Supporting your industry owned website

It is over 3 years ago that the Realestate.co.nz website was born, and as we approach a new milestone with the plans for the new re-launched website which will be announced in the coming weeks, it is timely to remember the principle of this website:

“An industry owned website – supporting and protecting the real estate industry of NZ from the profit motivated ambitions of global media players”

For 4 years Realestate.co.nz, through the significant support of this industry has been able to develop and operate a website that has grown in size from 180,000 to over 400,000 unique browsers per month, and at the same time grown its subscriber base from 80% to 94% of all offices. All achieved whilst holding the cost to the industry at the same level of $200 (+gst) per office per month.

During this time, we can with due pride say we have significantly challenged our media owned competitors.

In the case of the REA Group owned ‘allrealestate.co.nz’ we forced them to shut-up shop and leave the NZ market. In the case of Fairfax owned ‘Trade me property’ we have been a factor that has potentially constrained their ability to raise subscription fees.

Their subscription fees 3 years ago for residential property sales is the today as it was back then in 2006. This success is neatly presented in the chart below which not only shows the annual subscription costs of the two leading NZ real estate portals but also compares it to the revenue charged to Australian real estate companies by their leading property portal (realestate.com.au) over the same period.

The question that I am sure will surface in your mind in looking at these numbers will be”what would we be now paying in NZ if we did not own the valuable website of Realestate.co.nz??”

Conservatively you could say that Realestate.co.nz has saved the NZ industry around $16 million over the past 4 years. This calculation is made by looking at the Australian website of realestate.com.au and its annual revenue per office per year. By this calculation it is quite logical to see what might have been the case in NZ of what offices might now be paying.

Back in 2006 Australian offices paid an average of $7,800 per year for realestate.com.au. At that time in NZ Trade me was charging the current monthly fee of $599 equating to $7,188 per annum – not that much difference. Now applying the same annual % increase each year that realestate.com.au has levied would mean that in NZ offices might now be being charging $12,900 per annum – over $1,000 per month by the dominant website.

Makes you think that the current subscription fee of $200 per month for Realestate.co.nz is a great representation of value, or as a new UK industry owned real estate website put it so well last week “Stop feeding the hand that bites you“! – how they would wish they had a leading industry owned website.

Later this month we will be communicating the full details of the new websites we are building. These sites will allow us to better serve the specific needs of each sector of the real estate industry far better than a general property portal. The commercial property sector, the business broking sector, the rural property and farming sector specifically will be uniquely serviced by Realestate.co.nz with a new and powerful online marketing platform.

November 05 2009 10:51 am | News

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