Your chance to bash and help the homeless at the same time

2 minute read

I know there are some vocal members of the community who seldom miss a chance to bash Most of you know I work at the company that runs that website. So you might be surprised that today I’m going to give you a free opportunity to take money out of our pocket. What could be better, right?

So, here it is: just visit this website (NOW CLOSED for donations), and click in the appropriate spot and we’ll donate $1 to Mission Australia to help provide Houses for the Homeless (up to a total of $100,000).

I know, I know. If you’re trying to soak us, $1 isn’t that much. But, if you pass the URL around to all your friends, then you can up the cost to us substantially.

At the same time, you’ll be helping people who really need help. You’d be surprised by the people who have been homeless at one time or another. In a country as wealthy as this, certainly no one needs to be in this situation.

The World Wide Web tells me that these folks are among those who have been homeless: Jim Carrey, Halle Berry, Kelly Clarkson, Daniel Craig, Kelsey Grammer, Jewel, David Letterman, Martin Sheen and Hillary Swank. Two formerly homeless individuals have gone on to be nominated for Nobel prizes, and one has won a Nobel.

So, do your part. Bash AND help put shelter over the heads of those who need it.

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  • Peter Ricci
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm 0Likes

    $100,000 almost reached already! Come on REA we want more! Great initiative but $100k only buys a bathroom for the homeless.

  • Bing
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 1:07 pm 0Likes

    lol. I agree with you Peter. I think they need to give more!

  • Jo
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm 0Likes

    C’mon – this is a blatant execution to increase UBs – it has little to do with concern for the homeless.

  • snoop
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:15 pm 0Likes

    Interesting point
    Where are the visits aggregated??
    Still think its smart marketing.
    And if the homeless get the cash wheres the harm?
    I guess its pretty tax effective way of generating traffic too?
    If the costs of the promo are deductible too??

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 5, 2008 at 7:40 pm 0Likes


    No concern for the homeless?? How do you figure that ??

    To me it has about $100,000 for the homeless and that cant be a bad thing. Instead of Fairfax bitching about it, maybe you might want to match them $100,000 or even more.

    Of course it is about increasing UB’s… thats what all marketing is about isnt it? Honestly.. they could give away anything and fairfax would find a way to look negatively on it.

  • AJ
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 12:17 am 0Likes

    Fairfax doing something for the homeless?

    Perhaps the homeless can do a search on and select from the many properties Robert Simeon has in their price range.

  • PaulD505
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:21 am 0Likes

    Perhaps Domain better do something about their UB’s as well.
    March (in my office) was the worst month in terms of unique browsers since September 2005, and April was the second worst. I’m also interested how the numbers get bolstered by the inspections on properties that were sold 2, 3 and even 4 years ago. I think it must be the people looking at “sold” properties. That’s probably relevant in terms of having a look at historical sales, but it is also odd that any of the archived properties that are looked at, only ever have one inspection per month.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm 0Likes

    Just thought I’d throw the hat in the ring while everyone wants to speculate about why would do it.

    On face value, it looks like a great philanthropic initiative, but it’s possibly more strategic than that. Apologies for the scepticism Dave. 🙂

    The flip side could be that it is a fantastic benchmarking exercise to help to entice online advertising dollars from the lucrative coffers of the fund raising fraternity.

    Either way REA , I think it was a very clever move.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm 0Likes

    It is a plain and simple viral marketing initiative. Everyone forwards it around and they get to be associated with a warm and fuzzy feeling that they are helping the disadvantaged. Being in the real estate industry the homeless is a perfect target to choose and ties in well with their overall brand. The fact that they get 200000 or so more page views will hardly make a difference to their stats. They are already so far in front this sort of traffic would represent a blip on any graph. I dont have a problem with REA doing it at all. They are marketing a charitable donation that they are doing and if your a business and you dont do the same your crazy. In fact if your doing the same you might as well be donating it anonymously.

    What I do find pathetic is Fairfax trying to belittle their donation and scoff at it. Its like your down at the local shopping centre and the guide dogs are asking for donations so you throw $2 in the tin and somebody from the background yells out in front of everyone and calls you a tightwad yet they didn’t put in anything themselves. Pathetic!

  • AJ
    Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:37 pm 0Likes


    So lets have a look around the portals and see how philanthropic, or marketing savvy they are:

    REA: Drive UB’s money to charity
    Domain: Nothing (other than complaints)
    Homehound: Nope. Cannot see the franchisors dipping into their pockets either.
    Myhome: Nothing still, yet they are charged with cash now that to minor groups have bought into the company.
    realestateview: AWOL
    REWIA: perhaps too busy propping up Aussiehome?
    realestateworld: Are they still around?
    realestatefind: will be interesting to see what they offer.

    1 out of 8 gives money to charity? How much money do they collectively make from agents?

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 7, 2008 at 1:07 am 0Likes

    Why would myhome be flush with cash… they are only worth a buck fifty at best..

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 8, 2008 at 11:23 am 0Likes

    A great cause indeed and congratulations to REA with this initiative. One can only assume that confirmation of a very large and popular player on the online highway is about to park in the Australian real estate may have a tad to do with it.

    But there again – when agency contracts expire (as ours did last week) it makes more sense to go on casual rates. With a new portal to upload to with much better rates (free) it will be very interesting times ahead.

    Who said “it can only happen in America?”

  • AJ
    Posted May 10, 2008 at 4:33 pm 0Likes

    Robert, very interesting post.

    With this ‘confirmation of a very large and popular player on the online highway is about to park in the Australian real estate…’ being the cause of REA to engage this philanthropic marketing activity being your assertion, then perhaps you can shed some further light into the online space.

    Given your close relationship with domain as both client and member/employee on the discovery committee (or whatever they call it these days), just what is domain preparing, planning, or otherwise postulating, regarding the evidently imminent foreign foray into the local online market?

    How will domain add value? protect its client:revenue ratio? or indeed attempt a growth strategy?

    As domainprestige has captured the luxury property market, should we expect to see , , develop to really segment the market and drive leads? How much would a subscription cost to any of the above do you think?

    Obviously your business would not be looking to advertise on these portals, as Mosman does not have this kind of problem.

  • Nick
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 1:10 am 0Likes

    Clicked it – joy… Between this and the free Ipods Nike are donating to crippled Nigerian babies every time I forward their email to 20 strangers, my Karma’s sorted for the next decade.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 12, 2008 at 11:10 am 0Likes


    I am sure that there will be wide ranging opinions on this – however at the end of the day it comes down increasing an individuals brand to be competitive.

    First, a strong analysis of the two drivers of their business model(s). I have not included third party advertisers. Real estate agents – how do you provide the best possible service to not only maintain but grow these accounts? Bearing in mind that one is purchaser driven and the other vendor driven.

    Secondly, expand the range of services offered to the vendor driven model. This is where I believe it will get interesting as then the axis moves to customer service. The major media players will be all over the major franchises as it is imperative that they cement these relationships so that any consumer distractions still enable their brand(s) to remain visual, popular and most importantly strong in performance equating to their very own KPI’s.

    Eventually I think that we can expect to see the major media companies doing a Woolworths where they buy signboard companies, brochure production, leaflets otherwise known as the whole box and dice.

    The real estate category is the largest performer in the entire Australian economy. What remains to be seen is just how much of this the Media companies want. Their very first step will be franchise fraternisation (however they can’t sign the agreements only the individual offices can). This is where it gets interesting given that whoever has the strongest relationship will have the initial easiest run at locking – in clients.

    There again not about to give everything up on here. Lets just say that the wheels of motion are already rolling and slow and steady will win the race.


  • snoop
    Posted May 13, 2008 at 7:30 am 0Likes

    And what is this new portal with the free uploads Robert?
    Onthe house??

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 13, 2008 at 10:53 am 0Likes

    It starts with *G*

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 10:18 am 0Likes

    and ends in E? with a couple of O’s in between? 🙂

  • PaulD
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 11:46 am 0Likes

    A couple of weeks ago there were a maybe two thousand Australian properties on Google Base, and now there are over 20,000. 95% of them are from realestateVIEW, so something is about to happen that’s for sure.

  • AJ
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 1:07 am 0Likes

    So you’ll be leaving the employ of domain then Robert?

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 11:38 am 0Likes

    AJ – I own a real estate agency! Never been employed by Domain so nothing leave.

  • PaulD
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 12:53 pm 0Likes

    Most peculiar. Two days ago as mentioned, there were over 20,000 Australian listings on Google Base – today – it’s back to how it was a couple of weeks ago. Any explanations ?

  • Chris
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 1:46 pm 0Likes

    aw well, one portals listings you won’t see on google will be myhome.

    Closing down effective May 31st according to today’s newspaper.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 19, 2008 at 10:29 am 0Likes


    I was told this last week and sworn to secrecy. It will now be called ByeHome! Just as intereresting is that they were cold calling just a few week’s ago trying to sell suburb banners to agents.

    I think they will finally pull the plug on June 30 actually.

  • snoop
    Posted May 19, 2008 at 11:45 am 0Likes

    What a shame
    You can almost hear the champaign corks popping at dia REAS HQ.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted May 19, 2008 at 12:21 pm 0Likes

    Not sure that the corks will be popping – more like jaws dropping. Watch many more close shop given that Google will be here for the Australian and NZ markets.

    I think less monies will be directed to champagne and plenty of resources by REA and Fairfax Media at effective strategies. This represents the very first time that both businesses will find their previously successful business models under clsoer scrutiny.

    Some suggest that nothing will change – I can’t agree as I am a firmer believer that times change businesses.

    Google are brilliant strategists at taking spaces – interesting to see how REA and Fairfax Digital now fill these spaces?

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