Squiiz has achieved a major development milestone and revealed that it expects to reach 100 per cent coverage in 13 months.
The industry-owned portal, which debuted in November 2014, has unveiled an app called Property Finds You. The app is in beta testing and is available in the App Store and Google Play.
Squiiz has now started outsourcing its IT development, which it said had resulted in a significantly upgraded website that now has 200,000 listings across Australia.
Chief executive Nick Christian said Squiiz now has more than 50 per cent of national listings and has been attracting an increasing number of independents.
According to a recent REB poll, 52.9 per cent of agents said they use Squiiz – 49.3 per cent regularly and 3.6 per cent occasionally.
Another 7.3 per cent said they had stopped using it, while 39.8 per cent said they had never used the portal.
Mr Christian told REB that Squiiz has plans in place to acquire 100 per cent of listings by the end of 2016.
He also said the portal would definitely become competitive with realestate.com.au and domain.com.au – but that it wouldn’t happen overnight.
“Last year when we soft-launched, the expectations were too high and very difficult to manage. We were never going to challenge the third-party portals overnight. This is a long-term play. It is also a content play,” he said.
“I’m sure the majority of agents out there would feel a lot more comfortable sharing data with Squiiz, something they had a vested interest in and a certain level of control [over], [rather] than handing it over at a price and where they had no control at all.”
Mr Christian said Squiiz lost focus when it changed its IT strategy, but has now regained momentum as it tries to continue expanding.
“The heavy lifting is done, the major groups and many independents have come together to create a 100 per cent industry-owned portal and are committed to its success,” he said.
“We now need the individual offices out there to get behind it both with marketing and awareness, as well as with paid profile subscriptions.
“A part of our commitment is that 100 per cent of any profits must be invested in the technology and marketing until Squiiz is the number one portal in Australia – that guarantees the industry is protected from a repeat of the past.”
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