Viewproperty.com.au aim to be a new “industry-owned” real estate portal designed to provide agents with an affordable alternative to the current offerings of Domain and Realestate.com.au. Apparently, the site is the result of 14 months planning and preparation by a group of Australian real estate agents and IT developers.

View Property Australia CEO Ross Bulman said:

www.viewproperty.com.au will allow all Australian agents to present their listings direct to the public within hours of them coming to market.

The agent group behind this project have a common focus and purpose, that is to give the industry more control over increasing online costs and providing an affordable, user friendly portal where members of the community can view every Australian listing in one place

This is an exciting initiative where agents may at last have the opportunity to actually own and control their internet presence and future costs.

Although the portal is busily receiving property listings they will not go live until they obtain 50,000 listings. On their site they say they’ve reached 40,000 listings and have now indicated a public launch date of Tuesday 10th November 2011.

It’s unclear who the consortium of agents are behind the portal nor its financial or ownership structure. The site has little information about this only saying that:

Once viewproperty.com.au is launched and has met set KPI’s in regards to listing numbers, traffic and search engine optimisation Industry members will be invited to become shareholders.

The portal has just released a statement indicating its proposed charges, stating there will be a “6 month awareness period” for the industry and public to explore the site. Then in month 7 a levy of $79 per office will be imposed on those members wishing to continue to list with the portal. In year 2 they are looking to increase this fee to $149 and then $199 in year 3 followed by ongoing CPI increases.

The portal must be expecting a large uptake by property seekers within the first 6 months or they’ve revised their revenue plans. As from a previous statement released about when fees will be imposed:

Only after it is attracting the required traffic and search engine presence, a fair monthly service charge is paid. A service charge that is a small fraction of what has come to be expected.

I feel that before the industry as a whole can jump on board and support this portal the following questions will need to be answered:

  1. Who is behind the portal?
  2. What agents are currently subscribed?
  3. What is the exact ownership structure, who is eligible and what are the costs?

There could be reasons for this non disclosure, such as maintaining a competitive advantage or protecting the identity of supporters from competing portals. However, these are questions most agents would naturally have as they need reassurance they’re not simply feeding another Realestate.com.au

What are your thoughts, have you subscribed your listings to Viewproperty.com.au yet?

Show CommentsClose Comments

13 Comments

  • Karl Mikkelsen
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm 0Likes

    Ross Balman is involved – the press release states his name as CEO. He is the CEO or realestatewa.com.au.

    realestatewa.com.au was made by webpixel.com.au so i suspect they may be the “IT Developers” involved

  • Vic
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:28 am 0Likes

    Makes very interesting times ahead. I certainly do not want to appear to be negative on this new portal arrival but the portal owners really need to be more transparent on a number of issues before it can be taken seriously. In addition to the questions that Ryan has outlined, I think agents would also like to know
    1. how shares would be issued
    2. what level of shareholding will the founders retain
    3. does this have the support of the REIs
    4. is their any conflicts of interest with the roles that the CEO is playing
    5. what are the KPIs for traffic before shareholders are asked to pay up
    6. what is the business model
    7. what is the SEO strategy
    8. what differentiates this portal from the other subscription based portals in the market place
    9. what is the social media strategy
    10. Has the portal got the support of the Franchised groups
    11. has the portal got all its arrangements with bulk uploaders in place

    According to press releases some of the questions will be answered direct to the agents who have expressed an interest by 10 November. However, if I were an agent thinking of expressing an interest the above questions would need to be answered.

    At the moment it seems like “trust me, everything will be right mate”.

  • Ryan O'Grady
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 11:02 am 0Likes

    Vic, maybe the industry lobbying guy from Canada is behind it!

  • Vic
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm 0Likes

    You may be right Ryan. In a post on Propertyportalwatch on 9th May this year, the Canadian Guy stated “We are in contact with REIA and hope to offer Australian Realtors a self supported portal to replace the ones currently dominating the Market”. Maybe David Airey could confirm as he was REIA president at the time.

    The Canadian’s site is http://creastoptheinsanity.com if any one cares to have a look and make a judgement on whether there is any similarity to this new portal’s objectives.

  • Vic
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm 0Likes

    Sorry, the post was on 9th March 2011- not May.

  • Geoff Baldwin
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 11:49 pm 0Likes

    Hi Vic,

    I think we’ve swapped ideas often. All of your questions are good ones and I’ll answer then in order where commercial discretion allows. You will appreciate that, although ideal, we do need to play our strategic cards close to our chest. Having said that, the level of support to date doesn’t seem to reflect any resistance.

    Shares will be issued on a restricted shareholding basis with no one person or party dominating
    Founders will comply with above
    We have written to the REIs inviting their support and assuring them that we are In favor of them continuing to do what they do on a state by state basis and hat our focus is national. We have no interest in competing with REIs
    The CEO has no conflict. You will need to clarify if you can identify one
    Because we are serious about not asking industry members to support the portal by investing until we can demonstrate traction we have set KPIs in place however you will understand that we will not be broadcasting them to the world at large. Suffice to say, we will announce them as we have to date, as we meet them and once we reach the required point we will invite investment.
    I know you are not seriously proposing that we document the business model here? Vic, I’m sure I won’t fing your business model on a public forum?
    seo strategy is well planned and financed.
    This portal is differentiated by it’s co operative model. Unlike any previous so called “industry owned” portal it will not have big slices owned by franchise groups or commercial entities. Hard as it is to believe, there is no one individual trying to cash in. http://Www.view property.com.au is a genuine and focussed attempt to give back to our industry control over it’s data and it’s online destiny.
    In regards to social media – yes, there is a well planned and strategised model but it understandably won’t be laid out here.
    All but two of he franchise and marketing groups have pledged support with most of them assisting with establishing feeds. Having said that, our approach is to individual industry members rather than to groups. We want individuals to decide if they wish to support View Property rather than group heads (as much as we do respect their positions)
    Many Recognised feeds are in place with more being established daily.

    I hope this clarifies a little for you Vic and for any industry members who are hanging back. Having said that, we have tens of thousands of listings pledged as of today with thousands more coming in daily.

    We welcome more questions and objective comment.

    Geoff Baldwin
    IT Director
    View Property Australia

  • Geoff Baldwin
    Posted October 13, 2011 at 12:05 am 0Likes

    Also, there is a comprehensive brief at he http://www.viewproperty.com.au Information and Registration page which will provide further clarification and which is being continually updated.

  • Ryan O'Grady
    Posted October 13, 2011 at 7:17 am 0Likes

    Geoff, thanks for your comprehensive post. I agree that the only way this will work is if it is cooperative based.

    If you have not already done so you should chat to Bill Burden from http://www.getrealty.com.au. They launched their cooperative based portal of ACT agents last year in an effort to provide an alternative to http://www.Allhomes.com.au. From what I can see things are going well, probably because of the transparency and equality in that no individual or group has control.

  • DJ Racer
    Posted October 13, 2011 at 9:11 am 0Likes

    Hi Geoff,

    Congratulations on the site. Dario, Allan, Dennis and yourself seem to have a wealth of knowledge with regards to real estate and the online world. There seems to be quite a push from the West Australian real estate community to change the current landscape, with several new property websites eminating from the West. Do you intend for the site to be restricted to Australian shores or do you also own other denominations around the globe? Can you give us an insight into the meaning of the domain name “viewproperty?” Good luck with your plans.

    DJ

  • Vic
    Posted October 13, 2011 at 10:02 am 0Likes

    Geoff,
    I understand only too well that you would be restricted on the amount of data/information you can give to the public domain. However, when you go into the public domain you will get the hard questions and you/the board can decide to answer them however you wish. It’s a real tricky operation to answer in the way you did, understandable or not, as some may still want more specific answers. Are you guys prepared to answer the questions specifically, to any agent who wishes the specifics, in order for them to make a decision??

    A suggestion: Show a running total on your beta site of the number of agents registering and number of listings to date. Upwardly moving lists “excite”.

    Broadly though, your concept is commendable and I sincerely wish you a successful outcome. They breed them tough in the west.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 6:45 pm 0Likes

    Groooaan! So, can someone tell me simply how old codgers like me are going to benefit? If someone had the guts to scrape and de-duplicate all the sites I could get a bit interested. (‘Guts’ because they’d need to take-on Fairfax and News Ltd who like the good bullies they are, bluster about copyright when the Law and we all know that in reality the listers (agents) own the data and Fairfax and News only own the format it’s presented in). But until then, just another site? ….
    Back to the rocking chair.
    Sal

  • RMac
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm 0Likes

    http://viewproperty.com.au/home.php

    Eerily like REA.

    I guess they missed the memo regarding creativity and identifying as a unique site & brand.

  • BAnne
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm 0Likes

    Isn’t the REA Group currently in the Federal Court with realEstate1 because of their branding being “too close”?
    Well REA will surely have a field day here. Would not surprise me if REA’s Lawyers are not already onto this one.

Leave a comment