Realestate.com.au Communications Grind to a Halt… Again!

In the past Realestate.com.au has often been caught out shouting from the rooftops about some new innovation or initiative they are releasing only for it to be dumped once the gloss had worn off and the ink had dried on the press release.

Past inclusions of dumped or forgotten initiatives include the REA Labs which was launched right in the end of 2006 highlighting REA as the global innovator when they tried to mirror Google Labs but has never been updated since.

Then there was REAIAC (The REA Industry Advisory Council) which according to realestate.com.au was the peak industry body. The participants were suppose to change every year but nothing ever seemed to come from this mystery body other than a few REAIAC members releasing a paragraph or two on their opinions on the market. Pfffttt… all that waiting for the peak industry body for their own opinions on a failing market! It seems that claims by a few that the REAIAC was simply a boys club to pat select clients on the back appear even more accurate in hindsight.

Now it seems the REA blogs have gone the way of the dodo. Somebody forgot to advise their chief webmaster though as the blogs still feature on the homepage menu.

Here are the latest posts on each of the REA blogs:

  • CEO Corner Blog has not been updated since 22nd of July, 2008
  • News & Views Market Commentary Blog has not been updated since the 23rd of January, 2009
  • Agent of the Year Blog has not been updated since the 22nd of August, 2008
  • Out There Blog has not been updated since the 5th of September, 2008
  • Property Investment Expert Blog has not been updated since the 25th of November, 2008
  • Renters Retreat Blog has not been updated since the 26th of November, 2008

It seems in all the confusion and corporate reshuffle someone forgot to keep the communications lines open at realestate.com.au . Maybe one day they will understand that being an innovator is more than just declaring it and coming up with some new concepts. They have to follow through with it sometimes.

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About Glenn Batten

Glenn Batten is the General Manager at First National Real Estate Nerang and Principal at the First National Real Estate Upper Coomera office and has over 20 years real estate experience and a passion for technology. Glenn has been writing from an agents perspective on industry issues and covering a range of topics on Business2 since 2007.

21 Responses to Realestate.com.au Communications Grind to a Halt… Again!

  1. Robert Simeon June 4, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Not to forget that their homepage is 1995 ish πŸ™‚

  2. paddy June 4, 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    They still have mistakes in their Terms and Conditions section ( repeated sections/content at http://www.realestate.com.au/cgi-bin/rsearch?a=v&t=ao-wel&id=822&cat=ao:Terms%20and%20Conditions&ag=&cu= ) which have been highlighted on here and also sent to them.

    Maybe the CEO has nothing to say until they are up to speed?

  3. Charlie June 4, 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    Simon Baker (ex CEO) was big on blogs, and he’s totally into this in his new ventures too (PropertyPortalWatch, MyCEOLife…), so I suppose the new REA guy is not that into them?

    If you’re going to blog, you have to “blog often and blog interesting” (so I’ve been told), and that’s why I keep coming back to Business2, which does this consistently. Keep up the good work!

  4. Glenn Batten June 4, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    Charlie,

    Technically only one of the blogs were his. The rest were run by others in the company, and they all stopped at different times so it does not seem that it was a hard decision to stop them, more than likely it was not being watched any more by the upper level management so everyone just overlooked it till one day all of them had stopped being updated.

    So how long before they get removed?? πŸ™‚

  5. Sal Espro June 4, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    REA Buggers-Up Emails … Again!
    I think of more concern is that the other day I made a sales enquiry via email on a REA listing. Two days later I received an email from REA addressing me as an agent from the agency I had enquired upon and providing me with a prospect’s name and phone number for a property I have never heard of! *L*

    How much will that be, Mr. REA? $1,150 per month?!
    Whoowah!

  6. warwick June 4, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    I agree that REAs communication problems are growing, if we revisit a potential timebomb – private sales- which was discussed in detail some weeks ago and REAs silence has been deafening.
    It would seem now that the hornets nest has been stirred, there is a private sale company http://www.propertynow.com.au blasting REA on their website and sending letters to other private sale companies threatening legal action through the trade practices act if they continue to advertise private sales on http://www.realestate.com.au
    Maybe they are doing the job that perhaps REA should be doing.
    It is now time for REA to comment on this matter, what do you think?

  7. paddy June 4, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    There is supposed to be a new FSBO style company listing on REA.

    Check out http://www1.propertyportalwatch.com/2009/05/remoovcomau-cuts-out-agents/comment-page-1/#comment-1905

    There used to be great communication from REA about a year ago with Dave Platter regularly participating here. It seems that Dave is no longer on the REA Group Investor page and most likely no longer with REA.

    It would be ideal for the CEO/MD to have the same openness and engagement with the industry as Simon Baker had (and continues to do so on his sites)!

  8. Robert Simeon June 4, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    Paddy, Dave Platter left REA about three months ago – I agree a fantastic bloke. He is taking time off and playing with his kids so in a way he still is at REA πŸ™‚ Mentally not physically.

  9. Dave June 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    I am not surprised, it seems they have other things on their mind.

    My rep was in the other day and told me that they are flying all their employees from around the world to a resort in Queensland for a love in. That must cost a heap … no wonder they are quiet having put my rates up.

  10. craig pontey June 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    Another one of many bad decisions…….there is no consistent communication from REA other than how much better they are than domain.com.au….well watch this space we are getting 9 to 1 enquiries REA versus Domain……..

    We have had no contact about any innovation or changes

    But heh maybe we are only a small local real estate agency…….

    Regards

    Craig Pontey

  11. paddy June 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Craig, are you meaning to say that you receive 9 enquiries from Domain compared to REA’s 1?

  12. Robert Simeon June 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Craig,

    Maybe someone should tell REA that their servers are down again, because if they are all functioning they then have a serious communication problem with the marketplace. But there again they already know that because that explains the advertising campaigns! Just that this time it is way too late as we are receiving basically the same ratios too from Domain over REA.

    It should come as no great surprise as Domain have been out initiating them for some years now which would explain the current REA crisis.

  13. Sal Espro June 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    While you’re here folks,

    Can you confirm whether it still costs you $25 pmth to ‘upload’ your listings to REA please? (i.e. Using a single-key mechanism from your own management system provider).

    This seems like a gouge when Domain hasn’t ever charged it!

    Thx,
    Sal

  14. Sal Espro June 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    Thought you or Glenn might know, Peter ?

  15. Robert Simeon June 4, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    On our last account from REA we were charged $22.00 for XML – Data Import.

  16. Sal Espro June 4, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    Thankyou Robert.
    Isn’t that attrocious!! Yet another nail in their coffin.
    Domain with its increased activity, reported larger enquiry rate, increased services and less cost gouging might surely run over the top of them.
    The REA strategists obviously aren’t students of marketing and know nothing of the huge brands that have disappeared over the years because of this type of arrogant behaviour!

    Sal

  17. Glenn Batten June 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    Sal,

    I think it depends upon who your uploader is from what I can gather from those who are charged and those who are not. We use Portplus to upload our properties and there is no XML fee involved.

    I think the charge is for the smaller uploaders such as the one you must be using. I have to agree with you that it appears like a gouge, at least now days.

    I believe that it was instigated to cover the support load in the early days when xml feeds where not that common. Agents that did have websites had them with a range of different options, often the corner web designer. The amount of people wanting to upload to REA that had only 1 or 2 real estate clients was probably quite a lot. Of course in recent years a few major companies have specialised in this and they seem to be exempt from the fee because they represent so many clients in one connection and they know what they are doing.

    I reckon it would have had to have been frustrating to had their support team handhold web designers who wanted to upload their clients properties up to REA and the fee probably represented this. But these days xml feeds should not be that difficult and its the data providers responsibility to get it right and working.

    I dont see why it would still be a valid charge in 2009

  18. paddy June 4, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    Glenn,

    I think the fee is also waived for certain franchise and cooperative groups as well.

    It does seem strange for REA to charge for XML uploads, when the only feed they will accept is REA XML 1 format. And that is from an ‘REA Certified Multiloader’.

    Here is the full document http://www.realestate.com.au/SLAs/XMLAgentUploadServiceLevelAgreement.pdf

    I cannot see REA removing this nice little money earner any time soon, they are going for 50% revenue growth this year!

  19. Glenn Batten June 4, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    I am just checking out Twitter at the moment (@glenn_batten) and what do I came across.. Realestate.com.au has a Twitter account and its sending out active updates. So the blogs are out of policy with the new executive team but Twitter is ok?? Seems to me realestate.com.au stick strictly with the latest fads to appear trendy but as soon as they become work they get the boot… surprised anyone?

  20. paddy June 4, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    That would explain why property.com.au has remained in Beta, and nothing has changed on it since it was relaunched a while ago.

    At the time it was touted as the testing site for new technology.

  21. Glenn Batten June 4, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    When is a blog not a blog??

    Just got a Tweet from REA about “Michael Says” Column. Not having come across Michael McNamara’s column before I went out in search of it and found it under the “Realestate Resources” section.

    Here we have a defacto blogs in this new section but there are a number of problems still with it:

    No comments allowed on these articles.. hence they are columns, not blogs.

    There are RSS Feeds for them, but for many of the pages they are at the bottom.

    These “Real Estate Resources” pages all specifically promote the blogs inviting users to “Have your say on our blog. Have you got something to say – join our community of bloggers” . The problem is these are now effectively shutdown. These blog pages are in the left hand menu and are therefore on every single page served up by realestate.com.au

    It really is a case of mixed messages from the realestate.com.au team.

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