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Realestate.com.au V2 – Are Some Cracks Starting to Show?

9 minute read

Pretty much everyone hated the realestate.com.au House Hunter videos when they were released but it seems that the launch of their recent realestate.com.au website found agents and consumers squarely in one camp or another. You either loved it or you hated it although I have noticed that many who originally hated the new site have swapped sides as they have learnt to appreciate some of the new changes .

I personally am a fan of the latest version and enjoy using it so much better than the old kludgy original. Despite this I have to say it is long overdue and finally provides features that other websites have being doing for years. Far from a revolution but something that we the agents and the consumers deserve. Of course realestate.com.au have promised a roadmap of new features at regular intervals so maybe thats when the real innovation will start. Till then we can only look at how it is today.

In the first couple of weeks I expected issues and I was certainly not disappointed. I just can’t envisage rolling out a full new site that generates that much traffic and has that many pages without some problems. All the planning in the world cant allow for every eventuality. During the first day most visitors would have encountered the “Crashed” page more than once. A misbehaving Varnish HTTP accelerator caused incompatibilities with a few isp’s which resulted in a hard to diagnose issue where all styling was dropped till they identified and fixed it.

But its been a few weeks now and all the bugs should be ironed out by now shouldn’t they?

So why is there reports by agents of missing buyer enquiry emails, altered saved searches, missing search alerts and dropped traffic?

I have received a number of emails recently covering each of these problems:-

Missing Buyer Enquiry Emails

Recently there have been a few agents complaining about emails going missing. We alerted the industry to this happening once before when technicians tried to release their email queues without alerting anybody to the problem. It seems that some agents are being effected again and agents are claiming that they are not getting all their email enquiries.

Robert Simeon from Richardson and Wrench Mosman is still waiting for email enquiries from realestate.com.au. After alerting them to the dissapperance of his email enquiries they ordered a “resend” of all those enquiries.

The problem is even those emails have not turned up as at the time of writing.

Altered Save Searches

Realestate.com.au allows visitors to save particular searches and have any newly arrived properties emailed to you. When the website was upgraded these updates would have required a changeover to the site.

Real Estate agents around the country have used this facility to keep updated with their “patch”. Reports are that some of these searches were changed during the conversion process. Broad saved searches on for all property suddenly change to only report on a specific property type such as studio apartments. Other saved searches are changed so so that they have no email alerts at all and others all have a sudden price range applied when one did not exist prior.

With around 800,000 searches saved the potential for this problem to have a wide effect is pretty high so I was dissappointed to read realestate.com.au official response to originally being notified by a very (and I mean very) high spending customer.

The email they received showed detailed screen shots of prior alert emails clearly outside of the current post updated alerts. In simple terms prior to the update the system said one thing, after the udpate it said something else.

This was part of the response:-

“With regard to your claim that your email alert data was corrupted, this is the only occurrence that has been reported. Your concern that this may be widespread, and have affected many consumers at the moment is unfounded. REA has over 700 employees who all have email alerts, and not one of them has any issues. If you even just include our circle of family and friends, you can quadruple that number. I think it would be reasonable to assume that this couple of thousand people who are most engaged in using the site would be the first to notice if they had experienced any problems. No other consumer from the over 800,000 registered subscribers has reported any issues with their email alert settings, so there is no reason to think this is a widespread problem.”

Missing Search Alert Emails

This is something that we have experienced at First National Nerang. In the past many of our salespeople have managed their own email alerts on realestate.com.au but with the new changeover I decided that the
agency would manage these notices.

I had a staff member setup a number of accounts to match farm areas that we have allocated to individual salespeople. We did it this way so that should an area be allocated to a different or new salespeople we just have to change the where those emails get delivered to.

When we set the accounts up we set them originally for weekly updates but a week came and went and no email alrts were received at all. So we logged into each account and changed the alerts to be sent on a daily basis. After nearly a week we have not had one single alert email arrive with regard to any of these accounts.

I originally thought they were being picked up in the spam filter but that proved wrong. We use a service by Google called Postini. Postini is an E-mail and Web security and archiving service. One of the most useful functions is the web archiving ability which stores all emails received our sent through our exchange server.

This archiving to a professional quality assured standard has paid for itself many times over whether it be an owner who claims to have emailed through he wanted to pull an ad or a tenant who claims they reported a maintenance issue. When you explain the archiving system is third party and that everything is retained and that the email is not in those archives then many claims have simply dissappeared.

So I can confidently say that I have checked and absolutely no email alerts have been received by us regarding these newly setup alerts. I have no idea why. The searches themselves are valid. I can click on each search and it returns the correct properties but we do not get any alerts at all.

Dropped Property Views

I noticed a pretty significant trend in property views that started exactly on the day the new website went live. In a comment on this blog I recently asked other readers to send me their property view statistics to see if this was isolated to just our agency or was it more widespread.

Thanks to those who have provided me with their figures from around the country. It would take lot more results  to conclusively prove beyond any doubt that the traffic for every has fallen  but the indications are certainly not good.

Everybody who has provided stats are getting dramatically less pageviews and that commenced immediately on the first day of the new site. Indications are that those with Domain subscriptions were not similarly effected and the views remained fairly consistent for that portal. This indicates that the change is not market driven and isolated to realestate.com.au

So why have the property views dropped off?

To be fair one reason could be that the new site allows consumers to search and find their matching or ideal properties more efficiently thereby reducing the number of properties they have to wade through.  Buyers can view multiple photos in the gallery view allowing them to rule properties out whereas in the old version they had to click through to each property.

Alternatively it could also be the first three problems are more widespread and are having a fairly major effect. If just a percentage of the  800,000 are not getting the right alerts or none at all this could snowball in reduced traffic. At the moment we just cant be sure.

To put some perspective on the drop in property views here are the realestate.com.au graphs for 4 accounts each from a different state and a different marketplace. Each show a dramatic drop in views starting on day one of the relaunch. One agency show a drop of over 1000 property views per day!


It is certainly going to be interesting to see the Neilsen’s figures to correlate the reduced property views with the number of unique browsers.

Let’s be clear, I have no idea how widespread each of these problems are.  There are certainly other issues being reported but these four have the potential to make the most impact to an agents bottom line.  So we want to know if you have been having problems with any of the four issue above or another major issue please let us know here.

If you want to know how to generate the above graphs for your agency then follow these steps:

  1. Login to the realestate.com.au agent admin area
  2. Click on Vendor and Marketing Reports
  3. Click on Internet Reports
  4. Then change the Property Visits Report to show April 2010 and click on “view report”

Please share here what you find.

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50 Comments

  • Leanne Pilkington
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 7:13 am 0Likes

    Hi Glenn,

    I have a couple of different searches in realestate and have not received one alert since the new site became operational.

    Regards
    LEANNE

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 7:31 am 0Likes

    Leanne,

    Are they post relaunch alerts or have they been created since?
    Are they still on the right settings or has the criteria been corrupted?

  • Tatiana Mijalica
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 8:19 am 0Likes

    I have received a few email alerts since the new site, but this has prompted me to do a search on the site.
    My alert is for an area outside of Melbourne where not many properties become avaialbe, so it is a general alert on the suburb with no criteria attached to it.
    There are 5 properties on REA marked as “NEW” that I have not received an email alert for.
    I have also been looking at some of my agents results over the last few months and can report that even in the Inner East of Melbourne, Domain has overtaken REA on number of email enquiries by around 20%.
    The only other time I have encountered this is when the REA email servers went down last year.
    Personally, I feel everything points to the reoccurence of the same problem again.
    There was a problem with email reported in QLD by the QLD agents recently – to my knowledge the servers are not separated by State so the problem may be more widespead. This was occuring before the changeover to the new site.
    What ever the case, I hope it can get rectified soon – buyers stress is at an all time high and it will not reflect well on Agents that emails may be going unanswered.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 9:39 am 0Likes

    Tatiana,

    Are your updates set to daily?

    That email situation with Queensland seemed to be pretty localised to just 2 agents. It certainly could be effected but all the feedback I have received from those effected whether it’s missing emails or corrupted search alert settings seems to have started on V2 Day1.

    One agent apparently got told that “we just dont know where the emails have gone”. At least last time it was a stuck mail queue that was never checked. Starting that mail queue was all that was required as the messages were not lost, simply paused.

    Do you have access to the traffic graphs for those same clients. Has their property views collapsed as well?

  • Nick
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 10:10 am 0Likes

    Thats a awful bug to leave in the system.

    That kind of feature can be checked very easily to make sure the conversion works.
    You have plenty of source data, and the number of variables are limited.
    They should have made a converter, converted all the alerts, checked the converted alerts with the original alerts and then repeated until the converted data matched up correctly.

    Such a simple way to ensure it worked properly.

  • Tatiana mijalica
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 11:13 am 0Likes

    Just checked it to be sure, email alert is set to daily – as per my Deleted Items the last was received 30/4/2010 which is well after the new site launched.

    I have had a look – you are correct, the property views have also dropped significantly.
    That though, I would have expected that with the changes to the Feature Properties.
    It pretty much works like this:
    The Feature Properties increase property views ( but show no increase in email enquiry)
    The Ebrochures increase email enquiry.
    If email alerts are not being sent, it would stand to reason that Ebrochures are not going out either as they go to the same subscriber base.
    Also, if home alerts are not being sent, the properties will also be missing out on the initial massive spike in traffic they receive when they first appear on the site and are included in the home alert.
    This might explain the drop in both emails and property views, at least in the case of my Agents as they use both products.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm 0Likes

    At the recent launch CEO Greg Ellis said that there were approx. 700,000 properties sold each year throughout Australia, which would mean about 2,000 properties/day.

    Add rental properties, etc uploaded to their site, they’d have to get around 3,000 properties uploaded onto their site each day. Lets say only 25% of the REA database matched up with the new listings uploaded each day, that’s about 200,000 email alerts sent per day or 1.4 million emails sent per week. (based on their approx. 800,000 database).

    Glenn, if these emails aren’t going out properly then, that’s a huge amount of traffic agents and 3rd party advertisers would be missing out on.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm 0Likes

    Tatiana,

    I wish it were that simple but we don’t use either of those add ons yet we suffered the same as another agent who had both brochures and feature all.

    After one week our traffic was down from the previous week by 22%. The next week it was down 33% all up.

    Another agent there showed a drop of 46% after one week and a massive 57% after the second week. They are now operating on nearly 40% of the property views they use to get. It is my understanding that is also without any add on products.

    Thats means those two agents with a standard platinum subscription are down to around half the traffic they use to get.

    One agent on there who does use feature all and brochures saw a drop of 33% after one week and 36% by the end of the second week.

    What is really interesting is in the four graphs I provided the least effected is in a Domain dominated marketplace.

    I think the drop is going to turn out to be fairly well across the board. The interesting thing is going to be what caused it. Email issues or redesigned user interface or a combination of both.

    I would love to hear an official response from realestate.com.au on this. This is where Dave Platter’s involvement with this blog in the past was fantastic..now nobody is there to provide a counter position. Whilst I did not always agree with Dave’s positions and logic (one of his old comments reasoned that ads on realestate.com.au are like chips and chocolates at a service station) I understood his position and respected what he had to say. he provided that often forgotten other side of the story.

    I can’t say my chats with another PR representative were anywhere near as pleasing and it’s no wonder they have been kept from commenting on this site. It was very much an adversarial position with a lack of empathy for the client in the relationship.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm 0Likes

    Greg,

    It certainly is not every email enquiry or email alert. That would have been spotted inside of 24 hours. We are still getting email alerts for the old alerts that salespeople had setup themselves.

    I have not checked to see if they have been altered simply because the salespeople setup those accounts many years ago and they dont know their passwords. (Despite a couple of new additions our average tenure in the sales team is still about 8 years).

    In contrast none of our new saved alerts have received a single alert. Then you have Robert S who never received either the original email enquiries or the resend.. although I do believe he now has at least soem of those emails but he can clarify that further.

    It’s certainly strange and it appears that by late today there were some admissions of sorts offered to certain clients over specific issues.

  • real estate website templates
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm 0Likes

    You only have to check the data within Google Trends to see that the changeover to the new site has seen a drop in traffic, page views and time on site per visitor.

    I for one dont see any advantages to the new layout – its annoying how it interferes with page positioning when loading search results.

    John

  • Tatiana mijalica
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm 0Likes

    I see your point Glenn. I look forward to seeing further analysis. BTW – I set up 2 new alerts last night with new criteria – both came through this morning.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm 0Likes

    Crazy.. so your old ones still have not go those missing properties but the new ones work. Maybe they have fixed the issue but have still to make the fix retrospective.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 11:12 pm 0Likes

    Glenn, I had an agent contact me this morning to say that they have seen their daily visits drop from over 530 within a couple of days prior to the launch & now they are below 170.

    They are seeing the Domain traffic pick up and has experienced more Domain traffic than realestate.com.au traffic for the first time ever.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm 0Likes

    Greg,

    Daily Visits?

    I don’t think they provide that stat do they? You sure thats not property views?

    That is another massive drop no matter what stat it is. I have been told that Realestate.com.au were going to claim a huge Neilsens results again with increased visitor numbers.

    If that is technically true then you have to wonder how badly their session times and pages per visit metrics have fallen with the new design.

    As I have said, I personally like it but maybe the average visitor finds it too complicated or just too different!

    Domain must be loving this 🙂

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 12:25 am 0Likes

    Sorry Glenn, your right, Property Views. The agent said that he has spoken to a number of consumers & they seem to be using Gallery View a lot more and with the refined search system it’s really easy for people to exclude the Under Contract/Under Offer listings.

    I like the new design too, but maybe the refined search has made it too easy for browsers to hide listings rather than displaying them like they did in realestate.com.au V1?

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 12:36 am 0Likes

    As I said in the article one of the reasons for the property views could be greater efficiency in the search process. Gallery views, property comparisons, greater filtering ability etc etc which allow you to filter out or discard properties that are not suitable. A consumer looks at less property to identify the property that they want.

    By itself that could sound feasible and I am sure it is making an impact, but explain that to an agent who has dropped nearly 60% of their property views… or in your case you provided nearly a 70% drop. How does that agent feel about that excuse to explain his drop?

    What possibly seems to be providing the biggest impact is ebrochures and search alerts not being delivered as many agents are reporting.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 12:41 am 0Likes

    real estate website templates

    Can you give me a link to that Google Trends page you are suggesting confirms those figures.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 1:20 am 0Likes

    Firstly, I would add that Bill Russell and Noemi Lockett from REA have been terrific is trying to assist us – they share my frustrations.

    This month we have had 4 online enquiries from REA to 40+ from Domain so it is fair to say that REA has huge consumer issues and it is just not Mosman we are talking about. I advised Bill yesterday that I saw a significant swing to Domain when they launched their updated website a few years ago when you logged in it automatically defaulted to your last search – exactly what they have today – consumer friendly and REA have copied that (some years later) with their latest release (sort of).

    We have received about six emails backdated three rentals and three sales which were supposed to start arriving on Monday and nothing since – so we are anxious to know if all these unanswered emails have completely disappeared. Which from my perspective is totally unacceptable and an embarrassment.

    Their monthly bill arrived today and I can assure that this is always on time.

  • real estate website templates
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 2:06 am 0Likes

    Hi Glen,
    Not sure if you can *see* this output here… Ill include screenshots for you to take a look at also. Whilst this isnt “solid evidence” it does give some insight into user behaviour, I think, due to the recent site changes.

    Heres Google Trends…you’ll notice the dip towards the end.

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=realestate.com.au%2C+domain.com.au&ctab=0&geo=au&geor=all&date=all&sort=0

    Alexa data also…check out the pageviews especially and bounce rate.

    http://www.realestatewebsitetemplates.com.au/alexa.gif

    http://www.realestatewebsitetemplates.com.au/alexa1.gif

    http://www.realestatewebsitetemplates.com.au/alexa2.gif

    Interestingly though, only 5% that leave realestate.com.au go to domain.com.au – the others head for google and facebook, go figure? :0)

    John

  • Mac
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 2:26 am 0Likes

    Interesting also to see REA’s Google ranking isn’t numbers 1,2,3 in suburbs I have checked over the past couple of days. This would seem to reinforce what is being noticed ‘in here’ i.e. Google ranks visits above content, (because visitors are presumably voting with their fingers) which begins a downward spiral as less visits result in a lower ranking etc etc. (Remember Google gets more real estate searches than REA to begin with!)
    How/when will the public find this out? i.e. How long will it take to affect the REA share price?

  • real estate website templates
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 2:42 am 0Likes

    @ Mac.

    Googles algorithm for ranking websites is far more complex and sophisticated than just “visitor” data. If this were the case then literally thousands of sites that receive “rubbish traffic” daily would rank highly in the SERPS.

    Its more about relevancy, quality content (as well as inbound links) and other numerous contributing factors, which I wont go into here.

  • Mac
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 2:54 am 0Likes

    When so many factors are relatively comparable e.g. REA and Domain websites, it will be differentiating factors that matter in rankings. Visitor traffic and whether it is trending up or down, will then become vital. And it seems REA is on the decline.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 3:21 am 0Likes

    John (aka real estate website templates),

    The Alexa links are great and tell a very interesting story.

    I think you missed something with that Google Trends data. The search you used is search history not traffic.

    Search Trends are http://trends.google.com
    Traffic Trends is at http://trends.google.com/websites

    The traffic data for realestate.com.au which focusses on visitor numbers is http://trends.google.com/websites?q=realestate.com.au&geo=all&date=2010-4&sort=0

    But it does start to paint a picture. Similar numbers of visitors at least for the moment, with 25% more people viewing only one page and bouncing, a 43% reduction in total pageviews and a 44% drop in the number of pages viewed per visitor.

    Wow!

  • real estate website templates
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 3:25 am 0Likes

    Oops, my apologies Glen, sent the wrong link – glad you picked that up. :0)

  • Mac
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 6:23 am 0Likes

    Re: “Interestingly though, only 5% that leave realestate.com.au go to domain.com.au

  • Jayne Harwood
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 6:30 am 0Likes

    I have just heard from REA who have advised they are resetting all the email alerts back to what they were on the old site overnight and by tomorrow all will be fine. I am not sure what this means to the new alerts that have been created in the new site. I actually deleted my old alerts and recreated them as they were not working correctly so it will be interesting to see if I have additional alerts tomorrow or if the new ones will be overwritten with the old ones. Thanks Glenn for putting a spotlight on this issue!

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 6:31 am 0Likes

    Jayne,

    I take it that since they are going to reset them back that they have finally admitted that they changed/corrrupted them?

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 6:38 am 0Likes

    More importantly were the missing emails archived or have they been lost? maybe someone from REA would be kind enough to make a statement here.

  • Jayne Harwood
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 6:56 am 0Likes

    Glenn,

    There was no statement as to whether they were changed/corrupted only that they would revert back….

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 7:24 am 0Likes

    Thats funny.. just read an email from an REA rep to an agent whereby they claimed they have investigated all reported cases and they found that the emails were sent and that if you have not got them then they go on to blame spam filters and wrong email settings and the like.

    Leanne, Robert, Tatiana .. you must have been confused because you really did get those emails after all 🙂 You must have misplaced them..

    So it looks as though the official position is going to be something along the lines of “What emails.. do dont know about any lost emails… you lost them.. not us!”

    I know we still have no emails for the recent saved alerts come through yet.

  • Tatiana Mijalica
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 9:18 am 0Likes

    All properties receive their highest traffic day on the day they are included in the email alert.

    This averages between 50 – 500 views, dependant on area the Agent is located in.

    If you look at a bare minimum break down of 50 property views on the day the email alert goes out:

    50 property views x 10 new properties per month x 10 days of new alerts = 5000

    The average Agent will be around 5000 property views down on the previous month if email alerts are not going out.

    The more new properties an Agent has per month, the more their views will be down.

  • real estate website templates
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 9:40 am 0Likes

    @ Mac

    Without doing further research it would be hard to say, although Im sure this information would be out there. Im not sure about others here, but myself personally – I usually just head straight for REA, and rarely go there through Google. Unless of course Im wanting to target specific keywords within the search query.

    Out of interest, as I havent been to REA in a few days, have they included “keyword search” in the search feature – this is quite a nice feature to have (Domain has it)

  • Simon Baker
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 7:02 pm 0Likes

    Glenn

    The drop in page views can be easily explained.

    On the old site, clicking on a property image launched a new window and then each subsequent image refreshed in that window. This created a heap of the page impressions that were really just people viewing property images.

    On the new site, all images are displayed on the property details page without launching a new page or refeshing it. Therefore you will naturally see a significant decline in page impressions without necessarily a decline in the number of property images viewed.

    The bounce rate is another issue all together …

    Thanks

    Simon Baker
    Classified Ad Ventures

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 11:30 pm 0Likes

    Simon,

    I agree however that actually presents more questions that it answers. How can the bounce rate be going up, the new design by its nature be generating less pageviews per visit but the reduction in pageviews per visitor is the same as the reduction in property views. Let me explain.

    The most concerning statistical drop is the property views as distinct from pageviews. The majority of agents have experienced between 40 to 60% in the number of property views. Does this concern you?

    Alexa is reporting the reduction in pageviews at about the same levels as agents are seeing in their property views.

    If as you suggest it was about reloading image pages when you throw in the higher bounce rate I would have thought that if everything else was equal the reduction of pageviews per visit would have been much higher than the reduction in property views.

    Since a visitor browsing in from the home page would rack up a whole lot more pageviews it stands to reason that there has to have been a pretty big reduction in the number of users who only rack up a few pageviews. The most likely culprit is all the visits driven by the email brochures and email alerts. Visitors from these sources are more likely to have less contact time on the website.

    There are a number of people on here including myself who are not getting email alerts or ebrochures. If you extrapolate that out to the full userbase there is a lot of missing emails.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 11:39 pm 0Likes

    If we know that email alerts are not being sent for many people and ebrochures are not getting delivered. Can anyone confirm if they have found a case whereby Agents are being charged for eBrochures that have been sent but the ebrochure was never received?

    These things are not cheap and if we had that add-on at the moment I would be making sure I got what I was being charged for or I would be asking for a refund/credit.

    The crazy part is that there are so many agents that are subscribed (and we know now around a couple of thousand are for REA employees and their families) we should be able to confirm whether we have been receiving each others ebrochures.

  • Rachael Lord
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 1:03 am 0Likes

    Another mistake re has made is including two separate housing categories

    1. Units
    2. Apartments

    You have to put either or now and so listings that are put in apartments won’t turn up in units. (It used to just be units)

    This could be confusing for buyers! It sure confused me when I couldn’t find out own listings!

  • A User
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 1:59 am 0Likes

    @Simon Baker is would be on the money with respect to the photo slideshow. Page duration appears to have increased in Apr with no significant reduction in session duration.

    The new site offer so many ways to view a property, many of which wouldn’t count as a new PI from the search results. It’s possible property flyouts etc. aren’t being recorded as a property view.

    Movement in enquiry volume would be more instructive.

  • Simon Baker
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 9:07 pm 0Likes

    The best indicator of the true impact of the site relaunch will come with the May Neilsen NetRatings numbers – this will show, on a comparative basis with Domain, the UV’s, PI’s, time on site etc …

    On an interesting side note … i just received an email alert for Neutral Bay in Sydney. I dont have an email alert set up for that area. Now i live in Melbourne and have done so for 5 years. I vaguely remember setting one up for Neutral Bay in 2003/4 perhaps … so my best guess is that something has gone a little astray in the back end and REA is scrambling to fix the problem. In that process, they have somehow reactivated very old email alerts …

    Suffice to say, not a totally smooth transition – especially since the new site has rumoured to cost ~$15m.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 10:39 am 0Likes

    I asked a few comments up about Ebrochure being charged without being delivered. I have have now had feedback from a number of agents who have been charged for eBrochures yet believe they have not been delivered. Their reasons for thinking they have not been delivered is they have staff who have the registered to receive updates in the same suburbs.

    Something has definitely gone wrong and they are trying to get it back. What is interesting is that from the feedback provided everybody that has asked about the emails and ebrochures going missing has been told that the problem has been investigated and their is no problem at all. There seems to be no acceptance that they have made a mistake to anybody. Has anybody been actually advised of what seems so obvious to everybody else? Are they refusing to acknowledge the problem for fear of being asked for refunding ebrochure charges and/or compensation in general?

    I have continued to receive quite a lot of April graphs for agents right around the country and I the average drop in page views is probably around 40 to 45%.

    Because that is the key metric used with individual agents realestate.com.au is going to have to work to sell the reduction in these figures as a good or neutral thing. I can certainly understand the logic involved in why the property views are down but is the average agents going to accept this so easily?

    For years realestate.com.au has boasted such massive statistics such as the dumbed down “property seekers” and property views. So will agents really understand a stat that they have be told should be higher in the past now does not need to be so high?

    This would have been an easier sell if the did this prior to or as the new site launched. To try and “sell” the drop now is just going to seem like an excuse. But the real key whether they can pull it off and thats the other key metric…. the number of email enquiries. If enquiry numbers stay high it will be much easier to explain. If that drops off as well I reckon they are in for a world of hurt.

    Its going to be an interesting week!

  • Jayne Harwood
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 11:22 pm 0Likes

    Just to let you know I have been advised by REA that the email alerts have now been fixed but if you had a specific price search the alerts will now be for all prices. Also if you go into your account it will still show $25,000 – $25,000 (as two of our agents alerts had changed to) but you will actually receive all prices. I can also confirm our agents are now receiving alerts again.

    In relation to E-Brochures my understanding is the auto E-Brochure goes out on day 7 to subscribers within a $100k range. So if I list a property at $250,000 then all subscribers that are looking in the $200,000 – $300,000 price range would receive the E-Brochure. BUT if your alert had been changed to $25,000 – $25,000 I cannot see how subscribers would receive the E-Brochure.

    As you say May will be a very interesting month!!

  • Tatiana Mijalica
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 4:16 am 0Likes

    This is the new alert I set up last week:

    Properties for sale between $500,000 and $2,000,000 in Abbotsford, VIC; Armadale, VIC; Balwyn, VIC; Camberwell, VIC; Hawthorn, VIC; Kew, VIC; Prahran, VIC; Richmond, VIC; South yarra, VIC; Surrey hills, VIC; Toorak, VIC (Sorted by: Most Relevant) buy Daily(change)

    Email alert is fine now, still no Ebrochures

  • Kylie Emans
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 1:39 am 0Likes

    We don’t even have a realestate.com.au rep, it must be over 12 months since we last heard from anyone from realestate.com.au!

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 3:45 am 0Likes

    Kylie,

    I’m meeting ours on Thursday and that is a first for at least 2 to 3 years. May they will going to the Shire once they cross the Harbour Bridge? BTW – I will tell them that you are in search of your REA representative also 🙂

  • Kylie Emans
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 3:57 am 0Likes

    Thanks Robert! Did you initiate that meeting?

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 4:38 am 0Likes

    Kylie,

    Sort of – I made a comment about REA (namely we don’t get any emails from them any more) here on B2. She read it then contacted me directly to introduce herself to discuss my concerns which then prompted them to fully investigate our account and all those missing emails which it appears have gone missing and shall forever remain unanswered which makes us (RWM) look totally incompetent in the eyes of those who sent the enquiry. There appears to be one big black hole at REA that destroys email enquiries as they never get sent.

    We are meeting on Thursday to discuss the REA Black Hole.

  • Kylie Emans
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 5:48 am 0Likes

    Mmm I am doing my own research here and we seemed to have fallen into the black hole as well…

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 1:59 am 0Likes

    It does not get any more obvious than this property we launched one week today – here is the online comparisons which highlight that our online business is attracts more traffic than REA. Look at the huge difference between REA and Domain.

    Total internet hits this campaign:

    http://www.rwm.com.au
    169
    http://www.domain.com.au
    360
    http://www.realestate.com.au
    125

  • Rachael Lord
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 4:43 am 0Likes

    I’m from Beach & Bay (where Kylie works)

    I have been doing some research today.

    Firstly I called customer care and asked who our rep was. The name sounded familiar and I searched my emails to see he had emailed us ONCE trying to sell a product (never introduced himself as our new account manager though or called and said hello).

    Despite domain.com.au problems, our rep there is in contact with us at least once a fortnight.

    I checked realestate.com.au internally how many emails had been sent for a particular property as Kylie complained it seemed very quiet. I can see internally that 6 have been sent (RE unlike domain.com.au do not list the email addresses and the dates though, its just a number, very frustrating).

    We then searched Kylie’s emails and 3 were found from 6th May, 6th May & 3rd May. Cyberspace seems to have swallowed up the other 3?

    I’ll let you know if I get any love from our rep in the next few days. I have a list of complaints ready and raring to go.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 11:16 pm 0Likes

    My alerts finally started working this week.

    Rachael,

    I reckon your rep got their but kicked about that lack of contact. It really does come down to the individual. We have had some great reps and have had some average ones. Right now Zak who looks after us is great but I would hate to be in his shoes over the past few weeks.

  • Marmellows are yummy
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 1:54 am 0Likes

    i dont like teh new layout.

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