Did we forget about Telstra/Sensis?

There is one major player in the online space that has been pretty much silent over the past three years and that is Sensis with their Justlisted.com.au portal. Just Listed currently only plays in New South Wales but this time 3 years ago the then CEO heralded a national play within months and since then we have seen nothing. This was around the time that Just Listed launched a failed newspaper property guide. The Just Listed site is a dud by anyone’s calculations but they are backed by a company who has deep pockets and surely they cannot sit back and lose the most valuable online classifieds asset in (being real estate) for too much longer.

So what could they do? First thing they would need to do is make a purchase and this is what PBL should have done. The best purchase around Australia at the moment is Portplus which is rumoured to have around 1300 agents on their books. This would put Port Plus in the 10-15 million dollar mark if history is to judge on past purchases (property.com.au, hub online, commercialrealestate).

Remember Just Listed is a free site so any purchase would not include a jump in fees for agents in fact they would reap the benefits of a system for exporting (annual fees) and also the knowledge behind these systems. This company could then easily build a national portal (please start again) as they have done so in the past. There are other purchases out there such as Rockend or ReNet (which is pretty big) in which both have excellent technologies but I would think that like my company they would not be big enough (although Rockend is bigger than my little company and ReNet bigger still).

So I wonder what Sensis is up to as they have been terribly quiet of late in the online classifieds space.

Sensis, Telstra

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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.

11 Responses to Did we forget about Telstra/Sensis?

  1. Jill Thomson June 7, 2007 at 10:24 am #

    Peter,

    To quote you a valuable dud….. do you want to explain your reasoning?

    Jill

  2. Peter June 7, 2007 at 10:36 am #

    Hi Jill and thanks for your comments, I think I have made it clear on many occasions on this site why the Just Listed site falls below any expectations of a real estate portal.

    – Antiquated System for uploading
    – Not enough information on listings
    – Site being down for 10 days over Xmas New Year Period (for maintenance)

    I could go on. I would love to see the site launched nationwide and a complete overhaul….

    Thanks for your comments, please keep contributing…

  3. Jill Thomson June 7, 2007 at 10:39 am #

    Peter,

    Haven’t caught any of your earlier comments, but I agree with your comments about weaknesses of Just Listed.

    So why do you think it is valuable, more specifically the most valuable online classified asset in real estate?

    Jill

  4. Peter June 7, 2007 at 2:18 pm #

    Jill

    I am talking about real estate being the most valuable online asset, ahead of jobs and cars – not Just Listed!!! Sorry we got our wires crossed.

    Regards Peter

  5. Peter June 7, 2007 at 2:20 pm #

    I do see your reasoning, was a little confusing and have amended!

  6. Glenn June 7, 2007 at 4:34 pm #

    The domain name justlisted.com.au just lends itself to a specialist site similiar to what http://www.hotpads.com has done for apartments sales in the US

    If access to data becomes easier they could position themselves very nicely based on the “just listed” theme. That is they provide properties that have just been listed and thats it. No tired old listings allowed.

    It would be an easy thing to market. “Sick and tired wasting your time wading through pages and pages of tired old listings that will never sell?” that sort of thing. Whether it establishes itself would depend upon its ability to get access to data…

  7. snoop June 8, 2007 at 9:10 am #

    Portplus 10-15m I doubt it.
    What does it have really in the way of valuable IP??
    Also my bet is the AUS market for Listings portals is set in stone now.
    1.REA
    2.Domain
    3.Myhome perhaps.

    Just look at the uk

    The top three sites have been the same in rankings for 12 mths.

    The US seems to be the only place where a new startup can gain some good traction,due to the size of the market.

  8. Peter Ricci June 8, 2007 at 10:11 am #

    Snoop the figures I quoted were only a guess from past purchases. As for set in stone, I very much doubt it. There is a lot involved in being a successful portal, but over the next 5 – 10 years the real estate landscape will change significantly in my opinion to a free service for listing properties.

  9. snoop June 8, 2007 at 11:57 am #

    HEHE
    I hope so pete,but not likely consumers are creatures of habit.
    Some significant reinvention will be required by the big three.
    So I should sell my REA shares then?
    Wheres the ubiquitous Mr Platter.
    Seems very quiet on this subject.

  10. Peter Ricci June 8, 2007 at 12:19 pm #

    Snoop

    I would be the last person you would get advice from on shares. I don’t think REA or Domain will be challenged soon, however one only has to look at Google entering the market and you can be guaranteed that Yahoo and MSN will both follow shortly afterwards. Now nothing will happen ……until…….agents start getting results from one or all of these FREE classifieds website………then…….agents will start to think more about what they are paying and getting from the other portals.

    You only have to look at mapping. Sensis and others had the joy of charging large amounts of money for mapping services only a few years ago. Now Google and MSN and Yahoo all give that away for free, they open their systems up to developers and it creates this massive community and the old companies now have to changer the way they offer these services and what they now charge for these services.

    In my opinion this is what will happen with jobs cars and houses, the so called ‘rivers of gold’ for major media players will start to look like rivers of ……….trying to think of something funny.

  11. Elizabeth June 9, 2007 at 3:20 pm #

    Dear Peter,

    Not sure if I agree with you.

    MSN is almost a 50% shareholder in Myhome, and here they are charging!

    Perhaps you are suggesting that Google and perhaps Yahoo are the ones who may not charge?

    E

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