Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You have to wonder if 2011 is going to be remembered as ‘Mother Nature’s year’

She certainly has been laying it on us lately… perhaps trying to deliver a message that’s been long known, yet with little action taken.

This week our minds and hearts were captured once again as our New Zealand neighbours were rocked by another big quake. The devastation caused has been felt far and wide - our thoughts go out to all who have been affected.

Locally, this week, the real estate market has continued at its steady pace with open homes seeing a minor increase in buyer attendance. Confidence and commitment still seem to be traits that are a little hard to come by, and not only in buyers who are hesitant to put pen to paper. The banks are playing it incredibly safe right now, it’s been suggested that this is mostly due to confusion over their new legislation. We’ve seen a valuation carried out on a property where the buyer was seeking finance for just 50% of the purchased price and numerous settlements delayed due to a lack of action in discharging mortgages on titles. The sooner these new guidelines are clarified, the better!

Hopefully, at least, another rate rise won’t be on the table when the Reserve Bank meet this coming Tuesday. As always, there are opposing views when it comes to this topic, and rightly so given the many various elements that can impact on the final decision. In the latest report from CommSec’s Craig James, it appears at least one area is on the right track to hold rate rises at bay - Australian’s have learnt to be much more conservative when it comes to spending.

“Reserve Bank officials don’t know how long this ‘new conservatism’ will last. In fact no one does. But the longer that consumers actively shop around for the best deals and focus more on saving, than spending, the longer the Reserve Bank can stay on the interest rate sidelines.”

Now, on a different note, Adelaide Hills residents have had their fair share of concerns over the past year in regards to preserving the beautiful lifestyle that this region has to offer. Ann Ferguson, Mayor of the District Council of Mt Barker, joined us on ToopTV this week to discuss the now gazetted development plan which will cover the prime agricultural land that ‘could have been the salad bowl for Adelaide’. Log on to www.toop.tv to see the full interview and the way forward for local residents.

And if you’re looking for something to do this Saturday the 26th of February, then Goolwa & Hindmarsh Island are where you want to be! The 12th SA Wooden Boat Festival will be in full swing, but more importantly, the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation Charity Home is going under the hammer at 11am. Located at Lot 206 Princess Royal Parade, Hindmarsh Island, on land donated by The Marina Hindmarsh Island with the added generosity of Systembuilt homes, the residence has been a huge hit with buyers, and with all the proceeds going to the foundation, we’re hoping for a great result!

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
www.toop.com.au
© Toop Real Estate Group

Friday, February 18, 2011

Technology... you can't do without it!

After a steep climb at the beginning of the year, the volume of advertised open homes appear to be finding some balance as we track toward February’s end. Buyer numbers at open inspections are seeing a slight increase, and most importantly, there is a quiet feeling of energy creeping back into the market.

In a time where breaking into the property scene, or even upgrading, commands a significant portion of the household’s income, we’re seeing many active buyers focusing their attention on homes that need little or no improvement. Presentation has always been a key element in the successful sale of a home; over the past few years we’ve been on board as this has stepped up a notch with the introduction of home ‘staging’.

Seller’s are moving from a ‘dust & declutter’ to improving the property with anything from a coat of paint or some new carpet, to a new kitchen - all for the purpose of selling their home as efficiently and effectively as possible. Once this is done, it’s a matter of getting the property into the sight of the right buyers… and thanks to technology this is now easier than ever for Toop&Toop clients.

YourNetwork

Often a property buyer is someone who lives in the same neighbourhood or, in Adelaide especially, a friend of a friend. With social networking playing such a big part in everyday life, our web of contacts is continuing to become more intertwined with a greater reach – this is where our YourNetwork wizard comes into play. In just a few steps it allows seller’s to post their own property to their personal page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even email it out to their contacts. It’s seen by your contacts, their contacts and the list goes on – now that’s great viral marketing!

iToop

‘Properties in the palm of your hand’, in the truest sense of the term. If you haven’t already checked it out, download your free iToop app today and see how this transforms the way buyers search for property on their iPhone or iPad. Another value ad from Toop&Toop, this app contains all your property’s information, photos and even ToopTV video. Buyers can access it from wherever they are, in front of the signboard or search for what’s close by. Pretty handy to find additional properties while you’re doing the weekend ‘open crawl’.

Just .Toop it!

Your property’s unique web address means buyers can go straight to the information they want without the frustration of extra pages that get in the way… and that’s just the start. You can also search for all properties in a specific suburb ie. www.norwood.toop.com.au or with a specific feature www.tenniscourt.toop.com.au. Just another way to get your property to the right buyers with ease.

Unique to Toop&Toop, this technology aids the sale of our client’s properties every day, yet there’s only so much it can do. Even the best presented property with an incredibly well tailored marketing campaign won’t sell if it isn’t priced at the right level.

This is for the market to decide. So listen to the buyer feedback, know what’s on the market in your area and if the signs are there, realign your asking price. When all these elements are right, we’re seeing some quick sales and good results for sellers.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
www.toop.com.au
© Toop Real Estate Group

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

When you compare apples with oranges, you may end up with bananas

They’re both round, have seeds, skin and grow on a tree – but when you’re comparing apples with oranges that’s about where the similarities end. Vastly different in colour, texture and taste, not to mention the host of vitamins they contain, they could be described as anything but alike.

So why do we try to do this in everyday life? Compare businesses, products and services as if they are all the same, when in fact they are as opposite as apples are to oranges? We then fall into the trap of basing our decisions solely on price… and end up disappointed with the result.

In Real Estate it’s no different. If a property is a crazy ‘bargain’ it’s likely that it comes with a few hidden gremlins (or as an agent in the UK has found recently, a few hundred snakes!).

The same theory applies to Real Estate agents. Ultimately you get what you pay for, and it’s worth finding out exactly what that includes.

At Toop&Toop we tend to do things differently to our fellow agencies.

Innovations, technology, customer service – some call it ‘Bells & Whistles’ but we know it’s these extra elements that rent and sell homes more effectively, while making the process less stressful for all involved.

Let’s start with a few basics…

VirtualAgent

Buying or renting, we’ll get our vendor’s property information direct to you before the home is released to the market. Plus you choose to get reminders for ToopTV or receive our Saturday press ad every Wednesday straight to your inbox – no need to search a website. (Nobody does it better? We do!)

Toop Weekly Magazine

Forget monthly or fortnightly, this magazine is out in the market place every week showcasing the latest Toop properties. It’s high quality, it’s full colour and it’s loved by buyers.

ToopTV

It’s Live & Informative every week, but most importantly is a massive ‘value ad’ for our vendors. Video footage of your home posted on the property’s webpage for all buyers to watch.

Press Ads

We bulk buy and pass on the discounts up front. Yes we look expensive, but the cost of our advertising is some of the most affordable around.

… and that’s just the beginning.

Every Real Estate agency is different. Compare apples with oranges and make a bad decision, then you’ll end up with a banana; it will be expensive, and if you hold out to long, have a rotten ending.

When it’s time to get serious, it’s time to get Toop&Toop

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
www.toop.com.au
© Toop Real Estate Group

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Adelaide voted most livable city! And then there's the property taxes.

We’ve been voted Australia’s most livable city… but when it comes to fair property taxes, we’re at the bottom of the scale.

It comes as no surprise that this was the verdict which arose from a recent poll taken by the Property Council of Australia. After all, Adelaide continues to be one of the most affordable capital cities in which to buy property, yet our Stamp Duty costs rank amongst the highest of all the states. As it is, many find it incredibly hard to break into the property market, and as house prices steadily rise over the coming years will it become virtually impossible?

The state government’s 30 year plan for greater Adelaide maps future growth areas to accommodate our increasing population; So we’ll have the houses, the question is who will be best placed to buy them if there is no adjustment in these taxes?

When interviewed this week on ToopTV Nathan Paine, Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia’s SA Division, indicated the findings are already being discussed with the necessary Ministers and these talks would continue over the coming months.

“From the Property Council’s perspective property taxes are 43% of the State Government’s own State revenue. It’s grown from around $1.5billion to $2.5billion thereabouts in property taxes, much of which is Stamp Duty… If we want to ensure housing affordability into the future, we need to get those taxes down.”

So finally, the ball may be in motion. We’ll wait to see where it ends up.

Meanwhile we’re seeing some more investors coming into the marketplace, spurred on by the recent natural disasters. As often happens, after a tragedy comes pockets of growth. Over the coming 12-24 months our trades will be in high demand, as buildings and infrastructure are re-instated, as will the need for rental properties. Investors have been holding off, now that rates are on hold a little longer and the need for temporary homes is increasing, they’re coming out.

The other good news for investors this week was the Dow Jones closing at its highest point in almost two and a half years! As unemployment figures in the US are also abating somewhat, it appears we may be getting back on track. If these conditions continue we’ll see a positive flow through effect to the All Ords in the next few months.

If you missed this week’s episode of ToopTV with REISA President, Greg Nybo and Nathan Paine’s interview on our city, log on to www.toop.tv.

Anthony Toop, Managing Director.
www.toop.com.au
© Toop Real Estate Group