The Exchange Vol 07


Cain CookeDear Members,

It has been an absolute pleasure to step in as Interim CEO and custodian of this incredible organisation. While there is change at REISA, I can assure you we continue to move forward with our strong plan and you have an immensely committed team and Board who are focused on delivering for you, our Members.

With change comes opportunity. While we are focused on getting the baseline right and it is business as usual at REISA with the team delivering our PD Training, Regional Roadshows, our new Webinar Series and events program we are also highly ambitious for our members and are taking this opportunity to accelerate our business transformation.

We are firmly focused on driving our value proposition for you, our members. REISA is a home for everyone within the ecosystem of a real estate transaction and our doors are wide open as we look to collaborate with our community’s expertise and wisdom to propel our organisation and the profession forward.

The key to creating meaningful value is our ability to listen to our Members, and I have spoken with many of you over the last few weeks as we work to shape our activities, events, training and services. And we are listening. A great example of this is our Industry Conference, REI-CON SA.

While we had attracted some high-end speakers, you challenged us to make REI-CON SA high impact, high energy and high value while minimising your time out of your business.

Team REISA was up for the challenge and pivoted to made a number of changes to the program to deliver all of that and more. It’s now an action-packed 1 day (Thursday, 19 May) event with a huge lineup of Australia’s leading speakers delivering quality, impactful content to help grow you, your team and your business

We can’t wait to see you all there!

As a Member organisation, our Members are at the heart of everything we do and your voice is important.

Our door is open so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, want to provide feedback or share your aspirations for REISA.

Kind Regards,

Cain Cooke
Executive Director & Interim CEO

View the PDF Version HERE or continue scrolling for the Web Version.

Table of Contents


Our first Regional Roadshow for 2022 finished earlier this month with 2 sold out sessions in Mount Gambier.

The Roadshow was a smashing success - we visited 8 regional towns and trained 217 real estate professionals.

We smashed a lot of records this Roadshow – highest number of attendees overall and highest number of attendees in one town (Mt Gambier).

REISA has a firm commitment to deliver to our Regional members – and our twice yearly Regional Roadshow is a clear demonstration of one way we can achieve that objective.

Stay tuned for our next Regional Roadshow beginning in July – with brand new Hot Topics for Sales and Property Management. And don’t just take our word for it!

Real Estate is an ever-evolving sector. It is growing progressively and so it’s fair to say regional training has never been more important to our industry. Travelling to Adelaide on a regular basis is something that we can’t justify all the time living regionally. Having training online is something that we have become familiar with over the past couple of years and this is a great benefit to our company.

Regional training is very important to help us continue to keep our skills up to date so that stay successful and competitive with the latest trends including industry standards and regulations. It was really great to be a part of it and to get to meet some new people. Look forward to the next session.

Lauren Curtis
Business Development Manager
BH Partners Adelaide Hills, Murraylands & Riverland


We are grateful to Cathie Brown, Laura Hoile, Nicole Swaine, Jane Carey, participants and sponsors for making this wonderful breakfast event possible. It was great to meet and connect with like-minded operational leaders in the real estate community on 29 March at the Lion Hotel.

Special thanks to all our sponsors who helped make this event a success:


REISA was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of one of our longest serving members, Donald Barrett.

Donald was born in 1921 and with his father and uncle as foundation members of REISA when it was formed in 1919, it was undoubtedly in Don’s blood to enjoy a long and fruitful association with REISA and real estate in South Australia.

He started his career with Barrett & Barrett (a second-hand furniture mart in Waymouth Street founded by his father and uncle) at the age of 14 and after 3 years, was tasked with turning the mart into a successful business. Donald studied accountancy after work and during his career developed a unique bookkeeping system that was eventually adopted as a government standard during those times.

Donald joined REISA in 1958 and was nominated as a member of the REI Council in 1967. Donald served as President of REISA from 1970-1971. He attended many conferences representing REISA in Australia and overseas during his tenure as President.

He also served as Vice Chairman of the SA Multiple Listing Bureau when it was launched on 28 May 1965.

REISA honours Donald’s real estate legacy and extends our condolences to Donald’s family and friends.


Our optimised program promises feature packed sessions from an amazing lineup of high calibre speakers. Check out the updated program here:


Earlybird ends next week (6 May 2022). So book your tickets quickly.

REI-CON SA is proudly sponsored by:


In case you missed our previous email, here's a video to whet your appetite for REI-CON SA. One of our keynote speakers, Tom Panos shared his insights on the market in this highly informative video here:

Catch Tom Panos via Video Link at REI-CON SA!


Australia’s Real Estate Support Agency; STAFFLINK CIO Joel Davis, believes that the industry will continue to grow significantly and it will be imperative for Agencies to adopt modern technology to both maintain employee morale and visibility in their Agency.

Adopting modern technology gives us the ability to be able to create consistency, sustainability and scalability within organisations on a large scale. Wherever there are large volumes of people, the ability to have a consistent process becomes critical. And without using technology, it is difficult to achieve consistency in a process. In the future, once there are consistent processes backed with the appropriate technology, it will allow for effective mapping and tracking of business processes. Paired with this, to assist with creating process consistency will be the automation of a process which could then be supported by artificial intelligence relieving a significant volume of the workload.

STAFFLINK is evolving with its clients and preparing for the massive digital change in the industry and they don’t plan on stopping. They are moving from using Software platforms, which are off the shelf products and now developing their own purpose-built Software and mobile Apps for their own business use with the aim to continue innovating the industry.

“We are very clear on the processes and systems that we have internally, and also the ones that we refer and use with our client base. And now we are at the stage where we've got the funding and partnerships to be able to build our own purpose-built software, which will enable us to start to automate some of those processes that are still currently being done by people instead of software.”- Joel Davis, STAFFLINK

Additional benefits from implementing the appropriate technology within your Agency would be the significant impact it will have on company morale. Property Managers are often overwhelmed due to the increase in workload and lack of work-life balance. The Pandemic has created more awareness for people around the importance of work-life balance and puts more focus on the importance of employees enjoying what they do. Therefore, ensuring that the right technology is used to assist in creating these processes and consistency not only gives visibility to the Agency to be able to offer support but allows for the employee to track their own activities and gain that additional support, reducing stress and greater enjoyment of the roles.

“I believe our employees are the primary customers that we need to keep happy in this industry. You keep your employees happy, they make the customers happy. Employee support is more critical than ever before, in order to allow for greater work-life balance, reducing stress and greater enjoyment of the roles that we have.” - Joel Davis, STAFFLINK


Digital marketing is full of the 3 letter acronyms… two of the most important are SEO and SEM. But what do they mean and what’s the difference?

Search marketing is the process of obtaining traffic and visibility from search engines through BOTH paid and unpaid efforts.


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is a practice that helps position websites within Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Where your website is positioned or ranked on those search pages is determined by how well your website, social profiles and online presence are optimised with the keywords people are searching to find your services.

Google has roughly 200 ranking factors in their algorithm, making up an index of the internet. SEO is not set and forget, it’s not ‘build a website and they will come’, it’s not a job you tick off a list. It’s ongoing, it’s complex and it’s forever changing by search engines’ rules and tools.

SEO is an organic approach to search marketing. Organic being an unpaid effort and paid being… Search Engine Marketing.

This is what SEO really looks like:

Click to enlarge

On Page SEO

On-page SEO is the practice of optimising individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and source code of a page that can be optimised, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals.

Most on-page activity is related directly to the coding and keywords used when building your website and pages. This means ensuring that content is original, that the right descriptions are in place, keywords are used and links are embedded throughout the site (deep links and backlinks).

Unfortunately, many websites are built without SEO best practice, and some web builders will charge in addition to have this done properly. That’s like selling a car without the engine.

If your website isn’t optimised to meet these needs, your website isn’t going to be found by customers looking for you. There are finite places on Page 1 of Google, and your competitors are competing for the same positions. You have to be better than your competitor to rank.

Off Page SEO

Off-Page SEO refers to all of the activities that you and others do off of your website to raise the ranking of a page with search engines. For example, if you write a guest post for another blog or leave a comment, you’re doing off-page site promotion.

Links are still very important to Google. Brand mentions (ie your site URL or brand name mentioned on another site without a hyperlink) are an integral aspect of off-page search signals. If you’ve got a lot of valuable links pointing to your pages, search engines will assume that you’ve got great content. Great content provides value for users.

There are many SEO tools available, but a good quick health check at will deliver a great report for free. Just put in your URL and it will show you a little speedometer, giving you a ranking out of 100. If your score is 80 or over, you're doing very well. The downloadable report allows you to send it straight to your website developers. The report is a traffic light system – with red failed remarks, amber warnings and green success. The report also includes links to definitions of what’s wrong and also instructions on how to fix it.


SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and refers to the purchasing of results displayed at the top of SERPs and other ad real estate across the internet. Simply known as ‘paid search’ but also known as PPC – Pay Per Click. Search engines, like Google, charge you per click on the paid search ad you create. You might know this as Google AdWords. They’re now just called Google Ads, and yes, you can buy these paid ads on Bing too.

Advertisers bid on keywords that users might enter when looking for certain products or services, which gives the advertiser the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside results for those search queries.

These ads come in a variety of formats. Some are small, text-based ads, whereas others, such as product listing ads, also known as Shopping ads, are more visual, product-based advertisements that allow consumers to see important information at-a-glance, such as price and reviews.

Logical keyword grouping and account structure can help you achieve higher click-through rates and lower costs-per-click. The following is an optimal structure:

Ad groups allow for each campaign to be further subcategorised for relevance. For example, one Ad Group could be about Appraisals, another could be Auctions.

The ad auction process takes place every single time someone enters a search query into Google. If Google determines that the keywords you have bid on are contained within a user’s search query, your ads are entered into the ad auction. Not every single ad will appear on every single search because the auction takes a variety of factors into account when determining the placement of ads on the SERP.

Google evaluates two main parts of the ad auction process; 1) your maximum bid and 2) the Quality Score of your ads.

Quality Score is Google's rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It’s used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. Your Quality Score algorithm includes:

  • Your click-through rate (CTR)
  • The relevance of each keyword to its ad group
  • Landing page quality and relevance
  • The relevance of your ad text
  • Your historical Google Ads account performance

Quality Scores correlate with lower cost per conversion. A high Quality Score is Google's way of saying that your PPC ad meets your potential customers’ needs. The better you are at meeting the customer’s needs, the less Google will charge you for the ad click.

Search engine marketing’s greatest strength is that it offers advertisers the opportunity to put their ads in front of motivated customers who are ready to buy at the precise moment they’re ready to transact.

What’s Best?

Any search marketing effort has to start with an organic approach. Get your SEO in order, ensure your website’s content and other links to your website are reflective of the search terms you would like to rank for within search engines, meet the requirements of a bunch of other aspects of the algorithm, and then you can think about a paid approach.

Valentina Borbone, Banter Group

Learn more from Tom Panos, Joel Davis and Valentina Borbone at REI-CON SA this 19 May 2022. Earlybird discount ends this Friday, 6 May 2022. Book your tickets now!


The Real Estate Employers’ Federation (REEF) is the real estate industry’s leading employment advisory service and has around 2,000 members across every State and Territory of Australia.

For more than 55 years, REEF has been committed to working with real estate employers to represent and protect their employment interests. REEF’s singular focus is the real estate industry and their services are available exclusively to real estate employers.

As a ‘not-for-profit’ association’, we’re here to help you. That’s why all your membership fees go directly to providing a range of essential services to manage, support and grow your business.

As a member there are no additional costs to pay other than the annual fee. Membership includes:

  • unlimited access to REEF’s library of forms and documents
  • unlimited access to immediate assistance through the REEF telephone helpline
  • complimentary representation if you have an employment dispute before the Fair Work Commission.

As the only nationally registered real estate employer association under the Fair Work Act 2009, REEF is the leading industrial voice for real estate employers.

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