Article: Rental market tight in wake of floods

Rental market tight in wake of floods

JANUARY’S floods in Brisbane and Ipswich had only a short-term effect on the southeast Queensland rental market, but the lack of new housing coming on to the market is leading to tighter competition for existing properties.

Figures issued by the Real Estate Institute of Queensland yesterday show that the vacancy rate for Brisbane’s rental market was 1.8 per cent for the six months to the end of last month, a big drop from the 2.6 per cent recorded in the six months to the end of last September.

While the January floods affected the prestige Brisbane riverfront property market, they also hit the rental markets in less affluent areas, some not directly on the Brisbane River.

Residential Tenancy Authority figures show that demand for three- and four-bedroom houses increased after the floods, while the two-bedroom unit rental market remained relatively stable.

But in general, agents are now reporting that the rental market has begun to return to normal conditions.

REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett said the impact of the floods on the rental market was mainly confined to flood-affected areas.

“With reduced rental accommodation in their immediate area, many tenants and home owners displaced by the floods had to look to other suburbs for accommodation in January and February,” Ms Bennett said.

But REIQ agents in unaffected suburbs reported that this did not result in any significant increase in rental demand in their local areas.

But the outlook in the Brisbane rental market is tempered by the overall slowdown in the housing industry throughout Queensland, particularly the southeast corner.

The biggest shortages of rental housing were in the areas immediately around Brisbane, with significant drops in vacancy rates in the Caboolture and Pine Rivers areas.

Most of the regional cities were steady, but there were substantial drops in vacancy rates in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton.

Ms Bennett said the rental market was starting to be affected by the subdued property market with few first-home buyers and investors leading to more demand and less supply in the rental market.

“This also occurred in 2008 when high interest rates deterred buyers, so it is not difficult to ascertain that the current economic conditions and the rapid nature of rate rises last year are having the same effect this year,” she said.

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Article: Penthouse, rural shack cost the same

Penthouse, rural shack cost the same

GIVEN the choice, where would you live?

A two-level, four-bedroom, three bathroom penthouse apartment overlooking the Brisbane skyline with a sweeping balcony and access to a sparkling rooftop pool?

Or would you live in four-bedroom, one bathroom, weatherboard house with a carport in central Queensland?

Well if you have around $1450 a week you can have either.

The Courier Mail reports today the mining industry has affected house prices in some towns to such a degree that it costs around nine times as much to live in the rural town of Dysart as it does to live in southwest Brisbane.

The high cost of housing and huge demand from mining workers has even seen instances of “hot-bedding”, which means sharing a room with someone on an alternative shift.

The cost is driving many companies into the controversial fly-in, fly-out schemes or putting workers in temporary camps, causing huge social problems in some towns.

Young people without mining jobs in towns like Moranbah are reportedly forced to live in caravans – often with five or six people together – because they cannot afford the $1200 a week rentals. 

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland found Dysart had the state’s highest median rent of $1200 a week for a house, but this was collated over the average rents for all houses.

Current listings show a four-bedroom house in Dysart can fetch as much as $1800 a week in rent while the median rent for homes in suburban Forest Lake, in Brisbane’s south west, is $362 a week.

The REIQ said state-wide market conditions over the past 12 months resulted in better returns for investors because house prices had generally softened and rents remained stable.

“The natural disasters in Queensland … no doubt impacted buyer confidence, however February saw an increase in the number of dwellings financed across all buyer segments,” REIQ chairman Pamela Bennett said.

The union representing coalminers, the CFMEU, has campaigned heavily on the destruction of mining communities through fly-in, fly-out operations. Yesterday it described the rents as a disgrace.

CFMEU state secretary Jim Valery said it was not only miners affected because towns could not attract council workers, emergency workers or even bank staff because they could not afford rents.

To find out more checkout my blog at Jason Rose

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Investors returning to the market

Aussie Blog

With steady house prices, higher rental incomes and rental demands, this year is shaping up to be the year of the investor.

Posted via email from Jason Rose

5 Google Local Stats Every Marketer Should Know [Data]

HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

describe the imageWhen it comes to location-based marketing, much of the conversation goes to Foursquare as well as Yelp. However, Google is still the leader in the discovery process for local information. At South By South West Interactive, Marissa Mayer, Google’s Vice President of Consumer Products, spoke about the current state of many of Google’s location-focused applications. Five important statistics stood out as the major takeaways for marketers looking to promote their businesses at the local level.

Mayer discussed many of Google’s local applications, including Google Maps and Google Hotpot. Hotpot is Google’s service that allows users to rate local business and has only been live for a few months now.

5 Google Local Stats Every Marketer Should Know

1. Google Maps usage is 40 percent mobile

2. Google Maps has 150 million mobile users

3. Google GPS saves drivers 2 years everyday with route around traffic directions

4. Google Hotpot currently has 3 million ratings

5. 20 percent of Google searches are for local information

Marketing Takeaway

Of the five stats above, it is clear that the fifth piece of data should serve as a soundbite for every marketer when discussing the relevancy of online local marketing. With 20 percent of Google searches looking for local information, that means 600 million searches per day are for local information. This is a huge opportunity for businesses. 

All of these statistics show that Google has a major hold on users looking for local marketing online. As a business looking to attract more customers through these tools, you should follow best practices for being included in Google’s local search results as well as optimize your business website with content focused on your key geographic markets. Take a look at HubSpot’s free local marketing on-demand webinar for best practices to attract more visitors to your business. 

Photo Credit: aburt

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DropVox Records Voice Memos Directly to Dropbox [Downloads]


iOS: If you’re a big fan of the audio note-to-self but you’d like more flexibility than the iPhone’s default Voice Memos app, DropVox may be for you. It’s a simple audio-recording app that links with and uploads M4A recordings directly to your Dropbox account. More »

Posted via email from Jason Rose

How To Move Your Web Site To A New Host Without Data Or Ranking Loss

Search Engine People Blog

Changing Web Hosting

The ease with which an existing web site can be moved to a new web host depends largely on the technical type of website to be relocated, and on its reliance on additional components, such as scripts and databases.

There are 4 main categories:

  1. Static websites: No databases, minimal scripts, simple format.
  2. Dynamic Sites (such as blogging sites): Use of a database to store comment history and posts.
  3. Dynamic Commerce Sites (storefronts): Installed E-Commerce packages, complicated databases and scripts.
  4. Single-Source Solution websites: Reliant on one universal platform to develop and manage all website functions.

The easiest website to transfer to a new web host is a static website. The difficulty increases the further we move down the list. A blogging site, for example, may require the transfer of database content to a new web host. And websites using multiple, or complicated databases, and extensive scripts, increase the level of complexity involved even further.

In the case of websites utilizing a single-source solution, and wanting to continue using the same approach, there is the possibility that they will have to opt for an entirely new e-commerce solution, and then reconfigure.

Changing Web Host: The Steps Involved

There are 4 main procedures involved when changing a web host:

Let’s look at each of these steps in more detail…

Select a New Hosting Provider

This will largely depend on the type of website being run and any specific requirements needed. There are a lot of great hosting options available and the important thing here is to find a reputable host with proven reliability and excellent technical support.

If your web site is geo-targeted to a specific country the location of your hosting provider is important if your web site doesn’t have a country-specific domain name extension. If the domain name extension already reflects the targeted country (e.g., .UK, .CA) then hosting location is less important: domain name extension trumps location.

Where hosting location is important, do verify with your new hosting provider if their IP addresses are indeed for the country you target. Some hosting providers are in fact resellers for other, real, hosting companies: an apparently UK based hosting company may be reselling US hosting…

Duplicate the Website and Transfer Web Files

It is always a good idea to have a back-up of your website stored on a local computer. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if anyone has ever lost a website due to hosting related issues, they are painfully  aware of how important a back-up of your site can be.

Moving a static site from one host to another is a simple matter of transferring files. This can be done via FTP with applications like SmartFTP. Websites development software such as Dreamweaver, or FrontPage, both have functions for file transferal.

To move a simple MySQL database, such as that used by a blog, it is a matter of creating a new MySQL database with the new hosting provider. The matter is made a lot easier by using the same database name and password for the new version.

Most MySQL databases can be backed-up or exported via the phpMyAdmin entry in the control panel of your hosting. On the other side it can be easily imported this was.

A common problem that occurs at this stage is that your database is larger than 1 or 2 MegaByte while many hosting providers limit uploads to 1~2 MB. While there are workarounds and technical tricks, the best course of action is to contact your new hosting provider and explain them that you need to import a database larger than the permitted upload level. Good hosting companies will either (temporarily) increase the upload limit on your account or will offer the execute the import for you.

Transferring an e-commerce database that requires synchronization is a bit more tricky. The current hosting vendor may agree to assist, but if they refuse, it may be prudent to seek professional assistance if you’re unfamiliar with the process involved.

Move the Domain Name

This is a very important step. A newly relocated website needs people to be able to find it. Unless a domain is pointed in the direction of the new host’s servers, anyone using that domain name will be sent to an place that no longer exists.

For the most part, this is a very easy task. Go to the company your domain name is registered with (often but not always different from your hosting company, new or old) and:

  1. If possible, lower the value of Time To Live (TTL) a couple of days before the site’s final move. The value is expressed in seconds so that 1 hour is 3600. Set it to that value or lower to prompt browsers to ask for the specific IP address of your domain name sooner rather than later; this helps prevent people looking at your old site location for days to come…
  2. Change the old host’s DNS information with the DNS information provided by the new web host.

Ensure the DNS Change Has Propagated

The switch from an old DNS to a new one will not happen instantaneously even if the Time to Live of the domain name is set very low. Many major ISP’s cache DNS requests themselves, surfing their customers faster domain name resolution in exchange for slightly out of date information. This means that while you already see your site on your new web hosts, others may still access your site at its old location.

In general a full switch can take anywhere from 24-72 hours. So this is vitally important:

Don’t take the original website down until search engine crawlers and all visitors access it from its new web host/IP address.


Do I need to redirect my old domain?

No, you don’t need to provide any 302 or 301 redirects unless besides moving to a new web host you also changed the domain name itself. This is a separate case and falls outside of this article’s context.

Will my ranking be effected by moving to a new web host?

No, it shouldn’t. If done right, as described above, there is no down-time at all and the switch is completely transparent.

Do I have to worry about spammy sites on the new hosting provider?

In general, no. Search engine engineers know that millions upon millions of web sites live on so-called shared hosting: punishing 10,000 sites on 1 server because of the presence of one spammer would make no sense and open up ways of counter-SEO that would make search useless.
Search engines remember what domains do and, yes, if you buy a domain name it is a very good idea to investigate its history. That however is besides the context of this article.

* with contributions by Ruud Hein

Post from: Search Engine People SEO Blog

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3 Tips for Getting Twitter Followers

Find Me On The Net » | Find Me On The Net |

If you have spent any time online over the past few years, you surely know about the massive and speedy growth Twitter has enjoyed. The speed of its development is unsurpassed when it comes to social media sites online and there has been no other micro-blogging platform that has achieved even minor success. Millions of Twitter members send out billions of tweets regularly, making for an excellent opportunity to promote your services and products to your target market. However, to achieve this you need to build up a following of targeted prospects that can receive regular updates on your through your messages. Building this following can be complicated, if you’re not sure what you are doing. Given below are 3 effective tips to help you increase your Twitter count in the best possible way. Whether you’re building your Twitter followers in the Blueprint Project niche, or any other niche, these tips will be helpful.

First of all, if you want your followers list to consist of a targeted group of individuals, you should start following individuals who you either find interesting or who have the same interests as you. It’s a horrible idea to just blindly follow people in the hopes that they’ll want to follow you. When you only target those people who are interesting within your field of expertise, and they follow you, that could be the start of a great relationship. Don’t aim for bulk because you need to choose who you follow carefully according to how they can benefit you. If you want to succeed, follow one person at a time, and never give in to the software programs that promise to auto follow people so that you can have a hundred or more people that you follow. You should start taking photos and then tweet about them. The reason you want to do this is because photos are always being spread around Twitter because people love sending thought-provoking photos to their friends. Think about this: one photo could be so interesting that it’s retweeted thousands of times. There are some apps that are perfect for this, but you should try to use your cell phone to succeed as much as possible. You shouldn’t discount how powerful technology can be and so you should be using it as much as possible to get people to share your photos so that you can reach your followers goal. So, for example if your targeted niche is The Blueprint Project Bonus then make sure you’re tweeting about it and nothing about any other vague topic.

Lastly, try to find the best people in your industry and learn from them. Keep an eye on the top Twitterers online and see what kinds of tweets they like to post. These people have tons of followers for a great reason, so you can never go wrong by copying their style of tweets. You should always try to better yourself, as there is no such thing as learning everything there is about how to correctly tweet. When you watch these experts of Twitter, see if you can find the reason why so many individuals choose to follow this person. Once you get more experienced, you can start looking for this type of content so that your tweets can look similar. After enough time, you will get the exact same response.

In conclusion, this article shows us that if you want to obtain the best people as Twitter followers you have to have patience and persistence. You must use what you learned on a regular basis in order to leverage your hard work. So, utilize these tips and watch your Twitter friends grow.

Posted via email from Jason Rose

Daily Tip: How to connect your iPad to iPhone personal hotspot

The iPhone Blog

Daily Tip: How to connect your iPad to iPhone personal hotspot

Curious how to connect your iPad, new iPad 2, or even an iPod touch to iPhone personal hotspot? Thanks to iOS 4.3 (or iOS 4.2.6 on the Verizon iPhone) if you have a tethering plan you can save $130 on an iPad 3G, get an iPad Wi-Fi, and jump on the internet pretty much anywhere you want. We’ll show you how after the break!

iOS 4..2.6 and iOS 4.3 lets iPhone 4 act as a Wi-Fi personal hotspot. In other words, it turns it into a tiny internet access point and mobile router. You can connect up to 3 devices to an AT&T/GSM iPhone and 5 devices to a Verizon iPhone — including the iPad. Here’s how:

  1. Turn on Wi-Fi personal hotspot on your iPhone 4
  2. On your iPad or iPad 2, launch Settings
  3. Tap Wi-Fi in the sidebar
  4. Tap iPhone 4 under Choose a Network…
  5. Enter the Wi-Fi Password shown on your iPhone 4Wireless Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3
  6. That’s it!

A small, distinctive interlink icon will show up instead of the usual Wi-Fi icon at the top left of the menu bar and you’ll know you’re connected. Just keep an eye on your iPhone 4 battery life and, if you have a data cap, your Tethered Data usage!

Bonus Tip: You can also connect one iPad or iPad 2 via Bluetooth. Just go to Settings: General: Bluetooth on your iPad and pair with your iPhone!

Bonus Tip 2: You can use this method for FaceTime over 3G because personal hotspot is treated as a Wi-Fi connection. (Yes, it makes no sense but it works.)

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you’d like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to (If it’s especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we’ll even give ya a reward…)

Posted via email from Jason Rose

The Future of Foursquare: Understanding Location-Based Marketing

HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog

Foursquare 3 smallAt SXSW Interactive, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley and Mashable founder Pete Cashmore took the stage for an interview about the future and evolution of location-based social network Foursquare.

During the interview Crowley announced that the service was going to expand its venue API and is working to create a standard for venue identification numbers. Crowley also elaborated on the recent launch of Foursquare’s 3.0 version. This new version, he said, is all about recommendations and resurfacing user data to help improve serendipity for users. 

Creating Serendipitous Experiences

The new app adds an Explore tab which is Foursquare’s first attempt at becoming a true recommendation engine. The addition of that feature throws Foursquare into the competitive land dominated by Yelp, Google and Facebook. In a year, Crowley stated, Foursquare should be a tool that knows what people like and recommends new things for them to do.

Crowley is working on partnerships and not looking to sell the 50-person company at this point. He explained that 250,000 businesses use Foursquare and the company will be charging businesses for some advanced marketing opportunities. While Crowley isn’t planning on including ads in Foursquare, he did not completely rule out the possibility.

Prompting People to Be Proactive

Foursquare proactive notifications is something else Crowley would like to build. When a user walks by a coffee shop, for instance, they would receive a notification that a friend visits that shop often and recommends it. Foursquare would also be looking at new technologies like NFC that will help users checkin to locations more easily in the future.

Marketing Takeaway

Location-based marketing can be a valuable customer aquisition and retention tool for brick-and-mortar businesses. Many Web platforms will be competing to offer services bridging the gap between online and offline marketing efforts. With fewer than 8 million users, Foursquare is fighting an uphill battle against some of the Internet’s most successful companies.

As a business with a retail location, you should claim your business on location-based networks like Foursquare and test out some of their marketing features to see if it impacts foot traffic into your business. After this type of testing, you can determine if a bigger time and monetary investment is needed. If you don’t have a physical location, it is probably best to monitor the changing opportunities in the location-based marketing industry while investing time and resources into tactics that are currently a better fit for driving results for your business.

Do you like the direction Foursquare is going with version 3.0?

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Rental pressure set to continue

Rental pressure set to continue

Posted January 5, 2010 13:07:00

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) says figures on new home sales are further evidence the rental market will remain tight in 2010.

A survey of major builders conducted by HIA shows overall home sales rose by just 0.3 per cent from October to November.

Sales of new stand-alone houses rose by 0.8 per cent, but apartment and unit sales slumped by 4.9 per cent.

HIA’s chief economist Harley Dale says the weak apartment sales will do nothing to help very low rental vacancy rates.

“We likely are going to see continued considerable upward pressure on median weekly rents in most capital cities and in many regional areas of Australia through at least the first half of 2010,” he said.

“Apartment sales continue to be a real worry. It’s very difficult to achieve finance to develop medium and high-density residential projects right around Australia.

“That unfortunately is a situation that’s probably going to take some time to turn around.”

Posted via web from Jason Rose