word is that the numbers are not stacking up.

    Yes – the high gloss is now online. However in Sydney the Saturday non – high gloss productions still reign supreme.

  8. Elizabeth March 18, 2007 at 8:35 am #

    Or perhaps even the absence of normal stock broad sheets outside of Melbourne and Sydney for Fairfax, Robert?

    I wonder what agents in Queensland will think when Fairfax launch a print product in their state. Great for competition? Or another expense?

    However I do agree with you, Domain East is a great rag to showcase the local market. You have to be there.

    Whilst competition is highly desired to bring forth innovation and competitive pricing, is the market really benefiting if the outcome provides the same results, from a multiple suppliers, for a greater cost, both financial and efficiency?

    Not sure I have any answers to this. It has to be a fine line. Or is it?

    E

  9. Nick Buick March 18, 2007 at 9:16 am #

    I’m 28, have purchased several properties and real estate is a pretty serious passion of mine.

    I don’t read the paper – ever. As a buyer – the property section in the paper is next to useless as far as my needs are concearned.

    Press provides me with:
    Less choice;
    Limited data;
    No mapping;
    Less photos;
    No ability to submit written enquiries (I want to deal with agents in writing so I have records when searching);
    Cannot be searched;

    Plus I have to pay for a newspaper – despite it being less helpful to me than the internet. Not to mention it also makes a hell of a mess… 150 giant sheets of filthy paper – held together by nothing but thin air. I don’t need to deal with that on a Saturday morning.

    Despite this, agencies seem to spend MUCH more money on press ads than internet advertising… Correct me if I’m wrong here – but perhaps this is because although press is a lousy tool for advertising HOUSES, its a GREAT tool for selling Agents?

    Press ads almost always contain massive glossy agent logos and the obligatory cornball agent portrait complete with hammed-up sales slogans – distributed in mass to the general public and all financed by the gullible vendor and his over inflated ‘marketing budget’. Not to mention any change left over from press ads goes straight into the agent’s wallet.

    Perhaps this is a cynical view but its the ONLY reason I can think of as to why agents I’ve sold with have always pushed press on me so heavily and why it is still the destination for the majority of an agencies marketing spend.

  10. Peter March 18, 2007 at 9:19 am #

    Hi John

    I think that is a great idea! I am thinking of planning a Christmas Dinner this year for everyone, possibly early December/Late November.

    Peter Ricci
    Un-Qualified Developer
    Licensed to Thrill
    Certified Insane
    Winner Southern Touch 2003 Premiership Team Member (did not get a run)
    Certificate of Appreciation Ladies Tuck Shop Committee 1986
    2 – 270 Bondi Road, Bondi.
    NSW 2026
    Mobile: 0438 391 397
    Email: peter@agentpoint.com.au

  11. Nick Buick March 18, 2007 at 9:38 am #

    heh – John you just read my mind – how funny!

    Yeh – last property I sold an agent convinced me to blow over two grand on newspaper ads. With absolutly no benefit to me whatsoever and simply promoting her business – not my property.

    I was in no rush to sell and in the end, it was REA who landed the buyer from interstate who signed for the asking price – site unseen.

    So sorry if I’m coming of a little bitter here ;).

  12. Nick Buick March 18, 2007 at 9:44 am #

    PS: Peter (and others) – watch out posting your email address direct to forum. Spam bots will be all over that thing like white on rice.

  13. Peter March 18, 2007 at 10:52 am #

    Nick
    I get 1000 spam email messages a day – so an extra 50 will not kill me. I have also invested a great deal of time teaching my systems to just junk them…

  14. Nick Buick March 18, 2007 at 11:09 am #

    Heh – same boat Peter. I guarded my email address like the crown jewels for 2 years till a client quoted it in an article he published one day – Nothing can top that sinking feeling you get when the first 100 or so spams turn up.

    Yeh i run spam assassin – does a pretty good job.

  15. max March 18, 2007 at 11:24 am #

    hey hey… you mean all that cheap viagra and $50 uni degress are spam?

  16. max March 18, 2007 at 11:27 am #

    John, to be honest I always assumed you were John Riggal from Elders Prospect.

  17. snoop March 18, 2007 at 6:17 pm #

    Print is good until they find a way to read new media on the loo!!
    phone is too small

  18. Nick Buick March 18, 2007 at 6:34 pm #

    Snoop they solved that one years ago – get a PSP.

    Wireless broadband RSS & web browser ensures you can keep up with your favorite property portals all from the comfort of your own bowel movement.

    When you’re done searching for property you can even partake in the simple pleasures of a simulated kneecapping in Grand Theft Auto. Beats the hell out of the comics section ;).

  19. Anthony March 18, 2007 at 7:12 pm #

    What’s wrong with a LCD on the back of the door

    (I can’t believe i am getting involved in this)

    And from the comments above can i assume all the emails regarding weightloss, enlargement and viagra actually weren’t sent to me from disappointed girlfriends.

    (Now that was an invitation for abuse if i ever saw one)

  20. Robert Simeon March 18, 2007 at 9:13 pm #

    Always interesting to read other peoples perspectives on advertising methods. Newspaper advertising still remains numero uno as far as our business is concerned and we have absolutely no plans to change this most successful relationship.

    Yes, we maintain strong online relationships too.

    It is obvious that certain areas that have lower priced homes are rolling out – more affordable campaigns for vendors.

    However, with top – end homes (our market) large newspaper campaigns remain first priority.

    Oh and Nick – an agent is held accountable under the Act, for every dollar they spend. If a campaign comes under the budget then they must refund that amount back to the vendor(s).

    See – you learn something every day πŸ™‚

  21. Anthony March 18, 2007 at 9:51 pm #

    Robert – i still can’t come to grips with your comments

    In a previous post you said 90% of all your enquiry was generated through online means.

    http://www.business2.com.au/2007/02/09/quick-enquiry-questions/

    So numero uno i assumes means self promotion.

    And don’t talk about prestige property etc – you state 90% of enquiry comes from online sources. This is the most blatant misuse of Vendors money, this is the reason why we exist. And trust me – i am sure every prestige owner doesn’t want to spend $10,000 plus on a paper campaign – wonder how they would feel if they were advised where you actually generate your enquiry. In your own words.

    Under the act you should be held accountable for this.

    I am not the threat to this industry you assume – it’s this behaviour.

  22. Peter Ricci March 18, 2007 at 10:05 pm #

    Anthony

    I think you are assuming that Robert gets all of his enquiries online – but Robert has stated also that his users first see his ads in the newspaper, then go online and see more – then make an enquiry.

    So fair is fair – I for one would never advertise in a newspaper, but that is just my opinion.

  23. Robert Simeon March 18, 2007 at 10:06 pm #

    Michael,

    That is very easy to answer as we database mine so we email alert all potential buyers that are identified under each demographic. I am of the opinion that we have the best database of any agency in our area. Which would explain why we have secured $553,624,100.00 in online database sales.

    Michael, I have no idea where you reside however, in Sydney Saturday Domain in The Sydney Morning Herald for our business remains numero uno for our results.

    As for a $10,000.00 campaign on a $5,000,000 property not sure what part you don’t understand – I will put it down to ignorance and a lack of industry experience.

    No I don’t see your business as a threat. Each day I drive by one of your signs in Murdoch Street that still remains unsold – despite a strong market. Now if the owners appoint an agent to finally get their property sold – will you refund the monies they spent with you ?

    Show me a private sellers business that has celebrated a five year business celebration of market longevity. Nope they all went broke here in Sydney. A gimmick of the highest order although you did get the growth bit right – zero !!

  24. Robert Simeon March 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm #

    Peter,

    Before we commence any marketing campaigns we actually email alert all potential buyers on our database, before we start any campaigns.

    And yes, we sell many homes this way without newspaper campaigns.

    Simply, a point of difference that our business offers πŸ™‚

  25. Anthony March 18, 2007 at 10:19 pm #

    How about a little poem

    In days of old,
    when property was gold,
    and the internet was not invented.
    Auctions i am told,
    Was how property was sold,
    and property owners tormented.

    Vendors were benders,
    We can organise lenders,
    This an agent did speak.
    Whilst buyers are liars,
    We would put out our flyers,
    Telling how good we are, each week.

    Newspaper advertising works,
    They provide rebates and perks,
    The owner did not know any better.
    With big spreads off the shelf,
    We promoted ourself,
    As the vendor became a debtor.

    Now the internet looms,
    Amidst property busts and booms,
    It still won’t make a difference.
    I will use the old techniques,
    With just a few tweaks,
    My strength is my belligerence.

    I have worked in this industry,
    25 years is my longevity,
    I’ll say what ever i need.
    To sell your house – roll the dice,
    I can’t guarantee price,
    But commissions will satisfy greed.

    Now private sellers are appearing,
    It’s kind of endearing,
    But they can’t negotiate like me.
    Cause after 25 years,
    Extracting money for my career,
    I’m the best they can see.

    So if you are buying or selling,
    Land or a dwelling,
    I’m the one you crave.
    So regardless what you read,
    I’m the agent you need,
    Ignore the thousands of dollars you could save.

    Don’t be silly i say,
    Did you see my ad the other day,
    It shows you just how much i have sold.
    But really i must go,
    Open homes i have to show,
    New buyers who need to be told.

    Forget all the rest,
    I am the best,
    I’m the agent from days of old.
    You all know who i am
    I’m the master conman
    I’m the agent from days of old.

  26. Robert Simeon March 18, 2007 at 10:30 pm #

    Oh Michael,

    Your cape is too tight around your neck.

    From my experience all that established alternate real estate selling busineeses – were actually agents that never made it in the real selling world.

    Michael – you never made the cut !! As you have stated before that you are a licensed agent.

    Great to see that you have found solace today as a modern day fictional comic character. Now, let’s get back to the vendor(s) at Murdoch Street whom I guess are moving to Gotham City !!

    Great gimmick – even better comedy.

  27. Nick Buick March 18, 2007 at 10:54 pm #

    Yeh – some of my clients up here don’t touch anything under three million and they’ll happily take out a twenty grand double-pager in the courier mail on a weekly basis. And it works for them – thats a given. Obviously when you’re targeting a senior exectuive buyer – the newspaper is going to be the main sales tool. These guys know it – so do you. Likewise for auctions, etc…

    But when it comes to middle-of-the-road real estate – no way in the world are vendors interests being best-served with expensive press campaigns.

    My place was a 1bedroom CBD apartment – we didn’t care if it sold or not, was renting positive cashflow anyway. We choose a well-known inner-city agent who only listed apartments because she assured us she had “a huge list of buyers just waiting to buy it”.

    We really just wanted her to stick it in her window and on RealEstate.com.au but after a couple of weeks she ended up strong-arming us into a newspaper campaign. We weren’t asked – we were told. I really should have stuck to my guns harder – but you place your trust in these people – you know how it goes. Anyway, our ad was a tiny little square in the classifieds. It was our address and open time along with five other listings she had her face and logo and contact details. We paid $2k and it ran 4 times. $2k x 5 listings = $10k to her for 4 ads marketing her own business. There is no way in the world these ads benefitted anyone but the agent. We didn’t get one prospect from the $2k investment.

    She priced our property at $170k but after much arguement we finally convinced her to list it at $240k. It went under contract three times and eventually sold in about 9 weeks for $220k – each contract came from REA enquiries. Despite this, when I look at the marketing spend a lot of agents make it seems the vast majority of this is press advertising – yet I’d dare say very few listings are closed as a result of press advertising compared to what RealEstate.com.au and Domain would contribute for a fraction of the cost.

    Just really peeves me in hind sight because the press advertising really was useless and we always felt it would be. It was merely an agent exploiting vendors like myself to promote their own company. I’m pretty convinced my experience as a middle-of-the-road vendor would not be an isolated senario.

  28. Robert Simeon March 18, 2007 at 11:03 pm #

    Nick,

    I agree 100% with you. What we suggest to potential vendors is that they visit our office and we show them exactly what we can offer them from an internet perspective.

    Works for us and vendors. On another point businesses like Mirvac have huge newspaper spends and they sell their own properties – so painting agents as nothing more than egotistical self promoters is not entirely correct. None of our agents are allowed to post photographs on advertisements.

  29. Nick Buick March 18, 2007 at 11:11 pm #

    PS: I’m only going on my own experience here… The agents posting on this site all seem to be way more switched on than the girl we used.
    So please hold your fire guys – my poor choice of agent isn’t a reflection on you or the industry :).

    BTW:

    Nick Buick
    Rationalist πŸ˜‰
    Web Developer Business owner
    Year 12 certificate 10 years web development experience.
    Level 5 Landmark Place, 495 Boundary Rd, Spring Hill Brisbane Q 4000.
    Email: nick(at)thepropertymanager.com.au

  30. Robert Simeon March 18, 2007 at 11:22 pm #

    Oh, and Michael/Anthony,

    You seem to forget your identities – I did a check with the NSW Office of Fair Trading about disclosure given that vendors are not in private sales required to conform with the Act.

    The office advised me that potential purchasers if offered incorrect advice could then instigate legal proceedings against the business that promoted their property.

    Which takes me then to your professional idemnity insurance, which with most real estate businesses is based on the number of employees. Michael/Anthony in your case that would be based on the number of properties that you promote.

    Zeroagents – must then be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in professional indemnity. No doubt you have that covered too – afterall you are cape crusaders.

  31. Nick Buick March 19, 2007 at 4:41 am #

    Regarding major developers selling direct with their own press campaigns – I’m very aware that this happens Robert – they’re our biggest clients.

    I’ve produced countless sites, press ads and branding for many of the largest property developments in the state: Aurora, River Place, Brisbane Cruise Terminal, Central Plaza I & II, Cosmopolitan, Multiplex Portside, the Cromwell portfolio – all mine.

    In most of these cases they have an internal marketing manager who briefs me and answers to the board (and these guys are normally very switched on) plus an external PR team brought in for the project plus an external advertising agency who I’ll work in conjuction with… and then… comes their own real estate agents who are responsible for getting signitures on sales contracts – but these guys have almost nothing to do with the actual marketing of the project.

  32. Nick Buick March 19, 2007 at 7:46 am #

    This is pretty interesting John. I agree.

    My ‘high-roller’ client is interesting because they don’t even have a sales office. They meet their clients in fine restaurants, have rediculously expensive cars and pens and notebooks, etc… (oh the toys!) They charge huge money for marketing but they are out-and-out known by everyone for being the goto guys if you want to buy or sell a mansion round these parts.

    For this reason their reputation sets them way apart and places them into a rather neesh segment of the landscape. Which, in-turn, benefits their vendors and prospects alike.

    Is this the best approach? Could they benefit their clients just as much if they weren’t charging so much for marketing? I dunno, I’m not an agent and I don’t own a mansion (yet ;)). But they certainly have a very solid reputation that I don’t imagine you could ‘fluff-it’ for too long if you were just shonking rich people out of their money.

    If they were ‘just an agent’ selling the same old stuff as the next guy – then I’d most definatly say making vendors pay for marketing would be stupid as they’d simply be spending other people’s money to establish themselves as part of the main-stream – which is how I feel my agent treated me.

  33. max March 19, 2007 at 12:42 pm #

    well John, as a fellow Prospect boy, make sure you value my house low for cheap council rates.

  34. Dave Platter March 19, 2007 at 2:02 pm #

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

    There are lots of sales stories here. I’m curious whether any of you think that having a video tour of your mansion (or 1 bedroom CBD apartment) online would have added anything to the marketing effort, and how much extra you might have paid for it.

    I’ve sold several apartments over the years of my own, always using an agent, and in only 1 case do I think a video would have made a big impact. That’s because that apartment was more special than the others, in a beautiful historic building and fronting a park.

    I also see agents using video on our site. Plus Peter and Robert have talked about it quite a bit.

    Is video worthless? Is it only a tool for high end properties? Is just another agent branding tool? Is it the greatest thing since business cards?

    dave

  35. Nick Buick March 19, 2007 at 8:16 pm #

    I got a client who do real estate video if you’re interested: http://www.propertycinema.com.au

    They go onsite and film / photograph the property do a professional voiceover recording session with the agent (allowing the agent to ‘sell’ the property himself in his own virtual walk-thru). Then they have a little application I built them that stores all the video against their property and creates a special link designed to load directly into RealEstate.com.au for the agent.

    The system I built them also loads advertising media into the beginning and end of the video before it exports – which is how these guys plan to actually make $$. They only charge about a hundred dollars for the product to the actual agent.

    I know as a vendor I wouldn’t give a **** if there was a 10 second ad on my property video if it meant the thing only cost me $100 instead of $2000.

    Personally I don’t really think a property video would make much a differnce though. Not compared to the massive benefit you’d get from GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY offering a FLOORPLAN and providing the price and address with informative copy.

    VR tours and video tours don’t make much of a difference IMHO but hey – if its only $100… why not?

  36. Robert Simeon March 19, 2007 at 8:48 pm #

    Nick,

    I was unaware that you could load videos to REA – as I was under the impression that only Domain offered this facility.

    Our business is pursuing podcasts as this to us if far more economical and I dislike third party advertising.

    http://www.bpmmedia.co.uk/22701.html

    This can be uploaded to iPods and sent to interested parties with no upload charges. They start from $55.00 per property.

  37. Nick Buick March 19, 2007 at 9:30 pm #

    Yeh – traditionally you can’t do this with Real Estate.com.au.

    Thats why I wrote a system that does this for the agent by compiling the virtual tour and fetching this into a player window which is then snapped into the RealEstate.com.au database as a Virtual Tour.

  38. Robert Simeon March 19, 2007 at 10:28 pm #

    Nick,

    You should then go on the REA payroll as none of their developers have been able to get their minds around this technology.

    We have been active uploading on Domain who offer this – yet again REA continues to be a tortoise on such developments.

    Can’t wait to read Dave’s spin on this ? Umm err – limited resources and budgetary constraints spring to mind !!

    Dave > “We

  39. Nick Buick March 19, 2007 at 11:21 pm #

    They probably hoping the whole thing will just go away. Video tours take up MASSIVE amounts of server space. Thats why our model works with REA already – they store the tour file itself offsite on client hardware – not REA servers.

  40. Danny March 20, 2007 at 4:08 am #

    Robert, I think you are rather harsh on REA.

    They have had the the ability to upload videos from quite some time to the best of my knowledge – afterall – it is only an external link.

    Refer below property for example:-

    http://www.realestate.com.au/cgi-bin/rsearch?a=o&id=103707847&f=60&p=10&t=res&ty=&fmt=&header=&c=91681496&s=nsw&tm=1174323359

    then “click” on “Online Tour” button – and there it is …. a video.

    Additionally, we didn’t need any “little application” to upload successfully.!

  41. Nick Buick March 20, 2007 at 8:38 am #

    The “Little Application” actually uploads the videos onto a (3rd party) server, as you probably had to do manually (and most agents would struggle to understand how) – embeds the advertising and generates an output URL that triggers an online player window via the V-Tour popup. So it is nessisary for my client because if it wasn’t there you’d simply end up with a WMV file – no online storage – no revenue stream – no compatibility with RealEstate.com.au.

  42. Dave Platter March 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm #

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

    Sorry if this comment is a duplicate; I’m having an issue with comments from Firefox.

    Danny’s right, agents have been posting videos on realestate.com.au for I don’t even know how long now. I first mentioned it on this blog in Nov or so, if my memory is any good. (It isn’t.) Robert, you’re just a bit misinformed about that.

    Here’s one recent listing with a video I especially like. Lots of agent branding in it:

    http://www.realestate.com.au/cgi-bin/rsearch?a=o&id=103777914&f=0&p=10&t=res&ty=&fmt=&header=&c=60131623&s=nsw&tm=1174354606

    Just click on the link for online tour. If anyone needs any help with video, I’m sure your http://www.realestate.com.au salesperson or the customer care center can help you make it work.

    Dave

  43. Robert Simeon March 20, 2007 at 7:01 pm #

    Thanks Dave,

    I have just two simple questions,

    1. When REA made this video facility available why did they not advise the agents ?

    2. Or, was it a soft recent launch because Domain beat REA to the video launch ?

  44. Robert Simeon March 20, 2007 at 9:48 pm #

    Danny
    Mar 20th, 2007 at 4:08 am /
    “Robert, I think you are rather harsh on REA.

    They have had the the ability to upload videos from quite some time to the best of my knowledge – afterall – it is only an external link.”

    Danny, harsh no !! All that know me acknowledge that I don’t come “sugar coated”. Domain, recently advised agents that they can now upload videos on their site.

    Amazing that REA obviously advised some and not others, I stand corrected on this however, if their monthly subscriptions can go out on time to all agents. The same can’t be said for advising agents that they now offer video uploads.

    Unless, (blush) Domain awoke REA when they announced that this facility was available to their subscribers.

    Danny, out of interest – how many videos have you uploaded on REA ?

  45. Nick Buick March 21, 2007 at 3:15 pm #

    I been using RealEstate.com.au for many many many years and wrote one of the earliest XML systems to integrate with them many years ago.

    As far back as I can remember – they’ve always supported ‘TOURS’. Which I think is where the confusion is coming from.

    A TOUR has traditionally been a VR tour. You could always stick one of these into your listing with RealEstate.com.au from a 3rd party server. Now… with the advent of fast connectivity… we’re able to stream hi-speed VIDEO tours. Which (from what I gather) domain store locally on their servers – much like youtube, etc.

    While RealEstate.com.au has always been able to display a link TO a tour (of any kind, VR or VIDEO) provided the actual media is stored off-site.

  46. Danny March 22, 2007 at 4:41 am #

    Robert – “Danny, out of interest – how many videos have you uploaded on REA ?”

    We have probably uploaded 10 – 15 videos.

    I am far from an expert on the intricacies of the internet, but it appears to me that both rea and domain have had the ability to have videos for some time.

    As I see it (and my technical terminology may be wrong), both rea and domain don’t “host” the videos, they merely provide the link to open an external site where the videos are hosted.

    On the rea site the button is labelled “On Line Tour”, and domain label theirs “Virtual Tour” – in both instances clicking the button opens a new window to an external site.

    I suspect you may be confusing my comments above with the adoreproperty website which appears to “host” the videos (ie: a new external window doesn’t open) and the videos have a “youtube” look and feel when activating the video.

    Anyway, they’re my observations.

  47. Robert Simeon March 22, 2007 at 9:18 pm #

    Danny,

    Thanks mate – it looks like REA were not actually sure what they offer clients. The transition from online tours was not conveyed to agents with videos.

    I find it quite amazing that it takes dialogue here to establish their positioning – when REA can’t advise those paying clients what their property portal actually offers.

    I guess so long as you are paid up, REA see no need to update agents on optional extras.

  48. Anthony March 22, 2007 at 9:56 pm #

    It’s not optional it’s the same offering Domain has – exactly the same.

    REA really should kick you off their site.

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