Fear tactics rife in portal battle

A real estate director has said fearmongering is the main tactic in the war being waged between portal giants REA and Domain.

Speaking to Real Estate Business, Ray White Surfers Paradise chief executive Andrew Bell said there is clearly a “massive” battle occurring at the moment in the online listings space.

“I think there is a lot of misinformation [and] I think there is a lot of speculation being spread around to drive fear,” he said.

“I’m personally not fearful that [agents] will be replaced by simply a real estate portal.”

Mr Bell said “fear tactics” are definitely being employed in regards to the “disintermediation” of agents, and he does not see this happening in the foreseeable future.

“However, if that is the best an agent can offer in the sales process - saying ‘I can put you on a real estate portal’ - then he is very vulnerable,” he said.

“We have to make sure as an industry we have far more to offer so that our services are sought for more than just listing properties on a website.”

Marshall White director James Connell said he thinks there will always be a need for real estate agents.

“I think the bigger threat will be what value or quantum of dollar is applicable for providing that service,” he told Real Estate Business.

“I just think we have got to understand that we are service providers and as such we have got to understand what our service entitles - it is not just opening a door."

“If someone is employing an experienced agent from Marshall White, they are actually employing the years of experience, and the years of negotiations, and the years of contacts,” he added. 

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