Industry-owned portals take major steps forward

Industry-owned portals take major steps forward

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Squiiz has revealed that it will register almost 1,000 more offices in the next month, while realestateVIEW.com.au is now home to four prominent franchises.

Squiiz CEO Nick Christian told Real Estate Business that the portal’s ‘soft launch’ has been going well, with the full launch set to occur in January 2015.

“We’ve had a couple of issues, but we’re working through them. We got absolutely smashed with a lot of people wanting to upload data, and we’re working through that,” Mr Christian said.

“We’ve got about 3,500 agents on board already. We’ve got almost 1,000 more offices to be put on in the next four weeks. We’re tracking well above forecasts.”

Squiiz plans to announce the addition of another major real estate group, as well as several third-party advertisers in early 2015, Mr Christian said.

He said while he was pleased with how the industry had received Squiiz, the portal had not yet been promoted strongly to consumers.

“[Christmas] is probably not the best time to launch the site, so we’ll just hold back until we’ve got all the ducks lined up and then we’ll give it a major push,” he said.

“We’re pretty excited to launch the app, which surrounds the whole initiative. It’s a new way to find property, it’s a new technology, and agents can expect heaps of inquiries [in 2015].”

Meanwhile, portal realestateVIEW.com.au has announced it is now home to four national franchises, with LJ Hooker and Raine & Horne offices across Australia now feeding listings to the site. Belle Property’s NSW, Queensland and SA offices recently joined, while Ray White signed on in 2013.

These franchise agreements represent 40,000 properties, according to realestateVIEW.com.au.

General manager Petra Sprekos said these agreements demonstrate realestateVIEW.com.au’s position as a growing, national portal with a wide range of listings.

“Being industry-owned, our product offering is agent-focused, and we are very committed to ensuring there is a stronger industry-owned alternative to the larger, media-owned portals,” she said.

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