An article in today’s NZ Herald reports on claims made by a former employee of REINZ (Gordon Meyer) that this website is not owned by the real estate industry. I as CEO of Realestate.co.nz Ltd can refute those claims completely.
The paper states that Mr Meyer claims that “REINZ went down the path of transforming itself into a money-making entity, investing $6-8 million in a property advertising website, Realenz (now realestate.co.nz), which members still did not own. It amended its constitution in the 1980s to enable it to engage in commercial activities”.
For the record RealENZ was the property listing website established by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) in the mid 1990’s. It was the leading website for property for almost a decade during which time the REINZ held a key ownership position.
In August of 2006 the RealENZ website became realestate.co.nz following the establishment of a joint venture agreement between REINZ and Property Page (NZ) Ltd (PPL), forming the company Realestate.co.nz Ltd.
PPL is a company owned by the following real estate companies: Harcourts, Harveys, Ray White, Barfoot & Thompson, Bayleys and L J Hooker.
With this ownership structure one can very easily see that this website company (Realestate.co.nz Ltd) is 100% owned by the real estate industry through some of the franchise groups and companies operating in the industry as well as the industry body which itself is owned by all licensed real estate agents.
The reference in the article to the degree of investment made by REINZ in the RealENZ website is something I cannot comment on as my accountability only covers the period of the operation of Realestate.co.nz Ltd.
The article goes on to quote REINZ President Murray Cleland who took issue with Mr Meyer’s criticism, saying profit was never put before people. He said Mr Meyer was bitter and did not realise that realestate.co.nz was a huge success, with every major agency involved.
In echoing Murray Cleland’s comments I would support those who have supported this website by highlighting that in the last year alone the site has cemented its position in the real estate category as measured by Nielsen Online as the clear No. 2 website (behind Trade Me) attracting just on 250,000 unique browsers per month on average, a growth of 31% year-on-year ahead of the market growth of 21%.
CEO – Realestate.co.nz Ltd