In another post I was asked to comment about my thoughts on the recent article in the Australian Real Estate Bulletin on myhome titled “Under Renovation”. Since that question was off topic I thought it worthwhile to give the response its own post.
If you have not seen the article you can read the online version (whilst Issue 2 is still on display) at www.areb.com.au/emag.php.
I think myhome has huge potential but it just has a couple of big hairy monkeys on its back that it has to shake off.
The first is the reputation of the dismal failure of its previous owners and that’s exactly what that article was about. It’s funny that Shane states in the article that he does not believe PBL tarnished the myHome name but then spends the rest of the article distancing himself from the previous owners and claiming the new site will be fundamentally different. It did nothing else but scream “It Wasn’t Me!!”.
How big this particular monkey is only time will tell but the article does a good job of spreading the right news for him. The other big hairy thing weighing myhome down is the whole data issue that Robert often refers to. There database has too many inaccuracies and its a problem they have had since day one. Better it maybe but fixed it is not. On top of this myHome now has the double whammy and that is very little data and what is there is too often either out of date or is just plain wrong.
I did a quick count of houses and units for sale in Nerang.
Realestate.com.au has all 8 Nerang based agents and 253 listings for Houses and Units in Nerang
Domain.com.au has 3 Nerang based agents and 133 listings for Houses and Units in Nerang
Myhome.com.au has just 1 of the Nerang based agents and 35 houses and Units in Nerang however 6 of them are multiple entries of the same property by the same agent.
It is not unusual to find the same property listed by many agents on any portal) ie. an open listing) but the same property should only be listed by the same agent once. Both realestate.com.au and domain.com.au jump on these very quickly to keep their data as clean as possible. myHome needs to place as much of its time to clean up what its got on their now as it does to finding new data sources.
The problem for myHome (and for domain for that matter) is that although they still have property for sale, realestate.com.au has the same properties and more… much much more. I know that is not the case in every district in Australia but it is for the vast majority.
There are still positives for myhome though. The site is getting much better lately. On a strictly technology front it is far superior to the other two major portals. It’s failure to attract audience was never about the technology, it was the user interface that had the problems.
No doubt the hardware that he got in the deal was the best money could buy and we already know it was put under much higher loads that what it is seeing now. Many of the multi-loaders and real estate groups already have data connections set-up to myhome. They have just been switched off and Shane’s job is to get them to switch it back on.
I think the industry as a whole would like to see him succeed. I can still remember disgruntled staff members blaming real estate agents on this blog for myhome’s failure. Nothing could be further than the truth. I don’t know anybody that likes realestate.com.au’s dominance of the real estate industry. I have been to a number of training events recently where the speakers have specifically spoken out about agents getting out from under the control of REA. Healthy competition should do that and to borrow from the democrats, a strong myHome will keep the “bastards” honest.
I wish Shane all the best. I hope for our sake that he can pull it off. If he can fix the data errors we will be lending our support by flicking the switch and I would urge everyone else to as well. But like always, if that results in angry phone calls from buyers about wrong data, old listings etc that plagued the old myHome we will turn it off again just as fast.
A second chance … Yes!
A third… No!