Robert Simeon is a director of Richardson Wrench Mosman and Neutral Bay and has been selling residential real estate in Sydney since 1985. He has also been writing real estate blog Virtual Realty News since 2000.

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Robert Simeon

9 December 2012

Real estate businesses must dare to be different or perish in 2013

For many businesses 2013 will go down as a complete disaster – the disaster is actually their business model, not the markets. The question that businesses need to face is a simple one: face the truth and then dare to be different.

Next year will identify market shifts from the previously dominant print advertising market to online advertising marketing campaigns. Internet use rockets as Australians’ dependence grows – Australians, it seems, are increasingly addicted to the internet: a report from the communications regulator shows we are sucking down hundreds of thousands of terabytes more than we were a year ago. In the year to June 30, 2012, Australians downloaded 421,147 terabytes of data, an increase of 52%, while total internet subscribers increased to 28.23 million. Nearly half of us (10.8 million) are going online at least once a day, and the typical Aussie spends 82 hours a month on the internet.

Follow the bouncing eyeballs, where online shopping costs thousands of jobs, says retailer, which is directed at the Gillard government’s decision – Government rules out immediate cut to GST on online purchases. At some point in time this will come to fruition given approximately 58 million online purchases each year take advantage of this GST loophole. Given it is an election year in 2013 watch for a major backflip on this decision to grab the small business vote.

Should businesses not have a reinvigorated online marketing platform strategy in place for 2013 it will be yet another dismal year to such an extent by this time next year in all probability their doors won’t be open. In 2013, Richardson & Wrench Mosman & Neutral Bay (RWM) will be rolling out our Mosman.tv site as well as Cremorne.tv and Neutral Bay.tv online platforms. Some years ago, we acquired these URLs with the knowledge when online evolves these platforms would be the next must have online positions.

What is Normal? a very good question given so many businesses are struggling in the “new normal” ? This can be addressed quite simply: truth or dare! Australia’s markets have moved to the online models. Real estate markets are struggling simply because the property pie is getting smaller as fewer transactions are being recorded given the high cost of moving. Last week, we noted that apartment sales in Mosman have reduced by 22% when compared with 2011. Real estate agents doing it tough amid economic woes and vendor – led marketing alternatives: this reality being that real estate agents and agencies simply don’t understand or comprehend this “new normal”.

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We have house prices on bumpy road to recovery although it is important to note that top-end markets are now being valued at 2004 base dates. Property markets are simply being recalibrated given the dominance of investment bankers who drove top-end property values from 2004 – 2008. They, like the property values, are no longer there today and are being substituted by the new market, that being Chinese investors. Fascinating how property markets change and evolve. Once upon a time home buyers struggled to compete with property developers (now extinct), then it was merchant bankers (now fighting for survival), where today the fastest growing market is the Chinese buyer demographic.

Robert Simeon is a director of Richardson  Wrench Mosman and Neutral Bay and has been selling residential real estate in Sydney since 1985. He has also been writing real estate blog Virtual Realty News since 2000. The RWM real estate model has sold in excess of $1 billion in database sales globally.


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