We recently had a look at the realestate.com.au BETA but when that was turned off at 5:00pm last Friday it sent a signal that the release of the new version was only around the corner. In fact word soon filtered down that the site will be switched over on the 13th or 14th and realestate.com.au did not dissappoint with the changeover ready for this mornings first visitors.
I reckon realestate.com.au has been a little like a talented friend that we had as children. We all had that friend who was really good at a particular sport, or a specific subject at school. It just seemed to come naturally to them without any effort at all and they frustrated the hell of you just as much as you admired them. No matter how hard you trained or studied you could never ever match what their natural talent and potential provided them. But despite all this they never really became world class and failed to pushed themselves beyond what they had to do to win at the school level.
The realestate.com.au portal has been like this. It’s old and tired and they never really seemed to push any boundaries because they were number one by a clear margin.
Now, I understand the whole concept about not fixing something if its not broken, but despite being the clear leader in the real estate industry online — the realestate.com.au portal has required a much needed overhaul and despite a tart up here and there every few months, it has left most unimpressed.
So, when it was announced that realestate.com.au were working on a major upgrade the industry collectively sighed as one, ”it’s about time”. The first shock came when a proper beta test was released. Up till now all updates seemed to have little discussion with agents, buyers and sellers, so the fact that they actively involved people from all three groups to participate in a beta program was a great harbinger of things to come.
Of course they were not going to listen to every bit of feedback they were receiving. During the process one of the most popular complaints as voted by the beta testers themselves was the sheer number of adverts on the site. It would take a fairly massive shift in thinking for the the adverts to disappear.
Anybody testing the site throughout the day today would have been subjected to a number of crashes — however the good news is that these seem to have been reduced significantly by this afternoon as they probably tweaked their servers and adjusted their load balancing.
Because the upgrade was based on totally new code from the ground up it is not surprising that there were a few niggling issues when the new site was upgraded from a few hundred beta testers to the whole shebang.
So whilst we gave you our initial opinions on the BETA test in the coming days and weeks we will give you a range of reviews and opinions from a number of the contributors. If you have checked out the site today whats your initial opinion in a nutshell… dud, master stroke or maybe somewhere in between?