The Australian Financial Review (AFR) claimed agents remain unhappy with the REA Group-owned website’s market position and advertising rates, yet an industry-wide challenge to the predominantly News Corporation-owned site was yet to materialise.
It said while some agent groups had established a competitive online listings site, Homehound, it could not match the popularity of realestate.com.au, which attracted seven million visitors each month. This is well up on the 700,000 who head to Homehound in the same time period.
Number two listing site, Domain, which is owned by AFR-publisher Fairfax Media, is also well ahead in terms of popularity, the article added.
Ray White, LJ Hooker, Century 21 and Raine & Horne, through their company Property Page, jointly own Homehound with Independent Print Media Group (IPMG).
According to the article, IPMG chief executive, digital media and marketing, David Burkett, said the agent groups had yet to indicate that they wanted Homehound to mount a more serious challenge to REA Group’s listings dominance.
“We’re always open to revamping Homehound and building it but it’s up to the agents,” Burkett told the AFR.
While Homehound offers real estate agents free listings, the article said some agents were put off by the fact it was jointly owned by the agent groups. The website carries around 70 per cent of the listings on realestate.com.au.