We recently discussed the new Market Based Pricing that new or renewing contracts with realestate.com.au changes to from July 1st, 2014 but how will real estate agents around the country react to the changes? Traditional industry news sites have now picked up on the story and the general feedback both here and on those sites has been fairly condemning and for many businesses that might spell trouble, but realestate.com.au has been there before. As far as they are concerned agents will whinge, whine, complain, stamp their feet, express their anger at their account rep and then forget about it and move on.
The renewal for the realestate.com.au subscription at our agency at Upper Coomera is up again and since we fall due in June and because realestate.com.au has switched to market based pricing method we now have three choices of subscriptions to choose from. The new market based pricing is so focussed on the price of your home its possible for more expensive properties in the same suburb to pay 20% more than cheaper properties. Because we are still on the old style Platinum subscription if we subscribe before June we can still do one more year on that model with the changes being to the monthly subscription price (naturally!!) and the platinum plans now only include 3 feature properties per month, not the customary 5.
There is nothing more certain than prices rising every year. Whether it be petrol, groceries or clothes, prices are always rising. Some prices rise more than others and the change to a pay per listing model with realestate.com.au means that most agents will see a significant rise in their total subscription cost.
The judgement in the Federal Court of Australia matter for REA Group Ltd v Real Estate 1 Ltd has just been handed down. Forget the parent companies, as this is about a battle of the websites www.realestate.com.au and www.realestate1.com.au and to a lesser extent www.realcommercial.com.au and www.realcommercial1.com.au. Lets look at a little history first.
Realestate.com.au have changed the playing field with a radical shakeup of how they charge agents and for the most part agents are not liking it. Reactions have been pretty one sided in condemnation of the change and I would hate to be a realestate.com.au rep these days as they will be taking the brunt of managements decision. Instead of the buffet all you can eat style subscription that we have had for years the realestate.com.au management have come up with a great new concept that is more closely modelled on a Nightclub
Realestate.com.au have changed the playing field with a radical shakeup of how they charge agents and for the most part agents are not liking it. Reactions have been pretty one sided in condemnation of the change and I would hate to be a realestate.com.au rep these days as they will be taking the brunt of managements decision.
Firstly let me say that I have been a little quiet on B2 of late. We opened up an office in Upper Coomera on the Gold Coast and it has really taken my focus as I find myself back at the pointy end of the industry again which has been refreshing. Google updates its algorithms regularly and the latest update has brought about some interesting changes that are going to effect the rankings for searches on real estate keywords. The changes have already been discussed in depth here so I will use that post as the basis of my post.
Could you cancel your realestate.com.au and domain.com.au subscriptions in 2012? You would be forgiven for thinking real estate is all online these days it dominates the landscape that much and online the search engines are the first port of call for property related traffic. Just after leaving Simon Baker confirmed that even realestate.com.au received massive traffic, somewhere over 30% from Google which is just one search engine. Portals and particularly the top two paid portals absolutely saturate the search engine results by investing heavilly in SEO teams
As a followup to recent articles relating to the industry revolt and ACCC investigation into RealEstate.com.au, Australian Financial Review journalist Ben Hurley has released another article that takes aim at RPData and their valuation strategy . RPData have been working on a valuation system similar to US portal Zillow in the USA where they provide a valuation to consumers. Naturally this has upset real estate agents and valuers alike around the country
In a followup article to the Front Page Project Rebellion article, Ben Hurley from the Australian Financial Review has published a new story on an ongoing investigation by the ACCC into the activities of RealEstate.com.au and to a lesser extent Domain.com.au . Questions directed at some of Australia’s leading real estate groups have seemed to focus on excessive price rises (see 1 , 2 , 3 and 4 ) of realestate.com.au and the effectiveness of competition in the real estate online classified space. Simon Baker, the ex CEO and substantial shareholder in REA has made some interesting comments on this blog recently regarding realestate.com.au prices : If the franchise groups were serious about competing with realestate.com.au or at least providing a competitive offering, wouldnt they first start internally and attempt to organise group buying of REA subscriptions for their franchisees? Imagine if all Ray White or LJ Hooker offices got together and negotiated as one for their REA subscriptions (and additional products)