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.