Real Estate Uncertainty Sparks Boom
26 March 2008
Real Estate Uncertainty Sparks Boom in New Zealand Online Property Advertising
With interest rates rising, the share market falling and uncertainty plaguing the real estate market, real estate agencies and franchise groups are spending more money on relatively affordable online advertising. This shift is bringing new revenue to popular New Zealand real estate website—allrealestate.co.nz.
According to US-based classified advertising expert Peter Zollman, executive editor of the Real Estate Advertising Report, a similar shift is taking place in the US, where the economy has been troubled for several months.
"Real estate agents and real estate advertising are in transition. Online will be a substantial winner and daily newspaper print is going to be a significant loser," he said.
New Zealand real estate industry leaders echo Mr Zollman’s view.
Paul Lochore Professionals Real Estate Group Chairman for Australasia and based in Auckland's North Shore commented that with sales slowing and property taking longer to sell, placement of marketing investment will be crucial for clients and agents in achieving a successful outcome. Online marketing we have found effective and continuing to grow in value.
Trish Tilbury, Licensee, AREINZ for LJ Hooker Levin in the Wellington region says increasing days on market for listings is driving competition between sellers more so than buyers. This means sellers need to extend their advertising, so agents looks to see where their dollar is best spent, and that is online. If the market is slow sellers have to advertise more, and the internet lets them do that better than other media at a cost that is not prohibitive. The immediacy of online provides a real advantage to sellers.
Andrew Mark Executive Director of Professionals Real Estate Group also in the Wellington region said with more property choice available for buyers, the opportunity is there for them to be selective, online property advertising provides the advantage of close criteria matching, provides significantly more visual display and presentation of a property over longer time frames. This marketing will continue as a strong focus for Professionals offices nationwide and the huge numbers of owners we represent, with allrealestate.co.nz being a key part of that mix.
Tony Brazier, Managing Director of Brazier Property Investments in Christchurch said, “We’ve noticed that there has been a significant decrease in the number of leads from the local newspaper down to just 1.4% of our total leads across the marketing mix. As time goes by, we now know that the shift has been to online and that’s where inquiry now stems from. For this reason, we are certainly putting more emphasis into online marketing and will do so more and more in the future – that’s the way to go.”
AUT University has reported the internet is considered a more important source of information for Kiwis than newspapers. This bodes well for real estate websites.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Interactive Advertising Bureau New Zealand’s 2007 year-end report provides further evidence of the web’s potential for growth, with online ad expenditures soaring 46.47 per cent in 2007.
Shaun Di Gregorio, General Manager – Asia Pacific of allrealestate.co.nz, said:
“I believe allrealestate.co.nz is well placed to capture a significant slice of the real estate advertising dollars that shift online—over the past 12 months we have already seen a massive investment by New Zealand real estate agencies of depth products on allrealestate.col.nz like feature properties by 180%.
“In an up market, the internet allows an agent to promote their agency and their listings to the largest single audience. In a down market, where listings take longer to sell or rent, the internet is the most cost effective way to reach a large audience over a long period of time. This is why we continue to see continued strong growth in the use of our online advertising products by New Zealand’s real estate agents.
“Ten years ago they wouldn’t have had any choice but to stick to print advertisements. Today agents can still invest in growing their business at a reasonable cost.”
 Note to press: quotes and interviews available
 Source: World Internet Project New Zealand, AUT University December 2007
 Source: allrealestate.co.nz internal statistics
Nielsen//NetRatings Market Intelligence
allrealestate.co.nz has grown dramatically in the last year to become one of the leading real estate website in New Zealand, with an 33 per cent growth in domestic visitors over the past 12 months. allrealestate.co.nz is owned and operated by realestate.com.au Ltd. (ASX:REA, and its subsidiary companies, The REA Group).