Real estate vendors need to embrace the digital age: Robert Simeon

It would be fair to say that the vast majority are well and truly over all the policies on the run that our politicians keep throwing at us on a daily basis.

Nearly all will never see the light of day (well not in our lifetimes anyway) which would explain why the general public are over the electioneering over promising and generally taking electorates for fools.

Unemployment is an obvious concern with the three M’s struggling – manufacturing, mining and motor vehicles all facing challenges in the short–term. Of great concern, and this in my opinion should be priority number one although it barely rates a mention out on the hustings, is that the wheels have fallen off the construction industry.

“Here is a good question for you. Which industry is Australia’s largest? One might think it would be mining, given the amount of airplay it gets. But with about 8,500 business operations you would be way, way off. Have another go. Public administration? Wrong. Professional services? Incorrect. Retail? No."

“The answer is construction, with just over 350,000 businesses operating across the country. One in every sixth business in Australia builds something. Sadly, however, the building game must be on the nose because 5,575 construction – related businesses stopped trading over the last twelve months,” said Michael Matuisk.

You never heard it mentioned in the debates that Australia’s construction industry finds itself at record lows.

On the flip side it is reassuring to see that NSW has turned the corner thanks to a state government focussed on infrastructure. Premier Barry O’Farrell announced that the number of properties being constructed in Sydney has reached a 10–year high.

The majority of these works are happening exactly where they should be – Parramatta, Camden, Liverpool and the Hills District – the flow-on affect following the North West and South West Rail Links, WestConnex and M5 widening.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) latest data identified the value of construction in the June quarter of 2013, registered a seasonally adjusted – 0.3% fall and 0.9% over the year. Analysts had predicted a 1.0% increase over the quarter.

One of the reasons why construction is suffering, along with manufacturing, mining and motor vehicles is blatantly obvious in the graph below.

20-08-2013 3-48-58 PM

One part of the electioneering I have found interesting is discussions about technology and how our economy will now be described as the digital economy according to Malcolm Turnbull.

Delloitte recently released an intriguing report Connected Small Business – how Australian small businesses are growing in the digital economy. It is well acknowledged that Australia faces enormous challenges in the foreseeable future competing with overseas products – and that's why all businesses need to adhere to a strict online platform if they are to succeed; “The online world opens up huge opportunities for small business across the country and holds the potential for a broader economy – wide transformation."

More particularly “Australia’s substantial small and medium–size business sector… contributed $530 billion to the economy in 2010–11, over half of private sector economic activity, and employed over seven million people, generating more than two thirds of private sector employment.

“A national survey of 500 small businesses measured their level of digital engagement, such as having a website with business information or the use of digital marketing to attract customers.”

“Small businesses making full use of the internet with high digital engagement enjoy better business outcomes, with a $350,000 or 20% increase in annual revenue. “

Digital engagement of Australian small business:

  • 16% – SMB’s making the most of the web with high digital engagement. (I would place our business in this category.)

  • 25% – SMB’s that have medium digital engagement.

  • 24% – SMB’s have low digital engagement

  • 35% – SMB’s that have very low digital engagement and do not use the internet at all

I would suggest that if you fall into the bottom two categories your business will be closed within three years’ time. I think the digital economy is one of the most important and exciting transformations that the world has ever seen. I remember reading about a decade ago “Get e–based or e–rased.”

 


Over to the Mosman, Cremorne and Neutral Bay property markets which again remain in a holding pattern albeit interesting to note that when you look at this week’s sales it is quite apparent that vendors and purchasers are engaging based on sales evidence, thus far. 

What will happen to housing prices in the wake of a federal election? Anecdotal evidence clearly points to our housing markets performing much better under a Coalition government where we expect the market to be robust, more so after Saturday week.

MOSMAN – 2088

• Number of houses on the market this time 2012 – 104

• Number of houses on the market last week – 84

.Number of houses on the market this week – 83

• Number of apartments on the market this time 2012 – 92

• Number of apartments on the market last week – 63

Number of apartments on the market this week – 58

Cremorne – 2090

• Number of houses on the market this time 2012 – 22

• Number of houses on the market last week – 7

.Number of houses on the market this week – 8

• Number of apartments on the market this time 2012 – 19

• Number of apartments on the market last week – 13

.Number of apartments on the market this week – 19

Neutral Bay – 2089

• Number of houses on the market this time 2012 – 17

• Number of houses on the market last week – 13

.Number of houses on the market this week – 12

• Number of apartments on the market this time 2012 – 45

• Number of apartments on the market last week – 36

• Number of apartments on the market this week – 36

Source: Australian Property Monitors

It has been widely acknowledged that small business is the engine room of our economy, so why has the ALP government treated this portfolio as a half – way house? Since the 2007 election the ALP has now appointed five small business ministers, which in all probability explains why small business has turned on the government.

Next week’s federal election will be the fifth covered by Virtual Realty News and I must say that yesterday’s announcement by “Sportsbet has declared the federal election as a one – horse race and we’re paying out all bets on the Coalition nine days before Australia goes to the polls.” Currently they have the Coalition at $1.03 and the ALP at $11.00 which is the highest price since betting markets opened.

Sportsbet have the Coalition favourites in 90 electorates and the ALP favourites in 56 electorates. So how good is their form guide? In the 2010 federal election 147 Sportsbet favourites out of 150 seats went on to win the seat.

On that basis Kevin Rudd is gonski.


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.

 

 


Robert Simeon

Robert Simeon

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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