50 Bright Ideas launched to help and guide Australian & New Zealand Real Estate Industries

It is a tough market out there and we know that many agents are finding business difficult. To assist agents and agencies on improving their business in these tough times, we have recently launch a free weekly email called ’50 Bright Ideas’ which will send a new business idea to agents each week. Each week we will email a new business idea used by one (or many) of the leading agents around the world. Having recognised however that an idea without execution is a wasted idea, we are also including suggestions on how to implement the idea into your business.

So in a nutshell, our ’50 Bright Ideas’ campaign is a FREE weekly email that all agents and agencies can subscribe to, that send you a great new business idea and suggestions on how to implement the idea into your business.

You can register for these Bright ideas by visiting http://50ideas.brightfox.com.au/ .

We have seen many companies selling similar information for well over hundreds of dollars. However we have decided to impart this knowledge for Free. When you sign-up for 50 bright ideas you will also receive 3 professionally designed HTML templates that you can use immediately – straight out of the box.

Of course we don’t think for a second that we are the only people with great ideas on how to run a real estate business, so if you have suggestions or would like to contribute to our weekly emails, we would love to hear from you. Simply email us at 50brightideas@brightfox.com.au.

Top Agents say – “It’s Lonely at the top!”

We are already nearing the end of February 2009. So the question is :

“How’s the Real Estate market been treating you – so far?”

Most of the Top Performing Real Estate Agents (some of whom are our clients) we talk to on a regular basis are  saying that the market is great.

In fact they say it’s Fantastic.

This is exactly the opposite of what the press and the real estate industry as a whole are saying, so I have no doubt that many people find this surprising. So the question is why. Why are these leading agents doing so well when most agents are not? The immediate answer we received was – “because there is no competition”.

They (top real estate agents) said that most of their competition was wallowing in misery about the

  • recession
  • property market going down the drain
  • unemployment being high
  • vendors expectations unrealistic
  • etc

Whilst the average Agents are pulling back their spending, these Elite group of Agents are in fact spending more in:

  • investing in better technology,
  • upgrading their websites and expanding online marketing,
  • adopting new systems and procedures to manage their businesses even better.

This reminds me of the advice given by Warren Buffett – “Buy when others are selling and Sell when others buying”. This mantra has been obviously profitable to the World’s Richest Man.

After discussing with these top producers and the rest of the real estate world, we (Brightfox) have decided to launch an educational campaign – 50 Bright Ideas to Kick start your business in 2009..

This will be launching soon, so if you are interested in learning what these Top guns are doing, keep an eye out..

PS: If you want to join the Priority Mailing list so that you can be informed about this launch, send an email to 50brightideas@brightfox.com.au with your contact details.

World’s Largest Real Estate Agency Ditches TV for Online!

Century 21’s CEO, Tom Kunz, announced in an online video interview (Watch the Video – link below) that in 2009 they have decided to pull their advertising budget from TV to focus more on Online marketing.

As Tom Kunz explains they have found that their Return on Investment was much better from their Online endeavours rather than TV or any other traditional media.

In 2008, Century 21 spent only 10% of their massive advertising budget online. However, recent research and testing has shown that their online expenditure was far more productive and efficient than the TV advertising.

We have seen quite a few Independent Agents embracing the internet very actively, however, this is probably the first time that a major Agency has taken any serious steps in this direction, publicly.

With Millions of Dollars being re-routed from the traditional advertising media to Online – it will be interesting times ahead.

What are your Online Strategies and how do you intend to implement them?

Online Real Estate Searches on the rise!

 

Based on a research we did on Google (see image below) the online activity by prospective buyers and sellers during the Christmas – New Year period went up – significantly.

 

 

 web_search_reagents2

 

Whilst most agents were busy with their time away with friends, family and loved ones, the prospective client (buyer / seller) was busy doing their own research on what properties to buy (and from whom) or which agent to use to list their properties with, etc..

 

The scary thing is – majority of these decisions were just being made from your websites and not from talking with you or looking at the fancy brochures or actual shop fronts.

 

Those Agents who have an online shop front that is professional, provides valuable information, easy search functionality, etc (see some great examples of professional websites) would have had a significant upper hand as compared to those who have less than acceptable websites.

 

With around 87% of Australian home buyers/sellers now using the Internet as part of their research process (Nielsen Australian Property Report 2008), isn’t it time that you invested a little more energy into your online marketing machine?

 

Brightfox Attends AREC08 Exhibition

The AREC exhibition was held again this year on the 25th and 26th of May at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

AREC08 – also known as the Australasian Real Estate Conference 2008 was a sold out event, with 2,500 real estate business owners, elite sales people and property managers, from around Australia attending.  The event incorporated business management, sales and property management together under the one umbrella.

Brightfox was privileged to be an exhibitor at the event, and found it a great experience overall.  Not only were we able to meet up with many of our industry leading clients, but received an incredibly strong response from our booth, with several new clients coming on board.

We look forward to taking part next year.

RSS – find out what it means to me….web 2.0 continued

You may have noticed websites popping up with ‘RSS feeds’ on their site. RSS basically allows someone to link not just to a page, but to subscribe to it with a notification every time that page changes. For example, news websites have taken this on board with top news from various organizations feeding into one website.

RSS can push all kinds of information from news articles to blog entries, stock quotes, weather data, photo availability and more.

One such website has been developed by Brightfox, which is called PropertyMash.  It embraces the new ‘mash up’ technology and is applied with a real estate focus. What this means for those in the property industry is the ability to access all real estate news and information in one spot.    Visit it here…www.propertymash.com

We’ve also created an iframe application, so organizations can have live real estate news from property mash on their website for free.  This has already proved successful for some of our clients as they obtain more visitors to their site and demonstrate the importance of market intelligence to their clients.  Visit the PropertyMash site for more information.

More Web 2.0 information coming shortly…

Web 2.0 continued…to blog or not to blog?

Another common web 2.0 ‘feature’ is the blog. While this concept has been around for many years, it only seems to be a recent feature for businesses. A blog is an online journal of commentary and chat, and usually people have written blogs regarding social ideas and life in general – for example travel blogs. However the corporate world has now taken up blogs as an innovative way to promote their company, products and services.

The best thing about a blog is that it enables organizations to build an informal dialogue with their clients and prospects. For example, General Motors runs a blog that discusses topics ranging from auto racing to car design. In the property industry, individual real estate agents are using blots to promote their experience in the market, property developers are keeping buyers in touch with new developments and so on.

Brightfox has built several websites recently that have incorporated the blogging feature, which enable the agencies with limited technical knowledge to blog for themselves as a way to keep in touch with their clients and maintain a leading edge.

Web 2.0 continued…communication with clients

Businesses from a myriad of industries are setting up their own Facebook profiles. Facebook is a social networking site with over 64 million users worldwide and specifically designed as a way for people to keep in contact with their friends. However businesses are seeing the potential and are hoping to delve into this market. While the business benefits of networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are yet to be seen, property developers and real estate firms can still embrace the idea of social networking and apply it in a more business sense.

An innovative method is the communication with clients and/or business partners via secure portals. Portals are one of our specializations that are becoming more frequently requested by our clients. They allow real estate agents, property developers and project marketers to connect online more intimately with their clients and each other.

For example, a property developer that has a large number of external agents working to sell their stock ultimately spends a lot of time emailing and faxing out updated stock lists, pricelists, construction updates, marketing material and so on. But via an agent portal – an external agent can logon to a secure website and access all this information in a live format, as well as viewing their buyers contracts and any commission owing to them, all uploaded by the developer at the click of a button.

Other innovative portals include vendor portals, where vendors can view all activities and inspections conducted on their property by the real estate agent. Another solution is for project marketers to enable developers to view the progress on the sale of their developments, activities and advertising…the possibilities are endless.

Web 2.0 – changing the face of real estate as we know it?

Web 2.0? Who? What?

This subject is one of much debate among IT experts, but the general consensus is that web 2.0 is more of a concept than an actual tangible change. You have probably heard new jargon popping up at the meetings over the water cooler such as Facebook, MySpace, tagging, blogging and social networks – these are probably the most widely recognized aspects that are changing the internet – and being defined as ‘web 2.0’.

The ‘idea’ of web 2.0 involves the ability for internet users to generate and distribute content, often with the freedom to share and reuse. It does include a largely social element – but before you disregard this as your colleagues posting drunken nights out of themselves online, consider the economic potential for businesses – after all, word of mouth (albeit ‘virtual’) is an incredibly powerful sales and marketing tool.

One such example is YouTube. An online video sharing website, not only does it include the quirky videos sent around the office for fun, but also includes a more professional side. For example, politicians such as Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama are campaigning via YouTube.  So how can this affect the property industry? Already property developers and real estate agents are posting videos of themselves and their accomplishments onto YouTube. At Brightfox, a common feature we are now including for our clients’ websites are a video and news page where property firms can upload their YouTube videos onto their own corporate website.

Stay tuned – More information on Web 2.0 to come…