Realestate.com.au has sights set on innovation & announces ‘Premiere Property’

Yesterday, Greg Ellis, CEO/Managing Director presented an inside look of some of the features of the new site to a large group of agents at the realestate.com.au ‘Open For Inspection’ event in Sydney.

From what Greg Ellis said, part of their future plans for innovation within the new site upgrade means that we can look forward to extra “Product & Consumer Features being released approximately every 90 days”.

The new look site has been “designed to improve consumer experience” Greg said, and that they plan to “continue to be best in class for finding property”.

One of the key points emphasised to agents in attendance was that their site will help agents “Win Listings, Build a Rent Roll and Sell Property” and that REA based their design around 3 value propositions.

1. Valued by Consumers :- Find  –  Discover  –  Share ( ie share – “leverage the networks that consumers trust, their family & friends via Facebook & Twitter“).

2. Valued by Agents :- Win new listings, Build your brand, Agent profile, Sell & Rent Property and Cost Effective.

3. Valued by Vendors :- Predictable & Provable.

Greg Ellis also covered some of the recent changes made that will impact the sites use:-

For all site users there has been a New Home Page, Enhanced Search, Multiple Views (Gallery View, List View & Map View)  Compare Features (pointed out that the agents logo appears in the middle of the browsers computer screen) and MyRealEstate (an improved ability to store information on the site).

The suite of products for agents discussed were:- Suburb Profile Sponsorship, Suburb Sponsorship (IAB size ads), Exclusive Agent Showcase (No longer Guaranteed Top Spot but rather made available on every results page within that search), Feature Agent (a section of the site which has seen a 400% increase in traffic), Feature Property (appears as featured in List View, Gallery View & Map View) and eBrochure ( currently with over 800,000 people registered ).

An Insight Into The Future

Greg Ellis also announced that Realestate.com.au will shortly be releasing ‘Premiere Property’ which looks like it will appear on the top of the search results like the ‘old’ Guaranteed Top Spot but the ‘Premiere Property’ will open to a property page which features both the property & the agents details and branding exclusively (‘No Third Party Advertisers’).

Pricing was not discussed at this stage for ‘Premier Property’ but I can imagine it won’t come cheap when you consider the amount of revenue they could raise by keeping the advertising on these new pages.

Also, he mentioned that their Mobile site has already had 450,000 UB’s and they plan to have a Mobile/Social product which enables sharing via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & RSS.

Finally, Greg Ellis felt that there was also a great opportunity existing for agents to promote their profile via the Local Voices section of their site.

Richard Freudenstein, Chairman of REA Board then came on to say that he was “pleased that so many customers were involved in the development of the new site” and congratulated the management team of REA because “the site was delivered on time and on budget”.

Greg Ellis, REA, REA Group, Realestate.com.au, Richard Freudenstein, www.realestate.com.au

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About Greg Vincent

Greg Vincent The Online Guy for Real Estate Professionals is a Speaker, Trainer and is a highly respected online strategist. As a real estate professional with Internet and Social Media nous, Greg Vincent presents the how-to on getting the most out of the internet and social media without the “geek speak”. His insights into on-line real estate marketing are sought throughout Australia and valued for cutting through the confusion that locks many out of gaining full value from the web. After 20 years as a real estate agent, Greg now has multiple web-based businesses and works with some of the best agents in Australia.

19 Responses to Realestate.com.au has sights set on innovation & announces ‘Premiere Property’

  1. Craig April 23, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    Seems like most of the new features for agents would get in the way of their number one consumer proposition, ‘Find’. Just show them the properties they want uncorrupted.

  2. Adrian Palmer April 23, 2010 at 3:26 am #

    Have they actually asked anybody if they like the new site?

    Of about 5 people that I have asked, none have had anything positive to say about it. 2 of which are now unable to use the site thanks to slow connections and the javascript powered enhancements not fully loading.

  3. Robert Simeon April 23, 2010 at 3:31 am #

    Interesting – must be our market but we don’t even get online enquiries from REA any more I would think that in total we may have received 20 (sales emails) this year and on second thoughts that would be too high. Although they recently said that Mosman was the fourth highest visited suburb for the month?

    Which is a load of crap and they know it – I have no idea who is our account manager so if you are reading this feel free to post on this thread the number of email enquiries that our business has been sent this year for sales. It wont take you long to add them up!

  4. Jim April 23, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    Frankly I thought it was a disappointing, ( though I’m sure costly ) event….

    Making our way into the city, locking in 4-7pm as requested, we finally got underway at 5pm, only to have John Symonds giving us his thoughts on the world, we then finally got what it was all about… To get what was a very brief run through the changes, with no depth and constantly being reminded it was “all for the good…”

    During which we had, I thought a valid question from the floor brushed over…. And no further opportunity given to take questions from the floor…..and all over by 6.15

    Jim

  5. Nick April 23, 2010 at 4:28 am #

    If they think that home buyers will prefer it if their real estate portal taps in to their social network then…….actually I dont know. The idea is just bonkers.
    Its like getting a crate of oranges and trying to mix it with a jet engine.
    No clue how it will work out, but it cant be beneficial to finding a home.

  6. PaulD April 23, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    It’s all SO ho-hum, People don’t care where they go to find property listings. The couldn’t care less about the “user experience” they want information. It doesn’t matter how many ways you want to put it. ALL they want is quality information. The quality of the information depend on the agent who puts it there. You can’t turn poor quality information into good quality information. You need to check out Robert Bevan’s 10 things that people want on a website.
    Pretty much any website you go to can provide those things, but if the agent can’t – you can not blame the website. Number 1 is SPEED if the thing doesn’t open quickly – you’ve lost them before you even get a chance. Being too fancy creates a website that is slow for people with computers a couple of years old. They don’t care if it’s their computer, if it won’t open quickly they’re gone.

    Statement no.2 :–
    2. Valued by Agents :- Win new listings, Build your brand, Agent profile, Sell & Rent Property and Cost Effective.

    Is crap. If all the agents in a particular area are on realestate.com how is that going to win them all more listings.

    And yes Robert. my last check on email response rate for Sales was in Feb. and it is the magnificent sum of 14 per 10,000 UB’s. By those numbers plus Prop Man emails, I’m paying about $12.00 per email.

    More spin than Shane Warne.

  7. Sal Espro April 23, 2010 at 4:38 am #

    Who do you think is clicking on the Feature Agent section? “…(a section of the site which has seen a 400% increase in traffic)..”. As we all know, and as Robert and Glenn have previously calculated, agents account for a huge percentage of REA’s traffic! And as for ‘Local Voices’. Buyers aren’t so stupid as to go there to ‘listen’ to even more carry-on by agents spruiking their sales region!

    (Ps I see Google is hiring and focussed on ‘Travel’. Pity, I was hoping they might offer me a gig to assist in driving Real Estate!)

    Sal – Older with young legs 🙂

  8. Robert Simeon April 23, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    Paul, I estimate that we would be just over $100.00 per email. My business partner (who is not that IT savvy) asked me why we don ‘t advertise (on REA) any more given we get no enquiries I told him we do and he was horrified.

  9. Ro Castro April 23, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    Was dissapointed to see the new site… Now i need to get familiar with the changes and update all the printed examples i show people at listing presentations..

    Do the people really care about sharing properties o social media or is that to boost the profile of realestate.com.au?

    In the last 6 months we’ve had only a handful of online inquiries from re.com.au.. probably our market… No way to tell

  10. Wayno April 23, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Robert. do you use Domain ? if so how is the enquiry rate compared to REA?

    Will be interesting to know what other agency’s are getting from the 2 portals. Just in the middle of deciding which way to go at the moment because like you our enquiry rate has dropped dramaticly too.

  11. Snow Flake April 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    I have been watching all the comments made since the launch of nestoria.
    I have a history that goes back to the beginnings of rea, from the ” we’re going broke days”. I haven’t been associated for 5years but I have shares and I keep watching!

    I accept all of your observations but lets really think about were the money is made… that’s what ” the star wars” is all about!

    Points for discussion:

    Why did domain partner with nestoria and not google?
    Who are the partners in nestoria, why do they think they could do better than google?
    Advertising on all sites has been diluted/hidden…. who will benefit in the long run?
    What does the consumer really want?

    My response and open to discussion:

    Domain knew they were being beaten, as did the real estate groups… the real estate groups; the owner of the listing had one option, realestate.com.au….. what came with that was high fees… news limited owned the publications now they own this!
    Sooo…. think it through… who owns that power really??? The agents with the listing!

    That’s what the consumer wants. The listings,,,, The most up to date, most coverage… WHAT is for sale???

    Imagine if all the major franchise groups could band together and chose to only advertise or allow their data to be accessed via only “one search engine” that took the consumer straight to their own website????

    Who has been making millions off hits to property search engine websites…selling advertising space at prices none of us would want to pay, but i guess we’re not CBA ???…

    So… In answer to all of the questions raised think about this outcome:

    Nestoria:

    Has “partners” with all the major franchise groups…

    Has a partner in domain, who allows advertising by private sales and all the independents… at a price…

    REA is not a partner????

    Outcome:

    All the franchisees get a better deal paying by click… Nestoria takes you straight through to the ” partnered site”….. with the future option for all of those sites of onselling advertising space, clicks, on their own website… more clicks… agents can make money from their own business…

    Domain gets to keep all the independents and private sales on their site, which feed through to nestoria… and they still get to advertise…

    CONSUMER :Gee…realestate.com doesn’t have all the “franchises” on the site anymore. you can only find them through “Nestoria”

    AGENT : Gee… Im making money off clicks since we, the franchise groups, removed our ads from REA.

    LOSER : REA – 12 months from now subscriptions will not be renewed

    WINNER : the franchise groups, the high “hit” businesses within this group – advertising revenue direct, Domain – maintains independents as customers at a cost, plus private sales (not allowed on REA) and of course the owners of NESTORIA.COM.AU…. ” who are they again”…. ” group of independent entrepreneur’s…. Are we sure that’s not….domain and the franchise directors???

  12. Robert Simeon April 24, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    Wayno,

    Yes we use Domain and it was originally a 3:1 ratio with Domain generating the greatest number of leads now I think that it would be 10:1 – so something seriously wrong is happening at REA. Don’t get me wrong we would love nothing more that to receive more enquiries from REA just that it is not happening. I have spoken with a number of other agencies in our demographic area who all share the same results.

  13. Robert Simeon April 24, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    Snow Flake – interesting analogies. One question that I am interested in getting an answer to – is did Nestoria observe a spike in UV’s when they took all the Domain listings on their site?

    I can fully understand why Domain made their listings available to Nestoria given they are trying to increase traffic and ultimately deliver a better experience for the agents and vendors (the ones that pay). Eventually, I think that Domain would be better off doing the exactly same deal with Google too.

    The problems that REA has that it has never believed that the customer comes first! It has always had an often misguided culture that third party advertising comes first which now resonates through the consumers.

  14. Greg Vincent April 24, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    Snow Flake, I see where you’re coming from but what’s to stop REA from joining in with Nestoria? If Nestoria start appearing organically within search via their effective use of SEO, surely REA will look to become part of that traffic generation source.

    They have previously invested heavily in Google Adwords so I can’t see that they would have too many issues with buying traffic from other sources. The more traffic they get the more income they can generate.

    Maybe I’m wrong but I can’t see Nestoria knocking them back.

    Speaking of traffic, it was interesting to hear agents opinions of the new site. Most agents I spoke with seem to like the new look site & felt that it was about time that REA evolved with the times & that it was definitely a site that had been screaming out for a change.

    Although most discussion was positive, one agent said that they liked the site but they had actually experienced a significant drop in traffic since the launch. May be just an isolated case??? Not sure, whether this was related to the technical issues they were having within their suburb search or not? The agent is located in a first home buyer market so the marketplace shouldn’t be the issue. It will be interesting to know if other agents have experienced similar results.

    With all the PR around the new launch I’d have thought that the visits would have actually increased.

    Could the removal of REA’s branding from within the News Limited papers be having an impact on UB’s? It will be interesting to see their April stats.

    At the presentation REA’s Bill Russell, Manager Industry Development reported that results for March was 6.5 million+ UB’s and they had 116% more UB’s than Domain in March 2010. He also said that 80% of UB’s only visited Realestate.com.au.

  15. Chris April 24, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    in every country that nestoria operates the leading portal use them.

    they provide lower cost clicks.

    The sky has not fallen in and the competitive landscape hasn’t changed.

    Australia would be no different.

  16. Greg Vincent April 24, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    Chris, it will be interesting to see if Domain receives a marked increase in UB’s from Nestoria. If they do I don’t see that it would take too long for REA to jump onboard if the traffic becomes significant.

    When REA say that they have had 116% more UB’s than Domain it would be interesting to see what percentage of the listings within Australia each portal actually has.

    Purely as a guestimate I’d say that REA would have close to 90-95% of the listings available within Australia uploaded onto their site which would make a huge difference to their overall UB’s. I also understand that Domain is strong within the Sydney metro & REA had 2.1 million+ UB’s in NSW in March. It would be interesting to see a comparison of the sites visits within NSW to see if there’s still a country mile between the 2 sites on a more localised level.

    It would also be interesting to see comparisons state by state against sites like http://www.RealEstateView.com.au in Vic, http://www.reiwa.com.au in WA and http://www.allhomes.com.au in the ACT.

    Whilst I expect that REA would still be the dominant site within each of these areas they may be surprised by the outcome and find specific areas that they will need to focus on to lift their game.

    Having had over 6.5 million+ UB’s in March may be reason for REA to celebrate, but area by area analysis is the real measurement that matters for real estate agents and is something that REA will need to focus on very closely moving forward.

    Robert, Peter or Glenn guy, woulds you know if Domain have experienced a significant increase in traffic since taking over the http://www.ninemsn.com.au deal?

  17. Greg Vincent April 24, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    Oops! typo…I meant to say…Robert, Peter or Glenn, guys would you know if Domain have experienced a significant increase in traffic since taking over the http://www.ninemsn.com.au deal?

    Can’t wait to hear the response from that ‘Glenn guy’ lol 🙂

  18. Chris April 24, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    whatever happens with domain on nestoria, they’ll either get more clicks at the same cost as their current traffic campaigns or the same clicks for less money.

    Either way they come out ahead.

    If you were a customer of REA and REA refuse to use Nestoria to generate your listing ads on REA more leads (clicks) or at the very least get better value from the marketing that your fees paid for, would you be happy?

  19. Glenn Batten April 24, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    HELP PLEASE

    I am conducting some research into the immediate effect the new website has had on property views with the possibility of writing an article on it.

    I am specifically after the Activity Summary Report for April from the realestate.com.au backend.

    Ideally I would also appreciate the matching report for those with a Domain subscription as well.

    Could any agents willing to share their results please email them to me at glennbatten at gmail.com.au.

    I will respect your privacy unless you specifically indicate you are willing for me to quote you. You can either send me a screenshot or just a cut and paste of the report. I will not be quoting individual agency names or specific individual results as I am more after the general trend.

    Thanks in Advance

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