I know Geek Estate has are a fair number of international readers, but it’s not often we analyze/discuss international real estate. Today, I wanted to touch on the #3 real estate portal in Australia, Homely.com.au, and their most recent product release, Premier Agent.
Homey’s primary differentiator is a faster, easier real estate search with no annoying banner ads. While listing properties on portals has been free in the US market for years, in Australia, it’s still largely a pay to post model. Following their launch in 2013 (StreetAdvisor.com.au was re-branded and real estate listings added), Homely has spent the last two years aggregating listings in Australia (they now have listings from 93% of real estate agent offices).
The goal of Premier Agent is a better way for agents to market themselves and control their online reputation (via reviews). The offering costs $27 per month for an individual agent or $99 per month for a team (includes four users).
What do agents get?
- 10x coverage over basic profiles
- 200% larger branding
- Company logos
- Priority positioning
- Highlight Colours
Here’s an example profile for Brad Caldwell-Eyles.
One part of the profile I particularly like is the performance statistics, example below.
Here’s an example of real estate agents in Mosman, New South Wales, which shows a few Premier Agents.
Another aspect of the profiles to take note of is the ability to follow others (such as a competing agent), and the activity feed. I’ll likely write another post on those components, because it ties into the larger opportunity to showcase local experts that I’ve been thinking about for a long, long time.
In essence, Homely is putting the Zillow / Trulia monetization model into the Australian real estate market. You can bet their competitors aren’t fans of their switch away from paid listings, but you can also bet agents – tired of paying excessive fees – love a free place to advertise their properties to buyers.
Can they attract the buyers? That’s the real question. One big differentiator is their massive, massive base of unique user generated content — questions and answers for regions such as Sydney & Melbourne, as well as reviews about suburbs such as St Kilda and Essendon all across the country.
Especially if there are any Australians reading, would love your thoughts as to how Homely compares to the incumbents down under.
[Disclosure: Homely.com.au (also owns StreetAdvisor.com) is a consulting client of mine. That said, Homely did not have any editorial say over this post nor the ability to read it prior to being published; all opinions and words are my own.]