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Harcourts Leads E-Real Estate with New Initiatives

NEWS RELEASE
Harcourts Leads ‘E-Real Estate’ with New Initiatives


Harcourts' ongoing lead in the highly competitive 'e-real estate' revolution has seen it retain its number one spot as the most visited real estate group website in the country for over two years now.
During the month of October www.harcourts.co.nz had over 300,000 visitors.

Harcourts International Ltd’s Chief Technology Officer, Jason Wills, said their technology team maintained a strong focus on meeting consumer demands and was continuously providing new and innovative services for the public. The latest initiatives just launched include:

Personal Notifier – now with Text Messaging

In a New Zealand first for real estate, just over a year ago Harcourts launched the Personal Notifier function of www.harcourts.co.nz to automatically email registrants with properties meeting their criteria. Over 10,000 people from throughout the world are registered with Personal Notifier reflecting the demand for such a service. However, Harcourts has revolutionised this with a new option.

The new improved Personal Notifier is now able to send the listing and open home details as a simple text message to any text capable Telecom mobile phone.

Mr Wills said client feedback showed buyers were often frustrated at the rate property sells before they had a chance to view it. This new tool ensured they received instant notification of property within their criteria as soon as it was listed. He added that it also means for sellers, their properties were being emailed and now text messaged directly to potential buyers.

Developed exclusively in conjunction with Telecom, the new service is available for a fee of 99cents for each new listing text message and 50cents for each open home text message.

Mr Wills added, “This is an absolute first in New Zealand and exclusive to Harcourts. No-one else offers anything like this technological edge and we’re also in negotiations with an Australian telecommunications provider with a plan to launch this service to Harcourts Australia soon.”

Maps on Listings

Having recently developed a relationship with Wises Maps, many of Harcourts’ New Zealand website listings now also feature a locality map. “This is yet another Harcourts ‘first’ in New Zealand, again adding value to the public’s experience with our website,” Mr Wills said. Website visitors can now view the general location of the property they are interested in simply by clicking on the map link. This service will also be introduced into Harcourts Australia in the near future.

New Look Website

Having last updated the website ‘look’ in 2001 Harcourts has just relaunched www.harcourts.co.nz and www.harcourts.com.au with a new look. Mr Wills described it as “clean, professional, easier to navigate and more in line with our current overall marketing.”

Chinese Website

With the strengthening number of website visitor numbers from China, Harcourts has worked with a translation service to now offer the website listings in simplified Chinese script. Mr Wills said that they were recording around 1,500 website visitors from China each month using this service. The Chinese website is available to Chinese based browsers or any computer running Windows XP with the Chinese language plugin, which was in line with modern Chinese Internet users.

Mr Wills said all these innovations were a “win-win” for property sellers and buyers, and also provided valuable leading-edge tools for Harcourts consultants. He added that he was not aware of any other New Zealand real estate group offering such comprehensive Internet services.

"The days of spending time in the car visiting house after house are gone. Increasing numbers of people are undertaking a large proportion of their research via real estate websites and only visit a few favourites to make their decision. And in the robust market that we are experiencing, it is imperative that we provide the public with the best tools possible to ensure their real estate experience is productive and successful."
…ends

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