Domain launches a new search that works.

Domain has launched a real estate new search engine that I think consumers will find better than anything on the portal market today. It uses Web 2.0 technologies that allows users to refine their search from the one page that continually reloads.

It could be a little quicker and more intuitive (www.dothomes.com is the best I have seen) but it is a huge leap in the right direction and will no doubt be further refined.

Realestate.com.au‘s search is just so limited and frustrating for both consumers and agents (first 200 results only – please spare me the reasons)

It seems Domain are really starting to add some innovation to their website and are not afraid to make some serious changes not only to the business model but also to the way we use their websites. It still has a long way to go – but it is showing some great signs.

The new search is more evolutionary than revolutionary (we have been doing this for about 2 years on many of our websites) but it is the way all searches will be conducted (or similar) in the future on all of the major portals.

Domain.com.au, Dothomes, Realestate.com.au

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.

45 Responses to Domain launches a new search that works.

  1. Robert Simeon March 2, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    About time someone took this initiative that will bring results given the global financial crisis and real estate market declines agents now and much more than before depend on portals for new leads.

    Congratulations – Fairfax Digital team.

  2. Jennie Sullivan March 2, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    How do consumers search for real estate when looking online?
    By price and product type. Realestate.com.au have had this funcationality for years it has taken Domian this long to get it right!!!!!! if they have got it right.

  3. Paddy March 2, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    A good first start, but just getting to the search results you want is still clunky.

    A map, or total suburb list on this page ( http://www.domain.com.au/Public/ChooseRegions.aspx?mode=buy&state=VIC ) would be a good next step.

    Remember, a refining search tool on the search results page is only valid if you are not able to get the results you were after in the first instance. (This applies equally to REA, who probably do not want to change their model as it will reduce the number of ‘Searches’ and PI’s).

    Domain should be able to quickly address the initial search tool, as they have a history of moving faster from an IT perspective than the other portals.

    Keep moving forward Domain!

  4. Craig March 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    It’s a good first try. It has all the right elements but they just don’t quite pull it off. It could do with a bit of Ajax love like http://www.dothomes.com to greatly improve the user experience.

  5. Ronald K March 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    Jennie, can you explain what part of Realestate.com.au’s search works for you and why it is better than Domain.com.au’s.

    I think even the old Domain.com.au worked better than Realestate.com.au’s AND THIS ONE SEEMS TO BE BETTER BY A LONG MARGIN.

    Pity they don’t have the listings or power in my area because it is superior!

  6. Robert Simeon March 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    I read this afternoon that REA and its Australian CEO have parted ways so it (REA) seems to be sending the real estate market a clear message that it is imploding. At least the recruitment companies would be making money out of them as I keep hearing of departures and not many landings.

  7. Paddy March 2, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    Jennie, are you mad?

    REA puts the Order Results by Price , only once we get to a search results page.

    If REA was so in-tune with online consumers and how they search, they would have placed this as an option at the first basic search parameters.

    The MO for REA to have the current search approach is to make people look at more pages therein raising: PI’s for Display Advertising, and also Statistics for saying how many times properties were displayed in Search Results.

    If REA has such a superior search, and as you state, you can choose by Price, then why does REA display results not in the set price range of consumers with the Guaranteed Top Spot?

    Seems to me that REA has less consumer friendly search than what you believe.

    What a waste of Money Guaranteed Top Spot is if you do not display properties which match the search parameters of the consumer. All you are probably doing is alienating prospective buyers from your brand.

  8. PaulD March 2, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    Not too familiar with the REA site by the looks of it Paddy !!! Perhaps you should be, before you ask someone are they mad. One of the first basic search parameters of BOTH sites is by price.

  9. Anthony Milner March 2, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    It’s great to see good faceted search in practice – very easy and practical. When we first baked search refinements functionality (also 2 years ago) into our Content Management System it was quite challenging to get customers to understand the potential benefits and define taxonomies but thanks to sites such as this it is becoming a lot clearer and better understood. Well done Fairfax team.

  10. Paddy March 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi Paul

    Sorry I was not clear in my first post.

    I am talking about the default setting of the search results – which correlates to what Domain has just implemented to make searching faster.

    Yes you can search by price range, that is mandatory these days – but the default listing display of Premium listings and GTS are not user friendly.

    See here for options presented from the simple search http://www.realestate.com.au/cgi-bin/rsearch?s=vic&t=res&snf=rbs&a=sf

    What the consumer gets from typing in their criteria, are search results headed by a GTS that may not have a property anywhere near their criteria, and a list of other properties presented in an order due to how much an agent pays.

    To annoy consumers even more, if they ticked Surrounding Suburbs, and then chose to sort by Price after the first search results.. they have all the surrounding suburbs appearing before, after and in between their primary suburb.

    The argument is online consumer behaviour and providing systems which will benefit consumers. The REA approach provides a very clunky model, which is biased towards revenue moreso than usability.

    Regarding GTS – Look at it this way. If a prospective buyer came to you and said that they wanted a house for $YYY and YYY bedrooms. Would you instantly show them something which had only XXX bedrooms and as $XXX ? I would hope you would not, as you would not be meeting your clients needs, and probably make you look silly.

    With GTS however, this is an online version of your office. So if someone tells you what they are looking for, and you present something else, do you think that the consumer will pay attention to what you are presenting them?

    That is my opinion, and it comes from using the site a lot.

    I hope that clarifies what I was trying to say first time Paul.

  11. Rhino March 2, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    Domain really need to work on the page load time of their search results page including when a “sort by” is selected. This could have something to do with REA showing a maximum of 200 results but a few comparisons I have done (in particular on week days after lunch) consistently show REA as the faster and more preferred website.

    One thing which is worth noting about Domain’s new search engine (and which is extremely annoying) is that when you enter a suburb into the search engine from the homepage, without any warning it includes the surrounding suburbs.

    Type in North Sydney and 457 results show up, you then uncheck the surrounding suburbs box in the filter on the search results page and 71 results appear. Almost 6 times more properties, I wonder whether this corresponds to slowing in the page load time!

    At least REA gives me this option before they waste my time having to wait for the page to load results I am not interested in. They should stop trying to beef up their numbers and focus on providing accurate data in the most efficient manner.

  12. Glenn Batten March 3, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    I don’t see how this is Web 2. It reloads the page every change you make to a search. This makes it clunky and still quite slow. Web 2 would do that on the fly without having to load the pages.. Dothomes is a perfect example of web 2 technology.

    It is better than realestate.com.au search, but thats not too hard now is it.

    It is an improvement for domain although the default search order is a concern, at least for our area..

  13. Glenn Batten March 3, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    Paddy

    You said :- “If a prospective buyer came to you and said that they wanted a house for $YYY and YYY bedrooms. Would you instantly show them something which had only XXX bedrooms and as $XXX ? I would hope you would not, as you would not be meeting your clients needs, and probably make you look silly”

    The first thing that any experienced person (not the fair weather salespeople who struggling in this marketplace) in real estate will tell you is that most buyers do not buy what they initially ask for. So showing xxxx bedroom houses for $xxxx is not necessarily a stupid thing.. In fact on our site we hide the advanced search features and let visitors browse by price. The reason is for exactly the reason you think its silly. We show people what properties they get for their price range.. plus whats above it.. and below it.

    Let me say one thing, If I had a dollar for every first home buyer who asked for a 4 bedroom home but purchased a three bedroom home I could give up work today. Lets go for money then. If I had a dollar for every purchaser that purchased a property more than they originally searched for I reckon I could by REA for cash.

    So what you may think is silly.. may not be so silly after all. Admittedly showing somebody 6 bedroom million dollar homes when they are in the market for a 3 bedroom $350,000 home is just stupid.

    It is for this reason that having a default sort order based on listing date and then limiting the search to only 200 properties is ridiculous. In a busy suburb it is possible to have a listing appear in the search list for a matter of days because of the sheer number of feature properties pushing everything else down.

    Despite some people commenting here believing different, REA do not default search by price. I dont know why people think this is the case. From the home page search for “Nerang” and the first property is not the cheapest. To do so would lose much of the value of feature properties which they try and onsell clients with.

    A little while ago an REA representative stated this was done because this is what the public wanted although no survey results or market research could be provided. In fact when asked if this was correct why was the the default search by date listed not used with all the other REA portals around the world there was nothing but silence.

    The truth is that in their recently declining stable there is only one champion thoroughbred and thats realestate.com.au. Because they are the number one player in the race, they default search by listing date to make more sales with feature properties.

    As to realestate.com.au database.. it is full of holes. The database design is so outdated, but to be honest I assume updating a database that size is not done that easily.

    As an example… go and search west in in Queensland. It will give you results from West end in Townsville and west end in Brisbane. The realestate.com.au database only differentiates between suburb and state, not postcode so when there is two suburbs of the same name in a state the listings get all mixed up.

    How do I know this??.. The postcode 4810 covers 11 suburbs in Townsville. Belgian Gardens, Cape Cleveland, Castle Hill, North Ward, Pallarenda, Railway Estate, Rowes Bay, South Townsville, Townsville City, West End and Yarrawonga.

    Search for the postcode 4810 in RealEstate.com.au and you are presented with properties from all 11 of these suburbs PLUS properties located in the suburb of West End in Brisbane which is in the postcode 4101.

    The only way for this to work is the realestate.com.au does not do an actual search on the postcode 4810 but actually does an intial lookup of the suburbs in the postcode of 4810 and then searches for these suburbs in its property database. Because of the previously mentioned bug of properties only being stored in a suburb and a state the wrong properties are served up.

    This same problem crops up all or Australia and is just one example of an ancient database design still being used today. In fact, I doubt there would be too many database programmers then or now that would have designed a property database that did not include postcodes in the indexes.

    These things have been frustrating buyers, sellers and agents for years. Find a suburb list and look for duplicate suburbs in the one state and look at how many properties that represents in a year. Do you think they would fix it if it was that easy?

    REA are the number one game in town at the moment because they get the traffic. That does not mean they will always be number 1, nor does it mean what they are doing is right and is the best way of doing it. They got an early mover advantage in the industry and that has worked for them so far.

    Time will tell if they can hang on to the title but I doubt they will give it away easily although I think they have to be pushed to undertake any real innovation.

    This is a company that created the REA Labs (ripping off Google Labs in the process) as a global innovator and yelled it from the rooftops.. then did nothing with it after launch… The same company that created the “Peak Industry Body” called the REAIAC that did nothing. It was suppose to be updated every 12 months but it was just a way to pat some mates on the back. When the lack of anything coming out of the REAIAC was highlighted on this blog they trotted out a few comments in an annual report from the participants.

    Lets face it, realestate.com.au is a reactive company, not proactive. Look for more changes from Domain and realestate.com.au to be reactive to those changes if they start to work.

  14. Glenn Rogers March 3, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    The search function when choosing a state from the home page still just gives you regions to choose from.

    When’s the last time you drove to a region and not a suburb ?

  15. Sal Espro March 3, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    REA is a dog! and has always been. (PaulID, Jennie and any others come on down! πŸ™‚

    I have used it so much over time (and a lot recently) to search for properties and it is waaay too obvious that what Paddy is correct. Instead of ‘icing on the cake’, their pageviews etc based ad revenue has become a cash cow that they can’t afford to decimate – (a bit like the papers not wanting to cannibalise their print with good online offerings with less revenue).

    We find ourselves directly visiting agents sites and other portals more and more in an effort to circumvent REA because it is just too damned time-consuming!
    (In fact, we created and had developed for us, a web-based tool to help us in our searching efforts across multiple sites!!! – Would be nice tool for agents to offer clients if they didn’t mind them visting other agents πŸ™‚

    Ps Domain’s ‘new’ interface is really just an custom version of their Drive site (that is so much better than the market leading Carsales πŸ™‚

    Sal

  16. Glenn Batten March 3, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    Glenn,

    Thats strange, when I click on Queensland on the map on the front page I am provided with a list of suburbs to choose from. Same goes for the other states. Can you give us a link of where you access this region choice from the homepage?

    Generally though I dont use the map. I normally just type the suburb directly into the search box on the home page titled “Or Enter a Property ID, Suburb or Postcode:”

    There was a discussion that I think was on here, about the how many people used the map and how many typed a suburb into the search box. It could have been an email exchange I am just not too sure however I am pretty sure someone at REA shared the breakdown so I will see if I can find it again.

    I cant quickly recall regions being anywhere on the search pages. Maybe they did in the past but I don’t think they do that now. They certainly use them in their directory that they use for SEO purposes but as far as I can see thats not accessible from the home page like you suggest.

  17. Robert Simeon March 3, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    Sal – if everyone shared the same opinion there would be nothing to blog about πŸ™‚ Nothing wrong with spirited debate.

  18. PaulD March 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    Sal,
    I’m not disagreeing with you, however what I am saying is that both REA and Domain have problems, and in different areas, both deliver different results. The ONLY thing I could care less about in the case of each of them is the quantity of enquiry they deliver. In calendar ’08 REA delivered nearly 2.5 times the quantity of enquiry. In my mind, that’s where it starts and finishes. Obviously in different areas the results will differ. It took REA nearly 3 times the number of UB’s to do it – but in the wash up – they delivered more enquiry. In all those 170 odd thousand UB’s and just under 1,000 emails – NOBODY complained about the search capabilities of either portal. I just don’t think the average punter out there cares too much about how they get to the properties, as long as they get there, and get a response to their enquiry. We can postulate forever about how good this is and what a good idea that would be, but the numbers are where it’s at – for the moment.

  19. Glenn Rogers March 3, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    Glenn,
    I meant Domain has a list of regions not REA, click on the map , any state and you get regions.

  20. Rhino March 4, 2009 at 11:20 am #

    Testing may not have been complete (or done correctly) at Domain or alternatively they may have read some of our comments. As the new filter they added alongside property results has now been removed and the old version with drop downs is back.

    So much for their technology evolution!

  21. Robert Simeon March 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

    Rhino – at least Domain is work in progress. If one looks at REA who appear to have lost complete interest given that absolutely nothing has been done there in years. I really like the new and even clearer interface which is now the second renovation from Domain over no renovations over at REA.

    Makes one wonder exactly how far REA have scaled back their business model as the only thing that I see and hear that is happening is plenty of staff leaving. One should also not forget that REA admitted a few years ago that it really needed a make over as it was looking tired. Let’s face it now it resembles a nursing home πŸ™‚

  22. Glenn Rogers March 4, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    Realestate domain and commercialrealestate have Google PR’s of 8/10
    Realcommercial is 6/10
    Not real flash on the part of REA

  23. Simon March 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm #

    Well Kudos to you Mr Ricci,

    Credit where due! Pity some commenters can’t do the same. Mr Batten, if you also had a dollar for every subliminal / intentional mention of REA in your posts, you’d be retiring even earlier. Talk about SEO! You’re good!
    Domain are clearly being proactive and investing in a better product, which helps us agents. How can any of us knock that?
    To counter Domain’s site (obviously a thumbs up from me), REA sent out a desperate, clutching-at-straws email to me today regarding their UB dominance.. Give me a break! I listed a property on both REA and Domain on Friday night (27/2) and to date Domain is doubling the REA listing in traffic, with triple the emails. Area specific comparisons are all that should matter – ie: what works for ones office.
    As agents, we always say it, all the time – “don’t knock your competition, you look petty”.. “be the bigger agent, and focus on doing what you do”.
    I wish REA would do the same, rather than email me useless stats that are fluffed in their favour.
    I think Mr Simeon is correct in saying that the simple fact is this: at least one mob seems to be doing something with our money!
    Bravo Domain.

  24. Glenn Batten March 4, 2009 at 11:12 pm #

    Thanks Simon..

    I have been accused as having a vendetta against REA and being pro Domain. I have been accused of being anti portals. But that has to be the first time anybody has accused me of being pro REA.

    But not only that.. I have been injecting subliminal messages all this time.. I’m good? nope.. your good, real good.. you caught me out πŸ™‚

    Geez.. that has to best the belly laugh I have had in a long time. They funniest past is you seem to be serious.. πŸ™‚

    Simon, I can’t understand where you would get that from but feel free to explain as I would love to hear it.

    For the record just because I am not overwhelmed with Domain’s new search feature does not mean I am pro REA. In fact didn’t I say that it was better than REA.

    Hang.. stop.. this has me thinking.. You are right Simon.. All this SEO and subliminal work for REA I have been putting in all this time.. the must owe me a fortune by now…

    Dave Platter, can you look after me before you go or do I have to invoice the new News limited team running the place now?

    You crack me up Simon !! Thanks mate, and if I get a bob out of it I will throw some your way.

  25. snoop March 5, 2009 at 7:28 am #

    Good to see some analysis on where you spend your Vendors money.
    Whats annoying here is agents talk as if its their money.
    How many of you report back to your Vendor where the leads are coming from and what they get for the ever larger ad spend you are asking them for?

  26. PaulD March 5, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    Simon,
    You didn’t see my post 4 up from yours ????? My experience is exactly the opposite from yours. And as I said, but you obviously didn’t read, that the results vary from area to area. Just because you get 3 times the enquiry in your area, from one website – doesn’t mean it’s the best – because we get 3 times the enquiry from the other one in our area. To say that “REA sent out a desperate, clutching-at-straws email to me today regarding their UB dominance.. Give me a break” is just horsesh*t because they BOTH do exactly the same thing. It’s all manipulating statistics based on selective ranges that suit the point you are trying to make – a bit like your post. Tell me, did you get the email from Domain on the 24th Feb headed ” Domain dominates NSW” ? Would you like to comment on the “fluff” contained in that one ?

  27. Robert Simeon March 5, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    Snoop,

    We send out weekly reports to vendors identifying the exact traffic each property receives from Domain, REA and RWM (our website). We spend more of our own monies as we offer our vendors Top Spot, Agent Gallery Mosman and this week we signed a contract for Agent Galley Balmoral. Then we Priority Placement every property all of this on Domain. Obviously, we charge an Internet Fee to each vendor however our spend with Domain is large. Which is why I like to see some ROI – when Fairfax Digital actually start investing back into their very own products.

    We identified this spend with Domain over REA simply because Domain delivers 3 X the enquiries and this has been the pattern before we increased our spend with Domain. I am also very much against property portals that saturate pages with third party advertising and REA wrote the book on this – a disgrace. Obviously they pocket the monies and spend nothing on a very tired and run down website.

    Only yesterday I was speaking about property portal traffic where I was advised REA are looking at daily UB’s not monthly. Domain look at monthly because an individual coming into the portal can only be counted once. Where with daily they are used in the today, tomorrow and as many times in a calendar month that they appear. On top of this imagine the number times an agent/agency goes to the portal and they are then allowed to be construed as property seekers.

    As PaulD correctly said he is only interested in results the traffic humbo jumbo is an advertising rort. For our portal performance Domain is that far ahead of REA it is a joke. Another reason why we up the spend with Domain is because we use this as a listing tool given the vast majority of our vendors use this portal so it is important that we as a business can offer them the best positionings.

  28. Glenn Batten March 5, 2009 at 9:42 am #

    Snoop,

    We report back on the source of all inspections to every vendor whether they invest in advertising or not. We provide more than just the source of the inspection though as well include the buyers opinion of presentation,opinion of list price, opinion of worth and overall level of interest.

    Owners get individual detailed updates after every inspection or open house and then every week they get an automatically generated weekly summary report with the full breakdown of all inspections for the week and a summary of inspections to date amongst many other things.

    In fact as far as portals are concerned we graph daily visits to all portals in a line graph over time.

    The same report also provides details and links to competing properties currently for sale and just sold plus links to relevent property related news items, past offers, marketing completed during the week, comments from the salesperson and comments from the principal.

    In simple terms it ramps up the communication between the agent and the seller. As you can imagine sellers love it. We developed it for our use but because of demand we have now commercialised it and have agencies around Australia using it.

    You said “Whats annoying here is agents talk as if its their money.”

    Not all money spent by agents is from vendor paid advertising and really whats the problem with agents acting as though its their own money?

    In fact because of our fiduciary duty with sellers I think our agency scrutinises these things far more than if I was spending our own money.. So I dont have a problem with agents scrutinise any or all marketing investments as though it is there own money being spent. Many times it is.

    Take internet portals. The vast majority of agents would not on charge for basic subscription costs. Some do .. most dont. Too many people accuse agents of investing vendors money in ads to build their own profile.

  29. snoop March 5, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    Wow I am impressed
    I auctioned a waterfront apt in darling island last year
    Had no idea and no reporting from a major franchise group for my 8k spend aside some vague mention of domain.

  30. Simon March 5, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    Glenn – i didn’t mean to say that you were pro-REA, i just meant that you mention their name so much that they should owe you money for SEO.. good or bad mention, it’s all the same!
    I have read all of your posts, i know where you stand (or at least, i think i do!). Always a good read.

    PaulD – Yup, i read your post. And mine again. Aaand?
    I openly acknowledged that my results will vary from someone elses, and the next guy.. and the next guy for that matter. I never said that based on my results, Domain were “the best” (although they are in my area based on my results). A survey of one is always dangerous.

    My main point was that REA were claiming UB dominance, when it doesn’t matter to me. That’s all. I know my office stats, and they sound a lot like Robert Simeon’s. That’s not to say your office stats aren’t what they are, i am simply saying that their site works for me. Should i not be saying that?

    And yes, i got that newsletter from Domain. I get them from REA just as often. However, i was SPECIFICALLY referring to that one in particular from REA as it was delivered as a counter-punch to the new DOmain site. It’s arrival in my inbox and Domain’s site arrival times aren’t a co-incidence.
    Domain changed their game, REA sent out an email.
    What would i prefer for my money? MY money (not yours) says Domain. No Horsesh*t.

  31. Sal Espro March 5, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    PaulID,

    I just don

  32. Glenn Rogers March 5, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    News Ltd fails in takeover bid for REA
    REA CEO sacked
    Share price dives
    News Ltd takes over REA ?

  33. snoop March 5, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Well I disagree
    Punters are hacked off by agents asking for ever increasing marketing spend.
    Why should they pay ?
    What do you pay an agency commission for?????

  34. PaulD March 5, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    So Simon,
    I agree that for you Domain is the best. Why don’t you cancel your REA subscription ? You would be more than likely putting the properties on both sites. If Domain is so far in front it seems pointless paying double to advertise the same properties. That’s like buying two tickets to the movies and going by yourself.

  35. Simon March 5, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    PaulD
    Your analogy just isn’t that straight forward (unfortunately) Some users only search REA, no other site, i know this via friends and family. Others only Domain. Each has their exclusive readership. I can’t afford to miss any audience.
    It’s like a movie being split, 3/4th will be shown at Greater Union, 1/4th will be shown at Hoyts – if i want to see the whole movie, as inconvenient as it may be, i have to buy two tickets. Sure, the last 1/4 of the movie might be garbage, but then again, i just might like it.

  36. snoop March 5, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    I asked my agent
    He said for sydney because smh saturday so strong Domain is the best for Sydney for print and web.
    Prob is the Newscorp papers are very local and really just ad billboards.

  37. Sal Espro March 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

    Yes, quite agree, ‘snoop’. The portals are just ad billboards! .
    There would certainly seem to be room for online mechanisms other than the portals to assist vendor/agent marketing and searching buyers.

    And on another subject, while I’m here; can you believe REA actually charges extra (and through the nose!) if you want to email buyers who have visited REA (to view the properties agents have listed in the first place)! What were some of your figures again, Glenn B & Robert? It seems that this is one of the most expensive aspects of marketing. Does anyone have any figures on the success or otherwise of this process please?

    Rgds,
    Sal (Gettin’ grumpy again!)

  38. Robert Simeon March 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    Sal,

    I can’t for the life of me understand the pay per alert structure as when the property is first listed it is sent out for free anyway. We have found and we were actually the first business to send out an email alert the a real estate business achieves much better results when the email alert is actually sent from their own database. If managed and supervised properly the agents database is much more up to date if it is used daily by the team. It is crucial that a business only has one database not individual databases. The database in use must be owned by the business owners.

    It does work as our database sales climbed to $827,158,019 this week πŸ™‚

  39. Sal Espro March 6, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    Robert,
    Interesting that point about your own dbase being more powerful. What makes you say that?
    Love your big figure, too! How do I get 1% of that?! *LOL*
    How do you measure whether you have achieved a sales result directly from your dbase though?

  40. Robert Simeon March 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    Sal,

    Unfortunately we have already allocated the proceeds πŸ™‚

    Our subscriber sales are determined by those who list or sell a property that receive our email alerts and or weekly newsletter and obviously the property is listed by our business. I like to call it a loyalty program.

  41. Robert Simeon March 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    Oops that should have read list or purchase.

  42. Andrew March 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    Globrix.com (UK real estate listing aggregator) blows everyone else away by such a margin it ain’t funny.

  43. snoop March 18, 2009 at 6:13 am #

    I think these scraping sites have a limited life.
    sooner or later the smarter operators are going to block them.
    This will leave the agency sites only as targets and these are never as well maintianed or up to date as they should be.
    The war hasnt even started yet.

  44. Sal Espro March 19, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    I think ‘scrapers’ assist real estate portals in gaining more traffic as they link back to the original listing – a bit like Google but better. The scraper are only picking-up advertising and don’t have a direct relationship with the portals’ agency clients.

  45. Rusty March 21, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    Globrix and Domain use the same search technology. So Fairfax could presumably provide the same features if they wanted to.

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