Continued from last week………As the Trojan war gains momentum the one thing you won’t see are protesters. What you will see, is agents who won’t be neutral on these issues. This week, it was Fairfax Digital, that broke cover and launched the new branding for its website, and a $1.5 million campaign launch “Dream big, think smart”. “Australians are sophisticated and driven about real estate and the property market, and are eager for authoritative information that is easy to access and compelling. And “they want an Internet site that delivers it all” said Chris Meehan, General Manager of . “Our new-look web site reflects this as the new campaign will drive people to, adding value for clients”. I must admit that I like the look of the new site. It is a huge improvement on the previous one, which reminded me of a clothes line as it had everything hanging off the home page. ‘Just Listed’ e-mailed me also during the week, to advise that for the moment it is adopting the BP approach, “the quiet achiever” !! Telstra/Sensis has lodged global patents for part of its new Internet search engine, which is already in battle with Yahoo and Google. No doubt, the agents who have signed up with ‘Just Listed’, will get a prominent placing on Just Listed’s search results. I guess may be adopting the BP approach also, as we have not heard much from them, on how they are positioning themselves. That is not to say, they should tell us. How they play this Trojan war is entirely up to them. It is just that ‘Virtual Realty News’ is the self-appointed media outlet for the Trojan war !!

The scuttlebutt, coming from the bunkers is that, “in coming weeks we will see some epic encounters as News, Fairfax and Telstra go ‘head to head’, and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet !!”. To anyone who thinks that the subscribers are not intrigued with this battle, think again. Last Friday the edition sent browsers crashing with an all time record 61,420 hits at RWM. Our apologies to those who lost valuable work. The hits eased back on Saturday with 15,683, Sunday 10,546, back up on Monday to 17,357. This war for those “rivers of gold” will be won by those who instigate the smartest strategies which have now been identified as far reaching, and have potential for terminal consequences. This is about winning the collective approval, of agent and vendor. The stark reality is the climbing spiral of advertising costs, which could possibly lead to the demise of the print media incumbents. It is the agents who direct the advertising monies to the media outlets that position their clients who will have a distinct advantage, as vendors are looking at value for money. The previous approach by the incumbents requires radical change, as today, it now appears that they may have priced themselves out of the property market. The new contenders will identify this very point in weeks to come, as the Trojan war continues to focus on those “rivers of gold”.

Now back to the property market which appears to have found its fighting qualities again as the ‘sold by’ signs appear on the signboards in good numbers. Gone from our property menu 22 Cobbittee Street Balmoral, 1 Elfrida Street Mosman (first week), 19 Wyong Road Mosman and, 31 Myahgah Road Mosman. These properties represent just over $10,000,000 in sales. At one home the vendors pocketed a cool $1,000,000 profit in just three years, and all they did was live there !! The market required anecdotal sales evidence that it was back, and now we are delivering it.

In the Apartment Division Marize Bellomo broke an agency record by negotiating the sale of fifteen properties this quarter, with still one week to go. This week the Apartment Division sold 2/6 Mosman Street, Mosman Bay, 14/56 Harbour Street, Mosman, 304/450 Military Road, Mosman, 12/3 Yeo Street, Neutral Bay and 5/137 Belmont Road Mosman. That is nine exchanges over the week.

There has been no denying that Winter market sales have been somewhat of a disappointment, however we knew that it would ‘spring’ back, and that is exactly what we have found this week. It is all about accurate property pricing, as the purchasers are conducting their own pricing enquiries. Some are now saying, “What do you mean it has sold? Nothing has been selling, we were hoping to acquire it for a cheap price”. The coming months will be very interesting !!

Plenty happening in the property industry off and on the paddock. What remains to be seen is which players are on the paddock and who will end up permanently, off the paddock !! The Telstra, News, Fairfax battle will be aggressive with definitive strikes on the potential contenders. Many egos will be bruised as they are forced to change their ‘not so perfect’ business plan for 2004. Times change, it is just that some never believed that their precious businesses would come under attack. Just Listed, started the Trojan war, now we will all watch to see who will finish it !! This is not game over, rather game on !!

Thirsty work !! Cheers and clink !! ….. ^__^

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