website to close!

On Monday the 1st of December the online real estate market in NZ will change – no longer will the real estate industry have to choose between 3 property portal websites to promote their listings – one of them ( will cease operations and there will be just a choice between 2 major players. Not only is shutting up shop, but will directly benefit as all inbound traffic to will be directed to from visitors in NZ and overseas. This will significantly increase the visitors to from December.

This is the time and opportunity for this industry in a unified manner to support one website – a website owned by this industry, supporting this industry and offering this industry the most cost effective and consumer focused website for real estate.

This is also a time for celebration and recognition – to recognise the support this industry has shown in subscribing and promoting over the past 2 years since launch – that support, that subscription income has gone 100% towards making the site the best in the market – that success has lead to the exit of a competitor – what better demonstration can there be of success than to vanquish a competitor?!

One step closer to #1!

There has only ever been one objective for and that is to be the best, the most valued, and the most comprehensive real estate website in NZ – that goal is within our reach, to have strong competition makes us stronger and we are getting stronger and will in the coming months.
The growth in visitors to the website as compared to over the past 3 years shows exactly why it has been tough for the #3 player in the market. It became a clear case of “if you can’t take the heat – get out of the kitchen!”

The key to the success of any real estate website is comprehensive content and for this was the problem. This is shown clearly below in average quarterly listings of residential property on each of the 3 websites. Content is still very much king!

Decision by REA Group to close down

The REA Group is a global leader in the online property portals business operating 22 websites around the world including the clear #1 in Australia – This company which is 60% owned by News Corp attracts over 9 million unique browsers per month to its collection of websites. The press release sent out last Friday details the terms of the agreement that has reached with REA Group as part of the closure of its website. This marketing alliance will provide REA Group with a reference site of the stature they need to provide access to their global community. For this provides enormous visibility for international visitors seeking out NZ property.

It is important to make note that this is a marketing alliance – there is no change in ownership or management of The company remains 100% NZ real estate industry owned – supporting and protecting the NZ industry.

It is also timely to remind all real estate professionals that the website is and always will be available to any licensed real estate agent. We do not take any private listings – we are not nor will we be in the future in any way tied to membership of the Real Estate Institute (REINZ). The Institute does own 50% of the shares in the company, however for the website to continue to be the best requires no restrictions on subscription to any licensed agent in NZ.

What this will mean for and the industry

This removal of from the NZ market is fantastic news – it provides a better service to the consumer – people searching for property hate having to visit loads of websites to find the answer to the question” what is on the market”. At this time has over 90% of all listings – this will grow as the remaining few office subscribe to feature their listings – that will continue to make the best site for content – the one and only website the buyers need to find the full picture. For more details read this post from Unconditional.
For the industry this is fantastic – the industry can save money – no need to spread your marketing dollars across many sites – focus on where the buyers go – the buyers want comprehensive content. In addition with this strengthening of the options for competitors to charge more than the subscription of $200 per office per month charged by gets tougher – why show any office pay more than $200 per month?

Some key points regarding the battle for the real estate online dollar

  • Online is where 80%+ of all real estate searches start
  • Google is the leading search engine in NZ – has worked relentlessly to ensure that it offers searchers the best answer to these questions – try it yourself – “ask Google for property / homes for sale in you city, town or suburb” – you are far more likely to find a link to than any other website.
  • delivers more international visitors than Trade me. This advantage will only grow further as the alliance with the 22 REA Group websites and those 9 million+ unique browsers commences
  • Realestate delivers value – one fee $200 per office per month, open, transparent and equitable – now and into the future. Compare us to Trade me property – over the past 2 years it has increased fees – single listings have risen from just $49 in 2006, to now $199! And with featured combo that rises to $268!! In the same time the fees for have not changed. Think about it Trade me property charges more for a single property listing than we charge for a whole month of all your listings!! is a NZ owned and operated website – it is constantly being enhanced to deliver results for you – we support you to enable you to close more deals. Just look at these advantages:

  1. We send emails to your inbox personally – not just a single email account for the office – this ensure you deal to emails immediately, that makes buyers happier
  2. We actively embrace new technology – we are currently the only property portal to feature videos on the website
  3. We ensure your listings look their best – customers want rich content – we have no restriction on the number of photos on your listings and with our partnership with Open2view your listings look the best
  4. We are the only property portal to offer all agents the tools to build your business – with the Voices blog platform any agent can build their referral business
  5. We provide education and support, we undertake regular presentations and onsite support – because we are a part of the industry not just an media machine
  6. We were the first property portal website to feature maps – with Google maps the consumer gets the benefit of aerial images and soon Google StreetView
  7. We don’t feature private listings – we support the industry rather than setting up home owners to compete with you and your business on the same website

We value the support of this industry – we want to help you in your business – please contact us if you have any questions or need our help. We are here for the long term and focused on the #1 position.

November 17 2008 10:00 am | News

3 Responses to “ website to close!”

  1. Duncan Munro on 17 Nov 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    Fantastic news Alastair. I would like to congratulate you and your staff on the work you are doing with

    I believe that the Real Estate Companies in NZ will very soon kick the Trademe Site into touch.
    With the increasing awareness of, the public’s first choice will soon be that site.
    One of the strengths of Trademe (the fsbo listings)have been diluted with all the Company Listings on the site. I would imagine that the business that was generated by fsbo’s when the market was hot has fallen dramatically now that the market is more difficult. Vendors need the Real Estate Industry much more now, in order to sell their properties. The days of listing your property as a fsbo, at an absolute premium, and selling it in 5 minutes are over.

    I would like to see the Companies also direct more of their advertising dollars towards and eventually kick the Newspapers into touch.
    Spend their dollars on Directing Real Estate Viewers to your site, not on advertising property.
    Business is slow at present, this would be a great way for the companies to save money. I know this topic has already been discussed, perhaps now it should be re-looked at by the principals.
    I know Newspaper hand-outs are still important for our industry. A combination of joint Property Press’s funded by all the Companies in a city (similar to Auckland) and a much greater focus on the internet ( might be the next step?

    I’m tired of being held to ransom by the Newspaper industry.

  2. Alistair Helm on 17 Nov 2008 at 9:40 pm #


    Appreciate the feedback. A key statistic that I highlighted at the recent presentations is the fact that whilst a year ago 17% of sellers would definitely sell privately, just 6 months ago with a significantly different market that level had fallen to 14%.

    It is clear as you say that having a website to promote a private listing is a very different scenario to actually selling privately!

  3. On Target » - Collectively this industry and this website has come a long way in 3 years on 15 Dec 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    […] property listings 12. November 2008 – launch of the syndicated website with MSN 13. December 2008 – major competitor closes with redirect of traffic and overseas audience 14. January 2009 – launch of the new Zoodle website […]

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