Domain.com.au Agrees to Upload Over 1700 Private Sellers in One Go

It will be very interesting to see how the real estate community reacts to domain.com.au’s decision to allow some 1739 Private Seller listings to be uploaded onto their site by buymyplace.com.au.

Property Portal Watch author Alice Allen announced that “Listings from For Sale By Owner portal buymyplace.com.au have now been added to domain.com.au,”

For years now I’ve wondered why domain.com.au would use an agent subscription based model and position themselves in the marketplace as a real estate industry portal who also allows Private Sellers to upload onto their site for a nominal fee?

They seem to want to have their cake and eat it too. But unfortunately, I think this decision to upload listings from buymyplace.com.au will highlight their strategy to have a foot in both camp. It could easily be interpreted by agents that they are stabbing them in the back or biting the very hand that feeds them.

In my book, in the real estate portal world you’re either one thing or you’re another. And if domain.com.au are going to take further subscription payments from agents then they need to decide.

Domain.com.au you’re either an industry portal or you’re a Private Seller portal. I don’t believe that you can continue to be both and remain relevant into the future.

On top of all this, the timing of this decision couldn’t come at a worse time, especially after the extensive changes that have just been made to the realestate.com.au site.

The new changes to realestate.com.au haven’t been overwhelmingly popular with users and agents.

Without the benefit of statistics, but from reading lots of the feedback via social network sites it appeared that domain.com.au may have actually made up some ground on REA in the past few weeks as many property seekers jumped across to use domain’s site.

I’m not sure whose decision this was but I don’t think it’s going to go over too well within the real estate community.

buymyplace.com.au, Domain.com.au, PropertyPortalWatch.com, www.domain.com.au

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About Greg Vincent

Greg Vincent The Online Guy for Real Estate Professionals is a Speaker, Trainer and is a highly respected online strategist. As a real estate professional with Internet and Social Media nous, Greg Vincent presents the how-to on getting the most out of the internet and social media without the “geek speak”. His insights into on-line real estate marketing are sought throughout Australia and valued for cutting through the confusion that locks many out of gaining full value from the web. After 20 years as a real estate agent, Greg now has multiple web-based businesses and works with some of the best agents in Australia.

126 Responses to Domain.com.au Agrees to Upload Over 1700 Private Sellers in One Go

  1. Peter Ricci May 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Greg for years I have been telling agents that this will happen, Realestate.com.au will also either invest in and integrate private sales into their website as well at some stage in the future.

    Why? Because they are not industry portals, they are real estate websites that want to be popular, now ignoring a growing segment for them could hurt them. They may have been built up by the industry, but they definitely do not see themselves as industry portals.

    You may be able to influence the likes of Domain.com.au and Realestate.com.au now but we have already seen many private selling sites featured on both websites for years and it is growing.

    Many property management agents now just take listing fees rather than management fees as they see opportunities arising.

    The private market is nominal at this stage, but agents have to come up with better ways to combat this than unquantifiable statements like, “we would have got more for your property”, I see a mix over the years of fee based services as well as commission based.

    You may not like this, but it will become a reality. Early movers that do it correctly will benefit.

    I know this is not popular, but it is realistic and don’t think for one second REA are not keeping a close eye on this market.

  2. Nick May 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    I’m not a agent, so you could say I have no agent bias.

    From a end user’s point of view, it makes Domain more useful. Domain will have more houses so if you are searching for a house then you will be able to see more possibilities.

    You could say that because Domain might get a higher market share because of the private listings, agents will benefit because their listings on Domain will get more eyeballs.
    Whether that is the case remains to be seen.

  3. Kylie Emans May 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Wow and domain.com.au was making ground on realestate.com.au too. Just goes to show they use us and then think they can abuse us.Glad I don’t rely on either site for my buyer enquiry. It will be interesting to see Greg how agents react, will they continue to have their heads in the clouds?

  4. Ex-Domain May 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Its all about revenue, period. Although agents and offices can barter their Domain sub rates, private sellers cannot and are charged a premium cost.
    Private are not (yet) allowed to purchase any upsell products either so can only have a standard listing.
    Can you sell private listings on Domain? Nope. Not in Qld and in NSW you are competing with top spots, premium listings and agents who do this for a living. Take the time and actually look at how the privates are marketing their properties on Domain. Agents have nothing to worry about.

  5. James May 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Great article thanks Greg, it’ll be interesting to see whether the move makes any real impact on their revenues from Agents – I suspect not as agents that do rely on their leads can’t afford to leave and those that don’t (like Kylie above) probably aren’t customers anyway. This will havbe a big impact on private selling sites though as one of the major barriers to success for them is to get their customers’ adverts onto the major portals which usually keep them locked out.

    J.

  6. Greg Vincent May 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Peter whilst what you have predicted is starting to manifest, a bulk upload like this isn’t going to do them any favours in the eyes of the agents. I don’t think I’d want to be one of their reps right now. (nor an REA rep for that matter either with all the issues they’ve had with their new site launch).

    Nick, whilst more listings might sound great, if they really want more listings and more UB’s they should make their site free to agents & then they’d have agents uploading their listings from all over the country, then rely on their 3rd party advertising to generate revenue, but no, instead they want to double dip.

    From what I’ve been privy to that’s happening behind the scenes, my prediction is that this bulk upload could in time destroy their agent relationship enough that they will have to end up becoming a free subscription portal in the future to compete.

    Kylie, I think we all know that the 2 major portals only exist as they currently do because so many agents ‘have their heads in the clouds’ as you so aptly put it, and worst of all, they know it too and play on it big time.

    One can only hope that this decision may help to open the agent’s eyes.

  7. Brian Chua May 18, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    It is interesting to see different point of views from agents and non agents. Greg made a strong argument if they would like to increase the UB’s, it should be free to both parties.

    As a non agent in this industry, I feel that private sellers should not be charge premium fees to list on the site. The ‘premium’ listing will cost a substantial amount and the main reason private sellers opt to sell the properties without an agent is to maximise their profit less agents commissions. However, with the additional exposure for their private listings in major portals; it might be worth it.

  8. Nick May 18, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    Greg I’ve actually run a few medium sized sites with the sole income being advertising. It isnt easy and I’d say it would be impossible for Domain to do while maintaining the quality of service they do now – the reps would be sacked for starters.
    You can have quality, cheap and lots of traffic. Pick two.

  9. Greg Vincent May 18, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    You are right Nick and that’s why I can’t believe that they have made this decision. They have just loaded the guns full of ammunition for their competiton. I’m certain the REA reps will be rubbing their hands together about this.

  10. Sal Espro May 19, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Again, I don

  11. michael May 19, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    Greg I direct this specifically at you as you seem to be coming from an agents perspective. What you are advocating, and let

  12. Robert Simeon May 19, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    Have to agree with Sal – 100 per cent. If our business model is not attractive due to the experience, results and technologies that we bring to potential clients then our business model is what is on the nose. Remember the offer peanuts you get monkeys – for real estate agents when you invest peanuts back into your business you then become a monkey.

    The problem here is not the FSBO’s growing in popularity – it the simple reality that some agencies no longer offer a competitive business model that will exceed vendor expectations.

    Agents need to put their monies where their respective mouths are and address this constantly changing landscape. It is not a case of working harder rather working smarter.

  13. Mac May 19, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Don’t know where you get your claim Greg, that a portal has to either be agent OR vendor based! Portals, like newspapers, are just places where people go to see what the market has on offer.
    The ACCC may however have an interest not in volume discounts to agents but just how large the premium being charged to FSBO’s is – especially when they don’t have access to the other valuable subscriber ( agent) services.

    (I hope your agency marketing courses don’t advocate what you are espousing here i.e. That to compete, agencies need to find ways of preventing competitors with access to free-market tools, such as portals!)

  14. Trevor May 19, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    I had a quick look at the profile page for BuyMyPlace on domain and saw that they have only loaded 338 listings (Australia wide) which is a long way of the “over 1700” you quoted.

  15. Mark Cohen May 19, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    Hi,

    I’m currently neither an agent nor a Fairfax employee, so hear me out based on my many years experience in online businesses.

    There are two sides I’d like to speak to re the above: First Domain’s position as mentioned is that of Real Estate aggregator – not agent portal. Realestate.com.au have historically positioned themselves (very successfully I might add) as a real Estate industry portal, Domain has always taken private seller ads and so this is in essence nothing new beyond the volume. It’s juvenile to react so bitterly based purely on them doing more of what they’ve always done.

    Domain need to be a bloody good website for the consumers to keep using their site. Agents pay them for access to those consumers and I have seen firsthand how quickly things change when the agents feel their ROI has diminished – it’s just business.

    The same thing applies to agents. If their only proposition to the market is “I’ll do what you can do on your own online now, and I won’t really bring any extra value” they’re going the same way as the CD stores and the corner travel agents and the written letter. It’s up to you, the agents, to tell us potential clients why you are better than a private sale.

    Tell us how you’ll out-market and out-strategise a private sale and put more money in our pockets than some generic classifieds site that I upload my photos to. Tell us how many sellers you already have on your books and how desperate they are to find a house in my area, and how they trust you because you have an existing relationship with them and have been working with them as they progress through the purchase cycle. Tell us how you’ll help make the house look better so it sells for more and how you’ll help with reputable resources to take as much burden of us as possible, while still keeping our costs reasonable.

    If all you are is an alternative to a couple of hundred dollars and a Domain listing, you need to think hard and act fast.

  16. Kylie Emans May 19, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    James just to confirm I advertise on both portals. I am not worried about losing business to private sellers but I do think the major portals should be agent only, if you don’t want to employ a professional why use the industry popular portals. And for domain.com.au it should come down to not all business is good business , will the small extra revenue outweigh the loss of respect from agents?

  17. Nick May 19, 2010 at 3:17 am #

    Whoa this issue really polarises agents.

  18. Glenn Batten May 19, 2010 at 4:29 am #

    Nick,

    If you want to see polarisation, wait till REA introduces private sellers. With domain they are already on the portal and therefore the only real difference here is how they are uploaded and by whom.

    REA campaigned to the industry to support them over Domain and others and one of those reasons that got a lot of agents on board was that they do not list private sales. They have let them in through the back door though a few of the online agency providing marketing only options which has been discussed here a few times. They have not stopped this practice but all they did do was to ask them to stop using their name on their websites to try and keep the practice underground.

    If REA start letting them in the front door then you are going to see a lot of upset agents. I would PREFER that Domain does not bulk upload and let private seller sites list but I don’t think it is that big a deal if they do. If REA allows them I believe they will be going back on a promise and that’s a completely different thing.

    Michael,

    You said ” I will never agree with that given that all most agents do is list on the major portals and sit back. ”

    Your dreaming…

    If there was one agent that operated that way they would be out of business in a week. Just because you dont see what an agent works on and with does not mean it does not happen. How about you come and pay our bills for technology, wages, fuel, telephone and heap of other stuff.

    Domain has been a real estate portal taking listings from anyone and I think every agent understands that but REA has always been a property portal specifically for real estate agents. Its not agents stopping private sellers getting listings its REA’s terms and conditions. It’s a point of difference that REA was built on. It’s because of that POD that agents supported it that it became number 1. Now you believe that private sellers and private sales companies should have access to place their listings on it.. Why?

    If the private sellers companies joined together to support a portal that then grew to be the biggest real estate based site in Australia do you really think they would then allow agents to list. The minor players always want the leaders to give up their market share to make the game more even but thats just not how business works. If REA wants to keep its current customers happy they will not introduce another income stream. That is not being anticompetitive or locking anybody out. They are free to change their terms and conditions at any time but THEY CHOOSE NOT TO to keep their clients happy which is what businesses around the world do every day. Real Estate agents dont lock anybody out, REA does.

  19. Glenn Batten May 19, 2010 at 4:56 am #

    Let me suggest a scenario..

    If REA started letting in private sales the industry would go ballistic because they felt they were betrayed. You just have to look at discussion on this blog in the past to see how passionate some agents are when it comes to Private Sellers and REA.

    The groundswell would be massive and it would fall into the hands of a few people scheming the downfall of the dominance of REA. Agents would swap en masse to something like Realestateview.com.au which probably could not handle it at the moment but it is industry owned and which seems to be on more of a national push. The only thing that would slow the mutiny would be the contract periods that REA have in place. Those contracts give them security and give them breathing space.

    If Realestateview.com.au for instance has all the properties and realestate.com.au does not then buyers would find them. As any salesperson knows buyers have no loyalty to real estate agents or real estate portals, they will follow whoever has the properties. Realestateview or whoever had the majority of the properties would become the number 1 portal very quickly.

    Some would suggest that this could not happen but if the major real estate groups banded together like the real estate agents in Melbourne have done with their print industry and cut the xml feeds to realestate.com.au all hell would break loose. Individual offices could manually upload to the portal but the groups would no longer support REA.

    If Ray White, LJ Hooker, First National, Elders, PRD Nationwide, Harcourts, Century 21, Richardson and Wrench, Raine and Horne, Professionals, Laing and Simmons and a few others all banded together and cut the automatic feeds from the groups to REA then their 95% share of all available properties for sale would be slashed. Individual agencies would have to manually manage properties on the portal if they wanted to still upload tot hem. The media would have a field day, their share price would plummet and buyers would flock to the site that now has the property listings. It would go off like a chain reaction over a few months.

    Before you discount the idea Fairfax thought it would not happen to them in Melbourne either and look at that coup that Antony Catalano pulled off.

    The catalyst for something like this happening is REA doing something to really aggravate agents and private sellers on the portal would be one of those subjects that could trigger it. Price rises will upset agents as it has in the past but it will not create that spark big enough that something like this scenario would need to kick off. The contract period would certainly limit the damage but I doubt it would stop it.

    REA is a portal for real estate agents… the day the forget that and throw private sellers in agents faces could be the day that a scenario like that above creates a spark in the industry and sets off a bushfire.

    It;s for this reason that I dont believe they ever will do it.

  20. michael May 19, 2010 at 5:15 am #

    Glenn,

    Get your head out of the clouds Glenn.

    Agents get paid way over what they do – the market knows it, you are just choosing to conveniently ignore that aspect. An average agent spends less than a couple of days (in accumulated time and that is being generous) selling a property and gets paid $15 – $20,000 for erecting a board, listing with the portals and answering phone calls. They spend less than three or four hours on phone calls. Please explain to me how that is worth the $15-20k on average for selling a house. As further proof my last house sold in three days. The enquiry came from the next door neighbor. Please explain why that agent still took the full commission? I don

  21. Trevor May 19, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    an acquaintance recently sold his property privately, They had an offer within 2 weeks 5K under the listing price. They were happy and accepted the offer……a few weeks later a similar property in the same street was sold by a local agent for 35K higher then he had sold his property for.

    This acquaintance marketed his property in the local paper, a board out the front and an internet listing on realestate.com.au and on domain through myhomeisforsale. In total he spent 1.5K – 2K in marketing

    F.Y.I. Myhomeisforsale.com.au quite clearly states on their front page that they “Access industry only sites inlcuding Real Estate and Domain. Advertise on sites that account for over 95% of all online property searches.”

    I would never sell privately, however, I will always do my research on agents who I am considering to sell my properties to ensure they are working for their 2.5%

  22. Glenn Batten May 19, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    Michael,

    Plenty of real estate agencies are for sale. Go and grab their financials and you will quickly see that they are not the huge cash cow you believe it is. You are trying to tell agents that what they do is easy, takes little time and they overcharge for their services. If the occupation was that good why would everyone not be doing it??. There is only one person with their head in the clouds. I trust that with your myopic view on the industry you are looking from the outside looking in and that hardly revealing

    There is no question about it… selling your home yourself is easier now than ever before yet the majority of home owners still choose to use an agent. Despite your claims we dont have a gun to their head. We offer a service at a price and home owners in their millions choose that over their other option, to sell it themselves. Thats the reality whether you like it or not.

    As to buying cars online and using ebay as a comparison you are 100% right and I am really glad you brought that up…. 🙂

    The very reason why consumers use these services is that they can buy these goods cheaper than through other options… But when owners want to sell their property they want that premium price.

    Lets just look at cars for a second. If you buy a car privately whether online or not you do so knowing that you will buy it for cheaper than you can through a dealer. There are even trade books and websites that clearly show you that selling a car privately and you will get far less..

    In real estate there is only one commission to save so if they buyer wants to buy it at a much lower price by buying privately and the seller wants to save the commission only one can be right. The loser in most cases when privately selling is the owner because most owners dont have the skill, experience and time to get that premium price over the buyers own expectation to buy it for less in a private transaction.

    But there are occasions where sellers have the skill and they have the CHOICE to sell privately. It does not bother us when an owner chooses to sell privately. The simple facts are many of them end up selling by an agent anyway.

    What pressure do you believe that agents force on to REA? Agents will be angry… and the only pressure they COULD exert is that they may vote with their feet but that is no different from any other business. Do you think all the real estate groups get together illegally to provide under the table pressure against a public company. So are you suggesting that agents should not be able to leave if they dont like how a service provider changes their business structure?

    You always have the option to sell privately..

    Care to share what business are you in??

    Trevor,

    Note that Myhomeforsale is not using realestate.com.au … I have been told they were specifically told to stop using the portals name. They just say the words “real estate”. The implication is there but they dont cross REA’s line…

  23. Trevor May 19, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Glenn, The 2 links below tell a different story to what you have been told:

    http://www.myhomeisforsale.com.au/residential/ The premium package clearly lists realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au as a portal on which the listing will apear.

    http://www.realestate.com.au/buy/by-feqonl/list-1 The “Find an Agent” Link for Myhomeisforsale on realestate.com.au currently displaying 395 properties.

  24. Greg Vincent May 19, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    Been a busy at a seminar today, so I hope you don’t mind if I don’t answer everyone’s response individually.

    I agree that the Private Seller market is only a small percent of the current marketplace and will most likely remain that way for quite some time, but it’s a part of the marketplace that agents definitely should not ignore.

    Whilst I’ve commented previously on this blog that sites like MyHomeIsForSale.com.au (now called http://ForSaleForLease.com.au) and their particular business model have the potential to impact our industry quite dramatically ( like Ryan Air did to the travel industry) but the shift will take a bit longer to happen than it did in the travel industry.

    Buying products online, doing online banking and/or booking plane flights over the internet have now become more the norm than the exception due to convenience and lower fees.

    With real estate it’s quite a lot different. The sale/purchase of a property only happens on average every 7 – 10 years (approx.) so for many people it is a daunting, time consuming process & for them to do it effectively many have to go through a huge (often expensive) learning curve in the process.

    An agent providing their experience, expertise, support, marketing, time, etc all comes at a price and people will pay for the convenience that goes with having an agent handle the sale.

    There is no question that agents definitely need to make sure that they provide value for their fee and if they don’t then I’m not sure exactly how it works in other states, but in NSW the final settlement statement must include a clause that allows a customer to question the fee if they so wish.

    I agree with what Robert said, “If our business model is not attractive due to the experience, results and technologies that we bring to potential clients then our business model is what is on the nose.”

    Agents will need to move with the times to remain relevant and if they don’t provide good service and a good result then their customers have every right to question the fee paid.

    The issue that has really come to light by Domain’s decision is that because most agents concentrate their efforts geographically, up until now I don’t think agents realised how many Private Sellers were actually being uploaded onto Domain.com.au.

    They might have seen a one-off Private Seller in their areas loaded onto Domain.com.au here & there but to do a bulk upload like this will make agents wonder how many more private seller listings domain have on their site.

    I still believe that this decision will continue to haunt domain.com.au for quite some time to come and cause a groundswell of doubt amongst agents. ( I’m certain the REA reps will keep doing their best to remind agents).

  25. Ryan O'Grady May 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    I’d be surprised if there is any agent reading this blog who would cease listing on REA because they allowed private sellers. If you made this decision you’d go bust within 3 months as no vendors would list with your agency.

  26. Vic May 19, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    An interesting set of responses. Domain and realestate.com are both in business to make money, so are real estate agents. Any one of these parties will make business and strategic decisions based of where they will maximize their profits, and not on idealism.
    Leads and the costs to achieve those leads will determine an agent’s advertising strategy. And if agents don’t think this way they will likely not last in the industry.

  27. Glenn Batten May 19, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    Trevor,

    On the front page they do not say Realestate.com.au because they do not offer blanket coverage on that portal. … that is on purpose.

    On the package without negotiation they are not including realestate.com.au but on the package with negotiation, ie. acting in the capacity as an agent they can. In the first package they really act only in a marketing perspective and whilst an agent does do marketing as defined in our acts that cover each state I don’t really think that marketing triggers a real estate agent and client relationship.

  28. Greg Vincent May 19, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    Glenn and Trevor, it’s obvious that they are delicately dancing around the REA User Terms.

    Their first promo video promotes an image of the REA site http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUBl1OjQ1us and the updated version mentions REA within the audio only. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCnT8FRdZs4.

    I think they may have also changed the video to coincide with the site name change, but it just seemed a bit odd that they’ve removed the image of REA in the updated version, when it would obviously help their site conversion.

    The first video previously appeared on their site and I imagine that the updated will re-appear on the site shortly.

  29. Glenn Batten May 20, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    Ryan,

    Dont kid yourself there are agents that would make a stand over this…. they would be in the minority and whether they read this blog though I dont know…. Of course they should be 🙂

    Thats why I suggested a move this big would have to be effected by the groups themselves. As Vic says that decisions would have to be motivated by profits but as in the Melbourne case it was more about maximising profits by reducing the spiralling costs. There are some agents out there paying up to $20,000 per month to these portals. Whilst much of that is vendor funded not all of it is which was exactly the same situation with all the print advertising that Fairfax lost.

    But seriously its not going to be a few agents that effect anything and if they did they would probably get a few pats on the back but their stand would probably be in vain. Where the problem for REA would be created is if the groups as the sources of much of the data themselves kicked up a stink and cut the feeds.

    Individual agents would flood head office with their complaints about REA letting in private sellers just as they did with the House Hunter videos just on a much bigger scale. That would be a fairly big play but IF enough of them cut those feeds..it would spell doom for REA. Bad news about future earnings, even if its just a rumour never goes down well in the stock market.

    Another major effect could be what happened in the UK. When the leading portal angered its clients off they voted unanimously that they would not renew their contracts. That caused a huge storm just by agents openly saying they would not renew their contracts. See http://www.business2.com.au/2008/11/75-of-current-subscribers-will-not-renew/

    Obviously it was more venting than action… but there becomes a point when venting and anger tip over to cause a real reaction. Fairfax learnt that lesson too late in Melbourne.

    The chances of this happening is of course is very very slight and it is just a scenario. I cant see REA allowing private sellers in the near future anyway which is the first of many IF’s in the scenario.

    I beleive as Greg pointed out that REA will continue to use the issue of Private Sellers as a major point of difference between the two portals right when some agents were feeling a little let down by realestate.com.au. In fact I think Domain played into REA’s hands on this one.

  30. Robert Simeon May 20, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    Glenn,

    I think you may be confusing Myhomeforsale for Buymyplace.com.au and they are using REA just not under the alias of Buymyplace.com.au. They list on both REA and Domain under the guise of a Moonee Ponds real estate agency trading under the name of Vertex Consulting.

    Now that would make REA’s point of difference as being?

  31. Peter Lucas May 20, 2010 at 2:27 am #

    Robert / Glenn,

    Vertex is a affiliate partner of buyMyplace, just as it has affiliate partners with Auctioneers, open inspection providers, valuers, price negotiators and many more service providers who can help a vendor sell their property. We don’t advocate aliases as you mention in your comment.

    The comments on this blog article are very interesting reading, particularly for an industry that has openly said the For Sale By Owner will never take off in Australia. Even though it has throughout the rest of the world – US 20% already and some claims out of Canada expect the market to reach almost 45% in 2-3 years. You are all paying this a lot of attention. Why? Domain has always allowed private sellers.

    More specifically if you are so sure agents will always be the ‘preferred choice’ by home owners, due mainly to the service and value an agent provides, why does it matter if ANY portal offers the ability for private sellers to list themselves? Surely by doing so it in fact helps you get customers, if we are to believe your hype about the value agents actually bring.

    As has been correctly stated already – Google does it and continues to do it, Domain has always done it.

    While we have absolute factual proof that the majority of people who sell privately get a better price than an agent and that almost 95% of people end up with more money in their pockets I suspect the fear being displayed here is that the veil is being lifted on the real value agents bring to home owner/seller.

    If there wasn’t real fear about FSBO being a real challenge to the industry none of this discussion would be happening, I suspect. More importantly the last thing anyone would be doing is putting indirect pressure on suppliers such as property portals, as is begin mentioned in some comments, to keep private sellers from accessing them.

  32. Glenn Batten May 20, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    Peter Lucas,

    I did not mention aliases that was actually Robert… but it is VERY INTERESTING you say that you are listing the properties under the portals through an affiliate arrangement.

    Promoting property for sale in Queensland without a valid listing authority and instead an AFFILIATE agreement is as far as I know totally illegal with some HUGE FINES involved. Maybe its different in Victoria??

    ( Is than a Victorian agent who can comment on this.. )

    (Anybody from REA care to comment on listings being promoted by a real estate agent who only has an affiliate agreement to promote those properties. Actually… anybody at REA care to confirm they did or did not know about this relationship that Peter Lucas has confirmed…).

    Care to share that “absolute factual proof” that private sales get a higher price ?? Please do, I am sure I am not the only one who will get a chuckle out of it.

    I personally would love to see you prove that one….

    As to the international scene, FSBO sales are dropping the US from a peak of 2004. What is increasing is a flat fee real estate agents which now account for around 10% of the market. FSBO promoters conveniently include these figures in their stats because the consider them like FSBO in that they are a reduced FEE. Its sort of like being an agent but not really just like some of the names mentioned here.

    In the UK private sales are negligible and in Canada official reports state sales are only around 20% which is far from your creative 45% in 2-3 years.

    In the US the commission rates are over double that of Australia which is why FSBO sales are even as high as 12%.

    As to the effect of private sellers being on the portals you will notice that I have said whilst its my preference not to have them it really does not matter that much at all. BUT I know there are plenty of agents out there who do care. Just because I think the threat would be negligible and that I dont think they will matter if they are put on does not mean I think they should be allowed.

    Despite your assurances private sellers are not a threat for real estate agents for anytime in the near future. The only threat of note are the online licensed agents offering reduced fee online only real estate services.

    Private sales are a valid option for owners and certain people will take that option up but it is not something I feel threatened about at all. You quoted all the percentages for overseas. Care to share what percentage you believe private sales are in Australia???

    Robert,

    My comments re using the term “Real Estate” on their home page and only mentioning the term realestate.com.au in their package that includes negotiation services are strictly for Myhomeforsale. I have never visited the other one.

  33. Robert Simeon May 20, 2010 at 3:22 am #

    So let me get this right 🙂 buyMyplace is not permitted to advertise on REA however it can through an affiliate namely Vertex Consulting – which is a FSBO business.

    So all organisations that represent FSBO business models can do so through another affiliate business.

    REA just shot themselves in the foot as they have set a precedent that every other organisation can morph as a new alias.

  34. Glenn Batten May 20, 2010 at 3:29 am #

    Robert

    The point of difference would still be there… but IF REA knew that private sellers were being listed on their portal using affiliate agreements with another legal entity and by those taking the premium package (the one with no negotiation and no declaration that they will be listed on REA) by myhomeisforsale.com.au then they are going to look like major hypocrites.

    You will remember when REA upgraded their Private Selling Policy

    http://www.business2.com.au/2009/05/realestatecomau-upgrades-private-selling-policy/

    I cant see how the affiliate agreement that has now been highlighted would meet any of that criteria. I guess we shall see what REA does about it now which will indicate exactly if they new the practice was happening or not.

  35. Glenn Batten May 20, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Robert,

    well well well.. Vertex Consulting has properties listed on REA in NSW, QLD, WA and the other states.

    If they are allowed on realestate.com.au because they have a license but they are promoting a property as an agent without a valid authority to sell then you have to wonder if they have contravened a bunch of state laws as well.

    Queensland Fair Trading might be interested in this. I wonder how NSW Fair Trading and the other states like this?

    Businesses like http://www.happeningrealestate.com.au/ which were one of the original problems (see http://www.business2.com.au/2009/04/private-sales-now-on-realestatecomau/) are licensed agents as well but they NOW correctly gain a valid authority when listing a property on the portals. They charge a reduced commission and act as an agent so they follow the rules relative to our industry and that is totally fine… but Vertex Consulting appears to be offering its services as an agent and promoting property but without the legal t’s being crossed and i’s dotted.

    How do other agents feel about this?

  36. Peter Lucas May 20, 2010 at 3:45 am #

    Glenn,

    We only list directly on Domain and refer our sellers on to a range of affiliates, Vertex included. To the best of our knowledge all our affiliates we recommend to our sellers hold the respective licenses for the service they provide.

    We state the facts for private sellers success on our website. It’s been there for quite some time. How much research did you actually do.

    The facts on overseas market share are what is available online, we didn’t do the estimates but let the readers determine their usefulness and validity, instead of you injecting your bias view on everything.

    As for the rest there is way too much contradiction in your posts to try and point it all out and discuss every point. Pretty much the rest of your comment is proving the previous comment posted.

  37. Glenn Batten May 20, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    Peter Lucas,

    2 minutes research online and I found published statistics that I quoted.

    I asked you to provide details of your “absolute factual proof that the majority of people who sell privately get a better price than an agent” and you refuse to do so with a claim that I did not do enough research..

    I asked you to provide your research and you allude that its on your website.. Ummm.. all I see is marketing hype… no “absolute factual proof”

    Maybe you think your word is good enough… its not!

    If you are going to quote something as proof (let alone absolute factual proof) then at least stand up for your comments and provide that proof. As previously requested please provide a link or details that you believe supports your claim. Is that too much to ask.

    To the Best of Your Knowledge they are licensed.????. You obviously have no clue what the problem is and the type of cat you have let out of the bag.

    The issue is not if they are licensed or not. I will take your word that they are licensed but if they are a licensed agent carrying on the business of promoting a property then they should have a valid listing authority signed by that owner (Victorian agents please confirm).

    When the REA ask them to provide proof and when the Authorities go knocking on their door will they have a signed legal listing authority to act as a real estate agent???

    Since the listings are yours and you just give them an affiliate relationship to the listings you should be able to answer. PLEASE ANSWER and stop avoiding direct questions.

    You are in a position to answer that.. Please do.

    Ducking and weaving.. You want to throw stats out there but you wont provide the support for them.. I can provide support for my percentages on authority sites and published reports to support the numbers I quoted…

    You also quote a stack of other countries but fail to quote Australian private sale rates even when prompted… and you call me biased and contradictory. 🙂

    Just because you say so does not make it true.

  38. Glenn Batten May 20, 2010 at 4:27 am #

    You have to love TRUTH in advertising… according to http://www.buymyplace.com.au there is “No Agents involved”.. But by his own admission there is an agent involved and possibly more than one and to top it off and the legality of it is very questionable.

  39. Nick May 20, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    Glenn Batten, we were interested about advertising properties without a listing authority as well.
    Yesterday we checked with Queensland Fair Trading and they say its fine as they aren’t acting as a agent for that property.

    REA requires you have a agents licence, but doesnt require you to be the agent for the properties you list.
    Its a little loophole.

  40. PaulD May 20, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    I think the OFT of NSW would be interested in the arrangement to see whether they complied with Sections 54-57 and 63-65 of the Property Stock & Business Agents Act., as well as a whole lot of other sections of the act. The OFT tend to get a bit upset when the Act is contravened. When it’s only a minor breach the jump a little – when there’s a whole heap of breaches – they jump from a great height.

  41. PaulD May 20, 2010 at 5:02 am #

    By “They” I also mean the Vendor. In NSW you have to have a contract available before the property is advertised. So even if the relationship is not seen as an “agency” there are things the vendor needs to do to comply with the act, and if he/she doesn’t comply, then the fines are hefty.

  42. Mac May 20, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    This sounds like the Deep South of the real estate World in here! And I thought the USA’s Multilist and IDX rules were artificial constraints of trade. There doesn’t seem to be any kiddy porn or animals involved so let ’em list and get on with selling your own services – And give the rest of us a break!

  43. Glenn Batten May 20, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    Nick,

    You dont have to be an agent to advertise a property… dont dispute that… but if you are an agent and you advertise a property you have to have an authority as far as we have been told.

    so for a non agent.. such as buymyplace.com.au or even yourselves advertise there is no problem.. the issue is when an agent does it.. That’s when they get narky.. If a licensed agent advertises a property they are acting as an agent. If you do it.. you are not acting as an agent.

    We get audited every year and they walk up to the window and the internet and randomnly select properties and we have to provide them with matching authorities. I have never tested the “ahhh we are just advertising we are not actually the agent for that property” defence… although we have never been without an agreement… thankfully 🙂

    I am pretty sure that is correct but prepared to be proven wrong.. there are a couple of unknowns for me.. firstly Victorian law.. and secondly he is listing Queensland (and other states) from a licensed Victorian agency.. I dont even know he can do that even if he wanted to as far as I was aware you had to have full licences in each state as other online real estate agencies have got. Again.. an unknown factor.

    If he does have multiple licences then he is back to be bound by each states law..

    All in all its a little tricky but I reckon they have some headaches as an agency… and they are certainly operating well outside of REA’s policy which requires them to be acting in an agency relationship with the property..

    They cant have their cake and eat it too!!! You are either acting as an agent or not. They cant say they are acting as an agent to REA but not to Fair Trading.

    I expect REA to be reviewing their account given the extraordinary admissions by Peter Lucas. I hope it stops there, nobody needs the Fair Trading guys on their back, but they made their bed, they have to lie in it should someone see fit to get the authorities to look into the matter. The people who would probably take most offence at it are the genuine private sales sites who are locked out of being on REA but have to put up with licensed agents effectively offering the same or similar service but they are allowed to.

    There are big fines and you would think they would have done their due diligence first on this but given the response by Peter Lucas that does not seem to be the case although its not buymyplace thats would be in trouble.. its the agent… vertex consulting that Peter seems to have hung out to dry…

  44. Glenn Batten May 20, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    Mac,

    The government set the rules not the agents.. Trust me I have never met an agency that likes them and I would not wish their attention on anybody. But as to REA.. their stated policy is pretty clear and it appears from the information supplied by Peter Lucas that Vertex is in breach of that agreement. That’s their responsibility and I doubt you will find too many agents who like the idea of an agent colluding with a private sales site to go around the rules.

    Despite all that..the ones who will take more offence as they have over previous issues are the other private sales sites. There are only so many private sellers out there and there are lots of private slales sites for them to choose from and they are all competing for a pretty small pool. These guys are effectively cheating to gain that business over the others. From memory one of them even went to the ACCC last year over a similar matter.

  45. Greg Vincent May 20, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    Hi Glenn, I have made my position very clear about the MyHomeIsForSale business model via this blog and the impact I feel it and other similar-style business models may have within our industry.

    I now fully appreciate how the REA legal team are positioned with regards to the legal loop holes that these style of businesses are using to get around their User Terms.

    In what can only be described as an incredible coincidence, a similar-style business model called Place2Live.com.au has just purchased an Individual Property Website via our online software system.

    I

  46. Glenn Batten May 20, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Place2Live.com.au is as far as I am aware a licensed agent that has an online discount model which is the same as Myhomeisforsale I am pretty sure. Other than the fact you don’t think their business model is good for the majority of real estate agents in general there is no conflict I would have thought.

    Even if you have an agent only policy like REA. We all do business with people that we differ with on a business level. I guess as long as you are enforcing your own terms and conditions across all clients and you satisfy your clients that what matters. Is your product only for agents anyway?

    As to the timing with the discussion including myhomeisforsale and the others. .. I would think it would be a coincidence…

  47. Greg Vincent May 20, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Glenn, with the exception of Private Sellers, we allow similar property uploading from within the industry as REA Group & Fairfax do.

  48. www.forsaleforlease.com.au May 20, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    We have heard all these same arguments before.
    If your worth what you charge you will be sucessful.
    If you listen to your clients and provide them what they want you will be sucessful.
    If your honest and transparent about what you privide you will be trusted and reffered.
    It’s not rocket science, rather than spending all your efforts trying protect the lazy and incompetent agents that have given our industry such a poor reputation. Concentrat on adding real value for your customers, give them what they want. If they want access to http://www.realestate.com.au and are prepared to conduct their own OFI’s in order to save $15,000. Then give it to them. If you are unwilling to offer this then reffer them to me because I am. Otherwise make a compelling argument for why your worth $2000 per hour to hold a few OFI’s.

  49. Sal May 21, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    Greg, Are you saying your individual property websites business only deals with agents? How do you manage that? And why would you do it? (And what do you mean by property uploading? You’re not a portal, are you?)

    This old timer just gets more confused each day!

  50. Glenn Batten May 21, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    I am with Sal … go after the private sellers. An owner can still use the traditional private seller sites but link back to the individual property site they created to give them much more info.

    Most of them will be single use so they probably wont get the bulk discount of your larger agents clients but they could still add up.. Unlike the portals you are not displaying each property beside each other. They each have their own domain so you don’t have the issue of upsetting your existing clients.

  51. Greg Vincent May 21, 2010 at 12:39 am #

    Here’s an excerpt of our User Terms.

    You meet our

  52. Ex-Domain May 21, 2010 at 12:48 am #

    As I tell my sales team, if individuals spent as much time in front of clients or chasing new business as they do posting on blogs, private sellers wouldn’t be an issue to any of you.
    Heres a thought, instead of complaining about what may or may not appear on any of the portals, jump on the blower and call these private sellers and give them a reason as to why they should be selling with you.
    The reality is that whether directly or indirectly REA will have private sellers on their site eventually. To make statements that they wont because of some mystic loyalty to agents is naive. Businesses evolve, budgets have to be met and consumer demand rules the roost.

  53. Glenn Batten May 21, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Ex-Domain,

    I agree private sellers is inevitable on REA… but I dont think anybody has said that they will not do it because of some loyalty (mystic or otherwise) to agents. Far from it and exactly the opposite I would say..

    The reason that they dont list private sellers is so they dont upset their client base. They use to use that as a point of difference and to change it now will cause a reaction. Most likely that will die down after a while but I would hate to be an REA rep on the road or on the switchboard when they do it and there is the small possibility it will blow out of control. No mystic loyalty at all.. just normal business practice not to upset their current clients and upset their current income stream.

    Maybe when they do put private sales you could man the REA phones and tell all the agents that they should not be complaining, but to ring the sellers themselves… 🙂 Good Luck !!

  54. Glenn Rogers May 21, 2010 at 1:40 am #

    When running Commercialrealestate.com.au I took the view that I was supporting the agents and directed all private enquiry to the Member agent nearest them.

    The portal needs to decide if they will support real estate agents or are they just an advertising platform for anybody.

    With my background in agency it was easy to decide to support the agents who supported me by joining the CRE web site, Domain have taken a different tack.

    I beleive the portal that supports agents above private sellers will get the support of agents and thats the most important thing and a great selling point if your competitor allows your clients to list direct.

  55. Nick May 21, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    But the portal with the most quality listings will get the property seekers and thats the entire point of a portal. They are there to list houses for sale and they are still for sale regardless of whether its done via a agent or not.

    There are arguments for both sides. Its a unwinnable debate.

  56. Glenn Rogers May 21, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    You can look at it this way, the AGE takes ads from anybody and no one complains about that so why shouldn’t Domain ?

    BUT – I took the view I did because I was an agent and thats the way I would have wanted it if I were still in agency and advertising on the site.

    I don’t think the private sales market is worth chasing, anyone who tries to sell their own property is nuts, commission is cheap if your agent is doing his job.

  57. Greg Vincent May 21, 2010 at 2:57 am #

    Nick, there are something like 700,000 properties sold across Australia each year. That’s not including rental properties etc. If something like 95% of those properties are marketed via an agent I can’t see why Domain would bother going after the 5%.(just for a one off bit of revenue from a Private Seller).

    This decision makes me think that they have given up trying to convince agents to sign up with them and have decided to go with the easy dollars.

    Short term gain – Long term pain.

    BTW. After reading this article and the comments, if anyone from REA is thinking about cashing in on Private Sellers then they need their head read.

    That would be like killing the Golden Goose.

    They’ve just done a big revamp on their site and we all know it wasn’t done just for a better user experience (questionable???) but from what I’ve seen it opens them up to all sorts of opportunity for a bigger share of wallet.

  58. Sue Duhnym May 21, 2010 at 6:00 am #

    Greg – did you miss the last 20odd posts? REA are already cashing in on Private Sellers. Quit giving them a pass.
    Vertex Consulting is an “agency” set up to represent buymyplace.com.au on REA. You can not spin it nor convince me otherwise Peter Lucas – it simply isn’t a coincidence that Vertex Consulting doesn’t exist on Domain – It isn’t on Domain because it doesn’t have to be. Don’t get me wrong, as a consumer i’m glad Vertex is on REA. I also like your site Peter.

    And gasp! Domain are listing private sales?! How dare they inform the consumer of what’s happening in the real world! Outrageous! Aah life in North Korea, ‘aint it grand!..

    Come on gents, you can not be serious. Think about it. Really, think about it.

    You can’t claim ownership over a portal that is not yours. Yes, you support it. Yes, you invest in it. And for that, it delivers you results. End of transaction. Its not yours. Never will be. Your sense of entitlement is probably the reason for private sellers in the first place.

    You’re mad as a hatter if you can’t understand that these portals are there for me, us, its audience.. and if it wasn’t for me, us, its audience, you wouldn’t be advertising there. You know that. Why would you pour money into a portal if it had no visitors?

    You can’t have it both ways unless you create and control your own site – something like communistrealestate.com.au sounds nice and controlling, that way you can let the consumer know up front that they are only getting shown what you want them to see.

    Good operators (Robert for example) don’t seem to care, or won’t – they know they provide a fantastic service and result, and will continue to do so.
    The whingers and whiners amongst you are obviously just getting worried that people are cottoning on to what you already know. Anyone can do what you do.

  59. Craig Adams May 21, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    I’m with Sue.

    Really good agents like Rob (nice ego boost eh mate) don’t care about this stuff as it wont impinge on his ability to run a cracking business and associated service.

    Many agents have a low entry level requirement to get into the industry so the standard of service, knowledge and expertise can vary by massive margins hence the bad eggs taint the really good eggs hence the perceived standing on the reputation level that sits above car salesman and below lawyers!

    The really good are great and adapt to issues like this whilst the bad become paranoid and spooked by perceived change and we have both exhibited in the above comments.

    It’s sparked some response though and is obviously a bone of contention given the volume of comments.

  60. Bill Anastasiadis ( Ray White Gymea) May 21, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    Dear Greg,

    Well its no suprise is it now…I have been in the industry for the last 20 years and it has only been in the last 5 years that the likes of Domain.com.au and Realestate.com.au have been getting too smart for their own good, namely always incresing subsciption fees and now with the doors open for private sellers to advertise properties for sale.

    One has to ask the question, are their sites intended for agents are they just prostituting themselves for a quick buck and forgoing professionalism.

    It is now time for an industry based website for every Real Estate Agent and only for Real Estate Agents. Maybe if the real estate institute gets one up and happening or maybe an industry co op set up would be great.

    The only way this will happen is if we the Agents, vote with our feet and really punish real estate.com.au and Domain.com.au and pull out of their stupid games they have been playing.

    Wake up guys…TIME TO ACT AND THAT TIME IS NOW !!!!

  61. Greg Vincent May 21, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    Sue, It’s ironic that you mention North Korea and communistrealestate.com.au on a blog that allows you the freedom to voice your opinion.

    There will always be Private Sellers and people who want to do their own thing, (not sure if they can do that in North Korea?) but sometimes businesses make mistakes & I think this is one of those such occasions.

    Maybe I should have been more specific and said if REA openly changed their T&C’s to allow Private Sellers to upload.

    There is another point that you may have overlooked as a consumer, without the agents uploading all the properties you’d have very little to look at & lets face it who goes to a site continuously and searches if it comes up ‘No Results Found’?

    I have no question with regards to anyone’s argument that agents need to work hard to remain relevant & the need to be providing value for money.

    Good agents like Robert shouldn’t be concerned because he has put in the hard yards & there are many other agents who have too and feel the same way as Robert does about this issue.

  62. Sue Duhnym May 21, 2010 at 7:31 am #

    Hi Greg,

    I do see the irony, however It’s just as ironic that you advocate the democracy of this forum, yet wish to suppress it in other incarnations 🙂

    I can also see your side of the coin – re: “No Listings Found” due to agent abdication.

    But my consumer hat says that is unlikely – if Domain and REA prove to be delivering the consumer a thorough reflection of property for sale (in any form) throughout Australia, then that audience stays loyal to the product, and that audience would certainly be something an Agent / Office would want to take advantage of, no?

    I guess it’s a bit chicken and egg really. I can only say my view as a consumer, and as a consumer, the more houses the better.

  63. Greg Vincent May 21, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Sue, looking at the bigger picture if Domain were a free portal to upload to (or their pricing was at a more attractive fee/month for agents) the consumer would have lots more listings to search through because more agents would upload to them.

    Agents would get more enquiry from Domain, sellers would be happier and Domain would have so many more visitors on their site which could help increase their 3rd party advertising revenue and put pressure on REA’s dominance at the same time.

    Sue, as a savvy consumer may I ask?

    Do you search on Domain because they have the Private Sellers appearing on there and then (due to the large number of agents who aren’t subscribed to Domain) do you go across to RealEstate.com.au to see all the other listings that aren’t on Domain? Or do you search differently altogether?

  64. Michael nardella May 21, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    My understanding is that Victorian Agents do not have to have a listing authority to advertise property, however, if you intend to get paid then you must.

  65. PaulD May 21, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    Hey Bill Anastasiadis, where have you been for the last couple of years. There have been several attempts to create an Industry site in NSW, I guess you must have been one of the 2000+ agents in NSW who couldn’t have cared less when it mattered most, and now wants to complain about it. Most agents, can’t see beyond next Saturday, so how can you expect them to see an opportunity when it presents itself.

  66. Glenn Batten May 21, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Michael,
    Thanks for that….. are you an agent? and can anybody else concur?

    Peter Lucas
    Still waiting for that proof, and confirmation whether Vertex have valid listing authorities.

    Craig Adams,
    You could expect the topic to go ballistic if REA was ever to allow private sellers. My personal position is that for the majority of agents would not even feel an effect if REA allowed Private Sellers but not even Obama’s legendary rhetoric skill could convince them of this fact. The does not make them right or wrong over the matter. As the client in the portal / agent relationship they have the right to be heard.

    There are three parties in all this… agent, portal and consumer. Remove any one of the three and it falls flat. Agents will argue that REA is a real estate agent portal in contrast to a property portal like domain, and as that with the agents support they are the number 1 with the vast majority of the consumers supporting it therefore why would they think about changing the dynamics.

    Domain on the other hand already have private sellers therefore at the end of the day I think whats the big deal if they bulk load or not…?? I have a preference that they dont.. but that is based on my perspective as an agent.

    Sue,
    The majority of consumers support REA because thats where the majority of agents list the majority of the properties. Lets fact it private sellers represent such a minute part of the total number of sales they provide little traction for domain with attracting consumers. REA does not need them or the risk associated with trying to capture their business.

    Despite the empty statistics of Peter Lucas FSBO sales are on the decline in the US even though the total commission paid in a transaction in the US is well over double that of a typical sale here in Australia. What is on the rise are these discount online agents who are stealing they FSBO’s business.

    They do offer an alternative and I believe here they will replace the traditional private sales option as the US is seeing right now. These guys are licensed real estate agents offering limited services.

    As I (and I believe Greg) have said in the past they will be greatest threat to the traditional agent right now. I don’t necessarily think this a bad thing.. it’s just change and in the past decade we have had plenty of change already. As the better of these discount online agents become more popular the lower end of the traditional agents will be swallowed up. Many of them are stuck in the past, have not embraced the changes in our industry and struggle to compete now so increased competition will never be good for them. Only the strong will survive which has its advantages as long as you are one of the strong :).

    The future is less traditional agents but a much superior level of professionalism. I think the only unknown is when this will happen.

    The part I find irritating in all of this is that private sales sites and discount online agents come out and rubbish agents in general to try and prop up their own merits just like our own Mr Jenman. They need to concentrate on their own benefits rather than trying to attach our industry.

  67. Edward May 21, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    REA are only the biggest portal in the country because they have 99% of (if not all) agents in the country advertising their properties via the site. When you consider how much per month each agent pays for their subscription REA would be silly to even try and upset that applecart. REA have always provided a good value for money lead generating service simply because they have every agent on site because they have always stood by the fact that they are an agent based portal.
    Domain tried doing this years ago but could not match REA in it’s cost effectiveness. Domain wanted to charge a similar price as REA but could not generate the same cost effective service that REA could and therefor lost a lot of agencies business.
    REA has simply stayed the number 1 portal because they have always had the agencies behind them and have stayed true to their promise from day dot that they are an agent based portal.
    I don’t believe there would be too many agencies happy paying what they are already paying to REA if they were to do a back flip on that promise.
    I am sure if they did a lot of agents would take their business to the industry owned portal realestateview and it would become the number 1 portal.

  68. Nick May 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Sue does have a good analogy. Preventing private sellers (with perfectly valid houses for sale) from advertising their house is similar to censoring them out of the real estate market.

    Edward, if REA did allow private sellers, agents wouldnt really have much choice in the matter. Would you honestly stop listing with them, even though they have a awful lot of traffic and realestateview has very little?
    That doesnt make any sense at all. Its shooting yourself in the foot.

  69. Greg Vincent May 21, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    REA’s House Hunter Competition ($50,000 Grand Prize) has just finished & I went to check the final figures for their Facebook Fans (now 5247),when I noticed 2 people commenting about the new look site and how they’ve started using Domain.com.au.

    http://screencast.com/t/MzM2Y2Iy

    As I mentioned in my initial article, I don’t think Domain’s timing with this decision could have been any worse. I wonder how many others have made a switch to Domain over the past few weeks?

  70. Edward May 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Nick, REA do not have a gun pointed to agents heads and I do not have one pointed at my feet. realestateview is only an infant compared to the giants of REA and Domain but that is because they have only been operating in Victoria up until recently. They have recently spread into Qld NSW and Tas and are gaining momentum at an extremely quick rate.
    The answer is YES I would walk if REA went in the same direction as Domain, I could not justify the expense of the subscription and I know for a fact I would not be the only one.

  71. Glenn Batten May 22, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    PaulD,

    The states have squandered two genuine opportunities this year already to reunite to a national portal. It seems it iss just too hard to get them all thinking along the same lines.

    No state wants another state to control the national portal…. With so many opportunities over the past decade going by I personally doubt they will ever get off the ground.

    It needs the REIA to champion something but I don’t think they have the clout or the dollars and I hear there is applecart that might be about to tip over in the national makeup of institutes anyway which will make it next to impossible.

    Edward,

    I am certain you would not be the only one to leave if they ever allow private sales. I think what some people forget is that REA is not a property portal for everyone, it is quite clearly only for agents. There are plenty of industry paticipant only websites out their and they all get the support of their members because of that exclusivity. It is extremely myopic for private seller website owners to come in once the site is a success and demand that they be allowed in too just because they cant create or support their own portal.

    Playground rules about kids sharing their toys just dont apply in business. In the business sandpit if I have the biggest dump truck to play with…. get out of my way or I will run you over with it 🙂

  72. PaulD May 22, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    Glenn, Yep – that about sums it up. Too many egos. It’s like trying to herd a mob of cats. Whilst ever there are rumblings in the REIA, and whilst ever the individual states think there is a pot of gold to be had for the winner, there will be a disjointed and fragmented approach to the issue. It seems hard to imaging how that’s going to change in the short term. The Franchises are no help either, they change direction like the wind. NREFA nearly got off the ground a couple of years ago, but it alienated all the non- franchise businesses. It’s got to be all in or forget about it.

  73. Glenn Batten May 22, 2010 at 3:00 am #

    It would be good for the REIA to take a leading position with Technology for the whole industry. The US’s NAR CRT (National Association of Realtor’s Centre for Realtor Technology) is fantastic model to approach.

    http://www.realtor.org/technology/crt_web/crthomepage

    Just one of their many projects is RETS – Real Estate Transaction Standard which Australia desperately needs. The NAR CRT not only runs the committee that overlooks the open RETS standard but also provides numerous software solutions for agents, websites and other software developers. s

    But that would take substantial funds which would require a huge shift from the current position. But if they state cant agree on a common website how are they going to agree on funding something like this?

  74. Nick May 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Glenn the alternative is a group creating a standard and giving it to the states to approve. That keeps it very simple for them.

    Business2 has a excellent blend of technology people and real estate agents. If there is a will then a solution can be made.

  75. www.forsaleforlease.com.au May 23, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    If realestate.com.au and domain.com.au made it free for both private sellers and agents to list what would be the change to our industry? I would expect private sale/owner assisted sales numbers would increase to about 20% of the market and average commissions would drop by 20 – 30% inside two years. This would be a good test for what a free market wants.

    If I offered my companys services free for the next two years would this help bring foward this change?
    I am currenetly assessing proposals from some intrested investors who are prepared to put up capitial to be used to pay my staff and my wages for the next two years. If I offer to list our clients on realestate.com.au ,domain.com.au and provide our other services for free.
    Change is coming and it will be quicker than most expect.

  76. Craig May 24, 2010 at 1:12 am #

    Greg, you are starting to muck rake. Does it matter if his wife/partner runs an agency? Even Jenman endorses some agents.

  77. PaulD May 23, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    One of my favourite sayings : “The only thing permanent in life is change”

  78. Greg Vincent May 24, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    ForSaleForLease.com.au is it true that your wife/partner currently runs a traditional agency called Atwell & Co ( http://www.atwellandco.com.au ) while you run ForSaleForLease.com.au?

    I

  79. www.forsaleforlease.com.au May 24, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    This is true my wife runs this business and I am a non working director. No commission from Atwell & Co is or will be used to prop up another business I own. This would be a very poor way to runs any business in my opinion and ultimately would undermine both businesses. I am currently a director of 8 different companies and I treat them all the same. They will sink or swim from their own efforts.

  80. Enzo Raimondo May 24, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Good Article Greg and one which has touched an obvious nerve, an Industry owned and operated Portal, is closer than a lot of people think, we have been working to our strategy which includes the REIA, State REI’s, Franchise groups and others and we have deliberately kept under the radar, however the success or otherwise of an industry owned portal rests entirely with the Agents across Australia.

    The Agents have the clients, the content and they can drive the eyeballs, we have proven this in Melbourne and it’s time that they understood that around Australia.However they also need to understand you can’t compete with multi-billion dollar media companies by offering a free service.

  81. Sal May 24, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Hi FSFL, how are you getting on the major portals including REA?
    I see you are using Peter Ricci’s (Business2’s) tech to do the uploading but are you acting as an agency?(Just asking to circumvent Greg V’s obvious questions).
    Another question someone might be able to answer is if these non-agency sites are now listing on all portals (which I don’t have a problem with, remember), then surely there is the opportunity for multi-office agencies to aggregate listings through one office somehow??)

    Getting more interesting…

  82. Sal May 24, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Oops! I see you are an agent/agency. Still like to know what people think about agency office aggregation tho.

  83. Nick May 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Sal thats a terms and conditions thing. They say one account per office and thats the rules.
    Private selling sites dont break that rule.

  84. Glenn Rogers May 24, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Enzo,

    An industry owned national portal is long overdue, you and I both know opportunities have been missed but if ever there was an opportunity for agents to take control and lower their costs this is it.

    It’s not hard, you just need to right people to organise it.

    Sometimes too many Indians can over complicate something that is quite simple if you understand what agents and the public want and understand how the Internet works.

    Good luck.

  85. Mac May 25, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    Glenn R, who would own it? WA, Qld and NSW’s EAC (who is the NSW commercial powerhouse) certainly won’t let REIV continue to own 30% or is it more now? And why would any non-Vic REI agree to the rest of it being owned by the independent development group? It ain’t that easy brother!

  86. Glenn Rogers May 25, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    Mac,

    I would imagine owned by the combined state Real Estate Institutes and funded on a usage or need basis.

    Present ownership of existing Institute portals would have to be recognized somehow in the new setup, I reckon a few sessions round the table with people who know what they’re doing and lock out those who just like to hear their own voice and you’d have it sorted.

    There would need to be a Board who worked in the interests of the national portal and not for any particular interest group or State.

    Only for Institute Members and lower Institute Membership fees for smaller outfits that might find it too expensive.

    Result, increased Institute Membership and a powerful machine owned and operated by the agents.

    You will need to very best in advice on site build , features and SEO and domain name selection.

  87. Mac May 25, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    Nice sentiment lacking practical knowledge of Institute machinations, politics and existing commercial agreements, Glenn. Have fun 🙂

  88. Mac May 25, 2010 at 1:33 am #

    Nice sentiments, Glenn, however they can’t account for the required in depth knowledge of REI intra- and inter – state politics, existing commercial agreements and machinations in general. Have fun 🙂

  89. Glenn Rogers May 25, 2010 at 3:01 am #

    I didn’t allow for that Mac because anyone who will succeed in this won’t either.

    All the agents, their egos Institutes and their politics just stand aside and do what you’re told, if that doesn’t happen a national portal won’t work as it will be constantly tripped up by those that should be out selling real estate not involving themselves in something they know bugger all about.

    I’d say what I really mean but the filters in here would probably delete the whole thing 🙂

  90. Mac May 25, 2010 at 3:03 am #

    Odds? 1000-1 *L*

  91. Glenn Rogers May 25, 2010 at 3:18 am #

    Thats what keeps the portals rolling in your cash 😉

  92. Mac May 25, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    BTW Glenn R, what do you get up to nowadays?

  93. Glenn Rogers May 25, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    I’ve been waiting 3 years for this to get finished http://www.weekend.com.au programmers can sometimes be very difficult, should be ready soon.
    Played a lot of golf in the meantime.

  94. Greg Vincent May 25, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    Enzo, thanks for joining in on the conversation. Should agents who are in favour of a National Industry-Based Real Estate Portal contact their local REI or should they contact RealEstateView.com.au direct?

    At this point Qld appears to be the only state that really needs to come to the party ( I believe that they are still trying to do something state-based???).

    Hopefully, as each state comes on board the pressure from Qld agents should help to bring that around.

    Mac, I’d like to take you up on those odds.

    An National Industry-Based Real Estate Portal is on its way and as the momentum builds I think you’ll find that the uptake will be a lot faster than everyone thinks.

    Domain will be the first to feel the brunt of the change & then you’ll find that REA will be put under a lot more pressure than they are currently experiencing.

    Domain are currently no real competition for REA but a National Industry based real estate portal will be.

    PS: Craig I understand why you may have felt that way.

    I think we will see a lot more ForSaleForLease. Place2Live type business models entering the marketplace due to National Licensing. I believe that there will be agents who will be setting them up as sideline businesses to their traditional real estate business until they can get their web-based model to a critical mass. That’s why I asked the question.

    Maybe ForSaleForLease can see this happening too & could be the reason why they are considering venture funding to make their service Free?

    ForSaleForLease Thankyou for your open response. Whilst I can see that yours is an innovative business model, I can’t say that I necessarily like the long term impact it could have on our industry.

  95. Nick May 25, 2010 at 5:36 am #

    Possible problems with RealEstateView as a national portal:
    * 69% owned by one state and very much focused on that state.
    * Not innovative – Its just a standard portal website with nothing outstanding.
    * Limited Resources – Its too small to handle it. If say realestate.com.au redirected to them, they would need a massive code rewrite to handle it. No CDN, poor code for high load situations, etc…

    IMHO a national portal needs to be run completely separately from the institutes, the agents and anyone else who could have a conflict of interest.
    Bonus points if it runs as a non-profit organisation.
    Otherwise you get design by committee and bickering.
    It also needs to be competitive with other portals so it needs to be up to date.

  96. PaulD May 25, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    Greg, What is sensible — and what actually happens in these types of situations — rarely ever coincides. We’ve seen it all before. Maybe not 1000 to 1 but those odds are close enough.

  97. Greg Vincent May 25, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    Paul, The odds are definitely shorter than that. I caught up with Antony Catalano from MMP Media (the Weekly Review) earlier today.

    For example, it’s interesting to see the turn of events that have taken place in Victoria and shows what can be done if a collection of the right people and the right agents get together.

    It’s also interesting to see how little understanding the larger companies have with regards to the collective power of real estate agents.

    Fairfax have made the mistake of offering FREE advertising to some sellers who are not advertising within their publication.

    The letter reads,

  98. Sal Espro May 25, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    Enzo, would you please provide the ‘proof’ that underpins your statement that,
    “The Agents have the clients, the content and they can drive the eyeballs, we have proven this in Melbourne” .
    i.e. 1. What are the UV (Unique Visits) comparables of REA vs Domain vs Realestateview in the states where they all operate?
    2. What are the UV’s that each has over the other? e.g. How many UV’s does REView have that REA and Domain don’t, please?

    (My guess is that a listing we have on REA or Domain doesn’t need to be duplicated on REView but if we only placed it on REView it certainly stands at risk of not being seen!)

    This would help me to believe that we are missing-out by not being on REView – I doubt it very much!

  99. Greg Vincent May 25, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    I forgot to mention that the letter also included this:-

    “Our offer – valued at $6750 excluding GST – includes a three week schedule of full page advertisements at no charge. Please note there are no hidden conditions or requirements, only that your real estate agent must be made aware of the offer and approve in writing the use of their agency branding, advertising copy and photographs within Melbourne Weekly.

    If your agent refuses permission for your property to be advertised in Melbourne Weekly, then let us know. We are more than happy to recommend alternative real estate agencies for your consideration subject to the agreement you have in place with your real estate agent.”

    What a joke! Fairfax you’re sooo out of touch with the real estate industry.

  100. Enzo Raimondo May 25, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Greg, if any Real Estate Office want’s to subscribe,they should email sales@realestateview.com.au

    Whilst I can’t comment on the proposed structure, I can advise that we are awaiting on one remaining State to come on board.

    Nick the offering has to provide the tools and services to satisfy both the Industry and consumers and we believe we have the correct platform and right mix of products ready for our roll out.

    Mac and PaulD, for your edification, the combined UB’s from Neilson Net rankings in April for REIWA.com.au and Realestateview were > 750,000 when you consider the market in NSW and QLD the potential for a challenge to the number 2 spot is there.

    Do some research on carsales.com.au and find out who was behind that site before PBL and the IPO.

    So a 1000 to 1,definitely on the fact that you both have no idea what your talking about.

  101. Enzo Raimondo May 25, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    Hi Sal,
    You seem to be content being a salesperson for REA and Domain, so my advice to you is keep at it.

  102. James Christie May 25, 2010 at 7:55 am #

    As a consumer that is a regular investor in real estate I can say that I believe Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au are both excellent sites for people looking to purchase real estate. Do you really think that Joe Blow in the street thinks “lets look for property on REA / Domain as it is an industry portal” What we are interested in is property. The best place to find it and the best selection of houses etc to buy. If, as real-estate agents you cant market yourself to the buyers who want to sell privately – take some responsibility for that – as opposed to just blaming these portals. Obviously you are no longer advertising in the print media either as they allow private sellers. There is a word called COMPETITION, stop crying about it and do something to differentiate yourself – innovative.

  103. John May 25, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    Heres some interesting figures….

    One of the biggest keyword phrases in terms of selling your own home, or private real estate within Australia is “for sale by owner” which attracts 3,600 searches per month through Google. This equates to roughly 120 searches per day. Which, if you were fortunate enough, would probably land you about 42% of those searches if you were top of first page. So you could probably halve that number again. These numbers are dismal, and certainly dont reflect a “hungry marketplace”. You cant give people what they dont want, and selling privately, although very popular in some countries overseas – isnt here. (Not yet anyway)

    Buymyplace.com.au are either willing to “wait” for this marketplace to gain traction here, OR, they failed to do some pretty basic marketplace research before starting out. I mean, there are more people searching for weekend garage sales on the internet in this country, than there is private real estate.

    A few quick personal notations to add about buymyplace.com.au….

    1. Their search feature is a dud. Its clumsy and is difficult to use. This wont help them at all.
    2. I just performed a search, for Algester and ONE result shows up.
    3. Three of the properties I just viewed have dates of 2009 on them – stale.
    4. Many statistics according to Alexa show downwards trends of 30% including page views and time on site.

    According to Google Insights, traffic for the keyword phrase “for sale by owner” has actually doubled since 2004, so I can only assume that the numbers back then were horrible! Data is non existant when checking Google trends… *shrug.

    Given this information, I think realestate.com.au is being smart because they KNOW that there is no marketplace there yet. However, with such a large share of the real estate industry, even if this area of interest (selling privately) takes hold, they will simply swallow it up, and gain a stranglehold in that area too – because they’ve already got the numbers. Put simply, they’re waiting, because they can afford to. As a quick thought, it may even be realestate.com.au that kicks this trend into gear and turns browsers (searchers) into potential advertisers …who knows. Probably upset the agents though.

    Having lived with a real estate agent for the last 4 years, Ive noticed an interesting trend for quite a few private sellers. Many of them fail to generate any interest on these “sell it yourself” type sites, (probably due to poor figures) and eventually end up going through an agent, who lists on domain or realestate.

    I think the winner here really is buymyplace.com.au because they NEED the traffic/exposure – which they probably arent getting. I think this could potentially disrupt the whole process of working with agents in a negative way though. I mean, why would an agent get motivated about trying to sell a property where the owner is also doing the same? I dont get it?

    It will be interesting to see what eventuates from these changes and what lies ahead.

    John

  104. PaulD May 25, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    Enzo, the question was HOW MANY UB’S Realestateview HAD – NOT THE COMBINED TOTAL WITH REIWA ????
    So you’re telling us that the combined UB’s was 750,000. Was that including SA ? If it was, then it was a chicken sh*t total for three states out of 5.
    What was the breakup between WA & Vic ??? And leads ( ie emails) are the important thing, not UB’s — because a huge percentage of so called UB’s are agents checking out other agents properties. So UB’s as a measuring tool are on the way OUT. How many emails did the Victorian Agents get ???

  105. Nick May 25, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Paul, Google says that RealEstateView is roughly the same size as Home Hound.
    Its not comparable to Domain or RealEstate.com.au at all.

    http://trends.google.com/websites?q=realestateview.com.au,+realestate.com.au,+domain.com.au,+homehound.com.au,+myhome.com.au

  106. Greg Vincent May 25, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Nick, from that Google Trend it looks like the only way RealEstateView.com.au can go from here is up.

    PaulD, RealEstateView.com.au have recently rolled out into SA & NT so I can imagine the traffic that Enzo mentioned would be mostly coming from 2 states WA & Vic at this point in time.

    I can’t see them dropping the REIWA brand/site altogether from within their planned roll out of RealEstateView.com.au until the UB’s become more significant across the rest of Australia.

    Based on the current number of UB’s and email enquiries, I wouldn’t be too quick to discount RealEstateView.com.au as a potential player in the marketplace.

    They have to get to 2nd place first and to do that they need the properties uploaded onto the site, (get agents on board) , implement effective marketing strategies, then the eyeballs will come and the email enquiries will increase for agents.

    PLUS remember the largest percentage of real estate agents & properties are located within the 3 eastern states of Australia, ( VIC, NSW, QLD ).

    I can’t see HomeHound or MyHome providing any threat to Domain or REA any time soon, is there another alternative? If so, I’d love to know about it.

  107. Greg Vincent May 25, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    It would be interesting to compare their current results on a state by state basis. ( for both VIC and WA ) and see what percentage the REI sites currently hold in each of those states compared to REA and Domain?

    This would give a better indication of where they currently sit within their respective market places and what they could potentially achieve in the shorter term within the other states.

  108. Glenn Batten May 25, 2010 at 10:15 am #

    Enzo,

    I really hope that we as an industry can get this up and running.

    I hope that the REIQ’s position will soon be smoothed out and the remaining challenges in making this work can be looked at.

    I think that comments from any agents that you are seeing as negative here are based not on a lack of desire to see this work, but primarily from the precedent and frustrations of years past and opportunities lost.

    With that being said, I also understand that just because it has always been, does not mean it always has to be… In fact if there really is only one state to go then this would seem as though its more advanced than it has ever been.

    If it is still Queensland to commit do you believe that Queensland agents should express their support to the REIQ ? and if so, who to?

  109. Enzo Raimondo May 25, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Hi Greg, you are spot on 75% of national transactions occur in the Eastern States.

    PaulD, Neilsons use UB’s as a measure of ranking, the breakup is 500,000 REV and 260,000 REIWA the point of my comment was that both these sites are the only ones owned by REI’s and both are successful. REIWA is a strong number 2 in WA and REV has more content than domain in VIC and a national portal will include the content and traffic of both these sites.

    BTW Google has REV at about 690,000 UB’s and PaulD there are 6 States not 5 and 2 Territories in Australia. Heres an idea why don’t you wait and see what transpires in the next 12months before being so eager to write us off.

  110. John May 25, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    The question that Id like to know is this…

    What is the alternative to realestate.com.au? How can they be outdone? Is it possible? If so, how..?????

  111. Enzo Raimondo May 25, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Hi Glenn,

    I have been involved with the REI’s for the last 14 years and I can honestly say that this the closest we have come to being in complete alignment on this issue. I have no doubt that all REI’s including the REIA are 100% committed to making this work not only with the portal but also including the collection of national sales data.

    The combined membership of the REI’s is over 8000 RE offices so the potential is huge.

    THE CORPORATE

  112. Enzo Raimondo May 25, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Sorry Guys pressed the sent button before finishing, The Corporate Structure will need to be fair and equitable and take into account all the members needs.

  113. Glenn Rogers May 25, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Hi Enzo,

    I hope you’re right and the various egos can be controlled, rely heavily on your IT and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) people.

    SEO is of paramount importance, if the phone rings agents will beat your door down and the phone will only ring with very professional SEO input.

    Good luck…

  114. Glenn Batten May 25, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Enzo,

    It’s about time 🙂

    I trust you are not ready to share the workings of such a plan just yet?.. Ie ownership, control, revenue model etc etc

    You know that if you ever want a bunch of opinions, Business2 is the place to start. I can’t guarantee that we will all agree, nor that you will like what everyone has to say, but there is some technical talent and a whole lot of experience amongst the readers and contributors..

    Thow us a few bones 🙂

    also, care to share your opinion about a topic raised here in the comments where a presumably licensed agent (REA only deals with licensed agent ) trading as a Vertex consulting is advertising property for sale with no apparent authority to sell and only an affiliate agreement with a private sellers website.

    *******************************

    Greg

    This thread has been interesting the way it morphed. Very little stayed smack on topic about Domain and their private sellers. We ended up quite a few topics as it changed. It’s been a fun ride but I think it might be better to do the REI Portal in a new article. Not everyone reads all the comments and I think it is an important issue in its own right.

  115. Greg Vincent May 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Enzo, it’s great to see that this time around it looks like there could be some serious changes about to happen within the real estate industry.

    The timing for Domain’s decision to upload so many Private Sellers in one hit is starting to look worse & worse for them all the time.

    John, I don’t think Realestate.com.au will be ‘outdone’ as you mention any time soon, but having a National Industry based portal could certainly make life a bit more interesting for them in the future.

    Long term who knows what will happen, but some good healthy competition now and into the future won’t hurt the real estate industry one bit.

    As I have told REA previously, if they want to establish any long term loyalty with the agents they will need to invest time educating agents and helping agents improve their online marketing, etc rather than constantly trying to flog them e-brochures or banner ads all the time.

    Ultimately, I see that if we have 2 really strong National real estate portals (one industry based & one agent based) then we could see some great innovation happening within the Australian real estate industry, whereas at the moment REA don’t feel any significant pressure from Domain.

    I’m sure that there would be a lot of agents who would love to see REV & REA battling it out for the #1 spot. Let the fun begin.

  116. Glenn Rogers May 25, 2010 at 11:18 pm #

    Even though I may not have accepted private listings for the reasons I set out above, I don’t think it will effect Domain too much, lets look at it –

    Will you NOT advertise on Domain because they accept private listings ?
    No you wont because you cant afford not to advertise on one of the 2 major portals.

    Will your clients advertise direct because they now can ?
    No, only a certain type of vendor will advertise direct and being able to do that on Domain won’t really mean that more will take that approach.

    So while agents may not like the principle involved the practicality is it won’t make any difference to them unless they decide to protest by not advertising on Domain and that would just be shooting themselves in the foot.

    Domain however surely will put the private listings in a separate section of the site and not mix them with agents listings, that would put me off as a buyer as when you browse listings you are used to the way the listings are formatted and presented and to be faced with a plain Jane unprofessional offering in amongst all that would be off putting , I think.

    An industry based portal will have to rank very high in Google to make inroads on REA and Domain, REA have the perfect domain name and the next best with property.com.au which will always push them to the top of the results, Domain have an enormous media machine to push their site and to compete with those 2 will take a very clever team.

    It can be done but only if it’s done right.

    Enzo seems confident that they’re on the right track, he’s done a great job to get it this far and it will be very interesting to see the result once it’s up and running, no doubt it will take perhaps 12 months for the site to settle in and get properly indexed in Google so while the good work goes on behind the scenes patience will be needed for a while.

  117. Enzo Raimondo May 26, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    Hi Nick, in response to your comments,

    * Not innovative

  118. Greg Vincent May 26, 2010 at 4:25 am #

    I have started a new thread with regards to the National Industry Portal discussion over here…

    http://www.business2.com.au/2010/05/national-industry-based-portal-looks-like-finally-becoming-a-reality/

    PS: Please feel welcome to continue to comment about Domain.com.au Agrees to Upload Over 1700 Private Sellers in One Go via this current thread.

  119. Sal Espro May 26, 2010 at 4:38 am #

    Gee, I wish there was just one old newspaper that everyone went to on Saturday. The REIV mightn’t make as much money from pressuring members to pay extra fees for an Industry (yet another) portal but it would save members a lot of dough! Realestate.com.au could increase their rates 30% and I would still be ahead.
    Now, if Realestateview was to go totally independent, then I could get more interested. Who is old enough to remember the agents moving their ads from the Argus to The Age?

    PsGood to hear from you Enzo, even if your arrogance makes me squirm. I’m just looking-out for agents, vendors and buyers. Who are you looking-out for?

  120. Glenn Rogers May 26, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    What’s arrogant about anything Enzo ? said, he’s just sticking up for the national portal that everyones been screaming for, how many other Institute CEO’s would bother using their time to contribute in here the way he has ?

  121. Enzo Raimondo May 26, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    Hi Glenn,

    A search on the Estate Agents Register at http://www.bla.vic.gov.au shows that the person named in the listings has a valid Victorian Estate agents licence. my tip is check the ownership of Buymyplace,you will find that there is more than just an affiliate arrangement with Vertex.

  122. Enzo Raimondo May 26, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    Thanks for the support Glenn R, not sure what Sal’s problem is but I would love to buy him a coffee, I have noticed the majority of his comments are quite cynical and not sure what the reference to The Argus means, as it ceased being published in 1957!

  123. Greg Vincent June 1, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Glenn or Robert, just curious have either of you heard any more about the Vertex Consulting/BuyMyPlace.com.au situation with REA that was mentioned earlier on this thread?

    I haven’t seen or heard any official announcements as yet.

  124. Glenn Batten June 1, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Greg,

    I have been told that the admissions made on this blog by Peter Lucas are the subject of an investigation as to adherence to the Private Sales policy and that the matter is with “legal” for determination and action. I guess because there is a contract involved that they wont just shut it off. They will have to serve them notice and allow them to defend the position but Peter Lucas statements were pretty clear.

    REA is probably the least of their worries if the relevant Fair Trading departments find there are breaches of a licensed agent promoting property for sale without a relevant authority.

  125. Susan Knight September 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    As a regular investor I used to use http://www.realestate.com.au in preference to Domain but am now going more to Domain as the lesser of the two evils. The changes which have been made to realestate.com.au are completely retrograde – frustrating and slowing down the search; you can no longer make all your choices such as your ‘sort by’ before you’ve uploaded the first page, or search by maps to canvas an area, or choose how many properties to view per page. You need to know all the specific suburbs and where they are. The sort rarely works properly anyway, and the new system of a bottom line of pictures bobbing up and down in a smaller ‘full page’ picture is irritating. If they had combined Domain’s extra choices like ‘views’ ‘coastal’ ‘do not show auctions’ or whatever, it could have been excellent, but now it’s gone backwards in usefulness. I can’t think of a single change which has been for the better, and I grind my teeth every time I am slogging through it. By the way, when I am looking for a property I don’t care who is selling it, as long as it’s done legally, and that’s the job for the solicitor or conveyancer to determine. 😀

  126. Ryan O'Grady September 17, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    In all of REA’s investigations into the procedures of these types of agencies, have they ever cancelled any subscriptions?

    They send these legal letters out in hope these agencies will change their practices. However, when its time to make a decision REA place their head in the sand and nothing changes.

    Why? The main reason is they do not want to lose the revenue. The 2nd reason, could be because they’re afraid of legal action from these non traditional agencies.

    I have no issue with these types of agencies and I honestly believe REA think the same.

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