Elite AgentTECH + SOCIAL

Gold Listings are on The Map

It’s a challenge to find effective methods of prospecting that your competitors aren’t already using. Kent Lardner explores the concept of map-based prospecting and offers some tips on using freely available maps from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Lower affordability is not the only problem created by our housing shortage. Many agents tell me finding listings is becoming increasingly harder, creating a stronger emphasis on skilled prospecting. The challenges of prospecting for listings have much in common with prospecting for gold. I found an article on this subject written by Les Lowe in 2009, which highlights the benefits of being flexible, using maps and technology and pursuing every target. He said, It should be remembered that almost all of today’s major gold mines originated as a result of a prospector’s discovery. Prospectors are flexible… and are open-minded. They’ve led where mining companies have followed.

When working a specific suburb or geographical region you can use demographic trends, ownership data and freely available information on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website to enhance your prospecting efforts. In terms of being flexible, you may find the way you prospect for listings varies between each market segment. The classic fridge magnet may continue to generate some leads, but trying new techniques could yield better results. Referring again to Les Lowe’s article, he stated, Geological maps and the writings of past gold explorers are two valuable sources of information on where to find gold.

Ownership reports at a suburb level are generally too large to manage and street level reports too small. Using mapping technology to define a region in terms of demographics or years since purchased can be valuable. The ABS offers 2006 Census information on maps for free. MapStats – a series of thematic maps showing the distribution of Census data for a chosen location can help an agent analyse a market in terms of average age, income, occupation or one of near 30 data variable options.


  • Go to www.abs.gov.au and follow the links to MapStats
  • Select the location (suburb) you wish to review
  • Select the topic (for example, age)
  • View MapStats by Census Collection District
  • The ‘map’ tab is also a great tool. Go to 2006 Census Data by Location and select the ‘map’ tab, then select Census Collection District. Each CCD is numbered, allowing you to label each prospecting zone.

As Les Lowe said in his article on finding gold, Today’s prospectors also have many advantages over his predecessors… advanced technology … the internet and government departments and this relates directly prospecting in real estate. Australian agents do have it pretty good when it comes to creating prospect reports. In the US, a list of 1200 prospects would sell for more than $100. Subscribers to data products (like PriceFinder) can generate effectively the same report combining ABS information with our ownership reports, without spending anything more than your subscription fee.

Creating an ownership report at a suburb level is generally too large. Breaking the market down into smaller districts like a Census Collection District (CCD) helps. For the 2006 Census, there is an average of about 225 dwellings in each CCD.

In this example, searching using the CCD number 1241208 then presents all of the relevant Census data for the location.

Here we can see that 18% of the area are aged 65 or over, which is our target market segment for this example. Ownership reports can be created that follow the CCD boundary, or any other zone specified by you.

Within this CCD I can then locate nearly 40 owners who have purchased before the year 2000 using the Owner Report (address, DoNotCall washed phone number and names) for a targeted campaign. Creating this map and report took all of 20 seconds using PriceFinder, allowing me to build a list of up to 1000 well profiled prospects in my market within 1 or 2 hours. Once you export the Excel version of the report you may even save it with the CCD number for future reference in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database.

Les Lowe summed up the prospecting analogy perfectly, stating, When using a metal detector, always dig every target. What sounds like a tin can has often been a decent nugget.Keep building on your CRM database and your brand through this work. Maybe none of those 40 owners we target today may list this year, but you can establish strong long-term relationships and referrals through these prospecting efforts.

Kent Lardner is the Research Director for PriceFinder and is the designer of the valuation modelling system. Prior to designing PriceFinder, he worked for Australia’s largest mortgage insurer. Kent specialises in real estate markets, property valuations and mortgage processing. His reports are used on national radio and heard by more than 750,000 listeners every week.

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