Welcome to the first edition of From the Boardroom for 2012 and if your last year was like mine it was like we blinked and 2011 was gone.
On a pleasing note we are able to announce that the Cooperative reported a profit of $658,695 in the last financial year.This figure is the consolidated result for EAC and realestateworld.com.au and included things such as the sale of the Wollongong building and the bringing of realestateworld.com.au Pty Ltd into EAC which will be completed this year. If you would like to know more download our Annual Report at eac.com.au.
The past few months have been very busy on several fronts and I see this continuing as we roll out some of the planned infrastructure and product changes in the first and second quarter of this year.
With the sale of our property in Wollongong we had to find a suitable replacement office and this has now been completed with the move taking place in late November. Settlement has now also occurred on the Villawood property and we have leased back the premises on a twelve month lease while we look for new premises to purchase. We are looking in the Parramatta and Silverwater areas and have looked at a few buildings but have not yet found anything suitable.
In early December we had a meeting with the Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts and some of his staff. At the meeting we raised several items and issues that we believe are important from the industry’s perspective including Professional Indemnity Insurance, National Licensing, CPD, Forms and the proposed changes to Short Term and Holiday Letting. It is our intention to provide an update, on some of these items and the feedback that we received, in the forthcoming road shows that we are holding in February.
In the first quarter of 2012 we will be rolling out several updates to our services. These will begin with an update to Red Square Web and Mapping which will include several enhancements and the inclusion of some twelve new reports including brochures, flyers and booklet style reports.The redevelopment of our Addlist is coming along nicely and it has been developed from scratch and of note are the changes to the Business and Commercial Industrial For Sale and Lease sections.
February will also see the launch of Red Square Communicate which is a very powerful newsletter solution. For more information see eac.com.au. By the time you read this, Red Square Mobile would have been released for beta testing to a select number of users. Red Square Mobile will provide Listings, Property Information and Current Market Information searches on your phone and it is just not limited to the iPhone. With Red Square Mobile finished we will then turn our attention to a mobile version of realestateworld.com.au and agent web sites for consumers.
The realestateworld.com.au web site continues to grow and we have experienced significant growth in the past six months. During this time we have seen a 70% increase in offices coming on board, a 60% increase in listings and, with the new content, an increase in the visitors to the site. We continue to add new feeds into and out of our system and of note is the recent addition of an upload by the LJ Hooker network to the site.
I would like to thank and congratulate the members and agents in the Mid North Coast, Clarence Valley, Far North Coast and Illawarra areas for their continued support of their realestateworld.com.au publications. The Christmas editions saw two new records being achieved with 124 pages in the Mid North Coast and Far North Coast and 156 pages in the Illawarra – and those pages are all real estate, not editorial and fill as you find in many of our other competitors publications. These figures just go to show what can be achieved when the agents in an area work together.
All the best for the new year and lets hope that some of the predictions for the property market this year don’t eventuate as I understand many of you are already doing it tough out there. If EAC can assist in any regard we will be here continuing to do our best for you and the industry. As always, we welcome any feedback you might have to help us make our products and services more beneficial to your office as, ultimately, we are about service and not profit at the expense of the industry.