A few months ago a client of mine received an email from a web application called myhousehunt. The site was scraping property listings from the major real estate portals and populating a portion of each listing on their website. They were then allowing property seekers to build a timetable for open inspections which could be printed or emailed to the user’s phone.
When i first looked at myhousehunt I noticed it was displaying listings from REA and Domain. I thought this was unusual as I doubt they had permission from either portal to do this. I recently visited the site and noticed they explicitly state that:
“MyHouseHunt will search for properties currently listed on Domain.com.au”
So it appears Domain have given the green light while REA in typical style, have unleashed their lawyers on the scraping site.
I’m always puzzled why REA will never share their content. What threat does a site like myhousehunt have on a real estate portal, in particular REA? Nothing, they display a few details of each listing with a link back to the original property on REA. All this will do is strengthen the REA brand and drive traffic back to their portal increasing those UB’s they’re always talking about. Thumbs up to Domain for embracing applications like this as it encourages greater innovation and the creation of cool and useful real estate applications.