Realestate.com.au has recently caused a stir in the industry by increasing their service fees. The industry has reacted strongly and REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin said greater competition in this space is needed.
“There are a number of stakeholders who have considered offering competition in the market and the recent price increase by realestate.com.au has advanced their plans,” Mr McKibbin said.
“There needs to be additional competition in the portal space to keep pricing competitive, however I am concerned that the recent price increases by realestate.com has triggered a fractured response.
Earlier this year, realestate.com.au announced new changes to fees for listings on the website. Previously, agents have paid a fee based on where their office is located, but now the change means listings will now be charged based on where the listing is located.
Mr McKibbin is concerned that a number of stakeholders entering the market attempting to solve the problem will be under resourced and consequently will not receive consumer attention.
“All of the REIs nationally should support one website and that portal be supported by industry, including all the franchise groups,” Mr McKibbin said.
“In doing so that portal would be a serious contender, whereas currently with the multitude of solution providers out there, I am concerned they won’t have the support and resources available to be a genuine challenge and to provide competition in the market that I think needs to be there.
“If all of the REIs can cooperate and if we can get the support of the major franchises, I think there is a real opportunity for success.”
What is REINSW doing?
“REINSW is encouraging our sister REIs, who offer portals to their members, to enter into productive discussions about collapsing those portals into one branded industry solution,” Mr McKibbin said.
REINSW is involved with realestateview.com.au and in Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria there are also well-respected portals.
“The REIs need to cooperate, rather than run their own race in their own state, in order to resolve any issues that inhibit that consolidated approach,” he said.
“The REIs need to show that leadership here.”