Archive for the ‘Portals’ Category

Greg Vincent

Agent Horrified About Stuff Up!!! Where Is Our Data Going?

This is the question that an agent posed to me earlier today after yet another stuff up by the big boys.

I was speaking at an event yesterday where one of the agents mentioned the CommBank Property Guide iPhone App and the significant amount of data that was now being made available via realestate.com.au and RPData.

As the discussion went on, one of the agents logged on and started searching through the Comm Bank’s app. Only by fluke, another agent suggested they take a look at one of his latest listings which is going up for Auction.

The listing agent was absolutely horrified to see that the property which was uploaded onto realestate.com.au as an auction now appeared on Comm Bank’s app with an asking price displayed.

The price that was displayed on the Comm Bank app was the same price that the agent had inserted under the search price field.

Any pricing entered within the search price field has always been a hidden price whether a property goes up for auction or whether it has an asking price. These prices have never been for public viewing, or at least until now.

I was blown away when the agent showed me the listing in question on the Commbank site. I couldn’t believe that something so fundamental and basic could be breached.

I followed up with the agent again today. To REA’s credit the pricing issue for that listing has now been rectified but in typical fashion the agent was told that it’s not their fault the issue seemed to be from CommBank’s side? So who’s fault is it really?

Agents don’t have an agreement with CommBank’s Property Guide app, they have an agreement with REA Group.

Under the circumstances, should agents have the option to not make listings, etc available to Comm Bank’s app?

Is this only an isolated case? Has it happened to others? Will it happen again? Can REA Group and Comm Bank guarantee that no such issue will ever happen again?

Can you imagine what would have happened if the vendor had seen it? Who knows whether a buyer has seen it or not? Does this mean that agents have to check every listing on every site that their data is being uploaded to?

NOTE: Out of respect for the agent and the vendor trying to sell their property I have deliberately left out the specific details of the price, property, area, agent, etc because sharing that information could have a detrimental impact on the result of the property auction.

This article was originally featured on Business2.com.au

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Greg Vincent

Realestate.com.au New Site Features and Benefits

In a Press Released issued today, realestate.com.au have itemised some of the added features and benefits of the new look site. 

“Compare - Compare different potential homes side by side and scan all the key features on a single page. You can save the ones you like in myrealestate or print out for handy reference.

Enhanced searchThe new enhanced search capabilities allow you to search by street name or for an exact address. You can now refine your results using a whole range of new search options including indoor, outdoor and eco friendly features such as lock up garage, outdoor entertaining area, PayTV access, water tank and more.

myrealestate - Now you can create your own personalised area on realestate.com.au where you can organise your saved properties into lists such as dream homes, investment ideas or holiday houses, write notes on properties, share your lists with friends and when you’re out and about you can access your myrealestate on your mobile.

Get directionsmakes it easy to find the property you are looking for. Use the ‘get directions’ tool to plan the best route between your starting address and each property listing, based on location or on open/auction time, or simply drag and drop to choose the order or add stops along the way.

Open for inspection & auction timesView the open for inspection & auction times for properties that meet your search criteria and save the times straight to your calendar (Yahoo or Outlook). The saved calendar event includes the open or auction time, address and a handy link to the property listing.

Agent finderrealestate.com.au’s new and improved find an agent section will help you find the right real estate agent to sell your home. Search by agency name or suburb, see a list of local agents, locate their offices on a map, and view the properties each agent has for sale, for rent or have sold recently.

Email alertsGet an email alert as soon as a new property that matches your search criteria comes onto the market.

Gallery viewYou can now scroll through photo galleries of different properties on a single page making it easier to make room by room comparisons of different properties side by side. So if you love kitchens you can look at photos of all the kitchens of the properties that match your search criteria and simply select which properties you want to visit.

Mobile realestate.com.au can now be accessed from your mobile. View open for inspection times and map the best route, access your own personalised area, myrealestate and make notes and updates to your saved properties on the go so when you get back in front of your computer it is all saved and ready for handy reference.”

I feel that REA have made some clever changes with myrealestate, side by side comparisons & improved search. It’s also good to see that they have added in the ability to search by property address too.

Having the address search should reduce the need for browsers to type in an address into Google to find out more about a property.

It’s been very interesting to read some of the feedback on their Twitter account http://twitter.com/realestate_au & their Facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/realestateAus

Lots of people don’t like change no matter what & others have some valid issues with the site.

Whilst I’m still working through some of the issues raised and whether they will have a significant impact, overall I think it’s a vast improvement and should make for a better end user experience.

What do you think of the new site?

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Greg Vincent

Google Announces Vision For Working With Real Estate Industry << Udated (Latest Google Videos)

Since Google announced their Real Estate based search on Google Maps, there has been a lot of debate over how this move will impact the real estate industry and the dominance of the major portals like realestate.com.au, domain.com.au, etc.

At a Sydney press conference today, Google announced their “vision for working with the real estate industry”.

That vision for the industry involves a marketing partnership with LJ Hooker, one of Australia’s most well known real estate franchises.

As Alice Allan from Property Portal Watch explains,

“This new marketing push will see physical representations of the Google Maps “pins” appearing across 16 Sydney locations, from shopping centres to cinemas and even on Bondi Beach. Google says the co-branded pins are meant to encourage more Australians to head online to begin their real estate search, but with 87 percent of the population already doing so according to Nielsen, it’s clear this is a push to get Australians thinking “Google” when they think of online real estate.

Karim Temsamani, general manager of Google Australia and New Zealand, said today that Google Maps now links over 1,000 real estate websites across Australian and New Zealand. Along with LJ Hooker, Google also includes Ray White, First National and Century 21 amongst these partners, as well as smaller portals such as homehound.com.au and myhome.com.au. As pleased as Google seems to be with these partnerships, one big question remains: what of Australia’s market leader, realestate.com.au, and the number two player domain.com.au?

When quizzed about the relationship with the two portals, Andrew Foster, product manager for real estate search on Google Maps, remained diplomatic. “We’re happy to take listings from anyone,” he said, while confirming that there is currently no arrangement to take listings from either portal. “At this stage they’re choosing not to provide listings,” he said.

“We’re not sitting back and waiting for large providers,” Foster continued, emphasising that Google’s coverage is “diverse and comprehensive”, and that there is “genuine enthusiasm to be seen on Google” from the real estate industry.” (read more here)

Whilst this move may exert some added pressure on realestate.com.au, domain.com.au & realestateview.com.au to join in with others who are already uploading listings onto Google Maps, I don’t see any of these companies moving from their current stance any time soon.

And while many agents feel that Google may impact on the duopoly that currently exists within the Australian real estate portal market, they should also bear in mind that as Andrew Foster said “We’re happy to take listings from anyone,” which also means private sellers can upload their properties onto Google Maps for FREE.

Update: Here are the latest Real Estate on Google Maps videos.


Google Maps – Now with real estate listings across Australia


How to get driving directions from real estate listings on Google Maps


How to refine your real estate search on Google Maps

What impact do you feel Google will have on the real estate industry going forward?

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