Telstra through its Sensis arm are launching their own real estate magazine in the Sydney metropolitan area which will bring real competition to the Sydney area for print advertising.
This has been done sooner than I expected and a national rollout seems to be on the cards by the middle of 2005. Magazines will be sold at news stands for $1.50 on Thursday’s and then offered for FREE on Friday’s through real estate agents’ offices.
The magazine (called Just Listed) is an extension of their Sydney property guide www.justlisted.com.au which is slated to go National in 2005.
One key difference is that listings are sorted by suburb not by agents which is a positive for consumers but erodes the branding power of agents.
This can be seen as a good thing for real estate agents as it adds some competition in the marketplace, however this has been tried before and will be a tough market for Sensis to enter into.
However Sensis have buckets of cash (being Telstra owned) and is further evidence that the majority government owned company is serious about the classifieds market, which makes so much money for the major media companies NewsLtd and Fairfax that it has traditionally been labelled the “Rivers of Gold”.
It can also be seen as a wakeup call for real estate institutes around Australia to finally get their act together and develop their own national (state by state) real estate guide that is owned by the agents themselves.
Consumers will always go with a real estate guide that provides them with a wealth of information on properties in their regions and adding another guide can be seen as just another costs agents will have to bare.