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The web and real estate... bridging the gap

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria reported that Melbourne median property prices over the last quarter have increased by 4.9% to $451,000. Combined with recent interest rate hikes, for many home buyers – particularly first home buyers – it’s a step further away from home affordability.


The above factors suggest that sustained growth in the real estate market as a whole won’t be guaranteed. Figures released from the Housing Institute of Australia in April this year showed a fall of 6% in the sale of new homes and units. Vendors need buyers, and today more than ever real estate agents need to work harder to market properties that are increasingly harder to afford.


The good news is new tools have entered the market to assist agents in cutting through the clutter of properties for sale by ensuring their properties stand out. Fuelled by innovations in technology and the internet, these devices represent a growing area in property marketing, and are already being implemented by agents.


Technology has made an enormous impact on the real estate industry. Some agents are marketing their properties through the use of podcasting and sms technology. Others are seeing the success of video portals in their shopfront windows. Others still are producing blogs and e-newsletters on their own websites.


Arguably, the most significant technological 'movement' in recent years has been the internet property portal.


It’s widely reported that more than 75% of buyers now use the internet to research properties.


The nation’s biggest online real estate portalrealestate.com.au – currently receives 3.7 million unique browsers per month, contains details of more than 400,000 properties, advertises 8,000 paying agents and delivers more than 650,000 email leads. And... as testimony to Australia’s love of internet property portals, a report by British online real estate consultants Globaledge and American internet marketing portal SEOmoz names realestate.com.au the fourth most powerful real estate portal in the world.


These figures are consistent with the statistics that conclude there are in excess of 7.5 million unique browsers per month viewing properties advertised on the web in Australia.


The findings have important implications for agents, who now need a strong online strategy for real estate listings. The ability to differentiate one property over another, and create an emotional connection between buyer and product, is fast becoming a mission-critical objective. Up until now, this has been technically challenging and, for the most part, financially unviable – particularly when it comes to supporting technologies for property advertising.


A new swathe of internet and technological services are helping agents overcome these hurdles.


One such service is that founded by my business partner and myself, YouVu. YouVu Property Advertising allows agents or private sellers to create a 25-page website-like real estate advertisement of their property, then use that URL as a reference when listing on top web portals like realestate.com.au.

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