Realestate.com.au acquires Propertylook! (updated)

Today realestate.com.au announced that it had finalised its deal acquiring Propertylook for just a tad over 9 million AUD dollars.

Propertylook is a worthwhile addition to realestate.com.au and it now leaves just them ( realcommercial.com.au) and commercialrealestate.com.au as the only two commercial real estate players in the market. The owner of Commercial Real Estate declined to comment to me when I called him earlier today, but he must surely be in negotiation with either Fairfax or Sensis.

Whilst Propertylook’s figures may be impressive the bulk of their listings come from the franchises that actually owned the site. CB Richard Ellis, Colliers International, Jones Lang La-Salle and Knight Frank. I really do not see how any of their franchisees will benefit but it made sense to sell for that amount of money.

Commercial Real Estate has around 270 agents, made up of 215 full time agents and 60 casual agents (a better variety also) and this must put them in 16 million or so price bracket. Realestate.com.au continue to show complete dominance in this market and News Limited will have to pay over the odds to get the remaining shares of this site.

One interesting note from the realestate.com.au press release is that it said that Propertylook had over 2400 listings from 175 agents across Australia.
My dodgy old calculator tells me that this equates to 13.7 listings per agent! In other words I think many of the 175 agents may be members but do not actually place listings on the site.

When you look at the breakdown of the 2 sites, it really amazes me that realestate.com.au did not try to buy commercialrealestate.com.au. It all goes back to my argument that they just wanted the main four commercial companies.
Head to Head

Listings
Propertylook 2400
Commercialrealestate 35000
Agents on Board (approximates)
Propertylook 175
Commercialrealestate 270
Listings Per Agent
Propertylook 13.7
Commercialrealestate 129.62

In every department Commercialrealestate.com.au whips Propertylook.com.au (except for maybe visitor numbers)

Propertylook, REA

SEO For Real Estate
Listing Leads
Agentpoint Real estate

About Peter J Ricci

Peter Ricci is the Director of Agentpoint.com.au, Business2.com.au, Ginga.com.au and ZooProperty.com and has been involved in designing and developing real estate systems and websites since 1997. In July 2001 Peter founded Business2.com.au to help real estate agents better understand the power of the Internet and the real estate landscape in Australia and New Zealand. Since then he has penned over 300 articles on a variety of subjects in the real estate technology industry. Business2.com.au is now the leading real estate technology site in Australasia.

10 Responses to Realestate.com.au acquires Propertylook! (updated)

  1. Simon Baker - CEO realestate.com.au April 24, 2006 at 6:42 pm #

    Peter, thank you for writing about the merger of http://www.propertylook.com.au with http://www.realcommercial.com.au.

    I would like to address some of the comments you have made.

    Firstly, i dont think your comment “I really dont see how any of their (CB Richard Ellis, Knight Frank, Colliers International, Jones Lang La-Salle) franchisees will benefit…” is accurate. All of these advertised on PropertyLook and will advertise on http://www.realcommercial.com.au. On propertylook, there were 61,000 visitors per month and on realcommercial, there are 142,000 visitors per month. Combined, there should be around 180,000 visitors per month. This has to be of great value to those that were advertising on propertylook. For the same price they will have access to 4 times the traffic.

    Secondly, i would like to address your comment about “it really amazes me that realestate.com.au didnt try to buy commercialrelestate.com.au”. What your analysis didnt do is look at overlap with http://www.realcommercial.com.au. We already have 600+ agents using realcommercial.com.au. Of the 215 or so full time commercialrealestate.com.au customers, around half of these also advertise on http://www.realcommercial.com.au. On the consumer front, commercialrealestate.com.au has only 43,000 visitors and many of them already use http://www.realcommercial.com.au.

    What the acquisition of PropertyLook really creates is a true end-to-end commercial proposition where there are listings from the corner shop through to large office buildings. http://www.realcommercial.com.au will now be the only site that can offer this complete range of listings to over 180,000 visitors.

  2. NSW Agent April 24, 2006 at 7:32 pm #

    How can a web site with 2,400 listings get more visitors than a site with 35,000 listings ?

    I’ll take a guess, it doesn’t, and this gets back to the Nielsen Ratings argument, the figures don’t wash and the whole thing is definitely dodgy in my opinion.

    I always rely on how often the phone rings to tell me what works and I know what web sites make it ring and which ones don’t and they don’t match up with the rhetoric being pandered around by some.

  3. Elizabeth April 25, 2006 at 1:07 pm #

    Even I understand the situation NSW Agent and I am skeptical of the system as we know.

    An analogy is the choices for TV in regional/rural Australia.

    ABCTV gets a far greater audience than Optus Satellite TV which has a much broader and larger content. So you can see that it is possible to have larger content base, but not have as many customers.

    But you hit on one thing – it is all about results and who provides the most leads.

    Still I cannot help but wonder what Homehound will come back to Peter with (if they come back). Those web links on their site look very dodgy – and from what I hear from other agents, no one is getting any leads from the site worth mentioning.

    So how can they have all that content, all those listings, have all those people visiting the site, yet not deliver leads?

  4. NSW Agent April 25, 2006 at 1:56 pm #

    If the agents are not getting results then it’s fair to say they aren’t getting the visitors claimed.

    I never see Homehound in any search results, where do their visitors come from ??? Perhaps a site can subscribe to the big traffic generator machine ? I can think of one or two others that already do in my opinion.

    There’s something VERY VERY wrong with the way traffic figures are generated/reported and that’s a fact.

  5. Simon Baker - CEO realestate.com.au April 25, 2006 at 5:59 pm #

    NSW Agent – thanks for your reply to my comment above.

    The one point i will make is that content does not equal traffic and that is for one simple reason – advertising.

    Three or four years ago, property.com.au had more listings than realestate.com.au but had significantly less traffic. The reason is that they never bothered telling anyone about it. They just didnt advertise. realestate.com.au did advertise and that is why we captured more traffic. realestate.com.au continues to drive significant traffic to the residential and commercial sites through an extensive marketing campaign – around $7m per annum.

    PropertyLook is in the same position. While they have had less content, they have managed to generate significant traffic to their site by having a strong marketing campaign – co-branding on agent sign board, general marketing and a strong SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) approach.

    The Nielsen//NetRatings figures are accurate. We track the same measures using different internal tools and these tools report figures that are extremely close to the Nielsen//NetRatings numbers.

  6. NSW Agent April 25, 2006 at 6:55 pm #

    Property.com.au was a neglected piece of rubbish, it hardly ever worked and when it did was slow and was never updated, I know more then one agent that never got a return phone call from their support “team”.

    Please don’t try to refute this as I know it to be fact.

    That’s why it got less traffic not because of lack of advertising.

    I could argue all day about the other points but it just goes round in circles, let’s just say I disagree and leave it at that.

  7. Peter Ricci April 25, 2006 at 7:12 pm #

    Hi NSW Agent. I cannot speak for others on this site, but I will say this. The site is for people to express opinions. My views are my opinions and the views of others are their opinions. I do not try to pass off anything I say as fact. The great thing about this site is that people are freely able to express their comments, as long as they are not abusive. I respect what you have to say and I am sure others will agree with you. However it is an opinion, even of it may be a fact in your agencies case.

    I hope you continue to enjoy and contribute to what is written here on this site. I am an independant writer and I try to express my views for the benefit of all agents free from any favourtism of any one company. I can tell you I have had plenty of abusive emails from some companies, which I choose not to print.

    Keep the contributions coming and thank you for your interest!

    Regards Peter Ricci | Site Manager

  8. NSW Agent April 25, 2006 at 7:43 pm #

    I guess I could have said,

    “There

  9. Norwest Property Valuers April 26, 2006 at 1:02 pm #

    I agree, its all in the advertising !!

    J Cousineau

  10. M. Vispani April 28, 2006 at 10:33 pm #

    Well isnt it interesting how realestate.com.au have pretty much taken over everything. I am getting a little sick of their attitude to be honest. They are now telling us what we can and cannot do. The internet should be getting cheaper each and every year but we have all been trapped into this never ending cycle of spiralling costs, I just wish our real estate institutes knew what they were doing all of those years ago when they got us all to listen to the CEO of realestate.com.au tell us how we can become successful by using their website with banner ads, priority listings, platinum listings and so on. We all got duped on that one. My costs are now about 7,000 per year and 3 years ago it was about 3 grand a year!!!

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