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For the first time in Australia, onthehouse.com.au has just released their automated valuation estimate solution on almost every property within Australia called ‘Guesstimates’.

‘Guesstimates’ are calculated using the Residex valuation technology, and are provided to consumers for free, along with other detailed and analytic information about properties in Australia.

CEO and Managing Director, Michael Fredericks states;

‘The provision of this powerful tool is another step in assisting Australians make informed decisions about property.’

But ‘Guesstimates’ are not just for the public, Michael further states;

‘The referral of inevitable queries by the public surrounding this content to local experts, our real estate agency clients, supports our mission to establish a more efficient and engaged marketplace for the consumption of traditional and innovative digital real estate products and services’

Located within the property values section on the website, onthehouse.com.au also encourages members to interact with ‘Guesstimates’ and adjust the values by providing additional information about their property.

Product Manager, Melissa D’Alonzo suggests that the onthehouse.com.au model of supplying the ‘Guesstimates’ solution and other free real estate content to the public is consistent with the leading online consumer portal in the United States, Zillow.com, which recently listed on the NASDAQ.

Zillow has recently overtaken previous market leading real estate portals, Realtor.com (online classifieds only), as the most visited real estate site within the US market.

The ‘Guesstimates’ are generated using the Residex valuation technology which is utilised and relied on by some of Australia’s leading banks.

Having said this, Melissa is keen to point out that the estimated valuations have been called ‘Guesstimates’ for a reason.

‘The point of “Guesstimates” is to provide useful content and tools to the consumer. The valuation technology behind the “Guesstimates” is traditionally used for bank valuation purposes, which is different to how a home is valued for sale. To meaningfully price a property for sale, more in-depth information and local knowledge is required – this is where real estate agents and professionals, as local experts, have skill sets that are invaluable.’

And ‘Guesstimates’ is just the first step. Melissa went on to say that the goal at onthehouse.com.au is to continue to provide real estate agents, property professionals and the general public with as much information about individual properties across the nation as possible.

‘We also want to keep growing this information resource (onthehouse.com.au) as the biggest and most vast source of information for Australian property’

And growing it is, with onthehouse.com.au recently reporting aggressive growth in web traffic over the past 12 months. They indicated there were almost 600,000 users on the online consumer platform (excluding agent sites) and over 1.2 million users on the Online Consumer Division.

It’s fantastic to see innovation and enhancements by Onthehouse as these widgets will provide a greater user experience for property seekers. But could this create headache for agents if vendors are unhappy with their Guesstimate?

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15 Comments

  • Alistair Helm
    Posted November 7, 2011 at 11:35 am 0Likes

    I have to say the facility is great as a consumer service, but as a piece of branding it is a fail!

    Zillow have Zestimates – this skilfully leverages the brand to become a playful engaging verb and reinforces this is an estimate not a true professional valuation.

    To use the name Guesstimate implies to me as a consumer – “well this is our guess, its pretty much an estimate, but who cares!”

    Time will tell how consumers judge the accuracy and relevance. From memory Zillow had a major issue of credibility with real estate agents at the time of launch matched to rabid fascination from consumers. Can OntheHouse afford to disenfranchise the agents at this critical time in their life??

  • George
    Posted November 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm 0Likes

    I think the real concern is their attempt at gaming Google Search results.

    This release is trying to populate every single address in Australia as a search term.

    Example is Pitt Street Sydney
    http://www.onthehouse.com.au/property_values_map/17772/Pitt+Street+Sydney/

    To demonstrate how popular Street address searches are, from this case study :
    http://www.classifiedadventures.com/franchises/case-studies/
    QUOTE : In an extensive study of 43,000 keywords used to reach the new Raine & Horne site, it was found that 69% of the search terms were people searching for property on specific streets.

    So now On The House are basically trying to leverage on this long tail keyword search as part of their SEO strategy, which is an easy way to say “And growing it is, with onthehouse.com.au recently reporting aggressive growth in web traffic over the past 12 months.”

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted November 7, 2011 at 2:18 pm 0Likes

    I agree Alistair, I think it devalues the smarts behind the data technology and will be less likely to be used by consumers.

    The name ‘Guesstimate’ leaves it open to discrediting the figures by consumers and agents.

  • MAC
    Posted November 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm 0Likes

    How are ‘users’ defined?
    Isn’t there another mob also offering free guesstimates?
    Where’s their revenue come from/going to come from?
    How’s their share price going?
    As the boys from Monty Python used to say, “These are all questions” 🙂

  • Vic
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 7:03 pm 0Likes

    If it significantly helps their traffic numbers, that’s a good thing; if it is aimed at gaining more agents’ listing, not so good, they don’t like it.
    With a 62% drop in share price since IPO I would think this is not the type of branding strategy that would help lift the price.

  • MAC
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 10:38 am 0Likes

    Perhaps onthehouse wasn’t structured to be around long anyway!
    “…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.
    “.. the reality is that the capital-raising is mainly a buy-out of real estate agency software developer – Console.
    Console’s owners will get $42million in cash from the float. A further $7.5million in cash is to be paid to another real estate agency software developer, Portplus.”
    “..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.”
    “Potential investors may also be somewhat concerned by Onthehouse’ recruitment of Console executive, Craig Thwaites as a director.”
    “Thwaites spent a year or so as chief operating officer of the failed online travel industry service, Roamfree.com, leaving just six months or so before it went into administration into 2009.” Ref: http://www.ecommercereport.com.au/?p=1636

  • MAC
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 9:35 am 0Likes

    Does anyone know how much of onthehouse’s $400K is left?

  • Home Buyer & Interest Investor in OTH
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm 0Likes

    Wow MAC

    Your figures appear quite wrong compared to information listed ASX… and u are only listing info so as to gripe.

    I wonder which software company you are from?

    Another new giant to go up against. Competition is good MAC.

    Perhaps time to put it to REST…

  • Vic
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:57 am 0Likes

    Hi Home Buyer and Interest Investor in OTH,

    Mac is quoting from a report in ecommercereport.com and his questions are real. If you are an investor in OTH wouldn’t you want to know the motivation behind the IPO and also what it’s true current position is. I know that I would be really pee’d off if I bought shares at $1 and now are worth $0.40. Purely academic for me.

  • MAC
    Posted December 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm 0Likes

    Hi, “Home Buyer and Interest Investor in OTH” – I have no vested interest but yr obviously a stooge for OTH! How much did you get in your pocket? *LOL*

  • Jennifer H
    Posted December 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm 0Likes

    This value estimate offered offers a touch of reality,
    to often vendor pie in the sky own expectations finding when list. Plus, use to appraise properties on a realistic level.

    JH

    • Marcia H
      Posted January 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm 0Likes

      For this

      I’m with vendors cutting the estimates back by 20-30%
      to current conditions – and reviewing
      with feedback from potential buyers in these
      falling price days

      Overall is then well recommended

      Regards
      Marcia

  • Fred
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm 0Likes

    According to on the house, the most valuable properties in my area are council owned footpaths. The council must be very happy.

  • vic Del Vecchio
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm 0Likes

    Recent reports of OTH purchasing the remaining 50% of Residex for part cash part borrowings is an indication the OTH will be around for a while longer. Our recent dealings with them are fairly positive. Share price around 49 cents is also making a recovery.

    What do you think Ryan ?

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