Have you seen the latest ad that one of the four big banks is running on the television recently? The one that has a couple taking a photo of their neighbours house while taking out the garbage? Or the mum pushing her son out of the car to chase a ball as a cover while she takes a photo of a property?
So what is it all about? The bank is advertising a mobile phone app that they released – it was actually released in 2010 but there were a few rumbles about boring things such as privacy…. anyway the app provides property information such as the last sale price and if it is for sale will direct you to the realestate.com.au listing. Quite clever really.
Walking the dog in your neighbourhood, see a house you like and wham! photo taken and at your fingertips all the information that you require. Who cares about real estate agents? What do we need them for?
Hmmm… so how accurate is this information? Hard to say. Testing would need to be done on a variety of property and then compared to data. It would be an interesting exercise to trial this app on the south coast to see whether it is predominantly a city thing or also applicable to outer regional areas.
I guess we shouldn’t be placing too much store by it. There is no doubt it is a helpful little tool and that is how it should be viewed – as one of many tools that those interested in the property market can use to help them establish the value of property. I believe that the true value of the app is in the usability factor. Being able to access information quickly and on the spot is invaluable.
However, how much assistance the app provides on accurate pricing is difficult to measure. Providing interested purchasers with the last sale price of a property is questionable. The house may not have sold for 30 years or have achieved an extremely high price due to an emotional purchase or a lucky vendor may have timed the peak perfectly and recorded a price that is unlikely to be repeated in the near future. And this is when you do need your real estate agent. They will be able to give you an accurate estimate of the value of a property at today’s market.
On the plus side gaining instant access to the listing on realestate.com.au is helpful and time saving. No handwritten notes, no searching for the property when you get home and no more tracking down the managing agent. All there at your fingertips with one press of the camera button.
And as for those nosy neighbours that use the device to find out how much you paid for your house? Pfft! let them – and then check out theirs!