Homely.com.au has voiced its surprise at the fierceness of recent comments made by the Domain CEO in relation to realestate.com.au's latest fee hikes, but agreed that Anthony Catalano's comments were right.
Speaking to Real Estate Business, Rocky Bartolotto, national sales director at Homely, said Mr Catalano’s remarks needed to be said in light of the recent agent outcry about changes to realestate.com.au's fee structure.
"I have to say I was little bit surprised, but knowing the company [Domain] well, having worked there for many years, I think it did need to be said,” said Mr Bartolotto. “Whether it was said in the right way or not you can speculate on that, but I think it needed to get out there."
He said that Homely has no plans to follow a similar model, while adding that competition in the listings market is vital.
"We’ll continue to stay free to list for our basic listings. I think the industry needs to look at its options. The industry has been crying out for more portals to make a stronger presence to represent agents and give a better option to them,” said Mr Bartolotto.
"The more competition there is the more it keeps the other two portals onside. Prices are going up by 30 to 40 per cent per annum, which is just not sustainable in the current vendor-paid advertising, where they’re being asked for more and more money."
Meanwhile, Ewan Morton, managing director at Morton & Morton, told Real Estate Business that to a certain extent agents have lost control of the portals.
“There’s no doubt about that,” he said. “I’m not sure how that comes back. There’s been a lot of talk for years about that. It will be very interesting to see how that plays out, particularly in light of the talk of the real estate networks getting together to create a website to try take on realestate.com.au.