Misleading and Incorrect Auction Reporting

I have just read the Sunday Telegraph’s property section and in particular under the “Sales action: South”, after attending several of the auctions reported here on Saturday and taking into consideration that I must be objective, there are several discrepancies but none more glaringly obvious as the paragraph regarding the property result in Lilli Pilli.

One of my staff attended this auction. If there were 3 bidders they must have all have introverted personalities to the extreme as no hands were raised which therefore makes it very difficult to pass the property in to a bidder at $3.1mil? Which begs the question, which auction did the writer of this editorial attend? From the article I would say none and definitely not the one in Lilli Pilli which had only one bid, a vendor bid of $3.1mil. I had assumed that these pieces were written by journalists that had attended the particular auctions they focused their articles on. Now that I understand that reporters are reliant on getting the information 2nd hand from the agent it explains why reporting of general market conditions can be so off the pulse and so far from reality. Any buyer/seller/person interested in real estate reading that article would think that 3 bidders competed for that property up until $3.1mil at which point negotiations stalled. In actual fact, no bidder put up their hand.

It is an offense of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 for an agent to report that a property passed in when in fact it passed in with a vendor bid.  Since launching our auction tracking system we have noticed many discrepancies with what results are recorded for in the Sunday papers but none has been so inconsistent from an editorial piece.

To be fair when I checked the Sun Herald’s real estate section, the Home Price Guide’s auction results show the property passing in, no figure available but at least they didn’t embellish the ¬†result in a paragraph of incorrect, misleading reporting.

I think the media has a responsibility if they are going to report on the real estate market that some effort is made to check accuracy.

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How will Print Media Compete?

In response to Peter Ricci’s blog Internet + Journalism will save newspapers? , and the ongoing print media vs online media debate…

I will start with where Peter Ricci ends, it is so nice to sit with a cappuccino and read the paper on a Sunday morning but that is about the only time that most people have time to do this. It is much more convenient to check the latest news on the internet on the office computer or on the Blackberry, or if like me you are a real estate agent making use of time while you are waiting for clients to turn up at a property inspection. I totally agree with Peter though, newspapers are trying to hold back on the unique and interesting articles, and in particular investigative journalism. It is a much poorer society when the public doesn’t read this sort or journalism but the newspaper business needs to understand that people are too busy to walk to the newsagency, buy a bulky paper and search for a particular article. People now do a Google search for a particular subject and there it is on their laptop or blackberry or office computer instantly.

The sooner the Fairfax’s and News Ltd’s of the world realise that they need to totally rethink and restructure as the world has changed, the better we will all be. When I do get the chance to read the paper I am always amazed at some of the interesting articles that they contain. But on Monday I am back to work and the last thing on my mind is what I am missing out on in the paper. I want to know, for example, on the first Tuesday of the month at 2:15pm if the Reserve Bank has lifted interest rates. I check at 2:15pm and post my blog in response at 2:20pm!

The public does want to read investigative journalism but we now have time constraints that the digital media is fulfilling much more efficiently for our busy way of life. For example, for real estate it is much easier to search for a property by suburb on real estate websites rather that page by page, agent by agent in the local newspaper.

I don’t really know how newsprint can compete with this in regard to real estate. I still like to subscribe to some magazines like my travel magazine, for example, but that is for my day off when I am chilling out on the couch.

Mostly I want to be able to read news and interesting articles in the 5 minute spurts I have when time is available. I want to access that immediately from my Blackberry or office computer or laptop. I don’t have an answer for the newspaper companies but all I do know is I no longer buy newspapers and in the industry I am in we barely use the newsprint anymore for advertising our properties. To be continued…

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