Property portals need to spend less time attacking each other and focus on better outcomes for agents

Property portals need to spend less time attacking each other and focus on better outcomes for agents
Property portals need to spend less time attacking each other and focus on better outcomes for agents

GUEST OBSERVATION

The battle, mainly evident on social media and on online industry publications, continues between the two juggernauts of property listing portals.

Domain and REA are each staging online attacks on one other. But should they pay more attention to their own business, rather than spending time attacking each other?

I believe if both of the two portal providers are not careful, both will lose substantial market share in this space.

The emergence of internationally recognised websites, such as Gumtree and EBay, has allowed for growth for direct listings of properties by landlords and vendors. These portals also allow agents and agencies to list properties for free.

I myself use Gumtree and we have had great results in the last 24 months. Results measured across both in our sales and property management listings. One case in particular where a buyer saw the advertised property online on Gumtree in England and emailed us directly. He also paid the asking price for the property, may I add.

The buyer paid $60,000 more than another sale in the same complex, just a few weeks earlier by another agent. A great outcome for the vendor.

Then there is the quiet achiever, a local property portal, Homehound. A free property listing portal that has been growing and has been around for 10 years. They now boast of having over 2,000 agencies on board. Agencies that are taking advantage of free online presence. Notably, Homehound also provide premium paid listing space, should any agency wish to take up their offer.

If REA and Domain continue to spend more time and money on slandering one another, rather than to focus on better outcomes and services for agents, this may just well become their Achilles heel.

Lets face it, both have increased their listing fees, both take on private listings. One takes on private listings directly from vendors (Domain), the other from online third tier sites that assist vendors to sell privately (REA). Remind me, why is the “pot calling the kettle black” once again?

Real estate agents seem to have jumped all over the recent commentary by Domain’s CEO as though he was on our side.

Real estate agents seem to also believe in the most part that Domain’s CEO argument and premise that REA’s actions will diminish the real estate roles by agents and thus causing more havoc in our industry. The havoc is interpreted as concerns within the industry by agents allowing REA to move back to what was their initial campaign. A campaign which was launched in the 90s calling for and allowing vendors to privately list their properties.

Have we forgotten REA’s original add campaigns in the late 90s, “home sellers wanted.. sell your home online… agents need not apply”? Then again I am reminded once again Domain take on private listings. 

I remind our industry and colleagues that it’s not a matter of fearing what these juggernauts do or don’t do for us that will be the main reason to turn the consumer away from using our services.

It is more about what we will personally do for our future vendors and landlords as individuals, as a real estate office, group and industry to keep the customs we have enjoyed for so long that will determine our personal and business futures.  

In my opinion, allow REA to slip back into the private listing market. If it wasn’t for the simple fact that both Domain and REA know how VPA fills agencies pockets as an income source, we would not be paying as much for access to these property portals.

EDWIN ALMEIDA is managing partner and licensee-in-charge of Just Think Real Estate.

Edwin Almeida

Edwin Almeida

Edwin Almeida is managing partner and licensee-in-charge of Just Think Real Estate.

Tags: 
Industry News Edwin Almeida

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?