The new realestate.com.au website rolled out in April this year. Reception by the industry was pretty mixed and there was certainly many people at either end of the spectrum.
There was a bunch of issues at launch but most were sorted out fairly quickly. There is however a big problem that still plagues the portal today and that relates to the email updates and ebrochures.
I personally have a range of email alerts set for different combinations of streets but I keep getting emails for all properties right across the suburb for each alert no matter where they are located. This means I am getting 4 or 5 alerts for the same property but I am yet to receive a single ebrochure to match any of those alerts.
Now in the members administration dashboard we have our first notice that the prices are on the rise again starting from the 1st of August. No details have emerged yet on just what the price rise will apply to and what the rises will be.
So do you believe that realestate.com.au can warrant a price rise right now given the massive drop in property views?
After getting a fantastic result when asking for agents to send in their traffic results for their accounts I was able to compare rural, suburban and metro agents right across Australia in all states and not a single agent received higher property views from the day of the change over. In fact many reported Domain and Realestateview providing more enquries than realestate.com.au for the first time ever.
The new design itself also quickly revealed itself as another way to extract a greater “share of wallet”. A term that seems to be trotted out with more and more regularity. The old Guaranteed Top Spot was pushed off to the side and now more than one property can access this upgrade. Of course this caused a few hiccups and agents had to be compensated for the change of position. The top dog now at the top of the results list is the Premier Property option which is a brand spanking new uber-expensive add-on.
So with the new site not being as popular as realestate.com.au would have hoped for, more and more add on products to compete with, continuing email and ebrochure problems and reduced property views this new round of price rises will no doubt be a painful pill for many to swallow.
Will we all just pay the increase because we have to?
Will the emergence of a possible Industry owned portal allow agents to consider opting out of realestate.com.au?
or Will no serious challengers arrive and despite their cost realestate.com.au continue to provide the best ROI?