Realestate.com.au 2011 Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey

In what seems like remarkable timing,  sitting in my email this morning was an invitation to partake in the Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey for realestate.com.au. Now is the time to let REA know what you think of them, the good and the bad.

The email includes a comment “The survey questionnaire can be completed by personnel who have contact with realestate.com.au” which seems to infer that you can get anybody in your office to also submit on your survey link.

Here is a copy of the email.. Please note.. I have removed the copy to our survey.  They claim it is anonymous but the survey may still have a unique id.  If you don’t get your copy and you want to let REA know what you think of them get on to your account manager for your survey link.

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Dear Owner / Principal,

In a continued effort to improve our offerings to customers, we would like to invite you to participate in our 2011 realestate.com.au Customer Satisfaction Survey. Your feedback is important to us and past feedback has resulted in many improvements to the products and services we provide to agents (see below for further details).

WHO SHOULD COMPLETE THIS SURVEY?
The survey questionnaire can be completed by personnel who have contact with realestate.com.au.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete, depending on your answers.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
In appreciation of your time and input, we are offering a reward to those who participate – entry into a prize draw to win one of 2 prizes – either an Apple iPhone 4 or Apple iPad 2.

To start the survey please either click on the relevant link or paste it into your browser window:

<< Link to Survey Removed by Me – see note at the bottom>>

WHEN IS THE SURVEY COMPLETION DEADLINE?
Please ensure the survey is completed no later than Thursday 23 June.

HOW HAVE THE RESULTS OF PAST SURVEYS BEEN USED?
Results obtained from previous Customer Satisfaction research provided us with valuable feedback that enabled us to identify new opportunities to improve our service. Over the past 12 months we have launched a range of new initiatives designed to further enhance your day-to-day involvement and partnership with realestate.com.au. These initiatives include:

Set-up of the Key Accounts and Inside Sales teams to provide more frequent and relevant support to customers
Restructuring of our sales team regions to enable them to increase their local area knowledge
Continued site enhancements with the addition of their properties appearing on the iPhone application and property.com.au
Thank you in advance for your participation.

Regards,
Greg Ellis
CEO / MD
REA Group

ABOUT THIS RESEARCH
All your responses are anonymous and will only be used in an aggregated form for research purposes unless you agree to disclose your individual feedback. Our research agency, Evolve Research, abides by the Market and Social Research Privacy code (for more information please click here)

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If somebody can confirm the link in their email to me at glennbatten@gmail.com and if it is the same as mine (ie.. not unique links)  I will edit the article to include it.

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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.

27 Responses to Realestate.com.au 2011 Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey

  1. Peter D'Arcy June 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Hi Greg – I have found that REA in the past only use info gleamed from these surveys for their own benefit. They treat customers as mushrooms – only tell us what they wants us to know and will often give a distorted view.

    I find these typically corporate surveys are all the same. When Mecedes ring you up after a sale or service – they don’t do anything about the negatitive aspects of the survey or feedback – “I’ll let management know” for want of a better phase. They cherry pick information and use it against us.

    So if this is how they behave why are we taking part in their surveys. Why are we wasting valuable time, using up our creatitivity for an organisation that treats us so poorly. So I say to you tell everyone not to partake in their surveys as a protest. Give em nothing – take em nowhere

  2. Chris June 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    funny it didnt hit my in box

  3. James June 14, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    It would appear as though this may be an old survey, pulled out of the cupboard. I was told that it still included sites such as JustListed who have not been around for a long time.

  4. Robert Simeon June 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    REA sending out a Customer Satisfaction Survey reminds me the Gillard government sending out a Carbon Tax poll 🙂

  5. Peter Mericka June 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    This is a silly a pointless exercise; you may as well retaliate against the Chilean volcano or the earthquake in Christchurch. What REA is doing is natural and inevitable. I mean, what do you expect REA to do? Give the ACCC the bird, and fight an unnecessary and embarassing court battle? And why would they do that? To protect your monopoly?

    Really Glenn, stop the tantrum and start thinking.

  6. Ryan O'Grady June 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    To those REA executives out there. If you feel compelled to leak the true survey findings (not the fluffy one REA release to the public) then I’ll happily publish it.

  7. PaulD June 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    I got mine about a month ago. I mentioned it on here but no one seemed to notice. I told them what I thought as well.

  8. Ryan O'Grady June 15, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Here is the REA Survey

  9. Nick June 15, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Curious. Half the questions can be answered with a couple of database queries.
    Why are they asking how many residential properties does the agency have for sale when they are all on RealEstate.com.au?

    It also tells us a lot about REA’s plans and what companies they keep their eye on.

  10. Vic June 15, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    On first read through it seems a genuine attempt by REA to enhance it’s service levels to its agent clients. I will be studying it in more depth over the coming days and will be better able to come to a view of its implications for us portal owners.

    Two things that do stand out is its focus on customized co branded web sites (giving agents the power of REA reach) and the social media hand holding. This could be a concern to those in these relative support industries.

    I daresay that if around 10% respond (say 700) this would be a sufficient response for any decision making by REA.

  11. Vic June 16, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    REA must also be frustrated that agents are not presenting their features to vendors. They see the 500000 listings as a fertile captive audience and they are effectively saying- “hey you agents, if you’re not able to sell our features then we will- we will come out with you on your appraisal, we’ll give you real time data to help you get the listing and we will give the advice on the benefits of premium listings”

    Why wouldn’t agents then cooperative with this strategy when the outcome can only be enhanced opportunities for a sale?

  12. Tatiana Mijalica June 16, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Interesting question.

    1) Their real time data is unverified and incorrect
    2) The do not hold a valid licence to provide valuation advice
    3) REA advertising is not suitable in all areas, especially in areas where Domain and print are strong. It would be different if they were selling advertising across all mediums.
    4) Most of the new features since the launch of the new site are not performing well, agents know this and this is why they are not selling them to vendors.
    5) REA are implying with their behaviour that agents are inept in selling advertising, when the truth is they do not believe in the products

    As an agent, are you really acting ethically on behalf of the vendor when you turn up to a listing presentation with unverified sales data and pitching advertising products that don’t work for all areas? I would think not.

  13. Bill June 16, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    We approached a well known data provider to purchase data and provide data services to our site visitors. Initial communications were encouraging then:

    Thank you for your data request.
    Unfortunately the existing agreement with realestate.com.au prohibits us to supply data to other portals.
    Sorry we can’t help you on this occasion.

    It sure ain’t a level playing field out there.

  14. Vic June 16, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    When I last sold a property in Melbourne I asked three agents to come and appraise my home. Two came on their own and tried gave me their independent appraisals, both way higher than I knew the market would pay me. The third came with an entourage of, sales rep,a builder, a home decorator, an advertising support person and himself. They discussed with me what we should do to present the property, what if any structural issues I should be aware that buyers may look for and a marketing package. They then discussed the state of the market, with his sales rep presenting me with latest comparable sale.
    I took this third agent and sold my property at higher than I was expecting within two weeks of listing.

    Now this is the way that really good agents work and after buying and selling more than 30 times I reckon I know that the best agents always bring in a team of experts.

    So the question I ask again and expand, what harm would it be if an agent takes along an REA rep as part of his entourage, together with the decoration expert, and anyone else that he may anticipates he needs to give the vendors the appropriate guidance/information?

  15. PaulD June 16, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Vic, Explain to me again why a premium or premiere listing has any benefits for the vendor. It’s like the Platinum subscription that basically no longer exists, where REA charge you for your logo, and no other website does. It will be exactly the same with the premiere listing. All the agents will get the premiere listing, and then there will be no advantage because all the listings are premiere listings, and there are pages and pages of premiere listings. The only difference is that the agents are then paying more for exactly the same thing. How does that benefit the vendor again ?

  16. Tatiana Mijalica June 16, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    An advertising support person attending the meeting that has local market knowledge and a genuine interest in advising a COMPEHENSIVE marketing campaign is very different to an REA rep in attendance pushing a Premier Property.

    Why would you bother with a board, brochure, other portal advertising, print etc – if a Premier Property on its own could sell the property? Fact is it can

  17. Vic June 16, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Paul D,

    I don’t know what a premier property listing will do for a vendor. The point is that the REA rep would know his/her product better than the agent would. So if there is an advantage why not use them. The choice is the vendors afterall.

    and Tatiana,

    aren’t you concerned that your social media business will come under threat with REA’s strategy ? Meant to be a serious question.

  18. Tatiana Mijalica June 16, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Hi Vic, not at all in fact.

    As with anything, one size will not fit all.

    My focus is cusotmisation and tailoring solutions to a particular agencies requirements:)

  19. PaulD June 16, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    Vic, You mean that a REA rep would know how to extract more money. He wouldn’t have a clue what is best for a vendor, and couldn’t care less in any case. The REA suite of products is not rocket science, it is a list of things that cost more money each step up the ladder. He/She would be on a target system that pays more – the more he can extract from his designated area in advertising revenue. Customer service and instructing the agents on the benefits to the vendor would not even be in the “How to” book which would be given to Him/Her when they commenced the job.

  20. Sam June 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    I agree.

    It is outrageous that REA are asking their customers what they think.

    Oh, wait.

  21. Vic June 16, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Some good points here but hardly representative of what agents think in general about using REA reps to help out. I guess if enough complete their survey forms REA will get the true picture. Me thinks that the responses will lean heavily in favour of what REA is trying to do.

    I think that we will see a lot of this in the future.

  22. Peter Carabot June 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Well we are not with REA, maybe that’s why I didn’t receive the survey…. The reason? We are a Rentals Only Agency we don’t do sales anymore so when our subscription renewal was due I asked to have a revised package i.e. platinum facilities and half the price, afterall we don’t use any of the sales facilities. REA didn’t want to know, apparently rentals only agencies are few and far between…. so I’ve cancelled the account! Did we suffer? Nope! have we increased our enquiries since we left them? Yes! and we are doing it all with the free sites and our own. REA and Domain are obsolete. Whatever they do the other sites do better and….. FREE!!

  23. Chris June 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    yaaaawnn.

    if you ignore history you are doomed to repeat it.

    these surveys where done years ago by REA.

    Greg Ellis then canceled everything. Erased the past.

    Now they scramble to try and re-build relationships with their customers.

    Oh the wisdom.

  24. Ryan M June 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    Peter C, it will be interesting to see the approach REA takes in marketing directly to vendors for their advertising dollar.

    Monopoly has it about right, Go directly to Jail

  25. Tatiana Mijalica June 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Check this out:

    http://www.api.org.au/folder/news/consumer-beware—when-a-valuation-is-not-a-valuation

    I wonder how REA will fair on their free “valuations” after this.

  26. forsaleforlease.com.au June 18, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Bill
    Try RESIDEX for the data. They just gave me the green light to build exactly want you have described. Maybe we can split the cost?

  27. bat dong san June 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    i really don’t know what’s this survey implied.

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