Australian Real Estate Brands Compared

6 minute read

Most major real estate groups will conduct regular brand surveys to gauge just how their brand is positioned into the marketplace. They are normally conducted through expensive surveys. Results often include statistics for prompted and unprompted  awareness of your brand.  Naturally these reports focus on the brand that engaged them… the group paying the bill.  They always seem to emphasise the good news and rarely position the brand to the whole industry.

One way to measure a brands effectiveness is what the public are actually searching for. Google released a product awhile back called Google Insights for Search which you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties.

Google Insight gives us a great way to compare the relative brand strength of different brands right around the country and even broken down into each state.  Please note that this represents how many people are searching for these names and in no way represents web traffic. and would win on a pure traffic count hands down but when it comes to what the public searches for they are not the number one brand in Australia.

That it turns out was Ray White and accordingly I have used them as a baseline  for this first comparison. If you want to compare another industry brand yourself that I have not included make sure you include Ray White in the website to compare, region of Australia, select 2009 and then the Real Estate Category as per this screenshot below (click to enlarge).

Your Own Search

Google Insights for Search only allows you to do 5 searches at a time so each search was done with Ray White to keep the baseline accurate and then all results were manually collated to show us the following results.


Google Insights also lets us look at the trend for each brand. The following graphs show the change for 2009 to date in groups of 5. Each graph also has a category line for Real Estate (black line) which is a common baseline to compare them against.

Also, please note the “Totals” differ to those above because they are ranking only the brands listed and there is not common baseline used such as Ray White above. You can click on the trending graphs to view a larger version.

Totals 1

Brands 1

Totals 2

Brand 2

Totals 3

Brand 3

Totals 4

Brand 4

What we can see here is Domain has making some huge increases in their brand awareness right now and is also significantly increasing. Both of the portals seemed to take off around March.  On the other hand most of the major national brands are seeing a significant decline. McGrath is also seeing some fantastic growth albeit from a much smaller base.

The last thing that Google Insights lets us have a look at for brand awareness is a breakdown to a state level. In the following examples we look at each of the brands and how they fair in each state.

The darker the colour the stronger that brand is in that state.

(edit: You should only use these to compare the strength of a brand in one state to another.  You cannot compare one brands to another brand using these maps.  See the comments below)

Barry Plant


Century 21





First National






Laing and Simmons


LJ Hooker






PRD Nationwide




Raine and Horne


Ray White







Richardson and Wrench


Starr Partners


Stockdale and Leggo


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  • Glenn Batten
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 10:05 am 0Likes

    Ray White are clear leaders in this but it appears to be heavily concentrated into Queenslands in particular which shows you just how strong they are as a brand in this state. They are not so strong in the other states.

    LJ Hooker and First National seem to be the only true National Brands with significant coverage across most states.

    For 2009 at least the brands of the major real estate groups have generally eroded significantly to the benefit of the the top 2 portals who have gained.

  • Nathan Krisanski
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 10:48 am 0Likes

    I agree with Glenn’s comment about Ray White being clear leaders in this research, and that they are strongest in QLD.

    However to say that LJ Hooker and First National are the true National Brands is a mis-interpretation of the data.

    The state maps show that they are equally as strong across the states, however Ray White still ranks #1 in all states (except Tas). Yes they are strongest in QLD, but they are also stronger than all other brands nationally.

    Looking at the state breakdowns, Ray White and Hookers are the true National brands.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 11:18 am 0Likes


    Your right.. I was comparing the maps to each other when I wrote that comment and you just cant do that. Comparing the maps to each other it seems as though Ray White would not be as strong in the other states but whilst those maps show you the spread around Australia of that specific brand you cannot compare one group to another that way.

    In short… a group’s “light” state could still be stronger than another group’s “darker” state. I will make a slight adjustment to the article to represent that.

    I just ran through the numbers (for everybody else you can also break it down to states as well) on the website and Ray White is certainly in front in virtually all states although the gap is not as wide in all states.

    The order seems to be pretty consistent as Ray White, LJ Hooker, First National across the states which is where I was trying to direct the “National” tag. They appear to be the only three groups with consistent ratings across most of the states.

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