The real estate industry has experienced many changes over the last twenty years. None greater than the emergence of new technologies and with education, these new electronic technologies have revolutionised behaviour, based on the “need for speed”. Today, we find consumer online practices now dominate our immediate search functionality requirements. Gone are the days of dial up connections – today we feel this need for the delivery of information. This information highway is now forced to produce faster and faster consumer-driven fuel where these “must know now” mentalities are the order of the day. More importantly, these applications deliver and coerce consumer confidence which explains why so many find online searches so appealing and explain why consumers keep coming back for more and more.

A recent study has found Internet users are executing a massive 1.4 million searches every minute with the most popular URL being ComScore said that, “37 billion or 60 per cent of searches worldwide went through Google in August, Yahoo was second worldwide with 8.5 billion searches, Baidu (the leading Chinese search engine) delivered 3.3 billion and Microsoft at 2.2 billion”.

To put this into greater perspective, a mobile phone salesman, Paul Potts, sang Nessun Dorma on Britian’s Got Talent TV show back in June 2007. The performance was immediately uploaded to This leading online video site was founded in February 2005 and purchased by Google Inc for $1.65 billion in a stock – for – stock transaction in October 2006. (Listen here) This performance has now been viewed 9,046,764,000 times generating 8,195 comments. 24,272 viewers added this to their favorites. New media platforms are moving at amazing speeds to ensure they become universally accessible and this is the next generation platform that now serves the media worldwide.

Throw in the future social networking site that has around 20 million users and which has more than 100 million users logging in to their individual social networks. In 2005 News Corp paid $US580 million for MySpace. The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly rejected buyout offers of $US900 million.

Whilst real estate purchasers, vendors, landlords, tenants and voyeurs still read about it – we find today that it is more concentrated to an online daily relationship (as opposed to the previous weekly relationship with print). Real estate markets are now global, which explains why enterprising vendors and landlords pursue these markets online, with vigour. Self –explanatory, in that an email alert arrives much faster than a newspaper. Times have changed radically. So too has consumer sentiment and today, real estate agencies have to comply with this ever-changing consumer landscape.

One only has to look at the real estate rental markets which were once dominated by classified newspaper advertising. Today, print revenues have been decimated by online marketing. Why? Not because real estate agents changed their sentiments. The consumers changed the thought process because “Generation Y”, yes the younger generation, now only search available property online (they are the ones who first carried laptops to school). Newspapers don’t enter their equation because now, they read The Sydney Morning Herald, when they log on to online, as well as News Ltd newspapers on Another sign of the times that many businesses face today, is recognition of changing markets that are no longer a compelling argument, but a reality.

Even more interesting with these defining moments is where next? If traditions are to continue, we need greater consultation, imagination and creativity. To ignore, will simply accelerate the demise for some, as it is patently obvious that the Internet does and will, continue to provide knowledge at a much faster rate.

Already we have tested “electronic-only” open for inspections for properties and yes, they proved to be successful. We launched a property last Friday at 4 Union Street Mosman and by Tuesday the number of online visitors was –

RWM – 392
Domain – 222
REA – 187

Whilst print still remains popular with real estate advertising it is online that delivers all the “bells and whistles” for consumers at a fraction of the price. Like most things, perceptions change over time. In real estate however, Generation Y has demonstrated their online preference for rental markets. Previously, consumer forecasts were based on perceptions where today, all businesses are facing the stark reality of correction mode – better late than never as consumer sentiment does change. Just that it has never moved as fast as it does today – the online phenomenon that continues to grow with each and every day.

Today, print needs to find solutions to work on a united front with online media. These mediums will be better served by building a closer unity, not by opposing sides which is obviously the case today – a media confrontation of confusion and delusion. Both mediums still have a significant role to play today. The electronic era will have shocking consequences for some. We know now, that in the case of print media, “money does not grow on trees”. Cheers ^__^

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