Tag Archives: Online

Competition drives innovation

Already we are seeing the new level of competition for online property websites bringing better tools for the buying public and it’s great to see Trade Me introducing new improvements to their property section. Here’s a snippet of some of their new improvements:

Map-based search

We’ve introduced a new map-based tool which enable users to search for properties for sale via an interactive map. It’s another logical way for buyers to explore the areas they’re most interested in. We’re rolling this out over the next 24 hours and we expect to have this functionality available for rental properties shortly too.

Map Search

School zones

We’ve just released school zone information on Trade Me Property listings. This means that for most residential listings you can now see which early childhood centres are close by, and the primary and secondary schools a property is zoned for.

School Zones

Multi-suburb search

We’ve changed the side-bar search, so people can search through multiple suburbs at once. It’s a small change, but it makes your life easier when you’re property hunting.

Multi-Suburb Search

The upgrade of the site to search by multiple suburbs is a biggy in my opinion and for the life of me I can’t understand why all the big corporate sites don’t have this feature? I would have thought this is one of the fundamentals of providing a quality search engine for customers to easily navigate and source property in the geographic area that they are most interested in. Who wants to spend hours tediously searching for property one suburb at a time?!

I do wonder what Realestate.co.nz are going to come up with next. Isn’t it interesting though, when we have to dig deeper and find better ways of doing business, just what oil can be found.

I say bring it on, and as end users our lives are going to become easier with more practical tools at our disposal.

What do you want to see when it comes to searching for property online? I’d appreciate your thoughts.

The battle for online real estate: Trade Me v Realestate.co.nz

REIn a bid to avoid Trade Me monopolising the online property market following their announcement to significantly increase individual listing fees, the real estate industry has taken a united front to support their own industry-run website, Realestate.co.nz.

The focus of the industry is to ensure individual online marketing remains affordable for both agencies and ultimately the selling public.

In response to Trade Me’s price hikes, Realestate.co.nz has come out with its own aggressive marketing campaign to position itself as New Zealand’s specialist property portal. It also boasts the newly acquired expertise of Brendan Skipper, a former head of Trade Me Property – a very smart move to ensure a third-party provider does not hike prices and hold the industry to ransom. I believe it is this proactive reaction that will future-proof the real estate industry’s online presence.

At the end of the day, the hike in Trade Me’s fees is no surprise, especially after it was acquired by Fairfax Media. Fairfax is struggling in its print media division and is constantly looking elsewhere to generate a better return for its shareholders. As pointed out to me by Jimmy McGee (see comment below), Fairfax is no longer a shareholder of Trade Me – my apologies for the error. It is worth noting, however, that the property advertisement aspect of its business has been identified as a key area for potential revenue growth as it faces flat revenues in its main general auctions business. See TV3’s ‘Trade Me in real estate battle’.

With a number of major real estate companies shifting off Trade Me as their contracts come to an end – and now listing exclusively on Realestate.co.nz – it’s interesting to note that Realestate.co.nz has now surpassed Trade Me in terms of property listings – 59,920 to 49,632 at a recent check. I have updated the listings comparison to include Trade Me’s lifestyle listings. Realestate.co.nz have over 1,400 more residential and lifestyle for sale listings than Trade Me Property, as at 08/04/2014 the split is Realestate.co.nz 59,676 vs Trade Me 58,258.

Here’s hoping that this rigorous competition between the two will result in better service and a better product for buyers and sellers alike.

Read more:
Alistair Helm, ‘It’s all change at Trade Me Property’, NBR Online.
Catherine Harris, ‘Agents warn of Trade Me backlash’, Stuff.co.nz
Tina Morrison, Trade Me may reap $22.5m more real estate ad revenue by hiking fees, fending off rivals, NBR Online.

UPDATE: Jimmy McGee from Trade me has provided a response, which I am grateful for.