An online production: Death of a Salesman?

An online production: Death of a Salesman?


Rupert Murdoch once said, “The internet has been the most fundamental change during my lifetime and for hundreds of years”. Someone the other day said, “It’s the biggest thing since Guttenberg” and then someone else said, “No, it’s the biggest thing since the invention of writing.” If that is the case (and I certainly don’t doubt it) it illustrates the numbers in Australian businesses who have trouble reading!

From my perspective, consumers use the Internet to see what’s happening, whether it be social media, online newspapers, online shopping, real estate etc – etc. The secret is growing the audience, otherwise known as Unique Visitors (UVs), which has become a huge problem within Australian businesses as they struggle to formulate effective and successful online strategies. Just look at our retail markets which are being decimated as they struggle to compete with the world’s biggest shopping centre – online! In the last week, David Jones, Coles, Harvey Norman, Woolworths fight for flexible opening hours to compete with internet trade which is an absolute no brainer given Australian shoppers ripped off by retailer mark – ups – Choice. Even Myer tries its luck with using Facebook, Youtube in social media marketing which is quite amazing and retailers must now move to online and not ‘offline’. Although retail sales beat forecasts in April however the simple reality is that Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane remain in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world as department stores struggle to set sale.

The cost of living in Australia is skyrocketing as is the Aussie dollar, so consumers are cashing in on these new online markets. Consumers in retail are now negotiating online, much like ‘ducks to water’. A click not a salesman’s pitch comes with an online review. How times change – just a decade ago, the Australian dollar was struggling at 47.75 US cents. Today Australian retail is finding it almost impossible to compete, given the Australian dollar is sitting now at around 108.00 US cents.


The changing face of online advertising provides a fascinating critique of where businesses need to be: make no mistake, this is not a false alarm. The conundrum facing businesses is, that what is happening today, was never contemplated during those hazy university days. By 2015, what we do today will look like a 1980’s re-run of Homicide.



Google predicts that by 2015, 50 per cent of ad campaigns will include video ads – Australians are now watching almost 1 billion videos online each month. Video based advertising grew by 83 per cent year on year in Australia, total video spend by advertisers equated to 5.3 per cent ($33.4m). This demonstrates just where this industry will be, in four short years.



By 2015, it is expected that mobile internet will surpass desktop internet usage – global mobile advertising spent, will total $3.3 billion in 2011 and expected to reach $20.6 billion by 2015.

Fairfax Media Chief Executive, Greg Hywood, this week announced era of free content is over says Fairfax chief therefore charging users to access parts of the Fairfax website.  Good luck Greg!  I respectfully suggest that you look at your point of difference over your competitors? I can’t think of one, given the current trend is for leading print journalists to move to online models.

Commonwealth Bank still paying the price for November rate stinger a consumer rebuke can cost a business millions in lost revenues (better known as customer comfort).  The Fairfax move could easily result in consumer dissatisfaction. After all the ABC website will always be free. The jury is still out – however the consumer sentencing could very well be terminal.  Which takes me to that other sales pitch.

The dumbest sales pitch of the week would go to Cate Blanchett who, when launching her Carbon Tax campaign said, ‘Say Yes”.  Cate – Australians have no say in the carbon tax and why would you suggest we say yes, when the carbon price is yet to be announced? Even stranger – Australia’s greatest political lie was Julia Gillard’s announcement that “there will be no carbon tax under any government that I lead”.  We don’t get a say with the Carbon Tax but we do have opinion polls.

Source: The Australian- order Bill Leak’s print


The March quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was released this week – Economy suffers biggest quarterly contraction in 20 years with a 1.2 per cent decline recorded.  Floods and cyclones severely impacted exports. Whilst many are expecting a positive mining return it should be noted that eight of the nineteen industry sectors contracted in the March quarter. A recession? It’s technically possible “With housing finance falling, retail struggling as consumers reduce their spending and move towards foreign online retail for their purchases, and business credit 1.1 per cent lower than a year ago, it won’t be an easy ride. It will also make Wayne Swan’s budget estimates look increasingly rubbery.”

This brings me to the real estate industry which reminds me of the retail industry – both have no idea about using technology and modern age marketing strategies. Consumers demand facts that are exacting for their very own market analysis. When real estate markets start declining there is an overwhelming tendency by real estate agents to hide and not face the realities of the day.

Real estate agents absolutely hate these graphs as they paint a negative marketing positioning. I happen to love them, because we have a weekly blog and that allows us to defend our real estate markets. Like the GDP figures, real estate markets need to be assessed on a Quarter by Quarter basis too. So let’s look at the Mosman market (data is still not complete, with many sale prices yet to be recorded.) We will compare the Mosman March Quarter 2010 with the March Quarter 2011.

Source: Domain Property Data


  • Total Number Offered – 105
  • Private Treaty – 75
  • Public Auction – 16
  • Total Sales – 91
  • Total Value Sold – $230,950,500
  • Average Price – $2,685,470


  • Total Number Offered – 84
  • Private Treaty – 47
  • Public Auction – 14
  • Total Sales – 61
  • Total Value Sold – $107,071,000
  • Average Price – $2,817,657

RWM RESEARCH – Another 28 sold properties are still to have their sale prices recorded so the Total Value Sold will increase significantly from the current figure of $107,071,000. The Average Price for a Mosman house in the March Quarter 2010 was $2,685,470.  In the March Quarter 2011 it increased to $2,817,657 with a strong possibility that when the remaining sales are recorded it will go higher. In the March quarter 2009 the average price was $2,653,061, 2008 $3,093,770, 2007 $2,617,332, 2006 $2,303,107 and 2005 $2,296,323.

There are approximately 4,900 houses in Mosman – so here are this week’s statistics for properties currently for sale in Mosman, Cremorne and Neutral Bay.

MOSMAN – 2088

  • Number of houses on the market last week – 118
  • Number of houses on the market this week – 118
  • Number of apartments on the market last week – 96
  • Number of apartments on the market this week – 96


  • Number of houses on the market last week – 18
  • Number of houses on the market this week – 17
  • Number of apartments on the market last week – 36
  • Number of apartments on the market this week – 37


  • Number of houses on the market last week – 12
  • Number of houses on the market this week – 13
  • Number of apartments on the market last week – 58
  • Number of apartments on the market this week – 66

For those subscribers who absolutely love statistics, of the 4,900 houses in Mosman,  just 118 are on the market this week. That is just 2.40 per cent!  When the Mosman house market is trading at full speed, there are around 275 houses on the market which represents 5.61 per cent. No other real estate agency in Mosman follows the Mosman market closer than Richardson & Wrench Mosman & Neutral Bay (RWM).

Without a doubt, the worst and most embarrassing property statistic that emerged this week was that the rental vacancy rate for Sydney suburbs within a 10 – kilometre radius of the CBD, fell 0.2 per cent to 0.9 per cent in April, REINSW data.  A healthy rental market should have a vacancy rate somewhere in the range of 2.5 per cent to 3.00 per cent. In my eleven years of writing Virtual Realty News this is the lowest recorded vacancy rate that Sydney has ever seen and a bloody disgrace – when rents will continue to sky rocket.

Bear in mind that one in four to retire without owning home: study yet Julia Gillard’s hopeless Fort Fumble wants to spend billions on a NBN scheme and a Carbon Tax. Throw in rising cost of living expenses and still Wayne Swan tells us that the Australian economy is tracking well?

There is also huge vacancy rate in Canberra and for politicians, it’s actually between their ears.

Alas, the Death of Salesman in 2011? If you sell, using the latest technologies, consumers will buy. If you don’t, your market will be significantly diminished.  Should the June GDP results decline again, it means nobody is buying Australia or the government for that matter. We all know nobody ever buys taxes!

Jonathan Chancellor files his final ‘Title Deeds’ tomorrow after 26 years of writing Australia’s most iconic real estate read. Jonathan still remains tight – lipped about his move which is to online publishing and all I can say is – Crikey!! Margie Blok, who is no stranger to “Title Deeds”, will be taking over letter – box patrol.

Cheers ^__^

This week’s sales Mosman real estate, Beauty Point real estate, Clifton Gardens real estate, Balmoral real estate, Cremorne real estate, Cremorne Point real estate, Neutral Bay real estate, Cammeray real estate Click Here

4 Responses to “An online production: Death of a Salesman?”

  • Ann says:

    Yes driving around you see a lot less For Sale signs up.

  • Hotly Spiced says:

    When the Government can find some poor and struggling individuals to freely advertise that we must say yes to a carbon tax we have no details on, I might start to listen. Given they have chosen to push their agenda by using people whose lifestyles will not be altered in the slightest by yet another rise to the already escalating costs of living, I will continue my stance that this tax is a nonsense and a bandaid solution to the titanic sized deficit these fools have created.

  • Ann says:

    @ Hotly Spiced

    Well said

  • Ann says:

    Hi Robert,

    This will be relevant for your small business readers. Its Swan’s way of gouging us to get back to surplus.

    Australia Post has just announced the 4th increase to Parcel Post (red satchels) and Express Post (yellow satchels) and Regular Parcels in just under 2 years.

    The last increase was two months ago. This time the increase is 4.7% and in the last two years the increases have been around 21%. This is a rip off. There is no excuse, unjustified gouge of small business.

    Australia Post blames fuel prices and inflation. Fuel prices are the same as 2 years ago due to strong Australian dollar and inflation rate is around 3% pa.

    This is unacceptable on small business. I send hundreds of orders a month and my business is in decline already with the worries people have with the economy and the carbon tax. Please stop Australia Post.

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