The deal, announced yesterday, will cover both companies’ regional and rural real estate operations by April in the joint venture, Landmark Harcourts.
The new business will include some of Harcourts’ 280 Australian offices and Landmark’s 125 rural real estate branches and is expected to turn over some $20 billion in property sales a year.
The existing Landmark real estate business will be rebranded as a part of an equal-party joint venture that will be ”integrated into the greater Harcourts family,” Harcourts Australasian head Bryan Thomson said.
Since its formation in New Zealand in 1888, Harcourts has established a network of 640 real estate franchises in Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and China.
Landmark’s rural services business operates from 400 locations in Australia.
The new business will incorporate the companies’ rural and regional operations and leave Harcourts’ metropolitan business unchanged.
Story by Simon Johanson www.smh.com.au
But likely interest rate hikes will slow the market in 2011, the Global Real Estate Trends report predicts.
The report, released by Canada’s Scotiabank, tracked the housing markets in 12 advanced economies throughout 2010.
Home prices increased in Australia, Canada, France, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
They remained flat in Germany and the United States, and fell in Ireland, Italy, Japan and Spain.
Australia led the pack, thanks to relatively-low unemployment and tight housing supply.
But interest rate hikes and a cut to the first homeowners grant slowed a "red-hot" property market in 2010 to some degree, the report said.
Economist Adrienne Warren anticipates the Reserve Bank of Australia will lift interest rates by an additional 75 basis points in 2011.
Australia’s close trade ties with Asia and resource wealth would continue to underpin a solid pace of domestic activity.
"Higher interest rates will worsen already strained affordability," Ms Warren said in a statement.
Canada’s market also fared well, but was "one of the most volatile" expected to be tempered by more moderate employment and income growth in 2011.
The UK property market staged a strong early-year recovery while Germany’s decade-long housing slump also came to an end.
But it was a different story in Spain, Ireland and Italy, where the market continues to fall.
Japan’s two-decade long property slump continued in 2010, and is expected to slump further in 2011 on the back of a weaker economy.
The surprise result came from the US where the housing market stabilised.
That trend is expected to continue, with the report predicting the US Federal Reserve to maintain its record-low 0.25 per cent rate through the end of 2011.
I encountered a scenario yesterday that has just made my blood boil, and It’s been simmering away in the background ever since, so I just had to get it off my chest, why? because it comes down to who really owns your web site, you or your webmaster. so let’s start by giving you the background to this little rant of mine. I’ve been hired to look at the SEO on a real estate web site for a client and yesterday I asked for access to their hosting Cpanel, that’s so we could start working on the site’s optimisation. I received from my client the following email they had been sent from their web master in response to my request, and I quote the email here for you.
“Unfortunately we do not provide any login details for any sites that are hosted by (&*&*&) as a policy. Giving you the login details would mean that you would be allowed access to all sites hosted by us.
Essentially your SEO specialist will need to supply us with all the code he would like to add to the site. Our Web Design will then need to review the code and if everything is order we will implement this onto the site ourselves. Please note that there is likely to be a charge involved with this”
Isn’t this the biggest load of Cr^% you’ve ever heard, lets have a look at several issues in this email.
Firstly who owns the site? If I’ve paid for it then It’s mine, or am I wrong in this assumption, it’s not hard to set up Cpanel access, most companies provide this when your site is hosted with them, well I know I do when I set up a hosting account for my clients.
Secondly, they are making themselves out to be the policemen, what right have they to approve any code or in fact any content on the site before they will agree to add it to the site, it is not up to them to approve anything, it is the owner of the site who should make that decision.
Thirdly, they did such a bad job of optimising and setting up the site in the first place, they haven’t got a clue what their doing.
Finally, they have the cheek to suggest they would charge a fee for adding the code, so really, this is what this is all about, milking you for more money to do a simple job.
So, to get back to my original question who really own this web site? you should. You’ve paid the webmaster for it and you should have the say over the future of your own site. My suggestion to all of you small business owners that have web sites is to go out now and make sure you own your web site and all components of it and take control.
You need to be the master of your own destiny not held to ransom by these arrogant companies who think you and I are fools.
By the way, if you’d like to know which company it is, just email me or leave a comment and I’ll send you their details.
I’ve had a couple of agents send me emails this week inquiring about QR Codes, so I thought I’d write this post to explain what they are and how you can use them in your real estate business.
QR stands for “Quick Response”, and they are the next generation of bar codes. They have been in Japan for awhile with the Japanese going absolutely crazy over them and they are just starting now to appear in this country.
So what do they do?
- They contain lots of information such as your web site address
- They can be read upside down and faster than a standard bar code
- You can get a QR reader for your phone or iPhone – as long as it can browse the web.
- They can be scanned from a computer screen,a newspaper or flyer, magazine and Property billboard or Listing signboard.
So how does it apply to real estate, by generating a code, which is a simple process, you can apply the bar code to your listing sign board,your advertising including print and magazine or flyers, and people can simply scan the code and your phone will take you directly to the web site that the code has embedded.The code is scanned by taking a photo of the code and the phone then opens up a browser which takes you directly to the URL in the code.
This is a great tool if you want to specify a web site or property for First Home buyers or Retirees etc, as the code will take your reader directly to the URL you have specified. You can create your QR code to send people to a web site URL, a telephone number,an SMS message or text message.
Here’s a code I created, which when read will send you directly to my web site at www.mikeandrewconsulting.com, although I could have scanned any URL and sent you there if I wanted to promote a product or service.
You can add these to your business cards as well, which is a great promotional tool for your agency. You can download a QR reader from iTunes if you have an iPhone and some of the Nokia phones have the reader as standard.
To generate the bar code is a really simple process as all you do is search on the web and you’ll find a site, in fact to make it easy for you here’s the link to one I used.
Good luck and have fun with this, it’s a great promotional tool and you can add it anywhere.
If you’d like to have more information on this or are not technical enough to add it to your marketing, send me a comment or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you out as always.