Home' API Magazine : August 2014 Contents 71
API AUGUST 2014
AUGUST 2014 API
“Statistics show about 90 per cent of
people start looking for homes online
via the big players such as realestate.
com.au and Domain but also via social
media platforms including LinkedIn,
Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others
because of blogging and content sharing,”
And blog posts that highlight one unique
feature of a home are helping many buyers
with their property searches, she says.
“ This is a fantastic way to expand your
knowledge of the home because blogs can
paint a picture for buyers that’s not limited
by advertisement work counts,” she says.
“ All of these channels are proving to
be very effective means of finding and
promoting properties. ”
forums and networks
Tapping the enormous knowledge
and experiences of other like-minded
investors via the online world is
becoming a standard part of pre-purchase
Industry specific chat-rooms and online
networks can be excellent resources for
real estate hounds.
“ It’s a wonderful way of asking for very
specific information about an area that’ll
help your due diligence,” Schwartz says.
“ You may ask others in the forum ‘where
is the best street?’ or ‘what’s this street
like to live on, is it noisy?’ or ‘which
agents are good to work with in x area?’,
and get that first-hand feed of information
from others who share a similar passion
for real estate and property investment. ”
Chamberlain cites two social media
platforms recently formed in Australia
and gaining strong support – housenet.
com.au and thousandfish.net – dedicated
to audiences of people interested in
Seller home videos
“T he acceptance of video has come a long
way, everyone is looking for innovation
and ways to stand out,” Daniel Goldstein,
director of Visual Domain, says.
“People aren’t just looking for portals to
place their home’s video but are wanting
URLs too so they can direct people to their
home’s link, and the market is crying out
for rich, emotive content too. ”
Goldstein launched his video production
company five years ago and recalls
receiving no calls from sellers in those
“It was all agent-driven but now we’re
getting a few calls a week from vendors,
so this is definitely vendors wanting
that individual point of difference that’s
fully accessible online and sharable via
social media. ”
The evolution of agents
To thrive as a real estate agent today you
must demonstrate value.
After all, any consumer with Internet
access can look for properties for sale,
research latest sales data and, if selling,
list and market their home online.
Schwartz says an agent wanting a bright
future should be using Facebook to lift
their profile, but not merely as an online
list of their listings.
“A Facebook profile can add credence to
the market, seeing them as an authority
in a local area, and that’s what agents
need to be doing; establishing themselves
as ambassadors via topical and relevant
blogs and other rich content, not just
offering sale statistics,” she says.
“One question I’d be asking of any
selling agent today is ‘will they be using
their own online profile and network to
market my property?’
“Will they be sending an alert about my
property to their 500-plus Facebook fans?”
Brewer agrees and says agents are
“ missing this great opportunity” if they
see the online world as “a free billboard” .
He says the average agent in Australia
today only has about 100 ‘likes’ on his or
her Facebook page due to a lack of rich
content and an inconsistency of postings.
Conversely, one proactive agent in New
South Wales has more than 5500.
“T his agent has a blog and a website
called www.ilovemudgee.com.au and has
built a rich online community of followers
based on this regular feed of valuable local
content,” Brewer says.
“ People will trust this social media over
a glossy brochure any day; there’s still
¿ WHAT LIES AHEAD?
Masters describes social media as “a
great gatekeeper” offering a bright future
for its property market users.
“ It’s a wonderful opportunity and forum
for asking early-stage questions when
deciding where to invest, for making
connections and for flushing out who are
the most reputable people to work with...
and as long as we’re a time-poor society,
we’ll always have a need for professionals
and their direct input,” he says.
“ Moving forward we’re going to
see more people building an online
relationship with people you connect with
via social media channels.
“ T hat’s why blogs and forums are great
resources because you almost always
find people with a shared interest in real
estate and property investing.
“ Online forums will make things very
transparent and if you do something
wrong it can tarnish your reputation in
seconds; it used to take weeks or even
months for word-of-mouth to do that scale
of damage. ”
Schwartz believes property investors will
probably always need agents to a degree.
“T hings like contracts and marketing
plans can all easily be managed online,”
However “photos can be very deceiving”
so unless an investor is considering
buying a property off the plan, she
questions whether social media can yet
empower someone to effectively buy or
sell a home.
“ Viewings are usually best done in
person or via someone you trust,” she
says. “ Although, of course, with a good
Skype link-up and a camera it’d be
possible to walk-through and make a
purchase decision, particularly if you
already have in-depth knowledge of the
property and its location. ” API
æI know there’s a cynic in all of us and it’s easy to look at a
sale result and say ‘oh, I could have done that myself’ but
it’s not as easy as that.Æ Josh Masters
TECHNOLOGY \\ FEATURE
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