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Listing site eyes challenge to dominant players

Listing site eyes challenge to dominant players

by Simon Parker 0 comments

Simon Parker

Onthehouse Holdings, fresh from its acquisition of The Real Estate Ad Network (REAN), said its online property site has the depth of content to challenge some of the country’s dominant property listing websites.

The managing director and CEO of Onthehouse Holdings, Michael Fredericks, told the Australian Financial Review that his site had the data that made it attractive not only to buyers and renters, but also homeowners.

The report said that this was achieved by including property listing information and home valuation estimates, some of which is provided for free.

Onthehouse Holdings incorporates the online property listing site of the same name along with Residex, Portplus and Console. It acquired The Real Estate Ad Network (REAN) in October, in a move designed to help drive more traffic to real estate group websites.

Mr Fredericks and chairman Gail Pemberton said in the company’s 2012 Annual Report that they were well placed to capitalise on a shift in consumer preference for online and mobile data sources, and a desire “to obtain greater transparency to allow them to make more informed real estate related decisions”.

“We are witnessing the rapid growth of the ‘next wave’ of online solutions in the real estate vertical with the evolution of online real estate solutions offering a significantly broader definition of real estate content (more than classifieds) and a greater consumer and industry engagement value proposition across multiple platforms,” the executives said in their address to shareholders.

"The rapid growth of Zillow Inc and Trulia Inc in the United States and the market valuations attributed to these companies is evidence of this continuing trend.”

Only recently, participants to the Real Estate Business Technology Roundtable, which included realestate.com.au, Domain.com.au and realestateVIEW.com.au, acknowledged that providing consumers with the data they needed, at any time of day, was critical for real estate agents.

Roundtable participant Barbara Meister, CEO at WhiteSky Labs, said consumers wanted lots of information but presented in a simple and easy to use way. "The consumers expect you to have information from different sources coming in, and to compare them on the spot," she said. 

Petra Sprekos, general manager at realestateVIEW, agreed. "[Consumer influence comes from] the expectations of landlords and vendors’ property managers, and how they want agents to communicate, how many people came through the door for open inspections, how many applications have come through … [There’s now an app] that enables the landlord to access that type of information in a quick way, which is what agents’ customers are wanting more of," she said.

Mr Fredericks and Ms Pemberton added that the company was eager to partner with mid-sized real estate agencies that are “struggling with the required technology and data investment required to stay competitive”.

Following its acquisition of REAN, the new real estate media entity will have a combined online audience of approximately four million unique browsers, Onthehouse said.

“More and more of our clients are looking to drive traffic and leads to their own websites and to generate revenue from this audience,” Onthehouse managing director and CEO, Michael Fredericks, said of the REAN purchase.

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