A New Way To Search For Real Estate (MyRealEstate.com.au)

A New Way To Search For Real Estate (MyRealEstate.com.au)


Hey, guys, Ryan here from onproperty.com.au,
helping you find positive cash flow property. Today, I’ve got an awesome tool for you guys
and an interview with the creator of that tool. The tool is myrealestate.com.au and
the creator who’s with me today is Nino Svonjia. Ryan: Hey, Nino, how’s it going? Nino: Hi, Ryan. Good, yourself? Ryan: Very good. Now, you guys know when you
go on to realestate.com.au or you go on to domain.com.au and you search for a property,
the search listings aren’t always the best. They’re not organized the best. There’s often
those sponsored listings that get in the way that aren’t in the same suburb or the same
price range that you’re searching for. Searching for properties online and finding
a decent property can be extremely difficult and Nino is trying solve this problem with
his tool, which I just discovered the other day, called myrealestate.com.au, which you
guys can be able to check out. So, Nino, talk us through what is myrealesate.com.au
and what are you guys trying to achieve over there? Nino: Thanks, Ryan, First of all, thanks for
having me on your show. It’s great to be here. MyRealEstate is a completely new kind of search
engine for all listed properties in Australia. So, it’s very unique, it’s very different
than anything that’s out there. What we’re trying to do is gather all of the listings
that are advertised out there and put them together in one place. More like a traditional
search engine rather than a property advertising portal. So, we want it to be fair. We want
it to be fast and easy to use. Ryan: Yup. Nino: You mentioned some of those points there
around fairness. We see a lot of that as we gather some of that data. Sometimes, prices
can be put in a price range where they don’t belong to, just so they’re trying to attract
more users to click on them, and this is really not fair for the buyers. Ryan: Often times, I’ll do a search and stuff
will come up that’s listed as “auction” or it’s listed as “no price” and it’s not actually
really in that price range. I can tell just by looking at the property. This property
shouldn’t really be shown to me in the price range I’m looking for. Nino: That’s right. The reason for this is
because some of these websites have the ability to specify a hidden price or a hidden price
range so that they can still appear in search results. This is not fair because this is
a little bit deceptive behavior and often, what advertisers do is put lower price ranges
because they’re trying to attract more buyers. With myrealestate.com.au, we just have a single
price. You either have it said or you don’t. And, we try and be very transparent about
showing that to the users. In fact, if the price is not said, we try and penalize that
and push it down because we think that if an advertiser hasn’t put a price, usually,
they try to involve in some tricky behavior. Otherwise, it’s either too expensive, the
vendor wants too much money or they’re trying to fish the market, or something like that. Ryan: Okay. So, let’s talk through the search
software because I’ve had a little play with it, but not a massive play with it. I like
some of the tools because you can search using keywords. So, I can search for things like
“yield” and properties where the real estate agent has “rented”, the yield will come up.
Or, I can search words like “rented for” and then properties where the real estate agent
has said “rented for” will come up. So, it can help us find out the yields of properties
or find out the yields of areas, which is really helpful for people searching for positive
cash flow. Is that how you designed it – to be like a
search engine based on what the real estate agents say or is there some other way that
we should be using it? Nino: No. That’s exactly right. The idea is
to make it more closer to like a traditional search engine, like Google. Based on research
that we’ve done, a majority of users prefer using a keyword search box. They like the
freedom and sometimes it’s just very fast to just type in what you want. What I see
with these other portals that are out there is that they’re, if anything, even hiding
these keyword input box and just making it quite complicated to go through all of these
filters and click on things and find out where they are and they force you to go through
this workflow by putting in a suburb first and so forth. So, we’re changing that by making
a very, very smart, we’re bringing in cutting edge technology that can recognize the keywords
that you are putting in and it goes even beyond Google because if you put in numbers and if
you put in prices and if you put in distances, it will understand that and will automatically
populate the criteria for you. So it saves you a lot of time. Ryan: Yeah. I really like this. Because, say
I go to realestate.com.au and I’ve got to choose the suburb or I’ve got to put in multiple
suburbs if I want to look at an area. I’ve got to put in the price range and I’ve also
got to specify, am I look for a house? Am I looking for a townhouse? It is quite cumbersome
to use. I’m looking at your website now. Some examples of searches you can do is like; “a
house in Werribee VIC around the 300K price range”. So it’s actually going to understand
this and do a radius or something and give us all properties around that area around
the 300K? Nino: That’s correct. We’ve tried to put in
some default search type of queries that would be useful. like doing a radius around the
location by putting in just the price, putting in just the attributes, like if you type in
a “3-bedroom house”, maybe you don’t know where you can afford one. So it can be very,
very powerful if you’re just browsing the whole market. For example, in Victoria or
New South Wales and so forth. I encourage your users and listeners to just jump on and
try it out. You know, type in “500K” and see where you can buy a property for 500K. Ryan: Alright. I’m going to type this in now.
500K. Okay, so it’s showing me all properties that are exactly $500,000. Nino: It won’t be exactly $500,000. What you’ll
notice is that the filter has already been set for you. Usually, when I user types in
“500K”, they don’t mean exactly 500K. They mean they want roughly 500K. So, what we do
is we put a bit of – Ryan: Okay, so the filter’s done. 425 to 575,
so 75K either side. Nino: Right. Yes. It’s doing a bit of a percentage
on either side just to give you a bit of a bigger range because some people might put
“499”. Some people might put “520”, but you probably want to consider all of those properties. Ryan: Yup. Okay. This is really cool. I like
this. Do you think this will be, like, I’m just wondering how users are going to use
this. Is it pulling data from realestate.com.au and domain.com.au? Should we skip using them
altogether and try myrealestate.com.au? Or is it meant to be used in supplement for more
specific keyword searches, like I was talking about with the yield? Nino: So, if you ask me, definitely, users
should use this instead. Most of the people we researched, they visit more than one property
website when they’re looking for properties and this is a waste of time. You have to learn
every website separately, they’re both different. So that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.
We gather all these listings from all of the websites. We haven’t added them all yet, we’re
still in the process of adding them. We’re still in beta, but the idea is to give you
a whole, all inclusive market view. We point you back to the real estate site, so you’re
not going to miss out on anything. When you click on the listing and you want to view
all the extended information, you do go back to RealEstate or Domain. It’s basically and
index. All in one place. A fair, easy and fast, much faster. I encourage your users
also to have a look at the speed of it. We’ve done a lot of work to try and make it really
fast to find things. Ryan: Yeah. I just did a search. I searched
“units in Cronulla for 700K”, which is a suburb in Southeast Sydney. Yeah, it was lightning
fast and we got a lot of properties come up here. I can see the first one is listed or
it says “found on Domain” and if I go ahead and click on that, then it brings up the Domain
listing. Then I can see all the details and the map and all the different pictures and
everything like that. So, really, I guess I would say, you guys are the Google of real
estate listings. Is that correct? Nino: I think that would be a fair way of
putting it, yes. Ryan: Yeah. Okay. So let’s talk about some
use cases and some cool ways that people can use your service. Obviously, we’ve talked
about it’s a more natural search engine. So, you can type in things as you think of them.
You don’t have to go through the filters. You can just type in, like I did, “units in
Cronulla for 500K”. Are there any other use cases apart from what we’ve already mentioned?
That and being able to find specific keywords, like “yield” that we can recommend people
try that are going to be useful? Nino: Yeah. So, I particularly really, really
like the voice search feature. This is something amazing and we’re very proud of that. This
is Australian first, probably. And it’s getting up there with cutting edge technology around
the world. Our phones and our technology is rapidly improving, you know. Yourself, everybody
these days has a phone or a tablet and we call them smart phones. Well, it’s about time
that our websites and our applications also became smart. This is what we’re trying to do. If users
have a phone or a tablet with the voice capable, so they can do the voice dictation. Ryan: Yeah. So, I’ve got an iPhone 6, so I’ve
got Siri. Nino: Yup. So it’s not on Siri. You basically
just go to the website, myrealestate.com.au and if you open up the keyboard on the search,
you should have a little microphone button there on the keyboard. Ryan: I’m just going to do it. I’m going to
do this now. Nino: Try it out loud, on 3G. Ryan: No. I’ve got WIFI. So, hopefully, it’ll
be alright. So I just go into the search bar. Nino: You click on the search bar as if you
would type something, but instead of typing, you click on the microphone on the keyboard. Ryan: Yeah. So I click on the Siri microphone. Nino: Yes. And just speak. Describe the house
the you want to find. Ryan: Houses in the Gold Coast around 400K.
Okay. Done. Yup. Sweet! It works. Nino: Yeah. That’s it. We’re using that awesome
feature that Apple and the phones already provide, which is voice dictation and we automatically
put in that query into that natural language interface that we’ve provided and hopefully,
it means that you don’t have to then click on the filters. You don’t have to go and fill
them out. It hopefully fills in all the filters for you. Ryan: What about people trying to find rental
properties? Does this work for that as well? Or is it just for sale? Nino: At the moment, we’re just getting started.
So, we’ve only got the buying listings. You know, for sale properties. We’re definitely
looking to add rent and commercial and so forth. Again, we want to be most comprehensive
fairest, fastest and easiest way for people to find all kinds of property and the one-stop-shop
for them to do that. Ryan: Yeah. Well, you want to be Google of
real estate. Back in the day, Google started out small. They weren’t that good and then,
over time, they improved. And so, I bet you guys will do the same and eventually, you’ll
have everything. We’ll probably even be able to search all over the world. What inspired you or your team to actually
do this undertaking and change the technology behind real estate search? What inspires someone
to say, “You know what, I’m just going to go after real estate search. I’m going to
change the experience and try and make it better for users”? Nino: Well, Ryan, I’m very passionate about
innovation and improvement. When I see something that can be improved, it’s just in my nature,
I want to improve it. That’s kind of my attitude towards things. And I’ve work with many large
Australian companies and time and time again, I see this that innovation and user experience
improvement gets sidelined at the expense of making profit and entrenchment and doing
things, sometimes, even the wrong way just so that we can protect our profits. I don’t
like that. Ryan: Well, I think a good example is Google
versus Yahoo. Yahoo used to be the search engine, but then they did everything for profits,
put heaps of advertising on their homepage, put all clickbait stuff on there. Whereas,
Google just kept it streamlined and simple, easy for the users. And everyone eventually
left and went to Google. Nino: That’s right. I mean, they had the search
algorithm, so let’s not forget that as well. But you’re right. They were also, you know,
their motto was “don’t be evil”. They do have some advertising at the moment, but even from
the outset, Google has made it very fair, very subtle, on the side and they’re very
clearly marked, very fairly marked that it’s sponsored content. Ryan: Yup. Nino: So we’re tending towards this kind of
a model. We prefer it. Ryan: The thing I love about Google with the
sponsored content, it’s usually related to what you’re searching. Whereas, I found with
the real estate websites, the sponsored content may or may not be related to what I’m searching. Nino: That’s exactly right. This is sometimes
maybe because of the sophistication of technology might not yet be there. I mean, Google is
the number one innovation company in the world. From our point of view, making something very
fast. We wanted to build something that we would be happy to use ourselves. I love solving
difficult problems. I’ve spent many years on this, building the search technology. It’s
state of the art. We really hope that we can finally get it out there to users and get
them to get the value out of it. I’ll be the happiest when I start hearing those feedback
stories, and we already are, of how good and easy it is for them to use. I was showing this to a CEO of a company and
I was using my 3G iPhone because I didn’t have internet WIFI, so it was just tethered.
And I was showing him the demo, and he was like, “You’re running the local app on your
computer, aren’t you?” I go, “No, that’s the live site through my 3G.” So, usually, people
are quite impressed how fast it searches. Ryan: So why is it so fast? And why are the
other sites so slow when you’re searching and navigating through the pages? Nino: There are several reasons. To do with
technology, often times, because they try to serve you all this ads and other things
to make a profit. It’s at the expense of the performance for the user. And the other side
of that is we’re using the cutting edge technology that’s sort of the next 5, 10 years. It’s
enterprise-grade technology. It’s used by large companies and we have personally spent
a lot of time optimizing it for this use case. Ryan: Yup. It sounds like an expensive operation
to run. What’s your model, if don’t mind me asking? How are you guys planning to sticking
around and making a profit so you can continue to provide this? Nino: At the moment, we’re a startup, so we’ve
got funding, but we’re running under funding and we’ve got a parent company. I’m the founder
of Lumanetix, which is the company that provides the search engine. We provide that to other
businesses, so we have revenue streams that are from servicing corporate clients. And
we work with some large companies in Australia. So we’re going to be around for a while. On
the MyRealEstate site, we’re not so fussed about a commercial model right now. Our first
and foremost priority is to make it the fastest, fairest and easiest search engine, most comprehensive
to use for real estate. The natural thing that we probably will do in the future is
something around offering additional services on top of that. Typically, when you are looking
for a home, you’re also looking for other things. If we can point people to the right
place and perhaps make some affiliate fees, maybe that’s what we’ll do, but who knows?
We’ll see. Ryan: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of potential
in this site. I’m a paying member of realestateinstar.com.au, which is a tool. I think I signed up for 2
years. I pay $99 a month and the main feature that I love about that search tool is that
keyword search feature. Truthfully, you guys are coming very close to what they offer and
yours is a free service. I think for anyone out there who’s looking for positive cash
flow property, this is a service definitely to try, to punch in things like “yield”, “rented
for”, “positive cash flow” and you can find some properties there. But I think anyone
who’s searching for a house. I know this. When me and my wife were searching
for a rental or when I’m looking for houses, sometimes it can take you hours to go through
everything and to understand what houses are on offer and everything like that and the
way that this is displayed. So, realestate.com.au will display like 10 or 20 results per page
and it’s all in one form. You scroll down one after the other after the other. You got
to get through the adds and stuff. I really like how this one at the moment I’ve got on
the screen. It does 4 by 4, so you’ve got just such a quick overview of the pictures
of the houses or the price of the houses. It’s really easy. Nino: Yeah. What we see happening and emerging
and you mentioned it, I actually wanted to make it even more full screen. So, I think
we’re actually going to make it even wider. So, as much as you can fit on screen, we’ll
put in there because we don’t want to waste the space. Ryan: That’s the thing. I’ve got a 27-inch
iMac and there is a lot of wasted space. Nino: It’ll be all full, don’t worry. We just
can’t cover everything, we’re not a big team. But what we see emerging and you mentioned
around the agents and other things is a free market. We see the agencies and people like
you, the content providers, as the stars of the show. You’re providing the content. You
have the listings. And we want to showcase that. So, you will notice that we automatically
grab all listings from agent sites and through portals, but we will point people back to
the agent’s site. We want to create a free market where it’s the same user experience,
the same powerful search that is running across all of this websites. Looking for things is
irrelevant, it’s the content that’s important. We want to enable that kind of experience
for users and for those looking for property. Ryan: So that means, eventually, there would
be the potential for agents to list on their own website and you would act like Google
and send people to their own site, rather than forcing them to go through realestate.com.au
or domain.com.au. So, they could then focus their own website on getting in contact with
the searches and presenting it the way they want. They won’t be forced into the box that
RealEstate or Domain put them in. Nino: That’s exactly right. See, we have no
issue with agents. We want to link to their website because we’re very big believers of
brands. So, we know there are customers who are looking for property, the like sometimes
to go on the real estate’s own websites because that’s where they get a sense of the brand
and a sense of – not culture – what’s the right word? The essence of that agent and
that’s all part of it. You’re absolutely right. We’re going to look
at embedding that same fast, easy to use search across agent websites so that people can browse
through their properties using the same experience. Ryan: Yup. One thing just using it now that
I would love to do is just be able to scroll down and then it just continually loads. Nino: Unlimited scroll? Ryan: Yeah. Rather than going to next page. Nino: I’ll write that down. There are mixed
views on that as a user experience feature, but I think it’s not a bad idea. I’ll definitely
write that down. Ryan: My thoughts on that whenever I’m using
Facebook and Instagram and stuff now, we’re all doing that, anyway. Nino: Yup. Ryan: We’re all scrolling. I literally tried
to do it. Even though it says next down the bottom, I tried to do it. Nino: I like it. I like it, Ryan. I think
I’m going to prioritize that one. Ryan: Especially, I guess, for On Property,
more than 50% of people come to my site through their mobile devices rather than through the
computer. So, more than half of my audience. It might be different for you because real
estate searching is a more heavy endeavour for a lot of people, but it might be something
to consider. What about an app? Do you guys have an app that people can go ahead and download
and use? Nino: We don’t have an app at the moment.
We try to center our experience in the browser for the minute so that people just open up
their browser. Look, to be honest with you, we might consider that in the future, but
we’ll only do so if we can add additional value through the app. I, myself personally,
I hate these apps. You know, thousands of apps and all I’m thinking is they’re just
trying to get to take more information and to have an app sitting on the front. So, unless
we can provide an additional value to what it is in the browser, I don’t see a reason
to force users to download an addition app. It leads me to believe it goes towards entrenchment,
you know. I’m not a fan of too many apps on the phone. Maybe that’s just me. Ryan: I don’t know. It might just be you.
But I think when you talk about Google, like if you think you’re the Google of real estate,
you definitely tend to just go into your browser and put “Google” into your browser. Well,
your browser now kind of acts as Google. If you just type in to the URL section. So, maybe
you’re right. Nino: I think it may be required in the future,
Ryan, because even Google, I know that they’re doing their own apps. Sometimes it’s a limitation
with technology. So, for example, we are pushing the boundary at the moment of how we can capture
the voice input on the phone. What we’d like to be able to do is make that even easier.
At the moment, it requires a few additional clicks on the search button that I would like
to remove. We can’t remove that because there’s a restriction. So if we made our app, we could
make it more streamlined. Like you wouldn’t have to press any button, you just speak and
it knows everything. So, from that point of view, definitely an app would make a lot of
sense. Ryan: Yeah. I definitely know when my wife
is searching, she always uses that app rather than the website for realestate.com.au or
for Domain. I don’t know why, but she always does. But I definitely think website. You
guys are still in beta. You’ve just launched. So, definitely websites allow you to iterate
faster rather than app updates and things like that. I think that basically covers it
for users. This is brand-spanking new, guys. You should
definitely go and check it out. Go to myrealestate.com.au. I’m definitely going to be using it for my
searches in the future. I’m going to get my missus on to it because for some reason, even
though we’re happy where we live, she just always looking around, seeing what’s going
on. So, I’ll be getting here on to it as well. And there is some powerful search functionality
in there to help you guys on your search for positive cash flow properties. Is there anything that you wished I had asked
or wished we had talked about that people should know before we close? Nino: No, not really. I think you pretty much
covered it. I’d really like to get your wife on the voice search, get her to try that out
and I really want to get your feedback. That’ll be awesome. Ryan: Yeah. I’ll definitely get her on to
it and I’ll shoot you an email and let you know how we go. Alright, guys, go ahead, go over to myrealestate.com.au.
Thanks for watching and until next time, stay positive.

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