Dumb and Dumber Awards 2007

Every year since 2004 I have been adding my own dumb and dumber awards. Usually is it a hard slog getting so many out the door, but why was 2007 different? Anyway sit back and have a giggle at some of the dumbest moments in real estate and technology for 2007.

PrizePBL & MICROSOFT
1. It was without doubt the most anticipated launch of 2007 and is without doubt the worst major real estate website in Australasian history. I still cringe when looking at it. How could two major companies, Ninemsn and Microsoft get something so drastically wrong? Agents found themselves subscribed to a site they had never subscribed to, with listings sold years earlier. Agents also found that agents who no longer worked at their agency were listed alongside listings no longer under their agencies control.

2. MyHome struck a cord with only themselves and thus will fade further into oblivion in 2008 unless someone steps in and makes some radical changes. MyHome incorrectly perceived themselves as pretty cool. The standout memory for me was Senior Management in the Applesque (Steve Jobs) photo pose splashed in newspapers across the land. Soon, after all senior management had gone, the site tried in vain to claw back some respectability.

3. What do you do when you have a website with only 30% of your competitors’ listings and exactly the same data within that small percentage? What do you do when statistical data tells you that people stay on your website for less time than it takes to boil a kettle? It seems MyHome’s idea was to spend millions of dollars just telling everyone about it. When will it run out? Well, as soon as the people paying the bills ask one very simple question “What are we getting in return for our money?”

PrizeTELSTRA
1. Has any one company spat the dummy so many times in the past 12 months? Good ol Sol knows a good monopoly when he has one and will do anything to maintain the status quo. Many developed Nations have real broadband and laugh at us whilst we still pay ‘line rental’ and have local and national call rates, we will continue to be held to ransom by Telstra until there is real competition. Telstra have tried in vein to make the public warm to them, however the majority of Australians have an immense dislike of the company after many years of being dictated to and so are eager to move on to other offerings such as Naked DSL . (No need for telephone lines here and free local and national phone calls including broadband for one monthly fee.)

2008 will be an absolute shocker for Telstra unless it can get what it wants.

PrizeFAIRFAX DIGITAL
1. Fairfax Digital are one of the most progressive technology companies in Australia. However even big boys forget to pay their bills. One overzealous accounts department person from Web Central decided to suspend the domain name www.commercialrealestate.com.au for non payment of an $88.00 invoice. The site was down for a number of days. Of course News Ltd Newspapers made the pain last longer with many articles on this most basic of blunders.

2. Websites go down, but Domain seems to be down more and more. The reason? Who knows, from my experience it comes down to too many developments slapped on top of other projects until something simple fails and brings the whole deck down. Let’s hope it is all behind them as it makes no difference to agents invoices and only costs them potential business.

3. Adore may have had a big launch and may have had some enthusiastic backers. However, it was just another website for chest thumpers and has been slowly whittled away to nothing more than an expensive exercise. Another example of an executives idea of making more money out of agents. If the data is the same that is on a main website with all the listings then consumers will simply not bother, no matter how pretty it is.

PrizeSENSIS
1. Justlisted.com.au noted as one of the worst real estate sites ever in Australia’s big business history went for a revamp early in the year. A notice was sent out that they would be closing over the New Year and performing maintenance on their website. Some 14 days later the website was up again resplendent with all of the changes you would expect from such a significant outage– Absolutely Zero.

2. Many wondered what the hell the people at Sensis were thinking when they built a website with, well, exactly the same information as that which is on Domain.com.au. Granted it is a nice little idea, but can someone tell me why I would visit a site to search for listings which just sends me to another website to view those listings when I could have just gone to the destination site in the first place?

3. Maybe they were scared because big boy PBL got it wrong, maybe they thought it was just too hard, but by giving up on Real Estate, Sensis has become a lightweight of the Internet. With so many other web based services that are successful you would think a slow building national real estate portal would be a feather in their cap. Instead we have – well I am still not sure what we have with Just Listed.

4. I still wonder why agents spend so much money on massive ads in the Yellow Pages, I really do not know anyone who uses the print directory any more. I am sure their are hundreds of thousands who still do, but the Yellow Pages print version is destined for oblivion. Well, I thought that was the case, until a Yellow Pages executive posted a comment to my article on business2 touting that the directory was responsible for $61 Billion worth of sales to advertisers in capital cities alone! Now that is around 1/20th of our GDP. If this was the case the directory would be filled to the brim with advertisers and would need to be delivered by forklift. Of course it was internal research. So how is this done? Well just grab a calculator and multiply heaps of numbers by heaps of numbers by heaps of numbers—Easy hey!

PrizeFEDERAL STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
1. As everyone tries to find a way to get first home buyers into the market, not one government, local, state or federal have put forward one initiative that will actually make a difference. Whilst we have governments either too scared to act or too dumb to know that the crisis will grow worse year by year until a time when agents will be selling properties only to the 20% of Australians who will be able to afford them and renting real estate to the rest.

2. Thanks to the relaxing of media ownership laws we now have the competition we all dreamed of, more newspapers, television stations, radio broadcasters and lower advertising rates. Wait….no we don’t! The big boys just keep buying up other big-but-not-so-big boys.

PrizeREA AUSTRALIA
1. Around this time last year many sites starting touting the benefits of mapping and a few sites added mapping or were about to hit the horizon with mapping solutions. The CEO of Real Estate.com.au Simon Baker was having none of this, so he quickly tried to discredit mapping (to a degree) by referring to some research completed in the USA which stated that “that 88% of respondents wanted multiple pictures and slide shows, 86% wanted virtual tours, and 84% wanted neighbourhood profiles. However only 43% indicated they wanted maps and directions and only 24% cared about online mortgages‘ thereby telling us that people did not want mapping and how this research aligned with REA’s own research. Result? REA added mapping solutions and now tout the benefits of their own mapping system over their competitors. REA took an each way bet and continued with the Google Maps and is now one of the largest mapping sites in the world, their own mapping systems have taken a back-seat to the Google Maps platform.

PrizePETER RICCI
1. April 1st 2007. Google buys REA! One of the bloggers decided to spend a little time and create a page with a press release that Google had purchased REA. I tried to call someone from REA but did not get a response. So I did what any hacker journalist would do and put up a press release and waited. It didn’t take long before I was banged to right and forced to eat humble pie, much to the delight of many.

I even received a few direct emails telling me that I got what I deserved and that I should take a course in journalism to understand the checks and balances that these journalists go through for each story they publish and how bloggers were a blight on ‘journalistic integrity’. I ate my humble pie but kept those emails just for laughs, as I love how seriously some people take themselves!

PrizeREALSEARCH
1. Real Search, yes another ‘Google of Real Estate’ – decided to launch a site and promptly sent press releases everywhere and anywhere. The site basically mined other websites for property data and presented it without the authorisation of the sites it was mining. Result? Companies started sending legal notices from everywhere and anywhere and the site was taken down within days.

Real Search has now re-invented itself and wants to hug all independent real estate agencies and help them to play on a level playing field with franchises. Funny, I thought many well run independents actually did better than franchises. We now have a countdown for launch which I am sure has changed a couple of times and around three agents across Australia are closely monitoring.

PrizeHOME PRICING WEBSITES
1. I takes me hat off to all of those house pricing websites advertising on major real estate portals. These companies basically ‘help’ people by sending their details to any agent who is willing to pay money for their information. Heaven help us if any one of these sites becomes massively popular (which they will not, especially with this business model) as agents will eventually pay through the nose for these so called ‘leads’.

The day will come when we can rid ourselves of these junk sites and concentrate on real information and real benefits for real estate agents. I am sure the real estate portals are working on their own solutions but don’t hold your breath as I am also sure that they will have some pretty juicy pricing models for themselves.

PrizeNEW REAL ESTATE PORTALS
1. This is a collective award to all of the new ‘Google of Real Estate’ portals that launched in 2007, the result being that none of them have made a difference. One day someone will release a portal, get it right and slowly build a market share without spending any money telling people about it until they get that market share. Out of all the new sites, only MyHome has a chance at this stage but they will need a brain transplant if they are ever to challenge the big boys.

These real estate portals need to go back to school or concentrate on specific areas of real estate, such as land or waterfront listings. We need something fresh and we need something that all real estate agents will embrace. Free is not free if it requires work from agents or their developers. Cheap means absolutely zero if agents do not get genuine leads.

PrizePROPERTY GUIDES – MAGAZINES
1. Yes some of these are gorgeous to look at, but a day will come when agents say, what are we spending our money on and where are we getting a return? The result is we have more and more magazines sitting on the streets, outside empty shops and more often than not, quickly ending up in rubbish bins.

Yes, there is a place for property guides, but these companies are going to face some big hurdles in the future if they continually just dump magazines on lawns, on top of letter boxes or deliver (in my case) double the amount of guides for the number of apartments. Agents more than ever understand that these are just marketing guides for their companies and really do not do much to sell properties.

PrizeVANITY YARD SIGNS
1. A message to all of those agents who charge vendors for yard signs and then place a life-size picture of themselves on that sign with very little real property information. Clever? Maybe, but I for one would ask one very simple question.

Am I paying for you to promote yourself or for you to promote my property? Vanity signage is becoming more and more commonplace. Having a sign that tells me “I will love this place” with a big picture of a smiling person and a whopping big logo may be cheaper to produce but they do nothing for the vendor.

I pine for the good old days where a sign told me how many bedrooms, livingrooms, bathrooms, car spaces and so on and gave me a little insight into what was actually on offer and I am sure many other buyers and potential tenants do also.

PrizeTV NETWORKS
1. Oh how the Internet is hurting advertising revenues! We now have every TV network advertising business luminaries such as Gerry Harvey and John Simmons with their ThinkTV campaigns. Yes TV is still powerful (albeit shrinking). They even have their very own model of ratings (just use that calculator again) and about 3% of Australian businesses that can afford to advertise on TV!

TV is on the decline and will not be able to survive in the long term unless it gives the consumer what they want, when they want it. The only hope I see is the streaming medium whereby businesses can have their TV ads appear in certain regions for a massively reduced price. But while eyeballs are moving onto the Internet and mobile phones, if all the TV networks can do is try to hold the fort – they will die a very slow death.

PrizeNEWSPAPERS
1. Get your DVD, CD’s, Magazines and Souvenir editions with any newspaper! Read about Jennifer, Brad, Brittany, Kylie and any celebrity scandal you can think of (just get a photo and make up a story). Try as they might to grab some ‘Generation Me’ they continue to fail, despite trying really, really hard. Perhaps keeping the loyal readers might be an idea for long term survival.

Newspapers need to do what they do best and that is pure journalism instead of trumped up headlines and smut peddling (we can get that elsewhere thanks). They have made some great inroads online and I am sure they have a few years left until of course they have to bite the bullet and become FREE!

Prize
CORPSES
Here we have a bank that really knows how to sell! Firstly they repossess a home and then put it on the market for auction. Now this is one feature the new owners definitely did not pay for – a complete mummified corpse of its former owner, who had stopped making mortgage payments six years earlier.

Apparently the body, was preserved by the salty air in the Spanish seaside town of Roses and was found by, you guessed it – the buyer!

More Fun 2007 Dumb and Dumber Lists
Fortune Magazine 101 Dumbest Moments in Business
Business2 (USA) 101 Dumbest Moments
Daily News 50 Dumbest People in Hollywood

Domain, Fairfax, Microsoft, MyHome, Nine, PBL, Peter Ricci, REA, Realsearch, Sensis, Seven, Telstra, Ten, Yellow Pages

SEO For Real Estate
Listing Leads
Agentpoint Real estate

About Peter J Ricci

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

34 Responses to Dumb and Dumber Awards 2007

  1. Glenn Batten December 19, 2007 at 9:18 am #

    Got to agree with your winner – 100% .. I reckon it was the only one on your list that resulted in a mass loss of employment in 2007.

    Releasing a dog onto the real estate market after endlessly promising something spectacular shall forever be known as doing a Myhome!!! What I cant believe is the amount of agents that were sucked into continuing with their subscription through trickery at the end of the free trial. I wonder if Bill Gates will give them their money back…..

    Good to see you took number 7 on the chin.. I bet you will be on the lookout next April?

  2. Mark Cohen December 19, 2007 at 9:30 am #

    Ahhh.. Peter, at least give us credit for being the first site to roll out “get directions” on our property details (link just above the map). ๐Ÿ™‚

    We had some real issues plague us earlier in the year but we invested heavily in infrastructure upgrades and we’ve been running really well lately. No site issues in months and months, and check Nielsen for what our traffic is doing now ๐Ÿ˜›

    We’re really looking forward ot an exciting year next year. Here’s wishing you all the best.

    Mark

  3. Peter Ricci December 19, 2007 at 9:38 am #

    Well yes Glenn took it on the chin, there is a saying once bitten…..And Mark, I know how good you are mate, but gotta get it out there. Lots of things Domain are doing are great, and would love to see latest stats.

  4. Peter Ricci December 19, 2007 at 9:42 am #

    Gotta say too, any time anyone gives me a serve it is always from a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo account!

    Their courage is frightening.

  5. Glenn Batten December 19, 2007 at 10:26 am #

    Mark,

    You mentioned the new Neilsens figures.

    I had your rep crowing about the latest stats just yesterday but he had no details to give me… I took that to mean no real improvement in Queensland but your NSW figures are up higher, thus pushing your national figures up a little as well. Would that be on the money ??

    Dont forget about us Queenslander’s… the Liberal party did and look where that got them!!

  6. Robert Simeon December 19, 2007 at 12:00 pm #

    Dumb and dumber ? A fair assessment that requires in my opinion greater definition.

    All of the above media companies when one reviews 2007 – needs to classify their existance and progress as being either,

    1. Pro-active
    2. Reactive
    and
    3. Inactive

    Let’s look at the real estate category and you determine where they individually position themselves.

    * MyHome – an unmitigated financial disaster where it was doomed before launch given that the business plan for the evolution was destined to forever remain in the embryo. The real estate agents makes these decisions not the respective Head Offices. MyHome can atleast boast that someone made out of it – congratulations to the developers.

    *Cumberland Newspaper Group/ News Ltd – outlaid an estimated $180 million to acquire the Federal Publishing Co’s group of 16 community newspapers. Known today as the Sale of the Century given the recent findings of the competition cop – ACCC. Looks very much like that the Wentworth Courier will in 2008 no longer have restrictive advertising contracts with real estate agents where the spend has to be 75 per cent to The Wenty. Submissions in defence will be fabulous reading.

    Please explain why nearly 100 per cent of these advertising monies are paid by vendors – yet the real estate agents sign a restrictive agreement that many consider to be to the detriment of their clients. It could only happen in the East !

    When Rupert Murdoch spent $580 million to acquire Intermix the parent of MySpace many thought that this was just the start of his online acquisitions. Most disapointing in that this media mogul who just so happens to own the largest newspaper empire in Australia still does not own his own property portal to back- up his print empire. Content with a 50 and a bit holding in REA – industry observers question why News Ltd has not backed their print businesses with their very own(ed) property portal.

    Cumberland have been pro -active trying to lure Fairfax Media staff although they need to offer both print and online to be seen as a real – deal.

    *Fairfax – an aircraft carrier without a compass in the real estate world. Boasting a very impressive “Domain” where 2007 delivered print a budget surplus. Fairfax still struggle to understand how they better manage print and online where they sing from the same hymn book. Their difficulty being that they see their “Domain’s” competing with one another as against working together. Still lost with what they do with Australian Property Monitors which is a gold mine. However the conga line of micro-management ensures that the remedy of business marination remains to be realised for quite some considerable time to come. So easy to understand for some yet so difficult for Fairfax Media to grasp. Too many chiefs and not enough indians.

    *REA – the propaganda machine that has more traffic than the Cross City Tunnel. Implemented no online innovations in 2007 preferring to adopt a mantra of “same same but different”. Told umpteen times that they boast the most convoluted homepage – yet prefer to collect third party advertising monies. Obviously design recommendations continue to fall on deaf ears. Or, understandably making hay whilst the sun shines.

    From a strictly personal point of view I believe that media companies take the real estate revenue markets for granted. None really reinvented “the wheel” in 2007. They prefer to be inactive and only when a competitor becomes innovative they then become reactive.

    It would be refreshing to think that in 2008 they become pro-active, that said for this to happen they would need to take the real estate industry seriously as against viewing it from a spreadsheet.

    Our industry forever lives in hope !!

  7. Peter Ricci December 20, 2007 at 9:12 am #

    G’day Robert, I agree with you, this year was completely uninspired as far as new technologies and releases.

    It is disappointing, but I think so many big media companies were scared off by what happened to MyHome, but to me that is just a blimp.

    Someone will one day do something great that the industry will embrace, just don’t know who or when!

  8. snoop December 20, 2007 at 9:13 am #

    Some inciteful comment there Robert.
    I wonder at the Newscorp inefficiency running two sales forces one print one online.
    I also think the Global domination strategy of REA will be their undoing.
    They are the myhome of the uk and thats not going to change unless News stump up some cash and buy the No1 or No2

  9. Peter Ricci December 20, 2007 at 9:46 am #

    Not so sure if I agree with you on UK and International with REA, you don’t have to be number one, but you have to have a model that can get you there. Building a base takes time and with their revenues they can take their time, sure Newscorp can pretty much buy anyone but they have been found wanting with REA, not aggressive enough with offer a few years ago to purchase them. Maybe if they had of been as aggressive as they were with the Wall Street Journal they would have got them.

  10. Robert Simeon December 20, 2007 at 9:50 am #

    Thanks Peter – a Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    If the media companies are scarred off with the MyHome debacle they clearly then do not know what they are doing. Lets face it MyHome was atrociously advised on how to launch whereby they got offside with a vast majority of agents from day – one.

    What REA and Fairfax Media do differently to MyHome is that have have talented foot soldiers out in the suburbs promoting their respective brands. On the other hand MyHouse paid an enormous price in being guilty of assuming its brand would be consumed by agents without doing any leg work. A valuable lesson indeed.

    I agree totally that someone will be pro-active and this will catapult them well a head from their nearest rivals. This greatest furphy with online is the mentality that it will naturally attract consumers – a half truth. What I believe is needed is a reverse mentality where they take their brand to consumers which is definitely not the case today. Their respective business models are too sterotyped with a collective market sentiment of same same little difference. As a result these brands just idle along with no significant points of difference – aside from the predictable propaganda spin doctoring that force feed consumers.

    You don’t get upside unless you actually know where to start looking.

  11. Dave Platter December 20, 2007 at 11:04 am #

    This is another great list, Peter. Well done!

    You asked for traffic data. I’ve loaded the entire year’s NNR data online where you and any of your readers can download it free.

    Just go to the bottom right of this page:

    http://www.rea-group.com/press/

    (This doesn’t include Dec. because the month is still in progress.)

    Merry Christmas, everyone.

  12. Dave Platter December 20, 2007 at 11:05 am #

    Sorry, I wrote bottom right. It’s actually bottom left.

  13. Glenn Batten December 20, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    Dave,

    Interesting Stats.. thanks for making them available. I can see what the Domain Rep was going on about.

    They have closed the gap on you guys be 22.7% from August to November in relation to UB for the month (gap of 1,966,300 closed by 446,593 to 1,519707).
    Thats a pretty massive closure in such a small time and I bet it will have everyone waiting for the December stats to see if the gap continues to close.

    I guess the worrying thing for them is the Average Daily UB which has only closed 7.38% over the same period. They are getting more people to their site, but they dont seem to be returning regularly at the same rate.

    The other major thing these stats show is how restrictive Neilsens are. As a single agent we get more traffic than what those stats show realestate.ozfreeonline.com gets. Some notable exclusions from other major traffic sites quickly off the top of my head are First National and LJ Hooker. I guess all those groups dont pay Neilsens so they dont get ranked!!!

    Unfortunately it seems that the pathetic SEO tactics by homehound seems to be paying off with a massive increase of 57.75% in UB’s from May to October although they still have a long way to go before they offer a serious threat.

  14. Mark Cohen December 21, 2007 at 12:24 am #

    Hi Dave,

    I had a lot of fun playing with your spreadsheet, essentially the same numbers we use internally. One thing which is fantastic, and is observable in the data below the chart (not taking away from the chart showing that REA is a huge leader) is that the ground we’re all building on is changing shape and is very definitely not keeping still.

    Next year is going to be very interesting, I think we’re lucky to work in such an exciting industry.

    Mark

  15. PaulD December 21, 2007 at 4:56 pm #

    Very impressive numbers in that spreadsheet, considering as Glenn says, that anyone who doesn’t pay, doesn’t get off the bench.
    So let me get this right ( or someone please correct me if I’m wrong)
    I’m assuming that “PI” means Property Inspections.
    So in the Month of November, there were in excess of 691 Million property inspections in Australia ?
    That means every person in Australia, man woman and child had to look at more than 34 properties in the month of November on the websites listed in that table. I find that, to say the least, mind boggling.

  16. Peter Ricci December 22, 2007 at 11:42 am #

    Paul, I think you will find that PI is page impressions. Which basically means pages served.

  17. PaulD December 22, 2007 at 12:29 pm #

    Thanks Peter,
    That makes the numbers a bit more realistic. Am I right is assuming then, that if you look at a property with a lot of photos, there could be a dozen or more page impressions per property visited ? Also, if you clicked on one of the advertisers on the landing page, those too would be counted as page impressions.

    Oh, and Have a Happy Christmas !!

  18. Glenn Batten December 22, 2007 at 11:54 pm #

    PaulD

    Not quite, but close enough. Each photo would not register a page impression most of the time because they are loaded into one page.

    HOWEVER.. next time you browse their site check the address of every bit of information you look at and everytime you see the address change or a page refresh that will count as a PI.

    As an example.
    1. Browse to the home page
    2. Click on the map
    3. Select a suburb and click on start your search
    4. Too manyproperties so enter price range and click on refine search
    5. Nothing appeals click Next 10 to show you the next page of property
    6. Click on a property
    7. This suits so click on more images. Scroll through the images and close.
    8. You love it.. check the visits it has had to see if you will have competition
    9. Print a copy of the brochure to show the wife who gets home in 15 minutes
    9. Add it to your shortlist just in case you lose it before the wife gets back
    10. She loves it… Time to enquire. Click contact the agent
    11. Fill out your details and click submit to agnet.

    There you go, one visit and just one property and I racked up at least 11 seperate page impressions. Imagine how much I would have done if I viewed a dozen properties in the same visit.

    Hope that makes it a little clearer.

  19. Nick January 6, 2008 at 7:23 pm #

    Here’s an interesting observation I’ve made of the statistical warfare between Domain and RealEstate.com.au. REA’s stats show more traffic and more enquiries than Domain, typically. But REA’s volume of leads / UBs is diluted across a larger pool of listings. I’d be curious to know what the lead/UB:listing ratio was between the two sites to gain a more reliable comparison.

    Oh, and nice list Peter, got an addition perhaps: Watching Rupert Murdoch blow half a billion dollars on myspace has to be hoot #1 in my book. That site is the most dubiously constructed garbage ever to grace the internet

  20. Angus January 16, 2008 at 5:53 pm #

    Early candidate for Dumb and Dumber for 2008 appears to be the very Senior Manager at Fairfax Digital who is micro-managing his people so much that they are parachuting out left, right and centre.

    Up here in Qld there is hardly anyone left at Domain with more than six months experience and apparently most of their good people in the Southern States are hitting the recruitment agencies, other media orgs and of course the direct competition………can’t get to first base without having good people on your team

  21. Lance January 17, 2008 at 7:14 pm #

    Your write about Dumb & Dumber, The GM thinks he can get to 1st base and home for that matter on his own, I would like to see him achieve that

  22. Max January 21, 2008 at 11:27 pm #

    Dumb and dumber sums it up so well. You have to wonder why so many of the top performers from domain now work for realestate.com.au?
    Perhaps if the domain GM got out with the troops and actually met some clients and got a taste of the real market then he might not lose so many top performers. Instead he contiinues to play politics, hiring a team with Yes men and setting sales targets that are no way acheiveable in the non traditonal Fairfax markets.
    PS. if you want a job with domain just put you worked for sensis on your resume and your a shoe in.

  23. Chris January 22, 2008 at 7:48 pm #

    I think domain have hit a new low.

    I have just seen the most appalling

  24. Michael McNamara January 23, 2008 at 4:38 pm #

    The GM of Domain.com.au that I know gets out with his troops regularly. I find this gossip rather a bit of a yawn really.

    Of course, there are going to be disgruntled employees from time to time. Some of them might blog here, some of them might even go and work for REA.

    Guess what?

    There are more than one or two happy employees with Domain.com.au that used to wear an REA hat aswell.

    Big deal!

    BTW, does anyone realise that domain.com.au’s domestic business is growing faster than REA’s?

    The GM must be doing something right and I am here to tell you he is.

    So might I politely suggest that you find a more constructive use of your time than speculating about the comings and goings of Domain.com.au or REA.

  25. Peter Ricci January 23, 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    Can I please remind you all that I can tell if you are from a certain company, even if you post under a hotmail email address etc.

  26. Troy January 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm #

    Max please don’t ever decome a journalist, cause you are building a story on very fractured information and to think that the people that left domain.com.au have all been top performers???????.

    Maybe REA thought is was easer to buy back their market share that they lost to these top performs by throwing money at them rather than by cultivating their own internal people.

    It also suprises me how much inside information you think you have ( are you a mole working for fairfax and reporting from the inside). Cause you seem to know our GM daily movements,

    i also would like you to meet his team of so called “Yes men” there is nothing yes sir about them quite the opposite.

    Again your statement
    ” setting sales targets that are no way acheiveable in the non traditonal Fairfax markets.”

    Non traditional market ” how long has fairfax been advertising properties for the real estate market???????? do your self a favour a find out you just may swollow your other foot.

    If yor talking about digital media, it has not been around in its current strength for much more than 3 to 4 years – read a recenlty published book on “50 great E businesses” and you see that Realestate.com nearly collaped not to many years ago.

  27. Glenn Batten January 23, 2008 at 11:55 pm #

    Here is my suggestion for Dumb and Dumber

    Swipes against each other in anonymous posts using an IP address that tracks right back to your company and/or to another username is dumb.. Using fake names, free yahoo or hotmail address to hide your employer does not mean you can’t be traced … thats dumber….

    Peter has posted before openly warning people about the practice as he has done again in this post so I decided to have a look in the archives and just see how bad some of these perpetrators really are.

    We have the ability to filter posts by IP addresses, names, email addresses etc etc.. and generally when a post smells fishy a check shows up some interesting results.

    Members from the major property portals are not alone with the practice, but when the topic takes their fancy they seem to conduct a cloak and dagger campaign.

    I reckon we just name and shame. Hopefully the senior management in both camps do not condone this practice and if the posts are highlighted they can track down the offenders. If you have an association that should be declared on a specific post, please do so but I reckon if you make a post that is clearly misleading in anyway then you should expect to be outed and your actions on display for all to see.

    In the past there has been posts blatantly stating to be agents and members of the public all the while hiding their affiliation with one company or another. That is just wrong is so many ways.

  28. Greg Vincent January 24, 2008 at 11:07 pm #

    Thanks Glenn, That was getting a bit heavy. I would like to change the subject with maybe something more helpful to agents & discuss #12 The Vanity Yard Signs.

    I understand that self promotion is vitally important to the real estate agent, but I have to agree with this nomination to have a full scale image of the agent on the sign is going too far. Who

  29. Glenn Batten January 25, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    Greg,

    With QR Codes (see my recent article for links on the subject) about to explode here thanks to a campaign by Telstra Next G you will soon have to find space on the sign for a barcode as well. Like all good marketing hype Telstra insinuate it is their technology exclusive to Next G but barcode readers are already inbuilt into many new phones and are available for download for many more..

    I wonder which portal is going to offer an inbuilt Barcode creator to their pages so agents can use direct links into each property in their advertising.

    When Joe Blow Public starts seeing the ads about how they work they will all want to try it out somewhere!!!.. Well at least the Gen Y’s will..

  30. Glenn Batten January 30, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    Greg,

    Thanks for your call yesterday. I think the concept has merit in Australia with the right templates and correct price point. If you search this blog you will find a few posts and comments discussing the different requirements between US and Australian Consumers. I think REA was the source for much of that.

    Speaking of REA, after you hung up yesterday I had a bit more of a poke around of your site. One thing I found interesting was that your site http://www.homewebsites.com.auuses a lot of REA code.

    When I say a lot, it seems all the behind the scenes code is the same as REA’s and only the content itself appears changed. Its as though an REA web designer did the site for you.

    You even use the REA CSS file referencing it direct to their site with

    plus you use the REA Netratings code on the site.
    var _rsCI=”realestate”;

    Clearly your other sites http://www.websites4yourlistings.com and http://www.w4yl.com are direct rips off the US version of http://www.listingdomains.com but thats what what I would expect since you are a reseller.. but the domain you seem to be pushing most, at least here is http://www.homewebsites.com.

    This raises a question… is the REA group an owner or an investor, albeit a silent one, in the HomeWebsites business or did they just do your web design for you??

    Cheers

    Glenn

  31. Dave Platter January 30, 2008 at 3:50 pm #

    Dave from the REA Group here.

    Glenn, that’s very interesting. I’ll check this out…

    dave

  32. Greg Vincent January 31, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    Thank you Glenn for taking a look at our site and for pointing out something when you found it. Things have been happening so quickly here that I haven

  33. Tom S February 1, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    I smell litigation over software ip (intelectual property). I would begin to distance myself from this particular web page designer. BTW, this isn’t one of the ones who is now employeed by Domain by any chance?

  34. Glenn Batten February 1, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    If the code was used without authority.. and from Greg’s comments that appears as though it is likely, it probably tells you plenty about the web designer, rather than something to get to hot and bothered about although I am sure a letter is in the mail!

    There would be no real loss about it to justify anything more than a harsh letter and a takedown demand. It is only a menu system and relevant css code and any decent web designer would be able to knock that up very easily… They just chose to steal it.

    It does not show any brains to steal within the same industry in the same country and then leave easily identifiable things like the Neilsen’s code in there. Copyright is certainly applicable to their code but I doubt the losses would warrant too much effort.

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