Project Rebellion : Front Page News!

Over the past several weeks Ben Hurley from the Australian Financial Review has been conducting an investigation into the revolt by real estate agencies around the country against Realestate.com.au.

Today on the front page of the Australian Financial Review Ben’s article “Real Estate Agents Revolt” appears.

The article discusses hotly debated topics on this blog and its interesting seeing the discussion raised in more mainstream media.   The article covers some great ground and I expect there is more to this story up his sleeve for followup articles.

Some interesting quotes from the article are  :

The major agencies, such as LJ Hooker, Ray White, Raine & Horne and Century 21, are considering using their combined mightto setup rival information suppliers and advertising portals.

“It’s called Project Rebellion,” said David Airey, president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia

Real estate groups including RE/MAX, Professionals and First National are cutting back on the information they provide to REA.

and Ben was able to get some quotes from Greg Ellis, REA Group CEO

“REA will never take a dollar from the commission of selling and listing property, that is the exclusive domain of the real estate agents,”Mr Ellis said.

He said sold-price information was “absolutely a non critical part of the information we provide”.“People are significantly more interested in what their property is worth, which does not come from the sold information alone,” Mr Ellis said. He would not reveal the information used to calculate property values.

Grab a copy of today’s AFR or download the article by clicking here.

 

 

afr, project rebellion, REA, Realestate.com.au

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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.

191 Responses to Project Rebellion : Front Page News!

  1. andy June 23, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Viva la revolution!
    The Industry is revolting ? ! ? Financial Review, Fairfax, right?
    Nothing like a sponsored uprising ! 😉

  2. Glenn Rogers June 23, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Well well, I thought as much, you can treat your clients like cattle for just so long before they turn on you as seems to be the case now.

    REA’s aim of forever increasing profits is non compatable with keeping their clients interests at heart, they opted for keeping the shareholders happy but lost their clients along the way, shareholders won’t be happy when this gains momentum and their business disappears from under them.

  3. Sal Espro June 23, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Of course, we are all going to agree with the sentiment but won’t the same old arguments just keep rolling? An alternative would be good but… I guess the old chestnuts ‘in here’ will just run over the same old perspectives.e.g. Shane, Vic, Bill, Charlie… ReView will say it’s a great opportunity etc etc
    It comes down to buyer eye-balls and there ain’t an agent I know that is going to stop advertising where their enquiry comes from. We all know a franchisor can scream til they’re blue in the face but the franchisee is the one who has to make the sale!
    Didn’t the franchises already try to go it alone down the Homehound path? And even Shane has left MyHome now.

    (It’s a bugger being old and seeing so many repeated verses! That’s why I can’t bear sharing time with people who can’t play anything newer than 80’s music!)

  4. MAC June 23, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Shane, why did you leave MyHome? Where are you now?

  5. Aryan June 23, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    No Matter what you say.

    You are all still on it and you cannot quit because REA always delivers results.

  6. JR June 23, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    For anyone who isn’t part of a franchise, would you feel comfortable giving your data to the likes of remax or ray white? Heck no.

    Im no advocate for realestate.com.au but whether we like them or not, their market claims come from the likes neilson and external marketing research providers and they are careful the not use stats outside the context they receive them in. we hate them because what they do they do well.

    Big project name for what sounds like a lot of wind.

  7. Robert Simeon June 23, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Going to set up a website http://www.wherearetheynow.com.au 🙂

    After years and years of customer abuse the natives are restless and what was once a big business is now fast tracking a small business model methodology.

    It will be fascinating to see how REA try to negotiate their way through this – given many are now calling REA – Sensis Mk ||.

    Then of course the Board of Directors will be asking some questions too. Looks like REA were the only ones who failed to see this coming.

  8. Simon Baker June 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    I was alerted to this article by a journalist looking for a comment. (Like who reads the newspaper anymore!)

    My first reaction was that it is history repeating itself. We have all heard the same noises from the industry for 10 years … if not longer. There have been many different attempts (propertypage / homehound / realestateview / etc) and all have come to nought. Why, lack of leadership, lack of funding, and lack of clarity in what they want to achieve.

    However, if the industry was truly serious about setting up a competitor to REA, it has to take a coordinated and systematic approach. (Almost impossible without strong leadership)

    There is a way to disrupt REA and to create an alternative however the road is long and hard and it does need clear, strong leadership.

    Suffice to say, while words are cheap, it is actions that make the difference.

    I am sure we will see the same article in another year!

  9. Bill June 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Simon “Why, lack of leadership, lack of funding, and lack of clarity in what they want to achieve.”

    Doesn’t seem like too big of an hurdle to me.

  10. MAC June 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    I guess you think there might be an angle or your iProperty group currently being operated in Asia by your former REA team, Simon? 🙂

  11. Glenn Rogers June 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Simon, I think it’s more serious for REA than that, it’s not the same old tune it’s getting more serious and agents are more aware and there are a few out there with the capacity to actually dod something.

    REA has pushed too hard now comes the payback.

    As far as REA being the only ones to deliver results, they can only do that if they have the content and the agents control that.

  12. Robert Simeon June 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Simon

    You are correct in that this has been written before. What remains to be seen is how united the Franchises are together with the independents. It is no secret that REA has lost in Sydney the Eastern Suburbs, Lower and Upper North Shore and Inner West markets to Domain.

    If REA were doing their job correctly such an article would not need to see the light of day? Maybe I’m missing something aside from online interaction with our
    business from REA?

  13. Simon Baker June 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    An additional thought …

    If the franchise groups were serious about competing with realestate.com.au or at least providing a competitive offering, wouldnt they first start internally and attempt to organise group buying of REA subscriptions for their franchisees?

    Imagine if all Ray White or LJ Hooker offices got together and negotiated as one for their REA subscriptions (and additional products). I think they would get a better price.

    This has surely got to be much easier to do than trying to bring a highly fragmented industry together.

    Simon Baker
    CEO
    Classified Ad Ventures

  14. MAC June 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Good point, Simon. Unfortunately however, franchisors in general would look to see how they might make a margin out of such activity. And this might be why they would consider a separate Realtor.com Australia play i.e. for the equity. Ray White has good experience with you on REA in this regard, hasn’t it.

  15. Simon Baker June 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    Glenn

    I think that it is the vendor that controls the listing. If a vendor chooses not to use an agent then the agent has no listing. Therefore, meeting the vendor’s requirements is critical in ensuring the listing.

    If an agent walks in and says they are not going to advertise it on REA (what ever the reason), they run the risk of not winning the listing. Especially when up against an agent who promotes that he will advertise it on REA.

    You will therefore end up with all agents (well most) staying on REA.

    Agents think they control the listing but reality is the vendor does.

    Simon Baker
    http://www.classifiedadventures.com

  16. Simon Baker June 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Mac, there is angle that can be exploited however i am not convinced there is the collective will in the market to truly take on REA. Sure there are some people who are the noisy minority however the silent majority are probably more concerned about day to day business issues rather than saving a few hundred dollars on a standard or premium subscription.

    The more interesting question is why do people have to buy the premium products? Do they really add value?

  17. Vic June 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Everybody want to be a comedian- agents and franchisors think that they can get into the advertising business ?- not a chance!!!

    As Andy says “a sponsored uprising” – Domain is getting quite active all around Australia with special deals and more reps on the ground and now this article. Let this play out and it will go the same way as the airline industry.

    I remember when it cost me $700 to fly one way to Sydney.

    Let it play out and both REA and Domain will have to reduce subs.

  18. Glenn Rogers June 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    “Agents think they control the listing but reality is the vendor does.”

    In theory Simon but I spent 20 years in agency and the vendor takes advice from the agent, no vendor in my experience has ever queried where advertising goes.

  19. Glenn Rogers June 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    added – if they were queried it would be easy just to run the line that REA are charging too much and the results aren’t what they used to be so we’re using a new site….. and you know what the response from the vendor would be ? “Ok go ahead” I can almost guarantee it.

  20. Glenn Rogers June 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Todays commandment –

    “Those who look after the agents will win”

    and so I advise.

  21. Vic June 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Glenn,
    With all due respects it has only been the past 5 years that the consumers have become really aware of the power of the internet. I reckon the control of where listings are placed is swinging towards the vendor. Particularly when they have to reach into their own pockets to pay for it.

  22. Peter Brewer June 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    At the risk of upsetting many here I can recall making a prediction in 2001 or earlier (when i think the monthly rea fee was about $165?).. that agents would, like anyone with a dependency, become addicted to this portal if they opted not to take control of their web presence.

    As an observer I’ve watched rea (in my humble opinion) get cockier and cockier as times gone by, not un-coincidentally as the industries addiction to them has grown more reliant. Some of their latest ploys (in my humble opinion) show arrogance that none of us should really be shocked by. It was only a matter of time before they started to flex their muscle just a little more. And they will no doubt (in my humble opinion) keep doing it. Its a behaviour that comes with power and arrogance.

    Sal Espro above nails it for me with his comment above. All the natter about ‘alternatives, break aways, industry owned portals etc’ is rhetoric that never gets acted on with any genuine intent by the power players who could actually make a difference for the fee paying franchisors/franchisees/members/associates that they allegedly represent.

    Again, in my humble view, until the ego’s get dropped at franchise head and industry institute top levels then nothing will change. And for that, I won’t hold my breath.

    Maybe the alternative for the ‘thinking agent’ is the same as any other person looking to break a horrid addiction. Cold Turkey would be great, but it isn’t the real answer.

    Weaning yourself off any dependancy is wiser. Show me an agent that’s prepared to redeploy just 10% of their monthly portal spend and 10% of their time into some smart use of social media and using the tools available in their own (probably very idle) data bases and I’ll show you an agent who is well on the way to rehabilitation.

    Anyone want to break a habit?

    Views are my own private views and not necessarily those of any parties that I consult to.

  23. Glenn Rogers June 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    Vic, vendors have always paid for the advertising, the engage an agent to advise, they don’t advise the agent.
    Vendors may be more aware but agents still call the shots.

  24. Bill June 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Peter, if you can remember back to 2001 you might also go back a little further when businesses paid http://au.yahoo.com/ $199US to place a listing on the Yahoo portal.

    Yahoo thought they were home and hosed and very comfortable with their big brand monopoly.

    The only reason any business would list with them now would be to get a backlink to help their SEO for Google and not for any business leads they would gain.

    I’m amazed that so many think change cannot happen. If the natives are restless then opportunities open up for someone to show leadership, funding capabilities and a clarity of what can be achieved (Quote Simon Baker)

    Will change happen in months, several years or decades, who knows but one doesn’t need an MBA to know that change is inevitable.

  25. Jack June 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    As my REA contract is coming up for renewal, I having been running the ruler over their performance and clearly feel that both my clients & office will not suffer from not being a minor speck in what has become a congested supermarket as it doesn’t support the investment. It’s a shame the decisions are made by those with no contact with their clients and forget we do have a choice, remembering when people get serious they will compare several sites.

  26. Peter Ricci June 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    I will note that institutes around Australia openly and aggressively supported REA and Domain (through paid sponsorship) in the formative years (and possibly still do) and have been an impotent force in the past.

    Most agencies still need to be on these sites and the only way to ween oneself off them is to support and market competitors…

  27. Glenn Batten June 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Interesting to see other journalists are taking up the issue as well…

    http://www.smartcompany.com.au/property/20110623-real-estate-agents-planning-rebellion-against-rea-industry-dominance.html

  28. Peter Brewer June 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Bill (and Simon), You have it 110% with the word ‘Leadership’. It would take combined leadership from the various state and territory institutes as well as the industry brands, and so far I don’t think these guys could collectively agree on any particular day of the week to meet on, let alone agreeing on the real meat and vegies of giving the people they allegedly represent a viable industry owned or controlled alternative. But I’m happy to be proven wrong. What’s the chances in my lifetime?..

    Views are my own private views and not necessarily those of any parties that I consult to.

  29. Bill June 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Peter, how old are you 🙂

  30. Sam June 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Quoted in the AFR!

    Well done B2, that’s incredible!

  31. Robert Simeon June 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Simon Baker has written a response on Property Observer

    Should REA Group worry?

    http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/residential/industry-news/should-rea-group-worry/2011062350581

  32. Chris June 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Fish rots from the head.

    I hope Greg Ellis has a disaster recovery plan.

    In fact i am sure he would – and a well used one.

  33. Peter Brewer June 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Bill. I’m 52 (and feeling very fit!) although I do look over my shoulder a bit on days like these. 🙂

  34. Jim Langford June 23, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Great Article – and would say while the industry is very fragmented… perhaps it will be “social media” that makes the difference….I’d a;spo suggest that the major franchise groups & REA all have the same agenda…. and its certainly not assisting or partnering real estate businesses… Jim

  35. Bill June 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Peter, I’d guessed 42 , seriously though when I see someone formulate a plan to launch an IPO for onthehouse and get institutions falling over themselves to subscribe I wonder what a leader with real vision could achieve. I hear all the time in forums such as this that industry leaders couldn’t come together for a lunch. Well that tells me the menu or the chef must be pretty ordinary. It will happen though and if you keep fit well maybe in your lifetime.

  36. Vic June 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Robert,

    Great article by Simon B in the Property Observer.

    Another hurdle to overcome for a new portal owner is print media advertising of it’s presence. News Ltd and Fairfax have policies to prohibit competitors advertising in all forms of their media. This leaves adwords, television and radio.

    Which agents would deliberately post limited information and images on REA pending building their own portal brand? They would not be doing their vendors any favours by doing this. I know Simon was not advocating this action, but I’ve definitely heard of some spruiking this tactic, as the next step to putting up inaccurate sold data.

  37. Martin Crampton June 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    As the co-founder of Property.com.au that began all of ‘this’ (yes, we’re still alive despite if seeming a lifetime ago! :), I can relate the original experience to the current challenges – for agents and their association and business groups. Imagine educating agents in the value of computer listings when they’re all working from manila folders. Fairfax and News Ltd newsprint were the (extremely rusted-on and price-gouging) competition, assisted by complicit agents receiving ‘side benefits’ and initially the Internet browser hadn’t even been released! There is a story here that makes the current Realestate.com.au / Domain challenges pale by comparison. To succeed requires entrepreneurial innovation, fanatical belief, multi-disciplinary skillsets and dedication to the task. Gee, what I wouldn’t have done to be working with an industry that takes ‘online’ for granted! We side-stepped the paradigm and surpassed it with a different, higher value offering. New options are needed again. As the inventor of the ‘multi-distribution’ XML upload etc etc I thought the age of a monopolistic portal were limited back 10 years ago! *L* Perhaps good things come to those that wait. However, I prefer to hope that hard, innovative thinking and work will succeed. (I’f I had to have a motto that might help in this situation, it could be from Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”, “You don’t know what it’s like to be a black man in this white honky’s skin!”) I am writing from an Android but can remember how revolutionary it seemed when we signed-up our first ‘mobile’ agent working from his car with a laptop – about 1995! About the same time we listed our first island. C’mon, give us some new memories!

  38. Property Addict June 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    As someone looking for an upmarket property I am amazed at how many properties have very little information and few photos. Not to mention the quality of the agents (but that’s another story). It looks to me like there is a lot more that could be included about the home but isn’t. I have seen $1.8m properties with one or two paragraphs and 6 photos. This is not helping me make a decision to view this home.
    Maybe stop whingeing about what it costs you, be happy that it is still much cheaper than print (which is all you had 15 years ago) and use it to your best advantage first to make sure you are actually getting your money’s worth to start with. Big companies like realestate.com.au and Domain are businesses and they are there to make money just like the agents are. They don’t owe you any favours, it is up to you to use it better.
    By the way …. I am a private buyer and the owner of a small business. I am NOT involved in the real estate, internet or newspaper industry, but I love real estate. I have no agenda other than that I don’t think the agents utilise these sites properly – and really they should.

  39. Simon Baker June 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Here’s the link to the original article I wrote. There will be a follow up article tomorrow.

    http://www.propertyportalwatch.com/2011/06/rea-group-facing-agent-revolt-

  40. Tatiana Mijalica June 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    I think the Industry is a lot less fragmented than the Media companies would have you believe. This was very apparent at Rebar Camp in Sydney, where the sold data issues were openly discussed, a course of action decided and acted on within weeks. All in under 1 hour!

    Also, if vendors were in charge of where their advertising monies were going and not the agent, why would REA be so deperate to form their own relationships with the vendors on the back of free

  41. Aaron Clausen June 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    “Agents think they control the listing but reality is the vendor does.”

    Simon is right. The number of agencies that I talk to who stay with REA simply because they feel the need to have a presence on there as their competitors do is huge. More out of their own fear rather than actual vendors saying “hey you better list my place on realestate.com.au”.

    We’ve heard of several agencies who have not renewed their REA subscription this time around and more and more of them are teetering on the brink of following suit. Something is happening.

    But what we don’t need are more national portals. Niche portals are emerging and doing a better job of servicing a particular area or niche because they are focused.

    The user experience is better.

    Users are sick of the same old needle/haystack search experience on the national sites.
    They are also sick of being clobbered with irrelevant advertising and random properties being forced into their search results.

    95% of people have already decided the broader region or niche (E.g. “Water front”) that they wish to investigate. And from there, they simply want the best overarching view into that niche.

    Niche portals are where its at from here on.

    Agents are best placed listing on one chosen national portal as well as the niche portal(s) that best service their region or specific niche. This way they cover both bases and also keep their costs realistic.

  42. Simon Baker June 23, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    By the end of the day the market self corrected and REA was down only 1% – nothing out of the ordinary.

  43. Charlie June 23, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Markets are dynamic, never take for clients for granted, great changes happen slowly (and other cliches)- but it’s all true.

    I don’t think this is ‘same old same old’, there is a real chance to beat the market incumbent in local markets and they will be fighting on all fronts. After all, real estate is a local game in most respects. It’s all very interesting… 🙂

  44. Bill June 23, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    “there is a real chance to beat the market incumbent in local markets” I like that a lot Charlie.

  45. luke woollard June 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    Jack, where will you advertise? I’m interested to hear from you

  46. Chris Hasson June 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Real Estate agents got REA where they are today and real estate agents can break the monopoly in Australia. There is a solution and it is not with Franchises, I agree. It is at the grass roots level. Anyone worth their salt in Internet Marketing understands that the web is in a massive shift. This is due to an inflation caused by the abundance of new websites and the introduction of social media, smart phones and Ipads. The future is looking bright for Real Estate agents to tackle the problem of the 40 pound gorilla(REA) if they open their eyes to a paradigm shift about to happen. Some see NO WHERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES others see NOW HERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES. Same letters, different perspectives. As the saying goes. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. By the way, great post Glen.

  47. Tatiana Mijalica June 23, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Let

  48. joe June 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    how much revenue does the REA group make from sales data?
    this is the question that we should be asking, especially if this is not a major revenue raiser for the REA group, why do they collect it and then on sell?
    Greg Ellis? why would you not give this back to your agents that make realestate.com.au so powereful at no cost.

  49. joe June 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    how much money do the Com bank pay and RP Data for the most up to date sales results?
    heaps? you bet.
    goliath you are going down

  50. snoop June 24, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    Same old catcalls.
    Yes as the encumbent number one their is a culture of arrogance at REA.
    This is the danger.
    They dont seem to work consultatively or sensitively with the industry.
    Bit like Telstra under Trujillo.
    We know best.

  51. Glenn Batten June 24, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    Did anybody else get a hurry up on their Realestate.com.au survey response?? Apparently our account rep has been asked to contact all clients to encourage them to complete the survey.

    Sounds like they are keen to get some “good news” out there for some reason.. Somehow I doubt they will transparently release all the results 🙂

  52. programmer June 24, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Tatiana,

    If every agent archives @ $1, how long do you think it will take REA to validate that saleprice >X$ and rejects XML feeds that don’t meet this criteria?

  53. Glenn Rogers June 24, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    The Age newspaper had a monopoly and used it to some extent raising prices at will, but they could, you cant print a competative newspaper.

    REA are acting as the Age did BUT in a sense of false security, they seem unaware of the fact that it’s much easier to create a new web site than set up printing presses and a distribution network.

    Enough talk, lets see where things lie 3 months from now, there’s good reason to suspect the landscape will be showing signs of change.

  54. Bill June 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Tatiana, just to wander away from REA data issue and move to OnTheHouse data, I have just read the WilsonHTM analysis document on the shareholder site and the documents states that OTH will have available to them data from agencies trust accounts via their ownership of Console. Combined with Portplus they’ll have a 40% market share.

    This would place them in a powerful market position as far as accurate data is concerned due to the agents liability of having to enter accurate data into their trust accounts.

    I’ll be interested in your opinion of their position and threat if any to other recognised data providers.

    http://shareholders.onthehouse.com.au/assets/files/WilsonsJune2011.pdf .

  55. Tatiana Mijalica June 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Programmer, the Terms & Conditions state that a price must be entered together with a sold date. It does not say correct or otherwise. REA is not a licensed data collector, they could never ask for it to be the correct price.

    Agents have been correctly archiving and selecting the Do Not Display price in the backend.

    REA have ignored the Do Not Display price function and have revealed hidden prices to anyone that requests a free “valuation” on Ozhomevalue/Homeguru. Some of these were Undisclosed Sales, for which the Agent is liable under the Privacy Act.

    The Ozhomevalue/Homeguru reports are now only sending reports out with properties that have selected to Display the sold price, so small win there.

    In VIC, 80% of the Agents do not send their sold results to REA. REV has reported the sold price as $0 + the sold date for years to REA & DOM, so this is nothing new or revolutionary.

    A simple step that has always worked and is easy to implement for any Agency!

    The other thing is, collecting data that may be deemed as Private (Undisclosed Sales in particular), without articulating this in your Terms and Conditions, then sharing it with 3rd parties (RP Data, Ozhomevalue, Homeguru, various Iphone Apps that we know of) without the knowledge of the originating source (the Agents and vendors) seems to be shaping up to be a breach of the Trade Practices Act. Time will tell.

  56. Glenn Batten June 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Bill,

    OTH would have you believe in that document that access to confidential business information in their clients trust account data is their god given right. Do you think they consulted their clientbase on just what they plan on doing with that data ?

    I wonder if it’s that sort of position that has them trading under 70c today?

  57. Glenn Batten June 24, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Simon,

    Good to see you commenting here again.. I always know when any article on REA is a big deal because it drags you out of the woodwork talking the issues down. That use to be Tom S job till you left REA 🙂

    Yesterday was hardly a normal day for the REA share price. The rebound in the afternoon you spoke of appears to have been corrected down on opening this morning and it will be interesting to see what it closes at today. Still I would rather be holding REA than OTH right now.

    I would think the market might be a little interested about this meeting that Ben wrote about. Whilst there are plenty of other “conversations” happening right now since that was the big headline in the article I think Ben will have himself a followup article or two.

    Still, even if all the stars align and a strategy is decided upon, there is still a
    long and bumpy road to the end of the rainbow but I think even you will admit that that there might be something in it this time.

    Just so its clear though, are you still a significant shareholder in REA ?

  58. Tatiana Mijalica June 24, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Bill, Console data access is predominantly rental based (37% marketshare) and Portplus data access is sales and rental based (10% marketshare). OTH do not have access to enough real time sold data to become a serious contender.

    Even with the 10% that they are currently servicing, it is an easy fix.

    The Portplus customers consist of Agents that use a Portplus website only and Agents that use Portplus website + CRM.

    The CRM customers will have a bit more of a challenge protecting their data and will need to get assurances from Portplus on where their data is going.

    The website customers just need to archive at $1.

    However, it stands to reason that Portplus and Console will need approval from their customers to collect this data full stop.

    My feelings are that the Onthehouse IPO was an extremely misguided move for both Console and Portplus, both exceptional businesses in their own right.

    Trying to backdoor the industry (with an ex RP Data guy as one of the Directors) and regain control of the sold data which is clearly a highly contentious issue, these guys could not have picked a worse time to kick off this project.

    If they had just taken the time to go out and speak to people within the industry extensively before the IPO, they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble.

    Their model of providing free

  59. Glenn Rogers June 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    How things have changed, when I had Commercialrealestate.com.au I had the idea of collecting that data and making it available to Member agents to assist valuations.
    Guess thats why I’m not rich.

  60. Glenn Rogers June 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    REA is down 30c today $11.80 , not a collapse but down from $14 in April

    OTH – down another 6c

    No big dramas, the whole market is in a state of flux.

  61. Bill June 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Glenn, in 1995-6 we went to a REI President to show him software we had developed for a real estate portal that agents could upload listings to. His very words were “that will never catch on” We believed him and that’s why I’m not rich 🙂

  62. Glenn Rogers June 24, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    It’s a bit like the Facebook story, I knew from day one that CRE would work, others coudn’t see it, they thought I was brave to throw in agency to concentrate on it, I didn’t see that at all because I absolutely knew 100% that it was a winner, there isn’t a feeling like it.

  63. Glenn Batten June 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    Glenn R

    I dont know if the investors in OTH would agree with you. Their 6c represented 8.57% of their value and they are now down to just 64c in under 4 weeks.. Ouch.. Must be some red faces out there.

    Even though there are so many shares locked down from trading I don’t think there have been any big exits yet but you would have to think there might be if we see 50c before the end of the month. Someone will have to blink.

  64. Glenn Rogers June 24, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Glenn I think it’s a bit early yet, if in 6 months they haven’t made any impression then I would worry, I just love the “financial experts” predictions of growth.
    I’m wallowing in losses for listening to “experts”

  65. Ricky June 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Glenn,

    I think you’ll find that Simon has moved a lot of his hard earned into another R/E portal that is listed on the Aust stockmarket and one that has seen its shares go from about 30 cents in november to a close of 90 cents an hour ago.

  66. Glenn Rogers June 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Have OTH acuallly done anything yet ?, I’ve seen no mention in here of promotion or anything.

    Once they start to move perhaps confidence will return.

  67. Shane Dale June 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Wow, quite a kerfuffle going on here from the noisy minority as usual. I salute you. 64 comments and growing! – However …

    Let me just say abut an industry portal – because I have walked the walk – its a pipe dream – the groups will not act together – even for a free portal – with shares given for them to hold the operations honest – and a shared sold property data resource – plus at one time 5 operational regional print (weekly to monthly) property publications also agent owned and controlled.

    Frankly – if the industry didnt support that offering – then its very unlikely they will be proactive in any other way. Times do change but I suspect this apathy will not.

    Some head offices agreed enthusiastically at first – only to ignore all emails and calls a few weeks later – which makes me wonder what happened behind the scenes. They would not even authorise their loaders to flick the switch on for free – many loaders had already stated their feeds would be free to myhome. The highest load fee we had was about $44 a month ( sure it could have been dropped with the right pressure) What can we learn from this?

    I think this must be shocking to many of you – as most people here are big thinkers, but the reality is that support does not exist in a meaningful way. I would however thank Mike Green from Harcourts who was exceptional trying to get the industry together for a truly minimal input to achieve a far greater outcome – even if it was to put pressure on REA – simply being a viable number 3 could achieve that modest aim.

    Although I was in a unique position to run an enterprise class portal at a very low overhead ( thanks PBL)- as well as a data service at a low price point – in an ethical and responsible fashion – the GFC affected the banner advertising down by 90% making the site cashflow negative and property developments I was doing personally were delayed – it all got too rich for my blood. There are better options for me. REIV is far better placed and manned than my companies to spend the time and effort to win the industry over. I think they can do more with it, but its unlikely to be a fast or easy victory and will surely have some setbacks on the road.

    Thus REA can afford to be arrogant and complacent because agents are not easily co ordinated into a cohesive unit – the technology exists certainly, but the political will of the industry does not, even some head offices actively oppose it, or sabotage it behind the scenes for other reasons. We havent even started discussing the complexity of dealing with independants.

    Finally at the end – what is the payoff for the heroic individual hellbent on achieving this goal for the thankful masses?

    I must take my hat off to onthehouse – quite an exceptional result to achieve – but I think its more to do with smartly massaging the numbers and the gullible investment community than any serious challenger business model to be concerned about. REA will display sold data if OTH is a potential threat – of course they would. How can they let a new entrant get an edge over them in the consumer experience?

    Here is my bet for REA – pay per listing – its coming.

  68. Bill June 24, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Shane Dale “Here is my bet for REA

  69. Shane Dale June 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    In conclusion – my advice for project rebellion is to simply pose a threat to REA – by making a viable alternative – which will put pressure for REA to lower prices or increase services – because this option is simpler and far more achievable as it doesn’t require your portal to actually beat REA as #1 – I dont think anybody minds paying a fair price for a service like a portal but when it gets too high – makes clients willing to look a at alternatives.

  70. Tatiana Mijalica June 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    This is an interesting read – Morgan Stanley Research from January 2011 outlining Realestateview as the only competitor to REA:

    http://www.business2.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/REA-REALESTATEVIEW26JAN20111_Morgan-Stanley-Broker-Report.pdf

  71. Glenn Rogers June 24, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    I think they’re right.

    I woudn’t hold REA shares at the moment despite what I said earlier about the general market, I think the fall of REA will be swift and unexpected, by some.

  72. Martin Crampton June 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Per Listing? If it was your business, would you?
    Funny to think our original Property.com.au revenue model and tech build in 1993/4 was per listing. We only introduced ‘all you can eat’ subs to keep the early adopters listing. But when REA came in a couple of years later, copied and started to compete, the buggers followed suit with subs and we were locked-in! McKinseys et al always liked subs but gee, I hated the lack of pricing flexibility! (You would’ve thought that ‘consolidation’ of both businesses would’ve provided an excuse to go per listing but I guess REA, who was still the junior partner in mkt share terms, but had News Ltd doing the ‘driving’, didn’t know Property.com.au had superior tech). SEEK took good note though, and didn’t make the same mistake with employment agencies.

  73. Ryan O'Grady June 24, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Shane, i understand the pain in relation to getting agencies to support free portals. Its as simple now as sending an email to a portal requesting to list your properties with them, yet this is too much work for some agents.

    And you could well be right about Pay-per-listing, especially now that the agent assisted sites are flooding REA with listings and that REA are looking to angle in at vendors.

  74. Simon Baker June 24, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    A couple of comments. Firstly I can not see REA moving to a per listing model. It doesn’t make sense. The reason they lead the market is that they have create a clearing house where almost all the listings are. Consumers know this and that is why they continue to have a massive audience.

    Moving to a per listing model, while increasing the revenue per listing, will dramatically decrease the number of listings on the site. As soon as you decrease the number of listings on the site, you give the consumer a reason to look somewhere else – a site that has listings that are not on REA.

    Therefore, it only makes sense to stay with an all you can eat model.

    The more interesting challenge is varying the pricing from suburb to suburb. Why should an agent in Dubbo pay basically the same as an agent in the eastern suburbs of Brisbane … it doesnt make sense. Therefore, the most likely innovation will be suburb based pricing where there is significant differentiation between suburbs in the price paid.

  75. Simon Baker June 24, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    Martin, having done the deal for REA to buy property.com.au from RP Data, i think it is only fair that i respond to some of your comments.

    Firstly, when REA purchased property.com.au, property.com.au was clearly in 3rd place on all measures – revenue, audience, agents, listings etc.

    Secondly, having acquire property.com.au, REA increased market share to around 60% of agents using the site. The mission was to get to 90%+ and therefore moving to any model other than an “all you can eat” model would have made this mission impossible.

    Thirdly, News never did the driving of REA. Those who know the business and how we built it will attest that we operated very independently of News.

    Finally, as for technology superiority, i hate to break it to you but the property.com.au tech was in a bad state when acquired. In fact the old site was mothballed very quickly.

  76. snoop June 25, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    My broker tells me Reiv are out trying to raise 10m plus in the capital markets,on what valuation i dont know but its high risk.
    This wont be enough.
    Getting consumer awareness will burn all of that and more, and what a long name as a url .
    Interestingly they must have read this report as they are currently spending significantly on Facebook.
    I think the REIV s problem is they have invested too much to go back now and are having one last crack.
    As for the On the house float clearly the market has seen through what it was,and retail investors wont be happy with this at all.
    Reading the Top 10 shareholders indicates that a value of well over 6m was applied to a buying a website,with only 250k ubs.

  77. Glenn Rogers June 25, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Simon you’re on track with the pricing model but you should add this – I was about to make changes when CRE was acquired as it was clear that some agents had hundreds of listings on the site while some had very few but they paid the same listing fee, my idea was to charge the base fee for “X” number of listings and more for listings above that number, whether it would be per listing or in a block ie between 50 and 100 listings $x and so on.
    This was mainly to address inequity on the site not so much for revenue raising.

  78. Glenn Rogers June 25, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    I had already started charging less for regional areas, why should an agent in Broken Hill pay the same as one in Sydney CBD when the traffic difference is so great ?

  79. Shane Dale June 25, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Simon – yes that option is also a sensible one – and your points are valid – I suspect the actual pricing model will be some form of hybrid or as you suggest. Surely it wont stay the same as it is – which is patently unfair to smaller agencies and overgenerous to large offices or even those pesky agent assisted sites.

    Regarding property.com.au technology – I must also agree with Simon as we encountered their loading system (under my company propertymode doing XML data feeds early 2000s) and clearly someone from there went on to work at early homehound – was a very painful system. I dont recall REA having poor tech, but property.com.au was made earlier I think and web tech things moved fast back then – REA being made later would have used a better system.

  80. Martin Crampton June 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Wasn’t looking for a pissing match Simon 🙂 Just making some comments from a different perspective on the current situation. Apparently after we sold Property.com.au (having created market paradigms and tech upon which the market was founded and ), sales and tech systems fell away. atically a ver entrepreneurial, management-type or tech-head, I will take yr opinion as read. I just wanted to make some observations

  81. Martin Crampton June 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    what a mess … have to get a stylus app!
    Agree with yr take on regional cost variations, anyway 🙂
    (REA was pretty ordinary tech for a long time tho).

  82. Deepthroat June 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Project Rebellion is a story leaked to Ben Hurley from AFR by the REIV and the names mentioned within the article are not the main players within Victoria that are meeting weekly at the REIV. The initial group meeting was attended by 40+ Victorian agencies large and small, after receiving legal advice that this meeting was anti competitive and collusion they made the decision to form a working group of 7 that is trying to prevent any action by the ACCC.

    The working party alone represent up to 90+% of the content on the current REV site and a major revenue contributor to REA, there is a clear strategy and plan to upset REA and support the so-called industry portal.

    I am sure REA would love to know who is on the working group of 7 and advise the ACCC about the REIV/REV’s disregard of the legal advice they received not to coordinate and run the meetings.

    There are loads of questions that need to be asked of the REIV’s leadership and their potential disregard of the law.

    I’m sure the names of the agencies will come out soon along with the names of the personal that make up the 7.

    This is just the start of what will potentially shut down REV.

  83. David Airey June 26, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    I’m bemused at the wide ranging comments and particularly the angry reactions to what is the beginning of a revolution by agents YES AGENTS not the REIV or REIWA to buy back the farm.
    In my role as President of the REIA i think i might a lot more about this issue than most of you are guessing especially “deepthroat” claiming some ridiculous REIV conspiracy and leaked story to the AFR. What crap.
    The revolution has started in WA by a group of Professionals franchisees and they have been quickly supported by First National and other groups.
    The mission is to STOP RELEASING SALES DATA to 3rd parties such as REA et al and SUPPORT your REI portal eg reiwa.com; realestateview.com.au and reiq.com.au. Pretty simple.
    My experience in talking to and meeting agents around the nation is that they are some of the worst business people. They willingly subscribe to a commercial portal and freely provide sales and rental data then buy it back.
    LETS GET ON and SUPPORT our industry portals and the businesses who don’t want to control us.

  84. snoop June 26, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    Seems to me the smartest thing these institutes should be doing is collectively representing the issues of their members to the portals,rather than imagining they have the Tech skills,Marketing skills and funding to build and operate a portal.
    I really dont get this debate for a hundred years agents have bought advertising and like any other business paid for this on the basis of reach or circulation.Consumers understand this model.
    At the end of the day an agent is engaged to sell a property based on his or her marketing skills and the consumer pays the bulk of the advertising dont they?
    Perhaps along with this and of course focusing on widely published issues of training (underquoting REIV)and compliance they could regain some relevance.
    This would of course all be very helpful to the Consumer/Vendor who in the end pays the bills of every agency in the country,and is the victim in many of these compliance related cases.

  85. Glenn Rogers June 26, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    If anyone is anti competative it’s REA trying to shut down realestate1 and anyone who tries to COMPETE with them, what a farce.

    Deepthroat, at least you picked a good name to hide behind but the rest of your post is rubbish, the REIV and their Member agents can do what they like, do you really think the law is there to protect REA ?

  86. Glenn Rogers June 26, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    “imagining they have the Tech skills,Marketing skills and funding to build and operate a portal”

    Snoop, really, it’s not rocket science, REV is already well placed to take the lead if they get more support.

    REA have brought this on themselves by price gouging, people hate it when a market leader takes advantage.

  87. Deepthroat June 26, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Glenn the legal advice given to the REIV/REV was that they should not and cannot coordinate or support the group meetings due to ACCC laws, best you get up to speed and understand the laws associated with Collusion and anti competitive behaviours. If it was all above board and ok to this why are they meeting in secret? Why are the 7 leaders of the project not communicating and sworn to secrecy? REA make no secret about the fact they act in the best interest of their shareholders as any good corporate business should! REIV/REV Management hide their personal self interest behind the working for the industry.

    In order to coordinate the industry to get behind a single industry portal will take a massive undertaking that is way above the ability of the current management of the REIV/REV team. If a industry push was to be successful it would no doubt mean a new board and management structure of REV.

    Snoop is spot on when he says ” Seems to me the smartest thing these institutes should be doing is collectively representing the issues of their members to the portals, rather than imagining they have the Tech skills, Marketing skills and funding to build and operate a portal.”

    The REIV should focus on afternoon tea with politicians and being a RTO than a tech company !

  88. Tatiana Mijalica June 26, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Snoop you are correct. If you read the article in the Fin Review carefully, it is not about replacing REA or starting a new portal.

    It is about protecting the sold data and I am pretty sure it has been discussed on B2 for over 2 months.

    The reasons for this are exactly the points you have pointed out.
    REA real time data is unverified and incorrect and they do not hold a valid licence to provide valuation advice.

    By REA providing these reports en masse, overquoting/underquoting will become a massive problem. As market conditions change, it is hard to ascertain a correct price for a home within 10% of the range, without vendors running around with a report providing a free

  89. Glenn Rogers June 26, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Deepthroat – Common sense tells me that the ACCC can’t stop people meeting and if there were a mass exodus from REA I doubt the ACCC would be able to so anything about it, they can’t get out of their own way most of the time.
    I’m not sure how the REIV being involved in meetings to discuss an alternative to REA could be construed as anti competitive. They would be remiss in their obligation to Members if they didn’t look after their interests.

    Also I believe the REIV is more than up to the job of taking the lead, the team there is particularly strong.

  90. Deepthroat June 26, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Who are you rating highly Glenn ? The incompetent board that cant see past their own self interest? The CEO who is obsessed with getting his head on TV and in newspapers? The REIV/REV has had so much staff turnover that its now a joke both inside and outside of the organisation, in the real world CEO’s and executives are accountable for such an exodus of people so who holds the REIV to account? They are a joke and they are only in the game due to REA’s obsession to jack up our rates! If REA were a little smarter and less aggressive with increases REV would be out of business.

    In relation to the meetings Glenn the REIV are the majority shareholder of REV so there is no distinction and separation of the two, so simply saying that it

  91. Glenn Rogers June 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    I still don’t see how they could be breaking any law.
    Anti competitive ? how for goodness sake.

    As far as your comments on the REIV it’s easy to take a swipe when you’re anonymous, a joke ? I don’t think so.

  92. joe June 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    tatianna, your comments are spot on.
    deepthroat your in the wrong movie.
    get out

  93. Glenn Batten June 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    This is all becoming quite comical with the conspiracy theories…things liek the REIV leaking to the AFR. and a movement that started in WA.

    The issue itself is different than the article itself but lets look at the article first..

    Ben Hurley was investigating the whole issue way before he ever spoke with anyone at the REIA or the REIV. He researched the article for weeks before it was published.

    Issues surrounding Realestate.com.au alternatives, sold data and privacy issues has been discussed throughout the industry including B2 and boardrooms for years. This was not something new but it certainly in recent months it has gained a fantastic momentum..

    What started Ben’s interest in the whole subject was bullying actions by REA and it had nothing to do with the REV. That issue though never made it to the article as it was minor in the scheme of the bigger things he discovered.

    There was quite a long thread on a WA Facebook group for the real estate agencies where information was sought for the articles itself. This did not stat the story though, it was simply a fact finding mission. This is where some WA people first became aware of the upcoming article and individuals identified to provide quotes on the issues.

    The issue is not just over Sold Data, but that has become an integral part of it recently and has galvanised much of the industry. The industry has been unhappy with the arrogance for years but the changes by REA publicly claiming how they were going to use that data for more direct contact with consumers, and Onthehouse advised the market they were going to change their terms and conditions to give them the right to use data in between 3000 and 4000 real estate agents in Australia seems to have been the straw that broke the camels back.

    Ben is a reporter.. he reports on the issues that are already playing out in the industry but this is all bigger than one person, one state or one boardroom. Other surges in the momentum in recent times have centered around Victoria and the recent Rebar camp.

    Nobody can claim to be the one behind this, or even know everything that is happening. Essentially everyone is on the sidelines to a large chunk of action.

    IMHO what we need as an industry is actually what Simon talks about and thats leadership. In contrast to Snoops claim though the institutes and in particular the REIA should play a part in that although I am not necessarily talking about running a portal.

    The NAR in the USA provides fantastic leadership on tech issues for the industry over there and has created the NAR CRT (Centre for Realtor Technology). Check it out at http://www.realtor.org/technology/crt_web/crthomepage. They are heavily involved in creating industry standards, software and other projects for the benefit of the industry. Compare this with what the REIA or any state based REI does.

    This sort of leadership costs money though and would require substantially higher funding of the national body and this is where the states need to get involved. The states would have to pass on some of their power and responsibilities to the national landscape which may be easier with upcoming national licensing changes.

    So many people have good intentions and great passion but we need that leadership or else this momentum will bleed off and we will be back to square one.

  94. David Airey June 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    Deepthroat is obsessed with the REIV and is obviously a disillusioned member or ex member. He carefully doesn’t name the CEO of REIV I notice and one wonders why? What has ownership of realestateview by REIV got to do with this? realtor.com is owned by NAR. REIWA owns reiwa.com. the second biggest site in WA and number 4 in the nation. (Neilson).
    The best possible position we can have in this country is for Institute property portals to be strong and own all the sales and data information in the same way as

    Deepthroat has simply posted a lot of ill informed vitriol with no connection to the subject matter: that is to support industry owned portals and stop supplying sales information to other sites.

  95. snoop June 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    I guess someone did pinpoint a real issue here.
    Self interest.
    I was told REIWA is not a real institute perse ,its a private company with shareholders that assumed that mantle..could be wrong here though.
    Clearly theirs a private shareholder mix in REIV s plans as well.
    I think its a bit on the nose when these bodies claim they work for their constituency when they have private shareholders lining their personal pockets.

  96. Vic June 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Glenn B what great perspective you have placed on this issue.

    I have been saying ever since I started commenting on blogs that the big issues that are raised from time to time can never be overcome with fragmented approaches.Yes there has been some threads with a WA facebook group and some eyeopening has occured as a result. However, within that group there clearly is no strategic approach to anything yet. From my reading not all the agents agree on the “issues” yet, let alone what to do about it. It so far is all good rhetoric and some home truths: but there is also a lot of self interests in play.

    WA has got a great Industry site why would they support a national portal?

    Moving to Victoria, their REIV appears obsessed with a national portal and are not showing the leadership that their agents are looking for. If their agents are concerned with the treatment they are getting from REA, their leadership would stand out if they approached REA with a series of complaints/concerns and work this angle hard. As someone earlier on this thread mentioned a good start would be to negotiate a fairer subscription model from REA. Agents in Victoria should not be fooled into believing that a viable national portal could be rolled out and be commercially managed by REIV.The REIs should act in the best interests of their agents in assisting with tech matters and training and development and representing the best interests of their agent members in negotiating better deals and lobbying governments.

    The momentum with non feeding of sold data to REA will no doubt take effect and if REA have based a significant amount of reliance on this data for future strategic plans, clearly they will have to rethink on this one. But they already have announced in the article that it is not a key plank in their business model. However, if agents and the industry need to be concerned re “their” data watch out for the “little elephant” in the room who will end up controlling real time data without agents having any say viz onthehouse.com.au. For those of you who have not studied the pre launch IPO and latter reports I’d suggest you do so before making negative judgement on this enterprise.

    Furthermore, It is an agents choice whether they want a REA rep in the field with them to “sell” REA upgrades. Some will take it up some won’t.
    There are some commentators that think REA should not be allowed to try to sell their products direct to the vendors. I say to you it is none of your business: REA is an independent public company, it will do as it pleases, within the law.

    IMHO if REIs persist in the notion of establishing an industry owned national portal it would be like the pied piper of hamelin leading the children into the cave.

  97. David Airey June 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Snoop – always pays to get the facts right before making comment. http://www.reiwa.com is a division of the Real Estate Institute of WA, a body on which whose council i serve. It is the member body in WA representing 92% of agents in WA.
    All state and territory REI’s are not for profit incorporated associations whose directors are elected by the members. The REIA is the peak national body with a director from each state REI and president (me).

    Now that those facts are in place perhaps some one can tell me what this perverse criticims of REI’s having successful web portals to display members listings and retrieve data is all about. Surely you critics are not practicing agents? Identify your selves please.

    If that’s leading into a cave then let me go first!

  98. Deepthroat June 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Vic has articulated in a much better fashion than I when he says

    ” Moving to Victoria, their REIV appears obsessed with a national portal and are not showing the leadership that their agents are looking for. If their agents are concerned with the treatment they are getting from REA, their leadership would stand out if they approached REA with a series of complaints/concerns and work this angle hard. As someone earlier on this thread mentioned a good start would be to negotiate a fairer subscription model from REA. Agents in Victoria should not be fooled into believing that a viable national portal could be rolled out and be commercially managed by REIV.The REIs should act in the best interests of their agents in assisting with tech matters and training and development and representing the best interests of their agent members in negotiating better deals and lobbying governments.”

    Victorian agencies are kidding themselves if they think the REIV is acting in their best interest, they are acting in the best interest of REV. The CEO of the REIV is also the Director of REV, is there a conflict of interest here? Shouldn

  99. Vic June 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    David,
    A lot of whatness in your statement- with all due respects: Tell me what did you as president do to help your agents when REA was increasing its fees and stealing your data? And other than following the lead of some well intentioned people who have their own businesses to run; what plan(s) do YOU have going forward?
    Have you made an appointment with REA board- president to president to lay out the concerns of your members yet?

    Reasonable question to ask I would think.

    I daresay that this what most commentators are talking about when the say the industry needs leadership.

  100. Tatiana Mijalica June 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    OMG agents working towards moving away from REA?!
    What a devastating revelation!!
    Poor little REA!
    Boo hoo!

  101. Vic June 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    Are YOU the pied piper Tatiana 🙂

  102. Deepthroat June 26, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Tatiana your sarcasm is priceless , however you’re missing the point !

    The REIV/REV shouldn

  103. David Airey June 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Thanks Vic for your reply and I appreciate your question. The REIA is not the body to engage with REA and nor am I. REA is a commercial enterprise and I don’t think they need advice from me. Neither I nor the REIA are able to be the white knight in this exercise. It’s a matter for every subscriber/customer of REA to complain directly and unsubscribe if they are unhappy with the cost and service. Of course one can only do that at the end of the contract or otherwise pay an enormous penalty.

    Contrary to many posts on this blog, industry franchise groups have initiated the moves to suspend data flows to REA and look at greater support for the alternative portals such as REV and REIWA. Sadly the REIA ailed to gain national support from most state institutes to launch or run a national industry owned portal. That’s a sad indictment of the politics that used to exist and allowed the commercial sites to grow around our industry at our expense.

    I’m on the record on many occasions criticising REI’s for this intransigence and for not listening to members. Equally I criticise agent members who dont support their REI portal and those who use blogs hidden behind nom de plumes to make ill informed comment and digs at dedicated CEO’s like Enzo Raimondo of REIV.

    Like so many here I’m watching with great interest although it’s fair to say that i know a lot more than I can share here but that will reveal itself in the near future I dare say.

  104. Glenn Rogers June 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    “The REIV/REV shouldn

  105. Glenn Rogers June 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Yes David I think I know what you’re referring to and I’m also looking forward to real change.

  106. Tatiana Mijalica June 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Deepthroat, it

  107. David Airey June 26, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    Thanks Glenn. Deepthroat needs to get out more often and spend less time on conspiracy theories. The REIV like all REI’s are owned and run by members and the members elect the councillors. If you want change stand up and get elected otherwise put up or shut up.
    Moving on agents will I hope, especially those in franchises, get moving on this big need for change.

  108. Vic June 26, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    Have I been under the misapprehension that REI’s members do not expect their interests to be represented whether it be to commercial bodies?

    If the agent members on this site tell me that they do NOT expect REI support in this matter: that they do NOT wish their REI to go to bat for them against bad commercial practice tel me; and I will withdraw my critcisms of today and all past ones and apologise to David and Enzo.

  109. Glenn Rogers June 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    REA won’t listen to anyone , they are a business and their mission is to increase profit every year, thats where the whole thing fails. they will take your data they will increase fees so you have to explain to your vendors why it costs so much and ask them to pay.

    REA should have diversified their business instead of just leaning on the agents until it got to this point.

    Simon tried expanding overseas, not sure how that’s going but with the cash flow at their disposal they could have done any number of things.

    They could have diversified into software and sold it to every agent in Australia, the possibilities were endless.

    If they had any understanding of how agents think they would reduce their fees as the market tightens, yes reduce, that just wouldn’t compute at REA.

  110. Deepthroat June 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    David & Enzo wont support agents they will only push their own barrows and enjoy long lunches ! Afternoon team parties and discussions about the good old days and how agents just don

  111. Glenn Batten June 26, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    David,

    It is certainly more than just real estate groups behind the changes to data feed. We have seen some of the portal pushers themselves instigate changes to their xml feeds without any influence from any particular group.

    There are a lot of cards being held close to their chest over this and with good reason.

    Would you care to comment on my point about the REIA taking a greater leadership in technology issues such as the NAR does in the states? Obviously this raises a big funding issue.. but for the sake of this conversation lets just assume for the moment that a magic wand could fix that problem.. 🙂

  112. Tatiana Mijalica June 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Wish I could assist Deepthroat, but that was your “story” remember, not mine:)

    Mine is pretty simple: if you possibly can – protect the sold data as it is of utmost importance to the future of the Industry.

    Other than that, as said, it

  113. Deepthroat June 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Well there’s a first ladies and gentleman

  114. Tatiana Mijalica June 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    Funnily enough, Deepthroat, you are the 2nd person to ask me of knowledge and even supposed attendance of a REIV meeting which apparently happened during AREC. The first person was a Sales Manager from REA, which leads me to believe that this

  115. Vic June 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Glenn, aren’t portplus and console interested in protecting data for their own new bedfellow; onthehouse.com.au ?

  116. Slippery Slope June 26, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    “At the recent REA focus group in Sydney Greg Ellis made a point about mentioning Tatiana and the fact she shares business information amongst agents.”

    If the above statement is true, it would seem that Tatiana would have a good case for slander against Greg Ellis.

    If it is not true, then both Tatiana and Greg Ellis would have a good case for slander against “Deepthroat”

    Eitherway Deepthroat might be in DeepS***

  117. Deepthroat June 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    That

  118. Glenn Batten June 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Vic

    Onthehouse is more their new master.. They dont just want to protect data, they want to use it in an even a bigger manner than REA does and straight out of the trust account and they admit all they have to do is change the terms and conditions because their clients are all on a monthly licenses. As someone mentioned on this blog already, OTH has done nothing, they have not had any time to do it, yet their price has suffered. Maybe a few people are realising that the industry is reacting about REA doing it and they figure that a newcomer might have a bit more trouble.

  119. Tatiana Mijalica June 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Please, feel free to forward it to me too: tatiana@maverickstrategies.com.au

    I’d would LOVE to see this:)

  120. Glenn Batten June 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Deepthroat,

    You said.. “That

  121. Deepthroat June 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Tatiana knows full well what i am talking about and what it means ! I am 100% sure she will be on the phone at 8.30 talking to Enzo & Petra !

    Stay tunned !

  122. Tatiana Mijalica June 26, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Actually, Deepthroat, I have a prior engagement at a womens real estate day with an Image Consustant.

    You know – how to dress, what to wear, deserts, champagne – all the fun stuff. Priorities my friend 🙂

  123. Glenn Batten June 26, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    You have provided us with quotes from Greg Ellis with no indication on how to interpret them and you have talked about some group. Then you try to suggest that Ben Hurley would be interested in an email that Tatiana either sent or was a recipient from.

    I am only asking you to place context to your statements unless you are just trying to cast mud from the shadows.

  124. Vic June 26, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    Glenn,

    As I mentioned earlier onthehouse is the elephant in the room. After their initial IPO I like many focussed in on the portal component only. However after closer investigation of the vision and the strategic goals of the group I am convinced that this is a group that requires some closer scrutiny. It has a great business plan and notwithstanding its drop in share price it is there for the long haul. Check out Wilsons June 2011 report.

    It is one of the reasons why I believe that REI’s won’t stand a chance with a national portal. There is no-one amongst the REI teams and franchises for that matter that have the wherewithall to go with a well organized and well structured company like onthehouse. Add the likes of thehomepage who are making runs and some of the emerging niche portals, the state niches and there is enough free to list choices that collectively have as much eyeballs as REA, for agents to choose and get their all important leads. In this lot I include REIWA and REV (provided that they keep their ambitions to Vic) .

    The fact that 40% of data is presently captured legitimately by OTH and used as they see fit makes this exercise to sabotage REA seem futile.

    It is what Tatiana doesn’t quite seem to understand; and is seen by independent observers (who have no financial gain in this “rebellion”) as tactical manouveurs in a battle without real clear vision. Hence my pied piper comment.

  125. Glenn Batten June 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Where did you get this 40% figure from Vic..

    Surely you understand that the 3000 clients for Console is primarily for rentals only. ??

    They do have a sales product but it is not very popular. Most of the valuable data for resale purposes to the public is sales data, not rental data. Most offices have different rental and sales software. Also, you can’t add Portplus’s 1000 clients on top of Consoles as their will be a cross over. First National makes up around 50% of that 1000 and many of those would use console as their rental software and I dont think OTH should be counting on getting their hands on First National data for their own purposes.. I can’t see their contract as preferred supplier being renewed if that was the case.

    You said “The fact that 40% of data is presently captured legitimately by OTH and used as they see fit.”

    What makes you think this? Even OTH admit they would have to change their terms and conditions to use the data “as they see fit” and the backlash would be pretty swift and IMHO devastating to a company that is already struggling in the marketplace. They actually say something about getting it out of the trust databases. Console and Portpluses opposition would have a field day with this.

    Honestly, how long do you think it would take agents to change suppliers once they found out that their supplier is taking things “as they see fit” out of their trust accounts. ??

    As to your comment about “independent observers”, I spoke with one analyst the other day who had a very different opinion than your own.

  126. Glenn Batten June 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    and Vic, you are taking your lead from the underwriters report who recommends a price of nearly double the current share price by the year is up.. have you ever known the Underwriter to not recommend the float ?? Lets not forget through the their own investment funds own about 8% of the company.

    But I don’t know the sharemarket at all so if you want another independent opinion try the ecommerce report http://www.ecommercereport.com.au/?p=1636 who says that “A close read of the prospectus for the current, $55million, initial public offering (IPO) raising for Onthehouse.com.au reveals that, after all the directors, underwriters and other businesses and service providers involved in the float are paid-out, there will be just $400,000 left.”

    and

    “In fact, in the coming year, the consumer online business is expected to generate total revenues of just over $200,000, up from the pro-forma forecast of revenues of just $33,000 in 2010/2011. It may also be worth noting that, despite a reported one million + visitors to the website in March 2011, the consumer online business is expected to report reduced revenues in the current year compared to last year (see p. 44)
    The explanation given for this poor performance is basically that the float has been monopolizing management attention.”

    You see two people can read the same report and come up with two totally different things 🙂

  127. Vic June 27, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    Glenn,

    You have put up the good fight but for what? I have a lot of respect for what you say particularly because you are passionate about it. However, looking at this subject of “Agent Rebellion Project” I don’t see any clarity of objective, nor any leadership emerging to to take it where it needs to go.

    I see some key players who have the objective of starting up their own national portal, some who want to destroy REA, some who want them to upset REA’s strategic plans and some who are just in it because they are so pissed off with the change in market conditions that they will jump on any bandwaggon as a diversion.

    Whilst you are fighting on so many different fronts it will not go anywhere.

    My point is stick to the thing you will win ie withholding sold data from REA and keep out of a very muddled field of portal establishment- unless of course you have an inovative model and strong leadership to take it forward – and you haven’t. If I wasn’t making this point clear enough before; my apologies.

    ps the 40% comes from the Wilson Report (perhaps not exactly relating to data- but nonetheless is a share of CRM business which is all held under licence.)

  128. snoop June 27, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    It is always best to keep personalities and associations out of these online debates and focus on the good debate this board sometimes fosters.
    Perhaps someone in the know can clarify ownership structure of these supposedly industry owned sites
    From an outsider it seems very murky?
    Previous posts on this topic have met with deafening silence from these people.
    But…. just for fun lets go hypothetical for a moment.
    Lets say one of these initiatives both current or future are incredibly successful.
    A major international player bids $100m + for one of these industry entities in a year or twos time,….not beyond the bounds of reality , and perhaps conservative given some of the valuations being realised at the momment, after all its less than 10% of REA s cap ,around the market cap value of Selogers entry into IPGA ,and around the market cap of OTH on float.
    Would this windfall or a reasonable percentage of, go back to the agency principals who supported these industry entities?
    I would suggest this is the reason many of these initiatives have failed previously… even the industry is cynical of that
    Certainly this is what i glean from this board.
    I am merely suggesting as some of this years events have shown that the stakes are higher than people may think.
    As an investor in both property and equities, industry boards like this are a fascinating source of information and insight.
    As for OTH being a gamechanger clearly the smart money doesnt think so.

  129. Ryan O'Grady June 27, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Deepthroat, thanks for the interesting comments in relation to this Group. It would not surprise me if there was such a Group but I would be surprised if they were breaking any laws. I admit I know nothing about these laws, but breaking a law by forming a Group in an effort to consider where to spend your money or to send your data sounds crazy.

    Snoop, in relation to REV ownership you will see in that Morgan Stanley report that Tatiana posted above, the REIV own 72% of the portal and the remainder is made up (from what i have heard) to be around 100 agents.

    This raises a question in relation to the motives of the portal in regard to Shareholders vs REIV members. If you look at REA’s loyalty is towards shareholders, while REIV is its members.

    There’s been talk on this thread that REV are seeking capital which would mean further Shareholders. This makes for interesting times ahead for the REV board, as it will become more difficult to balance the interest of a greater number of Shareholders while staying true to the REIV Members. I know for sure that if I invested $$$ into REV I’d be expecting a lucrative return regradless of the few hudred (or even thousands) of dollars my agency was paying to advertise with them.

  130. Glenn Batten June 27, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Vic,

    I think we all agree that there is a lack of leadership and clarity but some of that is based around the fact that the whole issue is a grass roots one. It’s not just a couple of real estate groups, or a few state REI’s although no doubt the people at the head of those organisations probably think they are leading it.. It’s pretty well across all levels of our industry and it has not evolved into a cohesive movement BUT that does not mean it never will nor does it mean it wont achieve anything in its current form.

    I dont know anybody who is talking about starting up a new national portal nor do I know anybody who wants to destroy REA and I dont think that is possible. Besides why start a new portal up when one of the REIV’s already own a national focussed portal that is just wasting away. If the REI’s want to get involved in a national play then they should all upload their listings to Myhome. This would keep their own websites concentrating on state based traffic and data and then MyHome could be the National front.

    What I see is an industry that wants some change in the current makeup because they feel that they have been treated poorly. How that unfolds nobody knows but I would like to see the REIA take a lead on technology issue and its a pity that David did not respond to my earlier question. Did you check out what the NAR CRT provides the industry in the states?

    As to OTH, you have seen the industry rally strongly around possible startups that could make a difference but never did such as Google Real Estate and Myhome…. but OTH never generated that support and that alone should of told you something. I dont agree with everything Tatiana says but IMHO her comments on OTH are bang on. Unless they have something completely different up their sleeve they will not be the game changer that the directors think it will be.

    Regarding sold data, I have been talking about REA’s actions placing agents at risk for quite some time (see http://www.business2.com.au/2007/12/privacy-be-damned/) and as they start using this data for their own benefit everybody is only now taking it seriously.

    It will be interesting to see where this all goes and as I said earlier we are all in many respects sitting on the sidelines watching it unfold.

  131. Vic June 27, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Good clarity there Glenn.

    Myhome IS the platform agentshould all be subscribing to and the REIs should be promoting this one heavily and shouting it from the rooftops. I believe that the “institute” sites are already feeding to it so why not go hard at promotion for eyeballs.

    Re the “industry” wanting to start up a new national portal, the AFR report mentioned this ( hookers and ray white) and you will have read, and, like I have, some WA agents keen to set up a NEW portal.

    My frustration is that the agents of Australia are already well placed with options for marketing their listings. In the present real estate environment all agents should be closely looking at their advertising needs, not only for costs but for spread for example (and at the risk of self promotion):

    State Portals – subscription- all feed to myhome
    Free to list national portals- Homehound, The home page
    Pay per lead- on the house
    Niche portals- watersidepropertysales – free to list
    – million plus – free to list
    – all homes – pay per list
    – luxury homesaustralia – I think pay per list (correct
    me here Nick)
    There are some other recently started portals in niche areas such as aaron clausens Hunter valley, and Bill’s getrealty from Canberra.

    A lot of agents seem constrained to market only where their portal pushers have connections and maybe not aware that the above have their own uploaders. Also most of the above are accepting from all the main portal pushers.

    I believe that by using a combination of the above and cancelling their subs with REA they would get the eyeballs they are looking for for a fraction of the cost. It may mean a little bit of work to get their advertising program mapped out and office systems up and running but it would be worth it. The REI’s would also help their agents if they were to allow feeds from their own systems to any free to list to help achieve the spread needed and to capture the maximum eyeballs without the need for REA.

    This is the reason why I believe REis should stay out of ambitions to develop a NEW national portal and Agents should keep pressing them to develop strategies to get their listings spread widely through the existing advertising market place.

  132. Glenn Batten June 27, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    I would like to think that the word New in these discussions is about a portal they dont already utilise rather than starting one from scratch.

    What gives you the idea that Myhome is the recipient of all the REI’s?

    Looking at listing numbers just for the suburb of Nerang. Myhome in this case has the lowest number of listings and the REIQ the second highest to realestate.com.au.

    REIQ.com.au 220
    myhome.com.au 112
    homehound.com.au 163
    domain.com.au 164
    realestate.com.au 321

    I would need to check but I doubt there would be a property on any of the other sites that is not on realestate.com.au. Thats the hurdle for any existing or new portal in a nutshell. Why would a buyer go elsewhere when everything is on REA already.

  133. Vic June 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Glenn,

    It is mainly an assumption on my part based on two observations:
    1. In a recent commentary on a agent facebook page REIWA stated that their listings were being sent to REIV – I would assume that the same was being done by all REi sites in the light of the big National Portal announcement last year
    2. REIV purchased Myhome from Shane Dale (late last year) and it seemed the obvious platform for rolling up a national portal. Particularly as REIV were the big mover and shaker for a national industry portal.

    Your mumbers only indicate that REIQ listings are not all going to REIV and or myhome. However, you may have a point and it just goes to show that REIV/REV and the REIA either have gotten lost with their original aims or have something in the pipeline.

    I can assure you that a number of agents on waterside property sales do not have a subscription with REA and a number of independents using our site dont go through portal pushers. Whether these properties show up on other free to lists I cannot say for sure, but I do know that we are page one of google for most of the key words and phrases related to our niche ie.

    – waterfront property
    – waterfront real estate
    – waterside properties, real estate and property
    – beachfront properties, property and real estate
    – lakefront property and real estate
    – riverfront property, properties and realestate
    – coastal real estate (property and properties is on page 2)

    I also know that a site like REIWA comes up number One on page one all the time (here in Tassie) when I google Western Australian property/realestate and similar for REV when I ask for Victorian real estate/property. (However cannot say the same for other national ALL properties portals because they are not niches and they have to compete with the one main keyword)

  134. Peter Ricci June 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    And also, REA and Domain have excellent brand recognition. You can have the perfect portal and all the data, but you need to overcome the last hurdle of communicating this to property seekers.

  135. Vic June 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Yep Peter- Those two control the print media and won’t allow other to advertise on News and Fairfax papers. So the main game for other portals is SEO and search engine ranks.

    We watch our metrics on Direct, refering sites and search engines and we are noticing that directs are improving- slowly but it goes to show that users are liking what they see and bookmark us.

    The REIs have got it in their power to partially overcome the disadvantage of not able to go with print. With 50,000 sales reps spruiking, in concert, the benefits of their portal sites, they could quickly gain more eyeballs.

  136. Glenn Batten June 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    Vic,

    A random selection from some other states and its clear that the myhome is not a copy of the REI portals even in Victoria.

    In every example they have the most properties available although I was suprised that in two states they are now equal highest.. The brand recognition that Peter talks about is driven by the fact that the public know it is the portal that has the most pages. Domain’s worst suburbs for brand recognition are QLD and WA.

    Parramatta, NSW

    Homehound.com.au 165
    Myhome.com.au 96
    realestateview 61
    Domain.com.au 280
    realestate.com.au 318

    Carlton, VIC

    Homehound.com.au 25
    Myhome.com.au 107
    realestateview 132
    Domain.com.au 158
    realestate.com.au 211

    Glenelg, SA

    Homehound.com.au 40
    Myhome.com.au 63
    realestateview 64
    Domain.com.au 92
    realestate.com.au 133

    Trevallyn, TAS

    Homehound.com.au 33
    Myhome.com.au 44
    realestateview 55
    Domain.com.au 68
    realestate.com.au 68

    Doubleview, WA

    Homehound.com.au 4
    Myhome.com.au 21
    realestateview 101
    Domain.com.au 25
    realestate.com.au 101
    REIWA.com.au 71
    Aussiehome 12

  137. David Airey June 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Lots more interesting posts to read today. Glad to see that there is still a lot of fire in a few bellies!.
    Thanks Glenn and others for your comments and delighted at the diversity of views. The trouble with being here in Perth with a great institute in REIWA and a successful web portal for members and the public is that one forgets the number of players that crowd this market elsewhere in Oz. For the record REIWA.com feed listings for members to realestate.com.au and also to REV. However reiwa.com. does NOT feed other data. Since a lot of agents use other systems to upload eg: Hub, Mydesktop etc they generally have no idea what info their staff are feeding to other commercial portals. And therein lies the secret. Take control of what you are giving away.
    Secondly Simon Baker has spelt out exactly what agents/industry should do on the Property Observer blog (click link: http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/should-rea-group-worry/2011062350581)
    There is a national REIA board and CEO meeting in Perth this Wed/Thurs so there will be more news later in the week… perhaps. Given deepthroats conspiracy theories and distrust we might not post them here.

  138. Vic June 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Good stats Glenn- well I won’t believe anything I read ever again:)

    REIV have got some explaining to do as to why they purchased myhome. Not that I care, but I would think the Victorian agents would be all over this.

    Enough from me- Interested now in REA strategy going forward: and whether deep throat has given over his email evidence:):):)

  139. Deepthroat June 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    David I am certain the national REIA board and CEO meeting in Perth will be a wonderful “tea party” and more chat about what could be done! The simple fact is the REI’s do not work together and are just like most agents only interested in their own respective self interest ! The REIV only have a JV with the REINSW and no other REI is currently interested in a national portal!!

    Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy Perth and its weather, has anyone got onto the most important aspect of the get-together and arranged the scones and jam?

  140. Vic June 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    David,
    You showed a link to Simon Bakers article. Hope you read it carefully as it is a strong and clear warning of the folly of going against a market leader such as REA.

    And if you were salivating over Simon’s comment on degrading REA over time; take care. Any degrading of the REA data (listings) would be counterproductive to agents efforts at selling their vendors properties. In any event can you see agents doing this.

    If this is not what you intend, then why place reference to the article?

    Very confusing messages coming out of “Head Office”.

  141. David Airey June 27, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Deepthroat your sarcasm is only exceeded by your total lack of knowledge of what the REI’s and the REIA are doing. I suspect you are on fishing expedition.

    I live in Perth by the way so its not a “holiday”.

    Any chance you may have the balls to identify your self or your agency of 15 years?

  142. Glenn Rogers June 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    Melbourne Property on Ch31@ 8:30 I think the REIV may be on.

  143. Glenn Rogers June 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Discussing data, if it’s a repeat of the same show I saw a bit of this morning.

  144. Deepthroat June 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Dear David,

    The following is what the REI

  145. Peter Ricci June 28, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    Deepthroat:

    Just so you understand the rules of this site. Happy for you to be anonymous (as long as you do not pretend to be someone else) and happy for you to use humor (which at times has been quite funny), however, understand that your insights are opinions (always) and not facts and personal attacks against individuals should be kept to light-handed, sarcastic and/or humorous.

    Direct attacks against individuals unless backed up by verifiable and falsifiable facts and especially hidden behind the cloak of being anonymous do not do you as a person or this site any favours.

    Keep em coming, but keep em real 🙂

  146. Deepthroat June 28, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Peter,

    that

  147. Ryan O'Grady June 28, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    There goes our theory that you were from REA Deepthroat!

  148. Martin Crampton June 28, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Successful revolutions generally have independent, focussed and passionate leadership. They are able to garner mass support for their succinct and attractive alternative proposal. It doesn’t seem to be enough for a vocal few (or even many), to simply not like the status quo or for alternatives to be presented, no matter how attractive they may seem.

  149. PaulD June 28, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Deepthroat is obviously someone who is, or was, close to the action with regard to the REI’s. There’s plenty of truth there, and for those who think this is some kind of grandstanding, the old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” comes to mind. I asked a question some time ago in one of these threads, requesting some clarity on exactly who had financial interests in REV, and finished by saying something like “I will have Buckleys of getting a straight answer to that”. So far I haven’t been disappointed.

  150. Deepthroat June 28, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Martin that

  151. Vic June 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Interesting comments by Paul D and Deepthroat.

    I am not an agent but work with 500 plus agent clients around the country.
    I subscribe to a number of facebook groups and real estate blogs. I gain a fair bit of information from these interfaces and have learnt a lot that I have put into practice in delivering our service to Real Estate agents. I am totally independent from most of the issues that come up on this blog and endeavour to try to contribute in a manner which will bend minds.
    I find that most contributors have been extremely generous with their time and comments and most enjoy the repartee, sarcastic or facetious.
    However, what I find galling is the constant direct attacks on those persons posting critical comments on REI actions and lack of actions only to be attacked by REI presidents. Over my time on here it has been salespro attacked by Enzo Raimondo and now deepthroat attacked by David Airey.

    Don’t these presidents realize that Salespro and Deepthroat represent views of a substantial number of agents- particularly Victorian agents. Irrespective of whether they are anonymous shouldn’t their views be respected and genuine attempts be made to answer their questions/address their issues, when a president/CEO comes on to reply?

    David, if you reread your replys to deep throat they are not very “presidential”. Perhaps this is why the REI leadership is being questioned.

    Vic Del Vecchio (Managing Director)
    http://www.watersidepropertysales.com.au

  152. Deepthroat June 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    PaulD,

    My understanding of the REV ownership is as follows;

    (Approx figures only)

    REIV – 75%
    1 inner city Agencies – 8%
    Approx 50 Agencies – 17%

    The above are estimates however the main message is that there is a large conflict of interest in the REIV & REV having the same leadership (Hollywood Raimondo).

    Hollywood has had 10 years plus to represent us and fight for a better deal when it comes to portals. He has focused on his personal profile and made no impact in this area, no doubt he would say he has been fighting REA by building REV but unfortunately he has failed dismally in this fight. The conflict remains as long as he is the CEO of the REIV and Director of REV.

    The CEO of the REIV should be fighting for the agents collectively , as a group we have enormous opportunity to influence how the major portals operate and treat us. The CEO of the REIV only offers a amateurish portal in REV that he possibly derives his 2nd pay packet from?

    Its time for agents to demand better from our REI’s and remove any conflict of interest, we can start by cancelling our monthly donations by way of subscriptions to REV and send a message to Hollywood.

  153. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    “”””””Don

  154. snoop June 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    So who actualy owns REIWA?
    Mr Airey being a local should be able to help here.

  155. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Deepthroat you offer nothing but BS, it’s getting tiring.

  156. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    Note to Peter – some of the statements on here by the brave anonymous Deepthroat are well into defamatory territory, as owner of this site you might give this some thought.

  157. Peter Ricci June 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    I am monitoring all comments, just a note, if you are blacklisted from this site all of your comments will be removed, so please stop the personal stuff, it is getting a little boorish.

  158. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    The accusations of dishonesty and worse are what would concern me, I can see a second story extension in that plus a world trip for the lawyer and his entire extended family.
    I doubt these posts have gone unnoticed.

    Good to see you’re monitoring this Peter.

  159. Glenn Batten June 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    It’s obvious that the REI leadership seems to attract some polarising opinions.

    Glenn R, there are members that are disappointed in the REI positions on a lot of things and especially that of technology. How warranted that is will depend upon your overall view. Even David showed some critisicm of the state based REI’s with his comment

    **************
    “Sadly the REIA ailed to gain national support from most state institutes to launch or run a national industry owned portal. That

  160. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    GB – If what you say is true it could only be because the agents don’t involve themselves enough in their Institutes, it’s one thing to join for the credibility of it but then to ignore it and then complain, they only have themselves to blame.
    How many agents aren’t on REV yet still complain ?

    If the Institutes Members were to stand as one to offer support or suggest changes to their Institute there’s no way it wouldn’t happen.

  161. Vic June 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Glenn R, It is my observation from reading comments on this site and other blogs including facebook and private conversations. If there is nothing to it and you are convinced that NO agent is unhappy with their REI then so be it.

    If 75% of REIV (members) own REV why is it that they, the members, seem so clueless as to financial outcomes and balance sheet issues of REV ?

    Why can’t you accept that “deepthroat” is an agent and has come up with some sensible comment (the shots at Tatiana aside) and that his points may be representative of at least some victorian agents?

    I seriously think that if the REIs were really doing their job, there would not be this grass roots rebellion. It just seems that the grass roots are sick of not being properly represented over the years.

    IMHO 🙂

  162. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Vic the grass roots rebellion you speak of is one anonymous poster, there is no grass roots rebellion.

    I said I don’t know of any unhappy agents not that there aren’t any.

    Perhaps the agents that have got time to blog all day are unhappy because they arent selling anything.

    Why can’t I accept that Deepthroat etc etc ?

    Vic, Deepthroat is an anonymous slanderer, I don’t take any notice of those.

  163. Deepthroat June 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Glenn Rogers must be a regular at the REI eating the hot scones and iced vovo’s ! No un-happy agents ? You idiot
    🙂

  164. Vic June 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Glenn R,

    The heading of this post to which we have been commenting on is “Project Rebellion”- and Glenn B called it grassroots and he did it under his name not anonymously 🙂

  165. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    Vic listen closely – the are rebelling against REA not the Institutes.

    “””””””Over the past several weeks Ben Hurley from the Australian Financial Review has been conducting an investigation into the revolt by real estate agencies around the country against Realestate.com.au.””””””””””

  166. Vic June 28, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Glenn R please go back to sleep:)

    The rebellion IS grass roots against the REA- I never said anything different. Half way through this thread Glenn B referred to it as “grass roots” and he hoped that the momentum would gain leadership. I think he meant leadership from REIs-
    The grass roots comment did not come from any anonymous poster.

    There were other comments regarding dissatisfaction of members with REI but these are asides from the “grass roots rebellion”-

    My point here is that if REI management, over the years, were listening to and acting on the concerns of their members re data, re rising prices etc there would be no need for a grass roots rebellion.

  167. Tatiana Mijalica June 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    I received a copy of this letter from Greg Ellis today and I have reread it 3 times.

    http://www.business2.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/REA-Greg-Ellis-Letter.pdf

    It is clear that Agents do not want REA to give out sold data to potential vendors nor to go direct to the vendors and sell them advertising on REA.

    In the letter, he states that he would like to address these

  168. David Airey June 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    ATTENTION PETER RICCI
    If you are monitoring this site then you must have missed these slanderous personal words from “deepthroat”:

    “REV is a joke and provides NO leads or ROI so why do we give them any support? If REV wasn

  169. David Airey June 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    Dear Vic

    I was a big fan of most of your posts but have to say that i began to lose interest when you admitted that you are not an agent and decided to give me advice on your interpretation of “presidential style”.

    Vic when I post here i do so in my own name not the REIA. The views I express are my own as an individual agent with 30 years in business. If i comment on industry matters or REIWA or REIV or REV it is because Im fortunate enough to have a bit of knowledge about national issues.

    Having said that I read this and many other blogs and get a lot of advice from a lot or different sources. I’m not a smart arse or know-all and I would welcome your call or personal email to genuinely debate some of your very sage points. That goes for everyone. I don’t hide behind a pseudonym and my number is 08 9384 0077 HOWEVER for the next 2 days Im at the iced Vovo* convention oops i mean the REIA national board meeting here in wet old Perth.
    Cheers (* very old fashioned biscuit loved by deepthroat LOL)

    PS: Someone asked who owns REIWA. The members of course. Its and Institutional body like all the state REI’s with member elected councils.

  170. Peter Ricci June 28, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    David

  171. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Vic you said –

    “:The heading of this post to which we have been commenting on is

  172. Ryan M June 28, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Tatiana, I’ve read that letter and watched the podcast twice, and are a little confused, you’re right, there seems to be conflicting statements.

    Since when does REA know what’s good for agents?
    I’m just having a hard time swallowing it all (deepthroat help me out here…)

    Change wont happen overnight, so i suspect it would be a gradual change, giving them time to iron out the kinks and keep the hoards happy.

    How about offsetting this new revenue stream by lowering subscription costs?
    pffftt. In perfect world maybe.

  173. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    To me that sounds like REA want to deal direct with the vendor on their ad spend but not deal with them direct on the sale ie: not let vendors list without an agent.

    I cant see the point in this and it encroaches on the agent client relationship bringing a third party in and could upset things.

    Did I read this wrong ?

  174. Glenn Rogers June 28, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    David Airey – the bits you quote aren’t the ones I was referring to, I won’t repeat them but they ARE defamatory in my opinion.

  175. snoop June 29, 2011 at 4:45 am #

    Thankyou for that.
    What about the Reiwa listings portal?
    Is that a commercial entitiy and are the all the shares owned by the grass roots membership ?
    Or is there an REIV like commercial structure with some clearly bigger winners than others?

  176. Vic June 29, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    I’ve read and reread and rearead the letter from Greg Ellis.

    It seems a very cogent and articulate response to the two major issues that REA wish to formally put agents and the market. This letter explains why they are offering their services to help agents. It should be carefully considered at REIA level, and as I have said repeatedly, the best way to get a good outcome for agents is to enter into discussions with REA. It seems to me that, with the grass roots rebellion starting this, REI would be in a perfect position to begin negotiations with REA with the aim of getting a more fair and equitable subscription system based on region and usage. Surely this needs to be the only issue on the agenda at David’s 2 day WA conference.

    REA can’t afford to lose it’s agent base particularly as it is at saturation point and looking down the barrel of a market place that will see reductions of agent offices numbers. It needs therefore for their strategy to work. A great position for REIA to begin negotiations- wouldn’t you think???

    It also reads, to me, as a veiled warning to those who are negatively misrepresenting their strategy which REA sees as effectively affecting their share price.

    IMHO

  177. Glenn Batten June 29, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    Vic,

    I think you will find the words that everyone listened to were of Greg Ellis himself on that video. The message changes because the audience changes and we his clients were never meant to see that video… He is clearly trying to articulate better and apply a generous level of spin when he speak to agents in the letter.

    It’s the strategy of the concept that agents in general are finding offensive.

    Regarding his reference to misrepresenting his strategy, I can remember seeing any announcement from REA to agents this is what they want to do. As this video has been passed around from agent to agent obviously some have described what is inside with some “vigour” typical of how you often see them referred to on this blog …. but as long as the video itself was passed along I think accusing anybody of misrepresenting him is a bit rich especially when he has never bothered to address his clients with his new strategy…

    He said some things on the other side of the world and the industry heard them and now he is trying to apply the requisite spin to his clients but its now in hindsight.

  178. Vic June 29, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    Good observations Glenn and I doubt that any body looking/hearing the video then reading the latest letter from Greg Ellis would come up with anything different to what you and Tatiana are saying.

    However, the letter is the latest thing on the table. The power of the written word by a CEO cannot be denied, it states their position as it is NOW. Sort of like saying “forgive me for confusing you before, but this is the fact of our strategy”- he’s written it and he cannot retract it.

    What I’m suggesting is that this is an opportunity for the industry to come together as a coordinated group and with some strong leadership. They are definately amenable to some negotiating. Don’t miss the opportunity.

  179. Deepthroat June 29, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    So many diverse opinions and positions can only be a good thing unless you are from one of the REI’s ! IF you are from the REI you would simply dismiss all of this and say ” ah there only a bunch of stupid real-estate agents what would they know?” Its true as agents we sometimes lose sight of the big picture and focus on the small stuff , right now we have 3 portals that I think matter and it is fast becoming 2 due to dare I say it poor management !

    My view of the world is that REA & Greg Ellis are trying hard to use smoke and mirrors to hide the fact they want to sell advertising packaged direct to Vendors, in the recent REA agents conference in Sydney Greg did confirm this however tried to sell the benefits of removing this component of the transaction from the agent. The video link articulates this and the letter is back tracking kinda but not enough to make agents feel at ease. The REA monster is created and we now need to do our best to contain it, there is no better way to have REA listen to us if we support a 2nd very competitive portal like Domain. Only competition will reduce costs and give is better service.

    As I have mention in several post no one but Domain is in a position to tackle REA head on, they have the brand and backing to give REA a real kick in the bum. The REIV/REV have no money (they are actively looking for a strategic investor) and they don

  180. Vic June 29, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Deepthroat,

    I hear what you are saying and it makes sense. However, the REA imho are saying “we have a product that we knowwill help agents to sell quicker. That may get vendors more money and it’s called an upgrade etc etc” REA know that agents are not actively selling this product and they are looking for a way to get to the vendor to help sell a more prominent space on their site.
    My understanding is that REA sales reps cannot go out on their own to do this and that they must go with the agent or with the agents permission.

    Agents as an Industry, in my experience are not really trained in “sales and service” , if they were they would know that one of the best ways to satisfy their clients is to bring along experts to assist with
    1. the appraisal
    2. marketing package
    3. home presentation

    Now I know that some do this to an extent, but not as an Industry practice.

    (Now before everyone jumps down my throat, I make these comments as a 10 year senior executive heading sales and service management teams of executives and rolling out one of the worlds best practices on the subject.)

    So I say take advantage of the REA offer; work with it to your and your vendors advantage, but only negotiate this position if REA agrees to review it’s pricing policy on Subs.

    This is where the REI (A) can take the lead.

  181. David Airey June 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Snoop asks who owns http://www.reiwa.com.au. This is the REIWA 100% owned members portal and is has a members section as well as a public section with all members listings displayed

    Thanks all for the calls emails and advice. Vic in particular has made good points. I will take all this to the meetings and see how we can galvanise the industry together on this issue to bring the commercial monsters to heal.

    This is not easy given the fragmentation across Australia’s 10000 agencies

  182. David Airey June 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Snoop asks who owns http://www.reiwa.com.au. This is the REIWA 100% owned members portal and is has a members section as well as a public section with all members listings displayed

    Thanks all for the calls emails and advice. Vic in particular has made good points. I will take all this to the meetings and see how we can galvanise the industry together on this issue to bring the commercial monsters to heal.This is not easy given the fragmentation across Australia’s 10000 agencies.

    Deepthroat its a pity that you continue to bury some good advice in your nasty vitriolic posts littered with personal attacks. That’s not the way to go.

    s

  183. Vic June 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    I’ll send the invoice shortly David:) In the meantime good luck with your conference.

    When you have finished would be pleased to take up your offer for a chat..phone 03 63345822

  184. snoop June 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Thankyou Mr Airey
    So I take it the entity that owns and controls the Reiwa portal is owned and controlled by all of the WA members?
    Each member is a shareholder?
    This structure is completely unlike the REIV which clearly has shareholders who participate higher up in the food chain ($$$)?

  185. PaulD June 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Snoop, That’s why people are wary of REV because it is NOT an industry owned portal – it is owned by a group of people who are involved in the Industry. There is a big difference.

  186. James June 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    All this talk about an “Industry Site”… Someone please define what an “Industry Site” is? The Industry is made up of agents and no one group has control over all the agents.

    For an Industry site to ever be successful it would need to be managed and maintained in an arms length arrangement with the Industry and I dont see this ever happening.

    The REI’s for all their trying do not represent every agent in every state and coming together in respect to realestateview.com.au does not make it an “Industry Site” As for the REIA good luck when you cannot even obtain the support of all the State REI’s.

  187. snoop June 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    Yes my point would be,the rhetoric is all concern and help to the members,but the reality seems to be different.
    These institutes if they were true to the greater membership would have a level playing field in terms of shareholding back to ALL of their supporting members,this would include running the site at cost and if any site was sold or merged money going back to the INDUSTRY.
    Clearly this is NOT the case with REIV.
    Now lets see what the real deal is with the REIWA.

  188. Vic June 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    James,
    There is a school of thought (not mine) that in the context of “Industry” site it would mean participants from all connected to the real estate industry. Conveyancers, valuers, agents,portals,developers etc etc.

  189. Peter Mericka July 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Vic, don’t forget the lawyers – the real estate lawyers! Remember, real estate transactions are first and foremost legal transactions.

  190. Vic July 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    You come under the etc etc Peter 🙂

  191. Andrew Allen July 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Technology changes very quickly. Would expect more likely than any co-ordinated effort from the real estate industry (herding cats?) a more likely threat would be google getting their act together.

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