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7 Reasons to Give MyHome a Go

6 minute read

Late last year in a thread about the relaunch of Myhome I commented on this  blog that I was willing to reconnect our property feed to Myhome if they fixed their data accuracy issues. That bear seems to be back in its cage so we reconnected our feed.

Since returning to Myhome I am happy to confirm absolutely no problems so far. Of course right at the moment we are not getting swamped with enquiries but any extras at all right now are much appreciated.

So the question remains why should Australian agents start using the myhome service?
First of all let make this clear. I have absolutely no Myhome agenda, I have no connection with the company other than as an agent who uses the portal, and the only reason you should proceed with Myhome is if its good solution for you and your agency.

Another thing worth pointing out is I started writing this article early last week prior to my previous articles about the on the recent REA price rise and the subscription price freeze. The timing is purely coincidental.

Reason 1
The errors and problems on the site seem to be gone now so what have you got to lose. We have been back on Myhome for nearly two months without one issue about wrong listing information.

Reason 2
Teddy Roosevelt (not Kevin Costner) first said “If you build it, they will come”.  Shane Dale has been highly successful building the connections back to the major real estate groups behind the scene.   Myhome appears to have struck arrangements with just about all the major real estate groups. They also have been re-establishing with many of the multi loaders who represent a large chunk of the independent agents.

What this means is that very soon, certainly in a matter of week rather than months, the number of properties on myhome will increase substantially. The chances are your opposition is going to be on board, so should you.

Reason 3
Only a portal with the majority of Australian agents can put pressure on realestate.com.au. If agents decide en masse to suspend their property feed to realestate.com.au then realestate.com.au will soon find what agents have known for quite awhile. Buyers have absolutely no loyalty and will abandon them in a heartbeat for somebody that does have the property for sale.

Please understand that I am not suggesting we go out and do this, just that any portal that provides that option, such as a stronger Myhome would “keep the bastards honest”. Whilst Domain is subscription based they are never going to be in a position to have the majority of offices so could not provide the leverage the industry needs.

I know we all have contracts with REA but I don’t think there is anything that says that we must send them properties. Imagine if just 30-40% of all agents stopped uploading properties for 2 months to realestate.com.au and the only place to go on the web to find the majority of  properties for sale was Myhome.  What if 4 or 5 major groups cut the feed just for a month as a form of protest?

If the properties disappear from realestate.com.au the buyers will find them wherever they have gone. Besides the press would jump all over a story like that. Before you know it buyers would soon find their way to myhome.com.au. The net effect is that in a very short time realestate.com.au’s traffic would fracture. If agents could then sniff similar enquiry levels for virtually no cost then their REA’s future income growth would be in doubt and their share price would suffer.

M.A.D (Mutually Assured Destruction) is an insane concept but it kept the superpowers in line during the cold war just because it “could” happen.  I am not suggesting we go out on “strike” against REA, not in the slightest, but just to have the ability to do it might keep them a bit more grounded. At the moment they know that there is no choice and they can do what they want with impunity.

Reason 4
More links to your website from other “authoritative” real estate websites provide better search engine optimisation. This in turn means more free traffic to your own website. The stronger your website the less your online success is bound to the portals. Too many agents have 95% of their business online generated by the portals. This is no magic bullet but is one single step in getting your website to rank better.

Reason 5
It’s FREE!  Lots of people have called for a fully featured free portal, now that it’s here we need to support it or else it may disappear and we lose it altogether. There might be a slight fee if your multi loader charges for setting up the feed but most don’t. The portal itself is free and best of all there is no contract period locking you in for 12 or 24 months.  If for some reason you’re not happy… just leave.

Shane Dale has advised me that he is even locking it in contractually that MyHome will always be free.  I will let him explain the details to us all.

Reason 6
Lets face it, any lead right now is gold and most agencies will take whatever leads they can get. Even if Myhome delivers you a handful of enquiries per week its worth every penny it costs!

Reason 7
Domain is in trouble. Many agents around the country have been sold on having a dual subscription to realestate.com.au and domain.com.au but belt tightening has seen many drop their second portal subscription and in the majority of cases that’s been domain..  Myhome can help fill the gap if you have cancelled your Domain subscription like many others at the moment and you can still promote to your owners that you upload to multiple portals.

Don’t sit back and do nothing. Agents need the free portals to be successful and this one is not associated with any competitor group so there should be no argument to get involved. If you are waiting for it be successful portal in terms of the level of enquires generated before you jump on board consider that the fact that it wont be successful unless agents get behind it.

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31 Comments

  • scott
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 2:41 pm 0Likes

    It would be really interesting to get a summary from Shane, regarding how myHome will make the required revenues to keep the business moving forwards in the future. I understand that display ads, and enhanced listings will help drive this. But will this be enough to support the growth of the site?

  • Craig
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm 0Likes

    And while your at it, start uploading to Google Base. It’s free and can only do good things for your search engine traffic.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm 0Likes

    Glenn, looking down the track a little…won’t REA just buy MyHome like they have with any other competition like property.com.au in the past.

    Agents all hate the monopoly REA have over the industry.

    I’m all for competition and keeping the ‘bastards honest’ but most business owners will have their price. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

    I believe that so long as Shane doesn’t get tempted to upload private sellers like domain have done in the past MyHome could definitely ruffle a few feathers at REA.

    And as for Domain…when MyHome came out initially it seemed to be a case of 2’s company 3’s a crowd. Now with the free subscription model MyHome could have the same impact back on Domain.

    Good luck with it all Shane…I hope it kicks some butt.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm 0Likes

    Some very valid points are made here. When MyHome was first launched after all the hype it was a complete debacle. I like the new changes that Shane has made and this time around we actually have a point of contact – which was not the case before Shane acquired it.

    Agents have their heads buried in the sand if they don’t support it. I had a chuckle when I recieved this email from homehound this afternoon.

    A recently published article on business2.com.au details an open forum of discussions amongst agents on price increases to some advertising products offered by realestate.com.au. This concludes the simple solution for all agents, to put a call to action to support the FREE industry alternative.

    At homehound.com.au we are committed to delivering real estate agents throughout Australia a strong and FREE alternative in the online real estate category.

    Unlike our competitors, we believe that the cost of advertising should be able to be substantially lowered

  • Shane Dale
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm 0Likes

    Thanks Glenn for your article – its appreciated.

    I have tried hard to make model that can satisfy the political and technical requirements of the industry – i.e being free, having solid technical services, reliable data feeds and so forth.

    I am sorry I am not able at this time to go into depth about our business plans but we do operate on a far smaller cost basis than REA – and I did get the operation at a great discount from the estimated $20 million spent on the venture. I am not far from cashflow positive, i run a tighter and smaller ship than PBL. Regarding marketing – we are almost ready for the new website, the new TV ads, and new Point of sale, and offers, which are slated for launch within weeks.

    That creates the opportunity – the reality is that agents need to join, otherwise its a wasted opportunity. Regarding selling to REA or any other media player – its a concern from all groups, and there are moves to ensure that cannot happen contractually – but its not there yet. So the answer is – if you want to mould your perfect portal, please join and talk to your head offices to ensure they speed the process up whereby they feel happy with the model. Regarding loading to google, from my point of view that is a decision based upon the desires of the members, I will follow what is asked of me in that regard.

  • Brian Speechley
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 3:57 pm 0Likes

    Glenn, your comments are welcome and should awaken agents to their plight. For many years we as agents have been raped by the local newspapers, specialist real estate magazines, tenancy databases and now real estat portal operators on the internet. It appears we must enjoy it, because we keep going back for more.

    Our industry groups (state REI’s) had the opportunity some years ago to establish a national tenancy database but it never happened and a multitude of privately owned databases appeared. Agents then made their choices as to which they would use and now, to protect your landlords, it is necessary to subscribe to a number of different databases. The same groups also had the opportunity to build real estate portals some years ago but no, private enterprise did so and now hold us to ransom.

    Unfortunately, agents as a group will not stand up for themselves and individually we don’t believe we have the strength. More unfortunate, is that were we to stand as a group and stop advertising in the local press or uploading our properties to Real Estate and Domain, there will be one amongst us who would see it as an opportunity to advertise to vendors that “Joe Blow dosn’t advertise in The Local Rag or on REA or Domain but our agency does” and break away from the group to better their own position, without thought for the others or the long term of the industry. I apologise if I appear negative but this is the sorry picture of our industry.

    For once, folks, why don’t we forget our competitive spirit and pull together and show these people that we have had enough and from, say the 9th February, 2009, all stop feeding our properties to the portals until they lower or remove their outrageous pricing. Not only do they pick up subscriptions from agents but they also get additional advertising income from the banners and click throughs.

    Enough is enough – let us all, as an industry make a stand.

  • Shane Dale
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm 0Likes

    forgot to mention – we don’t accept listings from private sellers, ONLY licensed agents

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 6:41 pm 0Likes

    Brian,

    As you state, even if there was another portal that was able to step into the void trying to send some sort of message cannot be done from the ground up.

    Human nature would kick in and some agents would break ranks. It would need to be lead from the top. From the real estate groups themselves who in most cases control the on off switch for their whole network, from industry groups and bodies.

    The larger networks are all over 400+ members around the country. I reckon if just 4 or 5 networks flicked the switch for the month, supported by the state and national institutes driving other smaller groups and independents you could easily get 25 to 30% of the number of agencies suspending property feeds. My gut feeling is that would represent 30 to 50% of the actual properties.

    I would like to think just having the ability to do it would be enough of a deterrent, especially to a company that if they incorrectly called the industry’s bluff could cause an avalanche especially in a publicly listed company.

  • Simon
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 6:44 pm 0Likes

    To be fair – or Devil’s advocate if you will, and no disrespect intended – Joe Public haven’t a clue who Myhome are, and I can’t see that changing without subscription rates, which will fund advertising of the site into the marketplace.
    Despise REA or Domain as much as you like, but it is undeniable that they deliver traffic largely due to their vast media networks (when was the last time you took out a Half Page ad in the Myhome Times, or picked up the Myhome Daily newspaper on your doorstep?) – media networks and household names that we would be leaving en mass if we made the switch.
    What good is it being on a site that no one has heard of?

    Furthermore, what good is it being on a site that is dominated by agent traffic? Unless of course I am missing something, and the general public isn’t our demographic anymore.
    It would be naive to think that it won’t cost us money in the long run. How long could a free Petrol Station survive? A free Hairdresser? Be serious folks.

    I am (apparently in the minority) happy I have Domain in my area keeping REA honest, and whilst willing to try a third site, to tell the truth, we won’t be leaving either REA or Domain – they are an integral part of what we do, like it or not, especially as we are moving away from print.
    Domain is the cheaper of the two in our area, and whilst delivers less traffic per listing, the enquiry equals REA every time, so to counter Point 7, I think that is a gross generalisation, to be fair to ‘the enemy’..

    Brian, I honestly admire your ‘we stand as one’ mantra, but my office wouldn’t survive without these sites, of this I am 100% sure.
    In my “Zone” (as their respective representatives call it) we can spend $1000 and cover both our subscriptions to REA and Domain for a whole month. Luckily VPA pays for most of it.
    Compare that spend in a local rag – I’d MAYBE be able to advertise four listings for one week (you need a Full Page to be seen) for $1000…a week.
    So, here I sit – Four listings for one week in one paper, or all my listings for one month, on two sites backed up by the media juggernauts they belong to?
    The ‘no brainer’ for me is to stay with these two sites.

    What exactly are they ‘too expensive’ compared to?
    Newspapers? No.
    Magazines? No.
    Television? No.
    Radio? No.
    Could I even print and letter-box drop as many homes as they drive to my listings per month for the same overheads (paper, ink, man hours to deliver)? No. No. No and absolutely No.

    When/if Myhome align themselves with 300 or so nationally syndicated newspaper publications, starts running television commercials + radio ads, and their site traffic not generated by us agents, I’ll think about it.

    Glenn -you honestly think Cumberland and Fairfax publications will jump all over this do you? Really? And promote Myhome? Um..?
    I think we all probably have other things to be worried about.
    Glenn and Shane, I hope the business venture goes well for you both. Not that I’m suggesting anything…

  • Simon
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 7:16 pm 0Likes

    (last line was a tad sarcastic, apologies to the author, i realise the piece is written with good intentions)

  • Craig
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 7:47 pm 0Likes

    Simon, unless MyHome have millions to burn they would be foolish to embark on a mass media advertising campaign initially. Instead they should invest heavily in SEO. Over 50% of realestate.com.au’s traffic comes directly from google, and not by people typing “realestate.com.au” into google, but by typing “3 bedroom house in elwood”. Doing SEO marketing is considerably cheaper and will give much better bang for buck. For example, just by business2.com.ay talking about MyHome today they have indirectly generated 10’s of thousands of visits for MyHome (if MyHome are smart).

    Sure, to get the last 20% you need mass media, but don’t think you can’t build a very large amount of traffic just on the back of internet marketing.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm 0Likes

    Simon,

    I think a bit more than a tad sarcastic.. but hey thats cool. I always find that people who start out with “I don’t mean to offend” or “I don’t mean to be disrespectful” or even “no disrespect intended” in fact mean exactly the opposite, and your closing confirms that despite your followup.

    It may shock you to know that I have never met Shane. Other than public exchanges on this site I have since swapped a few emails and a phone call.

    If you don’t see the value to you and your agency, then by all means don’t list your properties.

    As to a couple of the things you stated though..

    How do you figure that Myhome is only agent traffic? Every agent I know uses realestate.com.au for their research.. In fact I doubt that even 0.1% of Myhome’s traffic would be from agents and I have no idea where you are getting that from.

    You are, IMHO dreaming if you think realestate.com.au gets their traffic from traditional media. We know Google is responsible for 30%+ from a comment Simon Baker made but the rest we can only guess at.

    If you think Fairfax would not jump over any opportunity to “stick it” to REA your kidding yourself. You just have to look at the snipes between them in their respective papers in the past. As to the public knowing that the properties are located on another portal.. they will very quickly find where the properties are located.. Of that I have no doubt. Besides, I reckon 90% of internet based successes make it without print advertising.

    As to the success of portals with a free base subscription you only to have look at other markets around the world for that. Trulia, Zillow, Google and hundreds of others survive on selling advertising space and premium addons to agents. Not one of them charges agents to upload data. You do realise that you don’t have to have a massive sales team running around the country, a stable full of senior managers and and an executive all on huge salaries and annual bonuses.

    You can spend $1000 a month now but what does a compounding 25% annual increase do to you in just 4 or 5 years? What about 10? Get your calculator out and work out what you will be paying.

    REA.. what is it too expensive too… . Try other methods of internet marketing. Apples for apples. You can’t compare the cost of an internet ad to a newspaper ad despite what REA and Domain tell you. The reason why portals cost so much in Australia is that they are run by old-media companies.

    How would we survive without them?? Your kidding right? How long have you been in this industry as you sound like the REA and Domain Marketing Department..? If every portal turned off tomorrow we as agents will still sell property… and without resorting to letterbox drops either.. You do realise we sold real estate before portals, in fact we sold real estate before the internet as well? Before mobile phones even!!

    I have only put reasons what I believe that an agency should get on board. If thats not enough for your agency then thats your decision.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 9:08 pm 0Likes

    Gee, have I stumbled into a hippy commune for old real estate agents here?! Agents sharing? What next?!

    Good luck, Shane. Sincerely meant as it would save us all a lot of mulah but wresting back the control is a long bow I think when we’re dealing with a savvy entrepreneur as you – not that there’s anything wrong with you making a buck out of it!

    As I said t’other day, I don’t think that having ‘just another portal’ is going to get the enquirers to the site. PBL couldn’t do it with their clout. Homehound is next best from the Big 2 and it might as well not exist. Realestateview can’t even do it in Victoria or Sth Aust. No matter how Enzo likes to play with himself over the fact that it has very good agency support, the public doesn’t go there.

    I’m looking for a new model and I think Google plays a part but perhaps not necessarily the defining role.

    If you will pay my ‘uploader’ the couple of $grand to implement the feed to you, we’ll certainly have a dip though.

    Rgds,
    Sal 🙂

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 9:28 pm 0Likes

    Craig,

    I am glad you mentioned that. We have always been successful with SEO but something Peter Farrell said in his post about adwords struck a chord. That was to capture leads from the traffic you generate and to remarket directly to them through newsletters and followup emails.

    In the past couple of months we have created a strategy to capture as many buyer and seller leads and to re-market repeatedly to those leads. In short we have ramped up our e-marketing strategies to maximise on our SEO successes.

    I intend to do an article on different things we have tried and whats given success and what hasn’t. One this is guaranteed, dollar for dollar SEO and e-marketing kick portal butt.

  • Simon
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 11:11 pm 0Likes

    All completely valid points Glenn, and despite my not agreeing with you entirely, i can’t argue a lot of what you are saying either. How’s that for a dodge / white flag?

    We will give MyHome a go – there’s nothing to lose – my main point was that the other sites do what i need them to do also. Upon further reflection, i’d be happy if Domain superseded REA in the food chain, with MyHome coming in as the #2. Like countless others, i am fed up with REA’s monopolising ‘you NEED us’ mentality, which i don’t find Domain or Homehound have, nor MyHome had in its last incarnation.

    My opinion is that, currently, the two main sites are working for my team, where other media is falling down. I can only speak for our office. It’s working, so we run with it. Sure i’d rather it was free, but as i compare media spend to media spend, it fares better than any.
    Obviously forecasting constant 25%pa hikes in rates from the portals is, to quote my daughter ‘freakin’ mental’, and i would hope common sense would prevail in this event. I may have just defined ‘oxymoron’ – we’ll see.

    No doubt as we become more up to speed with SEO, our own sites will hopefully deliver the traffic we require, but until then (and i do hope it is soon, don’t get me wrong) these two are necessary for me to reach my audience.
    Of course homes were sold prior to the ‘digital age’, but the ‘digital age’ is where we are right now, and these two sites are delivering our team a combined 86 email enquiries per week, with another 42 calls via Domain’s free call service which we just picked up.
    What’s more impressive is that i remembered how to get these figures from my side of their sites!

    Regarding my ‘agent traffic’ comment for MyHome, it was a bit of a ‘if a tree falls in the woods’ comment – we’ve all heard the pitch – REA drive eyeballs through their community papers and sites, news.com.au etc, and Domain link through their community papers and sites, SMH, ninemsn, eBay etc etc. My concern is simply that these are factors which have to come into play, and are undeniable. MyHome simply can not deliver that traffic for me. I hope one day it can, really.

    Again, i may be in the minority, and that is fine – what works for some may not be for others.
    I read my post(s), and i concede that i seem like a spokesperson for REA and Domain – mock me all you want, i feel worse inside for it than you could ever dish out!
    Good luck Shane, and keep blogging Glenn, i’m reading.

  • Shane Dale
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm 0Likes

    Gentlemen – some of the comments here simply illustrate why the major portals are so relaxed when it comes to industry community style portals – they rely upon some of the industry sitting on the fence. Here are some points to consider

    1. google never advertised, they achieved dominance over established players by doing it better, and growing by referral ONLY – no major media players involved!

    2. realestate.co.nz is an industry owned portal which recently rebuffed a sustained effort from REA and won the battle for agents on a $200 per month fee. You see it can be done.

    3. Myhome is free – so is homehound and whoever else – your listings can be sent to all of them and see who can come up with a winning formula. What risk is that to you? if you are the type to whine about an $11 a month fee ( the maximum I have heard from loaders – most do it free) while REA raises your rates – I dont have an answer for you, sorry.

    4. Myhome is a commercial proposition – that is my challenge not yours, and yes I am well aware of the need to drive traffic to the site. As I said before, we have a lower target to hit to stay alive. I dont need to kill REA and domain to be successful – at this stage I recommend using them, and also Myhome!

    Some commenters here make the point that the existence of Myhome and others is part of the way to “keep the bastards honest” or at least reasonable. The money you don’t spend with myhome may well be the best free investment you make in minimising portal fees from REA and domain.

    Thus we return to the original topic – load to myhome and let me deal with the other issues thats all I ask – thats the only way I can deliver benefit to the industry which then ultimately delivers some benefits to myhome as a commercial entity. Honestly i dont see why its such a big decision for some – the good news is we are having a 95% plus agree to load on an office by office basis. its a free world – join or dont – I cant force you to do so, only encourage you to. Thats all this article is about – finding out why agents should or should not load to myhome. Happy to answer any questions along the way! Regards, Shane Dale

  • Shane Dale
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 11:16 pm 0Likes

    Forgive me if the previous post comes across as a little blunt guys – its meant with the best intentions!

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 11:36 pm 0Likes

    ‘to capture leads from the traffic you generate and to remarket directly to them through newsletters and follow up emails. ‘

    Glenn, Peter Farrell is on the right track with this great strategy.

    Agents should look at a combination of 3 things when adopting an online marketing strategy- The first 2 being increased traffic & increased conversion.

    With conversion being the first component to get right, because once you get the conversion right on your site, you can then simply increase the traffic via SEO, PayPerClick campaigns etc & convert traffic into dollars.

    But the 3rd fundamental, re-marketing repeatedly to those leads is where it all falls apart for many agents.

    Lots of agents don’t continually market to their database which means that the client will soon forget them & those agents that do regular newsletters normally do them monthly only.

    At an absolute minimum it should be every 10 days, with weekly newsletters being the preference.

    This is simply because not everyone will read your email & you’ll find that most email marketers would consider a 25% opening rate above average (depending upon the warm of the relationship that exists with the database).

    If an agent is only doing monthly newsletters this means that it can take months to communicate with everyone within the database.

    Example. As long as each time they sent out an email somebody different from within their database opens the newsletter & PLUS if they continue to get the same 25% email opening rate then they’ll have finally communicated their message to their whole database after some 4 months (That’s only 3 times a year).

  • Simon
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 12:26 am 0Likes

    Not blunt at all Shane, thanks for the clarity.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 12:43 am 0Likes

    Greg,

    I actually cant remember the exact quote he said.. and I think it was in the comments as we discussed click through rates and costs per click , but he focussed on the fact that somebody (his client? cant remember) was paying for clicks from the same people because the visitors were redoing the same search and using the ads to navigate back to his site and one of his clients averaged around 50c or so per click..

    This is all from memory here… The point that I think I was stating at the time was that I found cost per click very expensive.

    Peter pointed out that instead of getting the visitor to come once (and sometimes back again) at 50c per visit, it would be better to get them signed up to your newsletter for 50c a click because then your going to contact them x number of times in a year, all for the cost of the original visit.

    That sounded good to me so I took the strategy and expanded on it for organic traffic as well as paid. We always did newsletters and still do but the approach is different and we now do lots of other things as well. As I said earlier I intend documenting my experiences.. the good the bad and the ugly.. But the results in just a short time is very impressive.

  • Danny
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 6:06 am 0Likes

    Shane
    When one does a suburb search on myhome, the generated list with accompanying thumbails of each property does not identify the agent on this each page.

    If myhome was redesigned to permit the agents logo to appear in the list, we would consider coming on board.

    The absence of the identity of the agent on this page is one of the reasons we haven’t commited.

    There is ample room for an agents logo to appear below the “icons”, hence, would this be considered?

  • Rhino
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 9:27 am 0Likes

    I have trouble undestanding agents sometimes!

    Myhome provides a free portal to market your properties and generate free leads. If Myhome provides 1 lead to your agency then it is worthwhile giving them a go. If you don’t think so then why don’t you ask your vendors who pay you a minimum of 2.5% commission to sell their property as efficiently as possible!

    To say “The absence of the identity of the agent on this page is one of the reasons we haven

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 9:51 am 0Likes

    Simon,
    This industry is at this moment in time as close to getting out from under a corporations grasp than it has been for a very long time.

    Players like Myhome, homehound and Google are providing us an opportunity but one of the keys to this is the support. I believe Google will get that support because of their reputation.

    The US for different reasons was able to get out from under the grasp of their paid portal who incidentally are still the market leader in the states, but with a market share of under 5% they do not have the power that REA has in Australia. Their industry association NAR also has a leading role in technology issues. They created RETS which stands for Real Estate Transaction Standard. They control it, and they provide the industry leadership and direction in tech issues. In Australia we have the realestate.com.au standard. We let them decide how it all works and this has ramifications… If REA does not want to integrate audio and video feeds, high resolution photos and other things into their property feed standard they dont and other portals find it far more difficult to be innovative.

    As has been pointed out by Peter, myself and many others on this blog the Australian industry groups have dropped the ball. They know it, we know it. I

    I dont have as much of a problem with Domain but that is probably based on the fact that they are not in the lead position so they cant get aways with the things REA do. Would they be any different if it was them with a stranglehold on the industry??? Interesting questions and there will be a bunch of opinions.

    The good thing is that we can do something about it by uploading to the free optiions as long as their portals are professional, If it does not help the industry through methods that i have suggested then you really have lost nothing, but still gained some enquiries. In my mind there really is nothing to lose.

    REA is the biggest game in town and you really do need to be on them but spread the love around and it might, just might come back to repay you.

  • SSSR
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 1:13 pm 0Likes

    Well i am pleased to say, as a consumer, I used MyHome yesterday to find a property I could not find on REA!! How is that! I also found this property via a Google search where MyHome came up trumps over the other portals.

    Ive said previously in this blog elsewhere that I have MyHome in my favourites. I was very impressed with the layout and look and the virtual tour interface.

    I know I have been critical in the past regarding this portal, which has more to do with its previous owners, but I am genuinely impressed.

    So Shane, this is consumer feedback, I like the site and I am excited by the technology prospects you plan to implement, and I will continue to use your site to find the properties of interest to me.

    Real Estate Agents should load, I am sure there are a few more consumers that are keen for a fresh change.

    Consumers are fickle however, so MyHome need to ensure continual evolution of their platform and avoid the REA trap of ‘dont fix whats not broken’ because in the IT world, it may not be technically broken, but things get outdated very quickly.

  • PaulD
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 4:56 pm 0Likes

    Danny,
    What you have to realise is that the public don’t care which agent you are. You are the only one who cares. The internet has changed the focus from agent focus to property focus. When they email you to enquire about a property, then it’s up to you. If you disappoint them they won’t come back. If you please them, they will. Really, it’s that simple.

  • Craig
    Posted February 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm 0Likes

    PaulD, I agree with you. The buyer doesn’t care who the agent is. As much as an agent may not like it, the buyer doesn’t consider them any more than a sales guy, like the guy who sold them a pair of shoes this morning.

  • Sue Clark
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm 0Likes

    I am ready to seek any alternative to realestate.com. My company has recently been suspended from the site due to a breach “listing a property more than once for a different price” We have just listed a property with 3 titles. A house on one title and 2 separate allotments. the owner will sell the property either as a whole or all lots separately. We listed these properties on realestate.com as such 1.House on one title 395K 2. land 69K & 79K 3. House on 3 titles 495K. We have been victimised recently through no fault of our own (an error with our upload provider) but since then every listing is being scrutinised and we have had 3 warnings again through no fault of our own. I am ready to take legal action against realestate.com

  • Trevor
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 2:13 pm 0Likes

    OK, I’ve waited long enough. I read PaulD and Craig’s posts while I had a bite to eat a couple of ours ago and have left the blog open, expecting agents to queue up to dispute their comments.

    I completely agree that the internet has changed the way consumers search for or seek out properties to purchase and I’m genuinely impressed with PaulD’s use of language – “The internet has changed the focus from agent focus to property focus. When they email you to enquire about a property, then it

  • Craig
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 2:46 pm 0Likes

    Trevor, I believe brand matters when selling a house. If an agent has done a good job of selling your house in the past you are bound to go back. But in regards to buying a house, I don’t know what an agent can offer a seller to make them give a referral. I just bought a house a 6 months ago and the agent didn’t do anything for me, they basically just showed us around the house during the open days and thats about it. They might have done a lot of ground work for the seller, but for the buyer, nothing that would make me give them a referral.

  • PaulD
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 2:58 pm 0Likes

    Trevor,
    I agree that agents benefit from branding and a lot of the other stuff you said. My point is that for a person who has had no contact with an agent from a particular area, that the name doesn’t mean a lot. Say for example a person knew they were going to be transferred from Melbourne to Brisbane. I will guarantee you that they get onto a real estate website, they firstly enter the location they would like to look in, they then enter the price range they think they can afford, and perhaps no. of bedrooms, garages, pool etc. they then hit SEARCH.

    What the vast majority of people DON’T do is go to an agent’s website and search for properties there – and the single reason they don’t do that, is because they know that any particular agent will not have on their website all the properties that are available in that area.

    Once they click on the property that appeals to them, more than likely, they will email the agent. Sometimes they print off the brochure and wait till they get to the area, walk into the office and ask to have a look at a particular property. How do I know this ? Because I have seen it happen time after time.

    The thing that really annoys people ( I was going to use stronger language than annoy there) is when a property is on the website and it has been sold. That causes the first crack in the agent’s credibility, the second crack is when the details are incorrect, or the price is wrong. By then you have lost them, and it’s your fault for wasting the opportunity. None of that has anything to do with branding, they leave disappointed because you or your office disappointed them, and in many cases the owner of the business never finds out.

  • Brian Phillips
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 4:04 pm 0Likes

    Sue, I am having similar problems, they seem to think they are judge and executioner with these sort of things and they are dictating how I sell real estate.

    I am just getting so sick of the way they treat us. They then wonder why they are not popular. Yes, take action against people dual listing the exact same property or listing it as new every 6 weeks, but please leave us alone if we want to re-list after 6 months. If we listed it 6 months ago and it doesn’t appear in first 200 search results (which we pay monthly fees to be listed) then that is REA’s fault – not ours.

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