Blogger told to take Speedos off porn site

domain namesThere is a lesson to be learned for all companies in the following story, as Internet marketing consultants, we are constantly advising our clients to ensure they have secured all variations of their domain names, and given the very cheap cost of these valuable pieces of on line real estate, you would think it would be one of the first marketing tools they would secure.

However a lot of companies do not understand the value of a domain name and do not secure them.

They only have themselves to blame for this, so now you have been told, get online and make sure you own every variation of your trademark or domain name, it’s a very small price to pay to ensure that this type of problem does not impact your company or brand.

You can check wether your domain names have been secured by checking our Really Cheap Domains registration web site! 

 

“A NSW man has been ordered to shut down several pornographic websites featuring Speedo swimwear and using the company’s trademark.

Speedo Holdings took Central Coast blogger Dave Evans to court claiming he had used the trademark under aliases and without the company’s consent.

The company claimed the websites and the use of the company’s trademark as part of his domain names could damage the "valuable reputation and goodwill associated with the name and trade mark Speedo".

In the Federal Court of Australia on Thursday, Justice Geoffrey Flick ordered Evans to stop operating and registering any domain name containing the name Speedo.

He was also restrained from operating websites featuring any sign of the Speedo trademark.

Evans, who didn’t appear in court, was ordered to transfer the domain names to Speedo within 21 days.

If Evans doesn’t comply, a registrar of the court will be appointed to transfer the domain names and Evans will liable for substantial damages to the company.

He was also ordered to pay the swimwear company’s legal costs.”

Story source: www.ninemsn.com.au

Harcourts and Landmark team up to take on Elders

HarcourtsThe Harcourts property franchise will team up with rural services business Landmark in a bid to challenge the dominance of the Elders real estate brand.

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

Aust housing market strong in 2010: report

exitAustralia experienced one of the strongest housing markets in the world during 2010, new research shows.

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.

Source: www.ninemsn.com.au

Google Sites Tops List as Most-Visited Property in Asia Pacific

In May 2010, Google Sites ranked as the most-visited property in the Asia-Pacific region, reaching 270 million unique visitors during the month, followed by Microsoft Sites with 218.5 million visitors and Yahoo! Sites with 205 million visitors. Baidu.com Inc. and Tencent Inc. secured the fourth and fifth most-visited positions with 177 million visitors and 174 million visitors, respectively.

In terms of engagement among the top 20 most-visited properties, Tencent Inc. ranked as the most-engaging property with visitors averaging 6.5 hours on the site during the month, consuming 716 pages of content and visiting the property an average of 39 times. Facebook.com also witnessed strong engagement, with visitors spending 3.5 hours on the social networking site and visiting more than 21 times throughout the month.

Comscore Asia Pacific

Top Destinations Vary Across Markets

An analysis of the most visited Internet properties in each of the 13 individual Asia-Pacific markets revealed differing brand preferences across countries. Google Sites led as the most-visited property in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, while Yahoo! Sites attracted the most visitors in Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan. Microsoft Sites led the market in Australia reaching 93 percent of online users. Local entities topped the list in China and South Korea, with Tencent Inc. and NHN Corporation reaching the largest percentage of Internet users. In the Philippines, Facebook.com reigned as the most-visited destination reaching 93 percent of online users, the highest penetration of any global market for the social networking site.

Comscore July2

Most Businesses Use Social Nets for Hiring

Nearly three-quarters of companies recruit on social sites

Online job boards and third-party search firms may be losing out to social media when companies search for new employees, based on June 2010 research from recruiting platform Jobvite.

Nearly three-quarters of companies surveyed were using social networks for recruiting, and 58.1% said they had successfully hired a candidate found through a social network.

Companies

LinkedIn was the top social network looked to for hiring, used by nearly 80% of companies recruiting through social media. It also provided the most success, with about 90% of companies who had hired through a social network reporting they found the candidate on LinkedIn. While Facebook and Twitter were used for recruiting by about 55% and 45% of companies, respectively, they led to far fewer hires: 27.5% for Facebook and 14.2% for Twitter.

Success in this area is leading almost half of employers to increase recruiting program spending on social media. At the same time, more than a third of companies were lowering spending on job boards and search firms.

Change* in Recruiting Program Spending, by Method, 2010 (% of US human resources and recruiting professionals)

March 2010 data from online job board Monster.com painted a somewhat different picture: 42% of companies surveyed said social networks were useful for recruiting college students, while 82% said large, all-purpose online job boards&mash;such as Monster.com—were useful.

That study also found that only about a quarter of companies were advertising entry-level positions on social sites.

“While the economy begins to recover, companies looking to make new hires are seeking the most cost-effective, efficient ways to find new talent,” said Dan Finnigan, president and CEO of Jobvite, in a statement. “Job boards launched a revolution in recruiting more than 15 years ago. And now, social networks are doing the same—but in a targeted way. Through social recruiting, companies are learning they can find the best talent efficiently, without making a major investment.”

Why Many Teens Are Moving on from Facebook

The main reason? They just lost interest

There’s no question of Facebook’s position at the top of the social networking space, and one thing that makes the site so powerful is that when it comes to social networking, a user’s friends must be users too. But among some teens, Facebook may be losing its stickiness.

According to a study from OTX and virtual fashion site Roiworld, nearly one in five teens with a Facebook profile had decreased or discontinued their use of the site as of April 2010.

What’s more, the decreases seemed to speed up in recent months, with two-thirds of the lapsed users having turned away from the site in the past six months.

Time Period of Decreased Facebook Usage, Apr 2010 (% of US teen lapsed Facebook users)

In addition, 9% of teen internet users said they had a Facebook profile but had completely abandoned it.

This turnover does not approach the level of MySpace, where 22% of teens had completely stopped using a profile. YouTube and Twitter both sported relatively high 15% abandonment rates.

In Facebook’s case, decreased usage does not appear to be related to the privacy issues raised in spring 2010, or even to the influx of older users on the site. Instead, the plurality of lapsed users simply find the site boring.

Reasons for Using Facebook Less, Apr 2010 (% of US teen lapsed Facebook users)

Keeping fickle teens’ interest will be important both for Facebook and the marketers who want to connect with them there. Social games, which most consider a cheap way to relax, have fun and kill some time while playing with friends, are one solution. According to the report, 73% of teen internet users play some kind of social games, and 81% of teen Facebook users play games on Facebook. And the time spent doing so can add up: Facebook gamers reported spending 7 hours a week on the activity.

This Blog Has A New Home

Hi Everyone, just thought I’d let you know that I’ve moved this blog over to a self hosted wordpress blog and the address is www.mikeandrewrealestate.com, please click on the link to get all the latest posts and updates, I’ll look forward to seeing you on my new blog site.

Best Wishes

Mike Andrew

Who Really Owns Your Real Estate Web Site?

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.

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QR Codes For Real Estate

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.
qrcode

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 info@mikeandrewconsulting.com and I’ll help you out as always.

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Twitter – Creating Your Real Estate Tweet Plan

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Creating Your Real Estate tweet Plan

Twitter is the flavour of the year and a lot of you will be starting to use Twitter for the first time, and using it correctly to not only build your following but to get your followers to go where you want them to and to get buy in from them is not easy,even though there’s lot of people using the micro blogging service, you still need to have a plan to get the most out of the site. For those of you who have been using Twitter for awhile, this article will also help you get more response for all your efforts.

To be successful using Twitter you need to offer value to those following you, and you need to create what I call the “Trusted Adviser” role for yourself, once you have created this role and others see your expertise on a subject, they will follow you to get information and advice, but first you need to work very hard to create this persona.

Creating your Tweet plan and then following the strategy you have set up for yourself, will help you keep your plan on track. Just posting tweets about your product or listing is not engaging your followers nor is it creating value, it is just plain boring.

Setting out to become a trusted adviser means you need to listen,respond and broadcast and build your community, that’s what your followers are, your community, and you need to offer value in what you do to get engagement from them.

Creating your topic list is a good place to start, define your area of expertise and start to build that trust.

Some of the topics you could include if you are just starting out would be:

1. Your Expertise

2. What are your passions

3. Stats in your market – Good for those in real estate

4. Share your interests

5. Tweet what you are doing

6. Updates on your listings – real estate again

7. Share links and helpful information

So now you’ve worked on your list of topics, it’s time to create your tweet plan:

1. Make a list of topics

2. Identify your resources – sites to turn to, to get information

3. Schedule drips – spread your tweets out throughout the day

4. Be spontaneous

5. Follow other twitters of like minded interests and retweet information


Once you have your tweet plan worked out, you then need to set up your Twitter profile:

1. Create you Twitter background and personalise your profile

2. Complete your profile – serious followers always check out your profile before a follow.

3. Use monitoring and measuring tools to check your tweets – Use URL shorteners such as Bit.ly/Cli.gs/Hootsuite

4. Add video to your tweets by using Bubbletweet.com

5. Use Tweetlater.com to add an auto welcome  message for new followers

I hope that you find the above information helpful, particularly if you are just starting out with Twitter, and by using the tools I’ve suggested, it will give you the basics to start building your following and help you create the trusted adviser role.

Some helpful Twitter tools you can use to start building your Tweet plan:

1. Tweetdeck.com

2. Topify.com – Uses email notification for new followers

3. Hootsuite.com

4. Tweetlater.com

5. Tweetmeme.com – Search and retweet the hottest stories on Twitter.

Now to final the tip for you, using social media sites as farm areas can generate new sources of leads for you, particularly as you can tap into the conversations taking place right then and there. A great site for you to use is http://www.demandspot.com, it is a real time lead generation tool for real estate agents that taps into the conversations on Twitter, you enter the suburb or state into the site and it will give you the details of all conversations taking place about real estate in your selected suburb including contact information, you can then join in the conversation.

One word of warning though, please be careful how you use this tool, ramming your listings or services at them will not make you friends, the best way to engage these people, is to create the handshake and enter the conversation quietly.

Good luck.   

1.Use monitoring and measuring tools to check your tweets – Use URL shortners Bit.ly/ Cli.gs/Hootsuite.com
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