Elite Agent

With my marketer’s hat on….

I’ve been reading with interest various blog posts and articles about the Fed Court’s decision to uphold the trademark that belongs to realestate.com.au. Whilst there has been a fair bit of discussion this week on the subject of their increasing fees  (which understandably nobody likes) I’m going to separate the issues, go out there on a limb, and say the judge was right in his decision.

In a nutshell, Justice Broomberg found that by using the words “realestate” and “.com.au” in the same phrase can only be used by realestate.com.au, and that realestate1.com.au was indeed too similar, and found in favour of realestate.com.au.

Maybe I have read too much Seth Godin in my time, but with my “marketers” hat on I ask, “Why make your business name so similar in the first place?” Shouldn’t we be creating “purple cows” and differentiating ourselves from our competition as much as possible through by creating “Unique Selling Points” and features upon which our potential customers can make informed decisions?

We are seeing other portals pop up who are differentiated in more ways than just their name. REMMA and Housenet immediately come to mind, as good examples of “differentiated” portals, not just in their name, but in their functionality and what they provide to users. Housenet just won an award for innovation from Anthill. So I say well done to those guys for creating something that doesn’t just have a different name, but is also different in functionality. Keep up the good work.

LJ Hooker joins Sustainable Business Australia (SBA)

Sustainability has always been one of my favourite topics (as you may have guessed over the years!) and I just wanted to say I’m a big fan of the steps that LJ Hooker has taken down the path of preserving our planet for future generations. In March last year, they partnered with Domain.com.au to launch the Liveability website which encourages homeowners to think about little things they can do to improve the energy footprint of their homes. I do think energy ratings will be extremely important in the sale price of homes in the not too distant future, and at the time I thought “hmm…nice!”

In this latest development in joining SBA, I do think that shows continued commitment to an area that is so important in our industry, and is a great example of positive differentiation. Nice work again, Mr Hooker.

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.

One Comment

  1. Purple cows are great, if they can be found… I think the main issue is the descriptive nature of the name realestate.com.au was able to trademark. Trademarking the most popular search term gives them a monolopoly, making it hard for other portals for compete for real estate related search queries.