REINSW and EAC launch Realestateworld.com.au

The Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) and EAC have launched Realestateworld.com.au today in beta mode. It is my understanding that an official launch is due tomorrow and that the site will be in full mode with listings within 2-4 weeks.

The site is pretty clean and simple to use, but be warned there are not many listings at this stage as they are just beginning the migration of data. First thing I did notice is that you must type in www. before the name ( i really do hate having to quote www. as www. is just not needed if the site is set up correctly) and this should be fixed immediately on the server side. (Update: Fixed)

I also notice that there was no RSS feeds and only a email subscription and alert service at this stage. Any new site should include RSS feeds and they can be pretty simple to set up.

Each property view shows 4 photos with an option for more and includes a decent size map or the area (Google Maps). The site has a few good little Ajax features such as the ability to mouse-over and see your last search. All in all not a bad effort and better than most new sites I have seen recently. I am a little under whelmed by it all but maybe that is because there are just so many sites popping up recently.

The site was designed and developed by EAC/Red Square who are one of the big few companies that have not been gobbled up by a major media player (Portplus as well). I do like the fact that the site is also XHTML valid and the site is clean and user friendly. We should see most of the minor glitches taken care of over the next few weeks.

Only time will tell if it does have any impact and if NSW Agents get on board en masse and although they have a decent site, it is all now down to marketing and agents perception. That my friends is a tougher sell and it will be a slow site to take on and this is where it will be interesting to see the strength of commitment from REINSW over the long haul.

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102 Comments

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 4:28 pm 0Likes

    Craig, I agree to an extent, but if it were just fed listings and there were no charges to agents at least for the first 1-2 years (until results to agents warrants a small fee) and it also meant zero hassles for agents (unlike MyHome’s initial launch) then I would give it support.

    If they are going to charge from the outset (or offer a small 3 month trial) then it is doomed before it begins.

    IF there are no charges and IF there is a substantial free trial and IF future charges are clearly specified and IF there are no special type package deals (Basic, Premium, Platinum) and IF there is basically no hassles with listings being removed (Sold, Withdrawn, Leased) in the future then the site can slowly grow and gain mass users.

  • Craig
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 4:14 pm 0Likes

    As a consumer, why would I use this site? It seems like just another plain old real estate site like the hundreds of others, and is unlikely to contain the numbers of listings the big two do.

  • Chris
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 5:32 pm 0Likes

    Peter,

    The RSS feed is now in, I was still touching it up a little throughout the day 🙂

  • Kitchen Designer
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 6:03 pm 0Likes

    So it has a decent sized map area… As far as I am concerned maps on RE sites are a complete waste of screen real estate as they are not used to their full potential.

    As a consumer who used realestate.com.au this weekend (and last) I am appalled at the sheer amount of property I was looking at that had no address.

    So, I had to send numerous emails to every bloody agent in my area to get locations of these properties. What a waste of my time. Why cant agents list the address in the first place? What are they worried about? Can anyone help me out on this?

  • Glenn
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 6:40 pm 0Likes

    Kitchen Designer,

    I think everyone would agree that consumers want that information but the fact that you had to send them an email to ask what the address was is exactly the reason they did not put the address on the ad. There are arguments from agents for and against this practice but the one thing that is consistent is that the majority do not followup correctly on the emails that are created whether you do or don’t list the address.

  • Kitchen Designer
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 7:11 pm 0Likes

    Yes you are right. Two agents have not got back to me.
    What do they gain from with holding the address. If I look at 10 properties and whittle them down to 2 good prospects I still need to ring the agent for an inspection and I have saved my self a lot of time.

  • Peter
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 7:27 pm 0Likes

    Kitchen Designer.

    Agree 100%. Whilst their is an argument, that argument is falling flat these days. Here are some reasons….

    Owner does not want to divulge address (rare, but often quoted as the main reason)
    Agents thinks that they can sell it once they have your phone number (so 1980’s)

    The fact is that the first point of contact between an agent and a potential buyer should NOT be based upon frustration and this is the case with hidden prices and hidden addresses.

    Any other reasons?
    Well they might not want to sell it!

  • Glenn
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 7:53 pm 0Likes

    Right now the biggest arguement to include the addresses is the growing number of mapped based mashups. Including the addresses ensures you extra exposure. It also pre-qualifies many of your enquiries which hopefully means salespeople will treat those enquiries with the respect they should..

    As Peter said, the logic behind the “no address” arguement is based primarily on how many agents were trained in the 1970’s to 1990’s regarding print advertising. Trainers and industry experts told you that print advertising has limited space so you cannot put everything in you want so leave something out like the address that will generate calls.

    The internet has introduced the consumer to masses of freely available information, particularly in the past two or three years with sites like Google Books, Wikipedia, Youtube etc etc and they now expect all websites to provide all the information everytime. It’s not just the Y generation, but most X’s feel exactly the same way. A fairly large percentage of today’s principals are still baby boomers and many just dont see what the fuss is all about.

  • Andy
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 9:30 pm 0Likes

    I think it is important to understand what Realestateworld is offering. It is not just another site to agents in the true sense of the word, it will provide the agents with data at a fraction of the price of other suppliers – if REINSW or EAC members. Also the agent’s own branding appears on their brochure print outs etc. But above all else, it is the industry site, the site that has come about as a result of two peak bodies joining together to assist the real estate industry in both online and print – to assist to reduce the cost of data, online and print advertising – it is by the industry for the industry. There are online choices in the market most certainly and some are good and some not so good. There are very few or no print choices for the agents. By combining both print with online, the industry is able to have a complete online and print solutions package – by the industry for the industry. It is not a race to see who is best, it is a media package that provides the industry with a long term, solid alternative.

  • Sam
    Posted June 12, 2007 at 10:28 pm 0Likes

    About time the REINSW did something smart for their members.
    They are now closely alighned with the REIV and their Realestateview site, a powerful combination.
    All agents now have a chance to drop the parasites that have had their hands in their pockets for so long.
    Back this site and you’ll be much better off in 12`months time.
    Stand by for the parasites employees slithering in here to try to throw cold water on this initialtive.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 12:19 am 0Likes

    Tell us what you really think Sam !!

    As some have already pointed out, its success will now depend upon the numbers of agents uploading. The site is very clean, easy to use and the designers have obviously been watching US trends.

  • snoop
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 8:08 am 0Likes

    Look a terrible long url ,will consumers remember it?.
    No cross media promotability except maybe in Woolongong and Sydney sth ?
    The leaders REA and Domain esp in NSW have mindshare and market share.
    Do they have a 7 fig ad budget to drive consumer traffic?
    Will agents promote this site in all their advertising?? Unlikely.
    Data sharing …..WELL collecting data thats another expensive game and likely to get more complex and expensive going forward with listings and sales info just a part of the equation.
    Look around the word Few Industry or COOP sites are working as their planners planned them?
    Combining print with online theres a radical idea isnt that what domain and homehound do?
    More noise in a crowded space with the clearest noise I can hear the sound of money flushing down a toilet.
    Really it seems to me no matter who you talk to in the industry the best profitability gain for any agency is in making their agents more efficient and productive.
    Surely thats what the Institutes should be about not trying to be me too media plays with flawed and underfunded business plans?

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 8:39 am 0Likes

    Hi Snoop, some very valid points. I think marketing a site that has 10% of the listings of the majors IS flushing money down the drain. First of all they have to get all of the agents behind the site and get their listings on the site. They have to accept feeds (without problems) from HubOnline, Portplus and others (tough sell unless agents demand it).

    If they get the print up and running then yes promote it, but promoting a site with very little to offer consumers outside of the print publication will just throw money down the drain and will make REINSW start to waiver in their commitment.

    I like the idea, but it is the long term commitment that is needed to drive its success. Then they have to ask, why will consumers go here and not the majors?

    Sop it has to remain pollution free (3rd party advertising and banners) be lightning fast and consumer friendly.

    If the print takes off (cheaper) then it may have a long term chance, but in times where agents demand results I think both are going to be a tough sell in the short term.

    Cheaper means nothing if results do not come.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 8:50 am 0Likes

    Good Morning,

    I am afraid I have to agree with Snoop, although it is good to see the REINSW doing something NEW for once!

    When I look at the bottom of all the REIA newsletters and see the constant promotion of worldproperties, a website which just seems to be constantly in launch despite almost a decade of promotion, I see parallels with realestateworld.

    The question every agent in NSW has to ask is, what deal has REINSW made to provide EAC with almost exclusive access to the REINSW data base of agents? Just how much information about us is being shared?

    It seems we now have to pay the REINSW to also take our data, then sell it back to us. Or if they live true to form, make outrageous statements to the press which contradict EXPERTS in statistics and data.

    As a site on which to advertise, I will be waiting to see some runs on the board before joining.

    Final thought, I have to giggle when I read Andy

  • snoop
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 9:16 am 0Likes

    My Questions is
    How transparent are these “institutes” with their dues paying memebers on how they spend their money????
    Why do you agents pay them money or is it legisslated????
    What is the nature of the deal is a vey good question.

  • Damien McDonald
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 9:44 am 0Likes

    Thank you for taking the time to have a look at our beta site, there are still a few features to be implemented and as you would be aware now, yes the site does have an RSS feed.

    realestateworld.com.au has been released in beta mode until we are completely satisfied that all areas of the site are working perfectly as well as adequately populated with listings from all NSW geographic regions.

    realestateworld.com.au is a joint venture from the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) and Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd, NSW’s two largest Industry bodies who between them represent almost every real estate office in the state. Obviously there is a bigger picture in play here from an Industry perspective and this will become more apparent in time.

    In relation to

  • Glenn
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 10:43 am 0Likes

    Why is everyone so against the institute involving themselves in the online market? I do not know enough about the problem to have an opinion one way or another but is it just because they have made mistakes in the past? I would say 9 out of 10 portal/aggregator startups have failed (or are failing), so that should come as no surprise.

    If an institute can crack the magic formula then dont all its members benefit with increased competition, lower prices etc etc etc? The actual technology costs are a lot less than they have been in the past and Realestate.com.au has shown technology expenses to represent only 3% of its turnover for the 2005 and 2006 financial years. You can now add features on your site that the big players have like mapping for very little investment.

    The major costs for a portal/aggregator if it is a subscription based model like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au is the staff and sales force. Marketing, Wages, Salaries and Sales Commissions have been constant at 65% of revenue for realestate.com.au over the 2005 and 2006 financial years results.

    Its because of this that around the world non subscription based services are gaining momentum delivering results to agents for free. Given Damien’s comment about “the viability and success of any new subscription based internet portal only service would be questionable” you would have to believe that they will not be going down a subscription path.

    They have a good website, with an excellent potential of making it great. The only other ingredient I can see to make it a successful is the support by the agents. I cant see what you have got to lose with supporting the site if you are in NSW.

  • snoop
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 11:06 am 0Likes

    I still struggle with the why and the me too ness??
    Domain,Residex,Propertyvalue,rpdata all sell data to consumers and have strong positioning.
    EAC have some NSW DATA.
    Surely they would make better money out of this selling data to the established players than copycatting on a low budget?

  • Sam
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 11:07 am 0Likes

    “it is not about competing with the existing portals”

    Why the hell not ? You have all the agents as members already and you can do it much cheaper tan REA or is it that the REINSW is just too bloody lazy to get off their arse and do their job.

    Is it too easy for them just to take the money from REA and let them fleece their agents unrestricted.

    Yes I’m disgusted with the attitude of the REINSW if they aren’t going to roll this out on a national basis, withdraw support from the “pararsite” and deliver a portal like they should.

    Just telling it like it is Glenn.

  • snoop
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 11:27 am 0Likes

    Sam
    I truly believe this is a game for the bigboys now.
    I think its highly unlikely a small player will make enough even to cover costs.
    Why havent the institutes done a good job?,mainly because they dont have the funding to hire high quality people and compete,and secondly didnt have an exec team capable five years ago of a understanding where the market was going or doing a deal with the portals when they were desparate.
    Look at the UK as an example.
    The most succesful portal profitable to the tune of 2om pounds per annum is an REA equivalent,pure play listings portal with huge market share and a market cap of nearly a billion pounds.
    The second most succesfull is a publisher leveraging hundreds of publications.
    Are these guys really going to sit back and let small regional plays take market share with me too offerings?
    I dont think so,sooner or later the flea bite starts itching and you swat it.
    I stand by my comment that in this game its get big,get bought or get out.
    The only other option is very focused specialist niche type plays.

  • Damien McDonald
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 11:29 am 0Likes

    EAC has been providing complete cost effective NSW State-wide data and mapping to agents for several years. realestateworld.com.au will further increase this service to agents by now having access to this same State-wide property information in real time! No more waiting period.

    What realestateworld.com.au is about is property data and the provision of this data to agents and not consumers. The other players in this market, in addition to being somewhat in conflict with the services that agents should be providing, once again are profiting from the sale of data provided by the agents in the first place.

  • Sam
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 11:41 am 0Likes

    snoop, the Institutes have the agents, those who have the agents have the data/listings and win.

    If all the Institute member agents dropped REA and went with realestateworld nationally their costs would drop by more than 50% and their future would be secure from price hikes to feed the greed of others.

    It’s not impossible at all though some would like you to believe it, it just takes the will and the guts to act. Not difficult when you consider what could be gained by the agents.

    EAC could continue with their data business and the portal could hold the listings, Institute agents would brand the site on their own signboards until search engine optimisation kicked in.

    Don’t let anyone tell you this couldn’t happen however the likes of the (Ray)White’s have their wealth at stake and would strongly oppose it but I say get lost and get out of our way.

  • Margaret
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 12:06 pm 0Likes

    Snoop, you seem to be looking at this from the perspective of someone who is scared of some real competition.
    REI and EAC are organisations that represent the industry.

    The scary bit for the competition is that REI and EAC don’t have to make huge profits to keep the shareholders happy so their services can be sold at low cost to their members, members 1 monopolies 0.

    As for “More noise in a crowded space “, REI and EAC were in this “space”, representing the industry, long before all the parasites jumped in to try and extract huge profits from the industry.

    And if you did your homework you would know the EAC has more than “some NSW DATA.” They have been in the industry for a long time and have ALL the NSW data and other data including mapping for ALL of Australia.

    And the terrific new design for the website obviously draws fom EAC’s many years of experience with the EAC website.

    This is not about yet another company trying to get rich at the expense of the Real Estate industry, this is about “The Industry Fights Back”

    Congratulations REI and EAC for taking on the monopolies.

    May the force be with you.

  • snoop
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 12:07 pm 0Likes

    Damien
    Arent these data pools analgous to the credit agencies of old?
    You submit your data into the larger pool to get it back with a value add which the likes of a Baycorp would massage,sanitise and charge you for?
    Credit reference assn grew up as a collective owned by the banks then merged with Baycorp to stop commoditisation in the market place.
    In the end its the same Get big or get out.
    Surely EAC going up against the entrenched players with yet another data service for agents and consumers is risky?
    Why is the Reinsw/EAC model different?,doesnt an agent want the best data available across multiple datasets rather than just a discounted localised community pricing offer?
    It seems to me by leveraging your community you are potentialy limiting data types available to agents thus forcing them to have multiple Data subs anyway ,then causing inevitable business damaging price commoditisation,once they notice whats left in their wallet is getting smaller and smaller.
    Surely any Smart agent would be happy to supply his data to anyone,as any business in the crdit game would on delinquent customers if he knew he was getting value for money back?
    Seems to me the same arguement of a listings portal.
    Data to me is another area where the money to be made for agents and consumers is simplifying the interpretation.
    As a niche play that i reckon is going to be hugely profitable is Terry Ryders Hotspotting.com.au
    Adding an agents local knowledge/IP to data Now thats Interesting.

  • Sam
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 12:10 pm 0Likes

    Furthermore the Institutes would be awash with the kind of money they never dreamed of, they could promote the web site to the hilt and still have millions over to promote and improve agency practise Australia wide. They could even make membership of the site a part of Institute membership killing 2 birds eith one stone, Institute Membership would be irresistasble to agents then and agency all over the country would benefit.

    As it stands newslimited and some private individuals are swimming in cash that by all rights should be to the benefit of the agents, why this isn’t a priority with Institutes other than the REIV is beyond me. Is it ignorance, stupidity, corruption ?

  • snoop
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 12:19 pm 0Likes

    Hehe
    Yep Sam
    Interesting
    A wholesale revolt and change from the big and ugly to small and beautiful.
    Forget the Institutes,they should focus and efficiency,professionalism and training.
    Huge gap in the market and huge upside for the members.
    How many Agency Principals have the 80/20 in sales performance.
    20% make most of the money
    The 80% come to work to drink lattes and collect the retainer.
    Seems to me anyone harnessing the 80% make licensees very wealthy.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 7:23 pm 0Likes

    Snoop

    What do you find about Hotspotting that is so good? I only had a quick look around but as far as I can see it is just another business card style website flogging $70 reports. Nothing wrong with the website, but nothing special either. I am not saying the reports are no good, they might be a hit, but for all I can see any success they have will be because of the quality of the reports, not the website per se.

  • Scooter
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 7:24 pm 0Likes

    Hey Guys,

    Why wouldn’t agents of NSW get behind this site, for crying out loud it is your real estate insitute being proactive and trying to help their members by building a portal that is good for the public to use and agents can publicize their properties on.

    The pattern for real estate agents in Australia and the internet so far seems to have been for real estate agents to advertise on the major portals like realestate.com.au or domain.com.au.

    These sites get enormous amounts of traffic and so these sites feel justified to proceed to charge agents higher and higher rates to advertise.

    Now the truth of the matter is the only reason realestate.com.au and domain.com.au get enormous amounts of traffic is because they have the real estate agents to provide them with content, that is real estate agents provide information on properties for sale to realestate.com.au and domain.com.au in the form of advertisements, this what attracts the public which in web speak is the traffic.

    These Web sites do not provide the public with any other value than information on properties for sale, it is not like a member of the public buying a newspaper.

    I mean would the general public go to realestate.com.au or domain.com.au if these sites didn’t have the agents supplying them with information about real estate for sale?

    The answer is no, yet agents are paying media companies to advertise like they have always done with the newspapers.

    NSW agents wake up and smell the roses the internet is not like traditional media support your institute and move away from paying for media exectutives fat salaries.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 7:52 pm 0Likes

    Good Evening,

    Damien, you made an interesting statement “For far too many years the agents have been paying to give their data away only to have to buy the same data back another form.”

    We know that there is a 2 month free period, then you will be charging us to use realestateworld.

    Are you saying that the data products in realestateworld are free?

    If not, then I am struggling to make sense of what you have said above.

    How much does the REINSW make out of this?

    To follow Sam’s thoughts, if the REINSW stands to make even more money out of agents, then I for one would be wanting FREE REI membership!

    Can you let us in on your business plan and “bigger picture in play here from an Industry perspective and this will become more apparent in time.”

    At the moment I see this as nothing but a deal that was done between the REINSW and EAC, with nothing but MORE costs for agents.

    Sam I am afraid in this day and age, when people ask me to pay for something, I want to see results. In business, my philanthropy extends to my selected charities, not industry charities.

    E

  • Sam
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 8:00 pm 0Likes

    The only charity you’re supporting Elizabeth is REA.

    Realestateworld could replace it if agents could only see the light but alas they continue like lemmings over the cliff.

    The REINSW and REI membership fees could be eliminated if they had half the revenue that REA squeeze out of people like you each month.

    Continue to ignore the obvious and continue to fund other peoples holiday houses and not your own.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 8:22 pm 0Likes

    Yes Sam.

    I have had it wrong all this time.

    I pay realestate and domain money because they gave me leads. How silly am I to think I could run a business that way.

    You have made me see the light.

    Now I will pay money to realestateworld to put my listings up and forget totally about the leads that would have come in from realestate and domain.

    I will also pay my REI membership fees, as I get SO MUCH VALUE out of them.

    And now I will only buy data off EAC, as they are the ones whom I should support.

    Afterall, it is my job to pay for the holidays of the executive and board of the REINSW and EAC.

    Certainly running a business comes second.

    E

  • Sam
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 9:06 pm 0Likes

    If you can’t understand what i’ve already said above then I’ve been wasting my time.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 11:19 pm 0Likes

    Realestateworld like any other small fish trying to be a big fish in this pond have to deal with the issue that whilst Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au are expensive, they do provide leads. If any little fish charges anything before they start delivering leads they will follow myhome down the path of oblivion.

    I took it from something Damien posted earlier that they were not looking at a subscription system but Elizabeth has stated that there is only a 2 month free period. So already they are talking about charging before they have delivered even one enquiry for many agents. That does not endear agents with confidence and without that they will not give realestateworld a go.

    Coming so soon after myhome it would seem silly to make many of the same mistakes they made. Maybe because they have not recreated a dog of a website as myhome did they think they will not not follow the path on myhomes other failings.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 13, 2007 at 11:22 pm 0Likes

    Oh yeah!.. with so many NSW readers on this thread I seem compelled to say just on more thing as I watch the State of Origin wrap up..

    QUEENSLANDER!!! Go the Maroons!

  • Tom S
    Posted June 14, 2007 at 1:28 am 0Likes

    Well put Elizabeth.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 14, 2007 at 8:32 am 0Likes

    Good Morning,

    I am still waiting on Damien to clarify just how much we will pay for data.

    Seeing that we will pay to list with realestateworld therein paying to give our data away, does this mean that we get free data products? Or are we going to pay to get data back? If so, how is realestateworld any different?

    If the data will be cheaper then tell us, but a quick look at the eac website and I notice that you have to pay to get data products.

    This is where I start questioning the union between REINSW and EAC again. How much did REINSW get paid to exclusively endorse one data provider?

    There is no comparison to the REIV who own their website and data business outright.

    Also it is interesting to see that eac is still running its own portal. Where are eac’s motivations to make a strong realestateworld, whilst they have to ensure their own portal experiences levels of success as well?

    I am very much in favour of competition, however it needs to deliver results. At this stage, I have far too many questions about this union and the motivations of EAC and REINSW.

    Will look forward to Damien

  • snoop
    Posted June 14, 2007 at 8:58 am 0Likes

    Scooter
    Websites are media
    REA does charge more because of its circulation.
    Dont tell me you think that internet advertising plays are not media companies??.
    The 10,000 or so agents around the country that pay rea money do it because of its circulation.
    Recently selling my house I paid 30k in advertising,in the glossy weeklys etc the web component was 500 bucks.
    I as a consumer and vendor would happily have my property featured on rea for that.
    If I was an agent I would alwys advertise where their is the most traffic.
    Why would I bother with all the also rans unless they were free?
    Forget about the notion that its all the agents content ,theres a value exchange going on that appears from hard evidence to work.

  • snoop
    Posted June 14, 2007 at 11:23 am 0Likes

    Hey Margaret
    Welcome to the debate.
    You raise some good points.
    No I have nothing to lose,although I was in REA at 20c!!!
    I am interested in the Industry fights back comments.
    Really ?
    Why do they need to ?The nett of it is the industry made REA what it is today ,REA succeeded because the industry/Institutes constantly engaged in competitions on who could pee higher,could never agree who could ,and now they are whining and whingeing they pay too much.
    They can all vote with their chequebooks ,but my bet is as long as the mind boggling traffic is there they wont.

    So eac has how many listings in NSW?
    EAC has mapping guess what its free on google.
    What use is national mapping without National data??
    Sure EAC might do some good stuff in the their local market and offer a cut price low value service to agencies that are struggling to pay market rates,but if I was a serious player like any business I would go with the best.
    The fact that the best today are the biggest is irrelevant.

  • Damien McDonald
    Posted June 14, 2007 at 11:50 am 0Likes

    Hi Elizabeth

    Sorry about the tardy response. I was in Ballina Wednesday evening attending the launch of the first realestaeworld print product to support the site, which was extreemly well received by the agents on the far north coast.

    The answer to your question is yes, the data you will receive via realestateworld.com.au is free with your subscription to the package. Not only is it free, it also will be real time property information as a property is listed as sold on the site. No More Waiting Period…

    PS. The Blues were robbed!

  • Scooter
    Posted June 14, 2007 at 9:38 pm 0Likes

    Snoop,

    Just to clarify my comments were for the agents of NSW to encourage them to support the instiutes new website, because with the industries support it could be a genuine alternative to realestate.com.au and domain.com.au.

    That you recently spent 30k of your own hard cash for advertising tells me alot, perhaps to help you get a better understanding of the industry , you need to ask your agent where your actual buyer was sourced from, surely that is what is relevant.

    Yes sounds to me like the 500 bucks you spent on the internet was the best money you spent i think i would be more concerned about the other $29,500. I hope you have sold.

    Content is what drives any website and realestate.com.au and domain.com.au would be nothing without the content which is supplied by the agents, so hypothetically if all the agents withdrew their listings from realestate.com.au and domain.com.au would these sites be so powerful, i think not.

    My point to agents is simple, traditionally real estate agencies have paid media companies ie the NEWSPAPERS to promote their properties ( rough estimates anywhere between 20- 50% of their outgoings ) that was fine then but with the internet the game has changed.

    We as agents no longer have to give all of our profits to newspaper companies, look at the travel industry how many different sites are there where you can book accomodation online?.

    Why is it then in real estate there are only these major players and virtually no one else. The reason is because the real estate agents are thinking like they have always thought, support the site.

    Like Margaret said Congratulations REI and EAC for taking on the monopolies.

  • Scott
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 7:40 am 0Likes

    This conversation is very NSW-centric. (is that a word??).
    Obviously, it has to be, as the realestateworld is all about the REINSW and EAC – which are based in NSW.
    Is realestate”WORLD” really representative of the data to be found on this site?

    Realestateworld appears to be an australian site, from initial inspection. Except, if I click on any state except NSW, I leave the site to go to the relevant REI in that state.
    As an internet user, this is something that I hate.
    Also, is it just me – or does realestateworld feel like just a re-skinned EAC site?

    I would like to see agents from outside of NSW commenting on this site.
    Do you think the other REI’s will contribute their data to this site? (especially as they want to get their own market share built up, on a state basis?)

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 8:00 am 0Likes

    Hi Scott

    This post is about REINSW and EAC, but it has wider implications. I think all Institutes will be looking at this to see how it goes. Realestateview.com.au were lucky to be a very early mover (or just clever) and have found reasonable success in Victoria.

    So whilst this post is about the new site. I think it has wider implications – both ways!

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 8:55 am 0Likes

    Good Morning,

    Are we all forgetting the consumer, our vendors in all of this argument?

    A potential vendor says that they want their property advertised on realestate and domain, but me being the patriotic industry philanthropic agent that I am, tells the potential vendor, “No I am only going to list your property on the Industry Website”.

    Vendor then goes to an agent who will advertise their property where they want it.

    All these emotive statements about Paying newspapers our profits. Please, any good agency was getting VPA for newspaper advertising. The internet has made advertising cheaper for my agency, and what is more, I get results at a much more cost effective rate.

    However Scooter raises a very good point. Let us look at the travel industry. With the advent of the internet, now I can book my flights and accommodation direct with the provider. No longer do I need to go to a travel AGENT.

    Far from being a great example as a reason to support realestateworld, it shows that we need to be wary about where the internet is heading, as more and more services become available online.

    Perhaps there will be a portal for conveyancers, who list all the properties of Private Sellers. You choose the Property, then search for a conveyancer, then choose a lawyer, and find the home loan.

    That would be the logical model for a google type company, you suddenly increase your direct customer base by a factor of 3. Listings? remember, Google scrape websites, so no problems there.

    The REI’s need to be thinking of situations like this and how to protect the industry, not selling out to another company in order to line the coffers with more money from agents.

    Want to talk about who is taking the profits from real estate agents with little to no return? Ask your local REI.

    E

  • Peter
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 9:51 am 0Likes

    Hi Craig

    I think it is more about the control aspect than REA being so bad. They are just doing their job, making a popular website and making money from that popularity.

    Control is an amazing thing. You only have to look at monopolies in Telstra, The Banks, Airports, Tollways, Gambling, Lotto etc to see that unless their is competition prices just continue to rise. I dislike the comparison of newspapers, newspapers cost a fortune to set up, run and distribute – online is a pittance in comparison and majority of costs in running an online company are staff, and marketing.

    Competition is what will drive down prices and increase innovation and really history has shown nothing else will.

  • Craig
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 9:36 am 0Likes

    I find many of the people here’s attitude to re.com.au very interesting. They almost have the attitude that re.com.au is stealing from them. RE.com.au are just a media company providing a advertising service. Does that mean newspapers are also stealing from you? The cost to advertise on re.com.au is much less than in newspapers and so if anything they are reducing the price to sell a property. I can’t see any reason to advertise in newspapers now other than if the vendor demands it or because its a way the agent can basically advertise their own business and move the costs across the the vendors. If any industry body can come up with a competing product to re.com.au then good luck. Getting the content is about 10% of the equation, getting eyes on the site is the hard (and expensive) part.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:57 am 0Likes

    Craig,

    I dont think REA is stealing from us at all. In fact, I cannot decisively say that if I was in the same situation I would not be doing things dramatically different.

    I would however be trying to change the agents perception of arrogance with my company because it does not engender loyalty should their be another equivalent option for agents to choose. You can get away with arrogance when you dominate the market but that does not work when you are just one of the “players”.

    If I was in charge of REA I would also have a plan in place to counter the google/trulia/zillow/yahoo entry into Australia. A lot of what the plan would include would be a shift towards advertising model similar to adwords so as to reduce the subscription cost as low as possible to insure against lost clients.

    I would also look at including better systems for agencies to manage and reply to enquiries right inside realestate.com.au to make a Point of Difference between REA and its competitors. Agents will soon realise that quality enquiries handled correctly is far far superior to a large quantity of enquiries handled poorly. At the moment it is all about the sheer numbers delivered but someone will prove that lesser enquiry numbers handled better is of more value to an agency.

    Maybe REA is doing these things, maybe some of them, and maybe none of them.

    But are they thieves… certainly not.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 15, 2007 at 7:50 pm 0Likes

    Good Evening,

    Is there a new definintion of Monopoly which I am not aware of?

    If I use two portals how can both have a monopolistic hold of me?

    I am not tied into using either of these portals if the results are not forthcoming, so there is no monopolistic hold on me.

    Granted the value they provide is to the point where I cannot justify not being on them.

    Stephen in another blog on here stated that the more portals there are, the greater the expense. This makes perfect sense to me.

    Imagine 3 or 4 portals, each charging $400pm. That would end up costing me at least $500pm more than I pay now, not to mention the uploading fees.

    When we talk about increased competition, I think that we should really be talking about increased results! Otherwise, why does everyone want to pay more money for the same results?

    E

  • snoop
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 8:26 am 0Likes

    Elizabeth
    What are the fees you pay for uploading??
    The other question for agents in general is dont you all pass a lot of advertising cost on to the vendors?

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 10:11 am 0Likes

    Good Morning Snoop,

    I pay $27pm to upload to the first portal, and $20pm to the second. It is $20pm for every portal after that.

    We are starting to incorporate all the costs of avertising online. We already place the direct product cost to the campaign, just not the ongoing incidentals.

    Learning slowly.

    However, this XML initiative from the face of it is just going to increase my costs. So why are we looking at it? If the system isn’t broken…

    E

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 10:19 am 0Likes

    Hi Elizabeth.

    The reason for the XML Initiative is that every site has different ways of identifying and displaying data. Imagine you build a site and a system and all sites use the same way of identifying data and displaying that data.

    Then sites (portals) may contact you and ask you if you would like to join. You control with a yes or no (by selection) which ones you do and do not want your data to be displayed.

    All carriers (portals) agree by using the XML that they abide by certain rules, this means they cannot carry your data without your permission.

    This is just one example of how it could work.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 10:43 am 0Likes

    Good morning Peter,

    This does make sense, but isn’t this an issue outside the industry?

    This sounds more like an issue for all the suppliers to the industry than it is for me. What I want to know is how do I know that I control my data? this sounds like it is more easy for people to scrape data.

    How are you going to stop the scrapers?

    More importantly, what are the extra costs to me?

    E

    p.s. yes it is slow this morning. I have a habbit of restricting my fun online activity to outside work hours as a rule.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 11:05 am 0Likes

    Elizabeth – I doubt our terms of use would allow for scrapers. This will be a decision for the collective, but I will strongly be urging against scrapers.

    As for costs, I do not want to make statements that come back to haunt me, so I will leave this up to the collective.

    So tell me….
    If you Advertise (just say) on…..

    REA, MyHome, Domain, Google Base, MSN Expo, Yahoo Classifieds etc. How long does it take/timeismoney to list individually?
    1 site =normal time
    2 sites 2 x time
    3 sites 3 x time etc etc etc

    This idea is for agents/portals/suppliers. To make life easier, save time and therefore money.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 11:44 am 0Likes

    Peter,

    I am struggling with this.

    If we say we do not allow scrapers, how are you going to police this?

    If google come into the market and scrape all listings from everyone, and then portals get the information off Google, where does this leave the XML initiative? Then apply to smaller scrapers, like realsearch and propertyguru.

    I only advertise on two portals at the moment, and the issues involved are that each has a different way of presenting listings. Are you saying that all portals will have to present the listings the same way? Does this mean that I have to change my site too?

    This sounds like an intiative for all the IT suppliers to make life easier for them. But no one appears to be able to answer any agent concerns regarding costs, data security, and changing the offering of my own website to conform with every other website.

    Everyone on here knows that I am not a technical expert, I admit that, however my questions as the agent who is supposed to be receiving the benefit of all this work and cost appear to not be at the forefront.

    I want to keep what ever control i have left in tact, and also keep costs down.

    E

  • Peter
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 12:56 pm 0Likes

    E: If google come into the market and scrape all listings from everyone, and then portals get the information off Google, where does this leave the XML initiative? Then apply to smaller scrapers, like realsearch and propertyguru.

    P: Google Base do not scrape, you submit data to them.

    E: I only advertise on two portals at the moment, and the issues involved are that each has a different way of presenting listings. Are you saying that all portals will have to present the listings the same way? Does this mean that I have to change my site too?

    P: Anyone can present in any manner they like, it is the property data that is the same, currently REA and Domain have a different way of running pricing in their system. Under the new way everything will be the same, lower costs and lowering time for agents.

    E: This sounds like an intiative for all the IT suppliers to make life easier for them. But no one appears to be able to answer any agent concerns regarding costs, data security, and changing the offering of my own website to conform with every other website.

    P: You do it 3 times (REA, Domain your Site) wouldn’t it be great if you added it to your system once and it went up on all sites including your own – in the manner you added it? If you do it 3 times it is lowering your time and costs by 66%

    E: Everyone on here knows that I am not a technical expert, I admit that, however my questions as the agent who is supposed to be receiving the benefit of all this work and cost appear to not be at the forefront.

    P: I think you should wait and see what we produce, I can guarantee it will lower your time and costs….

    E: I want to keep what ever control i have left in tact, and also keep costs down.

    P: Of course you do and you will, but you may also want to know that the data you add is presented exactly how you added it. If all sites adhere to common standards then this will be the case. It will also save you time, the more sites YOU CHOOSE to advertise on does not = more time costs…

    If an application is received from the real estate XML initiative (or whatever we call it) from anyone then their will be rules or terms of use. Any flouting of these rules means they will no longer have access and this may include scraping (not my decision)

  • des
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 1:10 pm 0Likes

    Elizabeth,

    There are a billion and one ways to try and prevent scraping, all of which are not impervious to the more determined. The internet is public domain and maintaining security on information that is displayed on a page is practically impossible. Information about the listings that are never displayed on the page however, you can rest assured will be secure in a well maintained and secure database.

    The benifits to the agents on the XML initiative are as clear as day. Peter has explained quite well what they are, if you can’t extract what benifit you get out of that then apparently no amount of explaining will help.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 3:12 pm 0Likes

    Elizabeth,

    Just because you cant see the problems does not mean they do not exist. I think everyone her with an ounce of technical knowledge will assure you that having a haphazard system as we do at the moment costs companies time. Time is money and reducing the problem will mean you either get the same services at less cost, or you will get more service for the same cost. Do you think everyone wants to get involved in this for the fun of it?

    I know you dont understand the technical side of it, or even the less technical more strategy based stuff, and by the looks of it I doubt you ever will. I do however have trouble with understanding how a successful business person cannot understand at least the concepts involved.

    Using standards is not the exclusive property of the online real estate industry. Using a technical standard allows competing entities to obtain mutual advantages by working together to produce a uniform technical reference level of quality.

    You continually try and ask what it will mean for you and your agency at the end of the day, but nobody can give you a conclusive answer, and you seem concerned with that. It has to be a positive influence but thats all anybody can really say.

    I just watched a joint video interview with Bill Gates from Microsoft and Steve Jobs from Apple. They were asked what would computers they use be like in just 5 years time and they could not conclusively answer that. Here are two of the most powerful men in the computer industry who could not answer that question properly however I think we all agree that improvements in computers over the next 5 years will be a good think for you and your business. Sometimes you dont know the exact individual results of something to know that the overall effect will be positive.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 16, 2007 at 4:11 pm 0Likes

    Good Afternoon,

    Des you certainly know how to flatter a lady. To the others, I thank you for trying to help me understand.

    Let’s wait and see what the outcome is.

    But I would hasten to add that whilst I admit my technical limitations, you are dealing with a ‘senior’ agent who accesses their own emails and website. I can assure you that there a many agents out there who do not accomplish these small tasks.

    Convincing me is one thing. Convincing the less tech savy (those who do not even know how to get to this site) is a completely different issue all together.

    Or are these people totally irrelevant Des?

    E

  • des
    Posted June 17, 2007 at 1:15 am 0Likes

    Elizabeth,

    You’d be surprised at how many agents are willing to embrace technology. Thankfully, it’s not my job to convince… add to that the ease of use of all the modern systems and the direction they’re heading and at the end of the day, the agent doesn’t even need to be technically savvy.

  • snoop
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 7:56 am 0Likes

    Hi elizabeth
    Those portal upload fees,are they charged by the portal or by some third party application provider?

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 8:40 am 0Likes

    Good morning,

    Snoop the main cost comes from my system host, which charges for each portal I upload to. Even a FREE site such as Homehound, incurrs a cost for me to put listings on it through my system Provider.

    I have looked around and pretty much everyone is the same.

    This is where my question of extra charges for using this new XML Initiative. My thoughts are only based on what Glenn and Peter suggested, however if there is to be a greater cost on what is already being charged, then the benefits need to be significant.

    I have been assured by most on here that this will be the case, although nothing has been developed as yet.

    E

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 9:01 am 0Likes

    Hi Elizabeth

    I don’t know that all system hosts charge for each portal (I certainly do not) I do know that REA charge around $30 per month for each of my clients. Which I think is silly as each client calls me (not them) with any support problems saving REA $$$$ on support.

    I now think I know where you are coming from ….each portal would mean extra fees. But I can tell you that this is the first I have heard of any system hosts charging for portal feeds, so I would check out their competition if only to see if this is the case.

    The only cost for each portal is not setting your systems up correctly in the first place and also when changes are made to systems, but this is nominal.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 9:02 am 0Likes

    As for costs – if you use a current provider the cost would more than likely be borne by them on an annual basis and again once this cost is spread amongst many clients it would be nominal.

  • snoop
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 8:44 pm 0Likes

    I think in time all these upload players will be forced into delivering this as a free service.
    I cant see why you have to pay a feed to upload an ad to anyone.
    A listings portal charging you a fee….That model is just a wrought.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 18, 2007 at 11:58 pm 0Likes

    Snoop, companies like mine (Hub, Portplus, etc) exist so that agents can use one system to upload to multiple sites. The other alternative is to login to 2, 3,4 or 5 different sites, add all information individually and then login to 2, 3,4 or 5 different sites to make any changes.

    For every extra site they upload to – that saves the agents time and money to do this. It will never be free because of the time and maintenance involved in making it all work, keeping up to date with new updates features and customer support.

    There may well be different models come into the market, but multi loaders are here to stay. I think there are about 20 in Australia now.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 8:56 am 0Likes

    Good Morning,

    This is where a confessed Technology illiterate agent like myself starts getting confused.

    This whole XML Initiative is designed to make things better and save agents such as myself money.

    However already people are talking about new costs.

    New costs to do exactly the same thing as what is happening now?

    The extra costs will no doubt come from changing the current system to the new system, only to deliver the same result of getting listings on a website.

    I just do not see it. Particularly if there are no measures in place to stop scraping sites.

    Peter, I strongly recommend that this Initiative also looks at communicating with, and marketing to agents about the outcome, why it is needed, and how it will benefit us.

    E

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 9:52 am 0Likes

    Elizabeth, here are some of the benefits that may be included.

    Benefit One: All Property Data is identified in the same manner. This means your sale price (hidden or otherwise) , street address (hidden or otherwise), photography, videos, mp3’s, features, tags, property types and so on is identified in the same manner.

    Benefit Two: All Members adhere to common set of standards, so that agents are not spending their time asking for properties to be removed that were sold months ago.

    Benefit Three: All website and system developers have a common set of standards and parameters for development.

    Benefit Four: All XML members agree that agents must opt in to allow data to be used on their websites. Any companies that do not adhere to rules of access to the systems membership can be revoked. This means if a portal (free or otherwise) must have an agreement with the agent in place if they wish to carry that data.

    There are so many more benefits that it would be a massive list, and we will make sure we provide this to all agents through a website and possibly a mail out.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 2:13 pm 0Likes

    I have to admit I struggle with agents paying a new fee for every portal. I understand Peter’s point about maintenance but still, the charges Elizabeth is paying seem over the top however I dont know if I fully understand the context.

    Elizabeth, are you paying a flat fee for your the service which provides access to a CMS (Content Management System) and your own website then they charge you $20pm ontop for every portal they push?

    We pay one flat fee to upload to all portals or no portals, or somewhere in between. We do pay for a setup fee if want to connect to an existing portal, such as we are trialling domain at the moment so I had to pay them to hookup that connection, but thats the only cost.

    Peter, I have never had a portal ask for an increased subscription because they accept a feed rather than us using their own backend. How rampant is this practice of charging agents $30 to accept a feed? Is this just levied on independents?

    If you combine these two fees there is a lot of money being charged to the agent for what should be a very simple system. $50 ($20 $30) per month per agent per portal. Ouch! Thats more than what I think most portals are even worth!!! Certainly Myhome!

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 3:37 pm 0Likes

    Glenn and E: We do not charge a fee per month to export to any portal, it is a flat annual fee per agency office.

    I only know (and I do not pretend to know) that there is one portal exporter like my company that charges a fee for each portal export.

    I think REA are the only company that charge per agent some $25-30 per month to use a system like mine. They do say it is for maintaining that system. I doubt franchises pay this fee.

    If it were exporting to a unique site (such a local newspaper) then yes I would charge a set up fee. I do not export to sites that do not send reports back except for REINZ which is impossible to monitor and very frustrating. They have been saying for 2 years that this will be provided.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 5:44 pm 0Likes

    Peter,

    Well, I am a bit confused, I can’t see how what you and Elizabeth talking about is the same thing?

    You said REA charges your clients around $30 to receive your data and Elizabeth said she is charged $20 for every extra portal.

    Maybe its not her providor thats charging her its REA charging just like in your example…

    So I take it that the only clients of yours that are charged this fee by REA are the independents ?

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 6:24 pm 0Likes

    Ok

    Lets just say ABCDEF Real Estate use my system, they export to the following portals, I charge them the same money per annum whether they export to all 5 or just 3.

    Domain.com.au
    Realestate.com.au
    MyHome.com.au
    Homehound.com
    Rent.com.au

    To my knowledge out of all of these portals, realestate.com.au are the only one that charges the agents a fee of around $30 per month on top of their normal subscription fees to ABCDEF Real Estate for using a 3rd party XML provider like myself. They do not charge me any fees.

    Clear?

  • Glenn
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 8:03 pm 0Likes

    Peter

    I really do understand everthing you typed the first time. What I have trouble with is the missing information that lies between what you and Elizabeth stated which is why I have asked you and Elizabeth to clarify a few things. As far as I can tell you have not answered either of these questions so I will ask them a bit clearer

    1/ As far as you know does REA charge just your independent clients or do they charge all of your clients including the franchises as well?

    2/ Are you and Elizabeth talking about the same fee? Ie. Elizabeth is saying she gets charged for pushing to portals by the company that hosts her data but she makes no mention of being charged by REA like you say your clients are. Maybe she is mistaken and its REA charging her because if she is not you have to ask why as an independent is she not being charged by REA as your clients are? (Clearly Elizabeth has to give us some input here. )

    I can see only one logical reason why that would be the case and that is Elizabeth uses Hubonline and because hubonline charges her for the data link already, REA does not charge her for exactly the same thing as that would be double dipping.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 8:15 pm 0Likes

    Good Evening,

    Peter and Glenn, I pay my System host (or provider or whatever you want to call it) charges me for each seperate portal who I upload to.

    Now one of you made an interesting statement, that none of the franchises pay. Well I can assure you that some those franchisees using the corporate system do pay, and they pay more than me, including my portal upload fees. They pay this in their ‘technology fees’.

    So now do you understand my question. If I am already paying my service provider to upload to portals. Why would I be interested in something which may have an increased cost to it if it achieves the same thing?

    It may make life easier for companies such as yours Peter, and that is great for your business. What about mine? where is the justification for paying more for the same thing?

    E

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 19, 2007 at 9:10 pm 0Likes

    1/ As far as you know does REA charge just your independent clients or do they charge all of your clients including the franchises as well?

    I am not sure, however I do know that franchises and large independents obviously get a better monthly deal. 90 % of my clients are independents.

    2/ Are you and Elizabeth talking about the same fee? Ie. Elizabeth is saying she gets charged for pushing to portals by the company that hosts her data but she makes no mention of being charged by REA like you say your clients are. Maybe she is mistaken and its REA charging her because if she is not you have to ask why as an independent is she not being charged by REA as your clients are? (Clearly Elizabeth has to give us some input here. )

    I may operate a different thing. I have a system that manages property data and pushes that data to portals and the agents own Internet site.

    Elizabeth, is your data perfectly exported each and every time to all the different portals? Do you ever have to call to say this or that is wrong?

  • Glenn
    Posted June 20, 2007 at 1:18 am 0Likes

    Elizabeth,

    Do you use hubonline?

    Does your “system host” just charge you per portal fees or do they have a base charge, then charge you per portal on top of that base charge?

    Does REA charge you an extra to your subscription fee to have your “system host” upload to them?

    ***************

    Just so its clear I am trying to ascertain if a particular portal is levying a charge on one company’s clients as maybe a form of penalty or to create some unfair competition because it sort of competes with another of their business interests.

    Peter, I dont know if your seeing my point here, but if Elizabeth as an independent is not being charged a premium for pushing data to REA but your independent clients are, there is some inequality going on here.

    The reason I asked the question about if your franchise customers were also being charged this fee is that if they were then it seems that the only common denominator of who gets charged is who is sending the data on behalf of the client. I am not talking about their monthly subscription rate.. I am only referring to the case where an “upload fee” is attached to whatever their monthly subscription fee is. A tax by association if you will!

    If this is being levelled across the board at all independents thats one thing and boils down to their lack of bargaining power as a collective. However IF only “some” independents attract this charge their might be more in it. When Elizabeth answers the questions I guess we will know some more.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 20, 2007 at 7:54 am 0Likes

    Good Morning,

    To answer each of your direct questions Peter and Glenn.

    Peter, I have not had any issues with the way my listings are put on either of the portals. I think I remember things were a bit rough the first time they went up on one portal, the other was fine. To preempt your next question, domain was the portal I had issues with.

    Glenn, I do not use Hubonline.

    Glenn, I have negotiated with each portal for a package which suits me, and a fee to put listings on each site through my host is not part of those packages.

    Perhaps where the confuson lays is with how Peter and other providers account for putting listings on portals. Peter has an all in fee, where as others like mine, have a per portal model. Isn’t this the same thing just accounted for differently?

    Given this situation, then I can see some system providers just upping the ‘once off fee’, or hiding the fee somewhere else. In any instance, there is an increase in costs for the same service.

    Perhaps all of these system providers need a closer investigation before the XML Initiative is explored further?

    E

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 20, 2007 at 8:36 am 0Likes

    Elizabeth

    Any business in healthy competition field like mine can charge any fees or structure how they wish. The market works out whether those fees are acceptable. I will never dictate to any company how their fees should be structured.

    Elizabeth, I would suggest your company get involved with this initiative and then get back to you to tell you if they see the benefits to you, it will no doubt lower their costs and maintenance.

    Glen, I have told my clients to just negotiate with the portals to get the best price. That is why agents in certain areas should get together once every 3 or 4 months.

    Many portals pit agents against one another, so maybe it is time agents banded together.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 20, 2007 at 10:57 am 0Likes

    ***************
    Perhaps where the confuson lays is with how Peter and other providers account for putting listings on portals. Peter has an all in fee, where as others like mine, have a per portal model. Isn

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 20, 2007 at 12:48 pm 0Likes

    REA charge it because it takes manpower and maintenance to keep the systems up. But I am sure it is negotiable will everyone. I am pretty sure no other portals charge this ‘nominal’ fee.

    I can understand it in one sense but I doubt they would charge it for large companies who have more negotiation power.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 20, 2007 at 7:45 pm 0Likes

    Good Evening,

    Glenn, I think that we are arguing very different points.

    You are talking about fees portals charge.

    I am talking about the fees the service providers charge.

    Then I apply this new cost of doing business from the XML initiative on top of what I am paying now. All I want to know is, what do I get for the extra cost.

    Again, if no one can stop people scraping our sites, then what is the point? Won’t sites just start scraping our websites resulting in delays in updating listings?

    Where does all my listings data sit? Hopefully where it does now and not in some other company which all the suppliers control.

    E

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 20, 2007 at 7:48 pm 0Likes

    p.s. Glenn, SINISTER? I thought we all moved past the cloak and dagger discussions. Did you have a recent nasty conversation with that REA rep again?

  • snoop
    Posted June 21, 2007 at 10:07 am 0Likes

    Rea prob charge the upload fee becuase they can as clear number one.
    I dont see any justification along the lines of providing support and manpower as Pete says.
    Its the core of their business to take uploaded ads.
    Other portals dont and good on them.
    Now a software tool that makes this easy for a licensee is prob worth a bit of money.
    But per provider thats a ripoff the tool does the same thing whether its one or 20 portals.

  • Glenn
    Posted June 21, 2007 at 10:59 am 0Likes

    Elizabeth…

    Yes you are off on a different tangent. I have pointed that out quite a few times and you are only just realising that now?

    You keep on getting back to scraping.. what that has to do with the XML initiative I really don’t know. Scrapers dont use an XML feed… because they SCRAPE the data. The XML initiative is to deal with the vast majority of those in the industry that transfer data between themselves.

    You carrying about scraping all the time is like somebody bitching about the safety issues of a motorcycle when the discussions are about Motor Car safety. Whilst they both have wheels and travel on the road the discussions on each of their safety issues are vastly different.

    As to picking on the word sinister… I also said “Maybe there is a valid reason” and I also said maybe there is a “more complex” solution. and just to finish I also said “Now there is not enough facts to determine what are the criteria involved of who REA charges”.

    But you have to pick on one word and clearly imply that it was the whole nature of my posts which is clearly taking it out of its proper context.

    I was pointing out that some independents appear to be attracting charges that other independents and franchise offices don’t seem to be paying. I would have thought that a franchise basher like yourself would have seen the positive in that but true to form you have to find a negative in it.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 21, 2007 at 8:17 pm 0Likes

    Good Evening,

    Glenn, the way the XML initiative has been pitched to me, is that it will save me money, make putting listings up on sites easier, and that everyone will need to comply or they will not be able to access the data.

    Firstly, people are already talking about charges, and I want to know what these charges are.

    Secondly, if I am already getting my listings up on sites successfully, then how will this new initiative help me further? If there is no added service to me, then why the extra cost. If there are extra benefits to me then tell me. At the moment it sounds like something which will make things easier for all the suppliers, and increase costs for me.

    Thirdly, this goes to the very heart of the reasons FOR the XML initative, if a new website wanted to enter the market but did not want to pay the fees for using this XML intiative, they can go and scrape the data.

    There goes the standard and platform which I think you are trying to establish. And also out the window goes the CONTROL of systems people and companies use to aggregate data.

    The implication for me is that these sites may then scrape my site.

    So unless a component of the XML initiative is to also address the rules around scraping, which we both know is just another way of getting content onto a site, I as an end user am struggling to see what the outcome for me is other than a new fee.

    I am not being negative, I am looking at what is being said. Asking questions about this project now so I can understand better about it.

    At the end of the day I want a good service with a minimum of fuss at a good rate.

    Can the XML intiative meet those needs? and can you ellaborate please.

    E

  • Red Fox
    Posted June 27, 2007 at 9:16 pm 0Likes

    I have to admit only skimming over this thread – but I think i’ve got the gist. Seems like a group of stooges from oposing companies trying to sway opinion in the guise of genuine agents! – A pretty obvious trick!

    Maybe you should put some more effort into making your sites better for the consumer. I have to say the biggest plus that REALESTATEWORLD.COM.AU has is the lack of advertising banners. I’m not sure if you realise but those things are plain irritatng! Check Realestate.com as a prime example. Even though I don’t agree with the ethos of “take back control” I would choose to use that site over any other based purely on it being so clean – And also the maps are great (and supplied by google – FREE) if only the agents would include address details!

    Kitchen Designer has a good point! as a consumer the last thing I want to do is have to call an agent every time i want some information on a property. I want to gather as much information myself and reduce the time i have to waste on the phone with a sleazy sales person breathing heavily at the thought of more commission.

    I can understand the logic behind reducing the cost of advertising to the agent – as hopefully this will spell a reduction in the costs to vendors – But lets face it guys MOST of the advertising that us consumers pay for is just free promotion for your own businesses! So you guys are really no different to the media companies that you claim are holding the industry to ransom.

    What is it a TAFE course to become a real estate agent – that and a total lack of ethics.

    I say #$%@ (edited) the agents!!! I look forward to the onslaught of GOOGLE!
    and a future where scum bag capitilist like you are left to rot! The future is grim for you all. As you have stated numerous times in this thread. The internet is making it much easier to advertise and the game is changing. It is only a matter of time before the consumer twigs on that they don’t need a sales agent to get enquiries.

  • Geoff
    Posted June 27, 2007 at 9:38 pm 0Likes

    I recall a song I heard on a comedy skit years ago – it went like this –

    We #$%@ (edited) agents for your property…………and the theme was they sign you up then sit around with their feet up waiting for someone to walk in and buy it.

    Very clever.

  • Peter
    Posted June 27, 2007 at 9:39 pm 0Likes

    Red Fox
    I allowed the above comment to go through with some editions. Please remember that we love debate here and many will not agree with what you have said. However please be try to formulate a reason why you feel this way instead of just abuse.

    Many of us here do not agree with articles and comments but we try to show some restraint and create a basis for arguments.

    This may be a forum where you can hide your name. I like to think of how would I talk to people across a table, even if I strongly disagree with their comments.

    Regards Peter Ricci – Editor

  • Dave Platter
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 3:40 pm 0Likes

    Well said, Peter.

    dave

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 8:21 pm 0Likes

    Good Evening,

    I must say Red Fox certainly knows how to make an entrance.

    However this party it is not fancy dress, not sure what it said on your invitation Red Fox but none the less here you are in your regalia with a costume which does not mask enough of you.

    I do wonder why someone who infers that they are not an agent, nor associated with industry in any way other than a general member of the public, would spend so much time reading an industry blog and would comment on the REINSW site.

    Surely if you disliked the industry so much a discussion regarding the true heart land of all us heathens is the mecca which is the REINSW would draw scathing remarks. But what is this? A back handed compliment about their site?

    Good to see you passed on the details of Peter

  • Glenn
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 8:46 pm 0Likes

    Red Fox is not the only one dreaming of the day when agents will be replaced by something or someone else but until that happens that

  • Geoff
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 8:57 pm 0Likes

    Commission on a $1m sale say $20,000

    Effort required –

    place a few ads – about an hour.
    place ad on internet say 10 minutes.
    Sit around waiting for the phone to ring.

    Do paperwork – 20 minutes.

    Driving a BMW when you’ve hardly got the brainpower to tie your own shoelaces ? Priceless.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 9:09 pm 0Likes

    Disgruntled internet hack attempts to criticise agents.

    Gets onto business2
    Makes one comment, then changes identity and makes another
    Avoids constructive conversation
    Reads retort from agents.
    Copies (badly) another concept he saw somewhere else.

    Trying to engage with him… POINTLESS!

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 9:09 pm 0Likes

    Or is it just a case of being clueless?

  • Geoff
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 10:05 pm 0Likes

    Ooooh sorry if i touched a nerve, you must feel terribly guilty taking money under false pretences.

    I guess you could give us the usual speil about your e x p e r t i s e hahaha we `could all use a good laugh.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 10:14 pm 0Likes

    Geoff, you have provided all enough laughs for one evening.

  • Geoff
    Posted June 28, 2007 at 10:34 pm 0Likes

    Thank you. I know it’s not as easy as it looks but it’s ceetainly not brain surgery and at the end of the day if people want to pay for an agent then it’s up to them. The “system” certainly makes it nessessary to use an agent, anyone who doesn’t looks like a bit of a fool.

  • Scott
    Posted June 29, 2007 at 8:16 am 0Likes

    I think we can all learn a lot from Geoff, and Red fox.
    Specifically, the importance of staying in school and learning how to spell.

    Geoff, perhaps school teachers are also pretenders, and are performing a task that anyone could do? (Obviously though, making an exception of whomever taught you.)

  • Geoff
    Posted June 29, 2007 at 1:25 pm 0Likes

    Oh Scott, another drone from the REA stable, how pleasant to hear from you, embittered, overworked and under skilled as you undoubtedly are.

    And what do you do Scott, Nothing ? gee there

  • snoop
    Posted June 30, 2007 at 8:40 am 0Likes

    Lets try and keep the debate intelligent.
    Myspace may be better for this kind of rhetoric

  • Geoff
    Posted June 30, 2007 at 10:14 am 0Likes

    I only respond in kind when attacked.

  • Elizabeth
    Posted June 30, 2007 at 1:36 pm 0Likes

    Good Afternoon,

    Geoff, please cast your eye over your previous posts as ‘Geoff’ and ‘Red Fox’. You will note that you entered this forum attacking participants, their careers, work ethic and industry.

    By all means contribute, but be man enough to stand up to your own actions. If you come out swinging, you should expect that various long time participants here will activate their right to reply.

    I suspect I should expect to see a retort from your self, turning all these comments into how you are unjustly treated.

    I wait with anticipation and an empty box of Kleenex.

    E

  • Geoff
    Posted June 30, 2007 at 5:01 pm 0Likes

    Fabulous bit of detective work there Elizabeth but for one thing – I’m not Red Fox – and by the way, for all we know you could be Simon Baker in drag.

    You real estate agents are very thin skinned bacause you have no defence to the accusation that you in many cases do very little for what is in most cases an obscene fee structure.

  • snoop
    Posted July 2, 2007 at 8:20 am 0Likes

    Clearly agents have little value in the public eye in NZ.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10449040

    Valid?
    Agents work a lot harder than AU agents due to not getting a retainer.

    Nett of it is with avg property sales of 300-400 k in nz 4% is a lot of money.

    Are agencies inefficient in terms of how they operate?

    Are their too many agencies for the number of sales??

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