Waterside Property Sales a growing niche real estate portal.

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Waterside Property Sales are a specialist niche real estate portal who market property listings on or the near the water or with waterviews. According to their latest press release they have:

Some 400 agents listing almost 8000 genuine coastal and waterfront properties now cover every region on the coastline of Australia and with the traffic to the site exponentially increasing it was necessary to provide options for real estate agents to manage their marketing programs to maximum effect for the lowest possible cost.

The portal is completely free for agents to list properties and they hope to generate revenue through two recently launched products Featured Properties and Property of the Week. Unlike other portals they will limit these products to a fixed number of listings in certain areas of the site:

  • Featured Listings – $49 per month capped at 11 properties per region.
  • Property of the Week – $49 per week and capped to 16 properties on the homepage.

The site ticks all boxes in that its user friendly, very fast and easy on the eye. The only two things I’d suggest is an email to self and shortlist function on the property page.

What I’m most impressed about is the way they’ve gone about their launch into the Australian market. They had a low key launch back in early May 2010 and what they didn’t do was stand on their soapbox beating their chest about how they’re a revolutionary new portal. Instead, they worked hard contacting and signing up agents in an effort to build up listings on their portal. Now they’ve successfully completed this, they can focus on building traffic (maybe beating their chest with 1 hand) to the site which will generate enquiry for agents and attract 3rd party advertising dollars.

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  • Mike Salway
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 11:15 am 0Likes

    I worked with the guys at Waterside Property Sales when I was with HubOnline, to add their portal to the list of export destinations.

    They were a pleasure to deal with – I’m happy to see the portal growing.

    On usability, I think the home page search could do with some tweaks – leading the user more about the order they need to take actions. I tried to click on the map first, but found there were one or two other things I had to do first.

    But the site is nice and clean and it is fast!

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm 0Likes

    Interesting concept and I agree that the site has easy and excellent navigation – congratulations and good luck. The SEO will be the difficult part given the vast and wide ranging markets it addresses – they are going to need a big blog (which will be fun) once they get the subject matter right.

  • vic Del Vecchio
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 1:20 pm 0Likes


    Thanks for those kind words- HOL is not the same without you.

    The home page was originally the “Advanced Search” page.This was designed to search by category of property ie a Beach Front property in X region.But when we started up there were not sufficient property listings on the site to search by category specific and region. We were finding too many empty gaps. So we quickly “Cobbled” upthe quick search you see now when first entering the site. It was our intention to revert back to our originalhome page when fully populated.
    However, as time has gone on and our minds have been excercised, we are now in the process of reviewing an amalgamation of both Quick and Advanced searches as the new home page.

    Yours and Ryan’s suggestions are taken on board and will definately come into play.

    Robert, I’m going to call you for a chat on blogging shortly, if that’s OK. We are doing a whole lot of social media stuff but it is all hanging out there without any real system. Andrew,(son and business partner) has been pressing me on setting up word press.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm 0Likes


    More than happy to have a chat. For mine: if you are not running WordPress your business might well be on dial – up. have a look at your SEO on Google to see what your SEO is currently and that should fast track things 🙂

    Type into a Google search the following:


    Good luck

  • Brenda Griffiths
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 10:30 am 0Likes

    Hi as a real estate agent located ina beachside town, we would use this portal but in the current situation it would mean we would have to manually enter our listings onto their website. When we are able to have our listings pushed across from Portplus in addition to the other portals we will gladly market our properties on this site.

  • Vic
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 10:59 am 0Likes


    I can understand where you are coming from. We already have already paid in excess of $2000 to set up arrangements with Port Port plus to feed to us. And we have quite a number of agents using port plus who are waiting for us to give the red light to begin feeds. However, Port plus wants to charge us close to $400per month to allow their agents to use their system to feed to us.
    I can understand this as being a reasonable fee to be charged to portals who receive income from agents listing with them ie REA, DOMAIN, and REVIEW, but we are a FREE to list portal.
    I have tried to negotiate a reasonable position with Port Plus but they refuse to consider my request.

    We are not asking Port Plus to market our product for us.. but we would like them to allow our mutual clients to feed to our free service. It would seem to be the right thing to do for their clients.

    Until Port Plus come to the party, there still is an advantage to register with us and put up your “special” waterside properties. Our manual uploader is quick and easy to use and can be quite fun.

    Brenda, would love to talk further with you if you have time…0413040892

  • James
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm 0Likes

    Good luck with your dealings with PortPlus they should be doing it as a service to their agents rather than trying to double dip and charge both the agents and the third party site.

  • Ryan O'Grady
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm 0Likes

    James, you’re exactly right. It’s an absolute disgrace that real estate software providers with exports systems in place do not support as many portals as possible. All new portals accept the REAXML so there is no additional development or work involved for the company. I can setup a feed to any new portal/service within 10 minutes.

    $2000 for 10 minutes work is ridiculous.

  • Vic
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 4:38 pm 0Likes

    Ryan and James,

    The ridiculousness, (if that’s a word), of the set up fee cost, is compounded by the fact that Port Plus do very little to help gain “new agents” for the monthly fee they want to charge us, whilst denying their own agents a feed to a dedicated free niche site, and denying our own agent clients, who are already paying service fees, the opportunity to add another portal choice.
    Agent services like, My Desk Top, Agent Point, Real On Line, Iwon, Inhabit(Agency One) don’t price gouge. (The others we deal with have some minor recurring costs to either ourselves or the agent, but in fairness,I won’t mention them)

  • Mac
    Posted November 11, 2010 at 11:17 pm 0Likes

    I know that http://www.Newbrain.com.au will also offers ‘portal pushing’etc to all comers for a hell of a lot less than the gouging of Portplus, HubOnline et al! (Why would you expect anything less when REA charges a fee to accept loads from agents who then pay for the advertising as well – Attrocious behaviour!! But while agents accept it because they don’t realise it is easy to take their custom elsewhere, they will continue.

  • Michael Fredericks
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 8:37 am 0Likes

    We at onthehouse.com.au receive feeds from most of the back office players. It took a long time to gain the support of these companies, whilst others were very accommodating.

    Most of these companies have or do charge us some sort of fee to supply content to us. It is or should be a fee to the portal not agents. Portplus has been one of the most accommodating in my experience and was very supportive when we launched.

    The reality is that running a portal, which requires content, is a significant investment.

    The fees being debated are not a significant fee in the context of the investment required to attract the interest of offices not using a “portal pushing” solution. The aggregation of this data fed to us by back office systems is of value of course. I remain surprised by the number of agents still manually feeding data.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 8:52 am 0Likes

    Remember the show that appeared on television Where are they now?. It would appear that more than a few software providers are well and truly qualifying for a place on that show.

    Unlike changing banks it is very easy to change providers – if you under a contract advise them that you won’t be renewing. It is absolutely absurd that real estate offices should find themselves at the mercy of a provider that they actually pay a fee to manage their respective online operations.

    Let me make this very clear – within the current environment they need your business much more than you need them.

  • Scott
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 8:54 am 0Likes

    Is realestate.com.au the only property portal charging for incoming XML feeds?
    Does Domain, MyHome, Homehound or Realestateview charge to accept a feed at present?

  • Vic
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 9:48 am 0Likes

    For you to succeed as a portal for all properties you need to have as many property listings as your main competitors have. Your private sale portion of the business will not carry you through if REA and Domain continue to creep into this part of the market.

    Hope you or your investors have deep pockets as you will definitely need it if you continue to believe that Portals should pay for content:)

    Content is owned by agents (representing their clients) and they have the right to demand from their service providers where the distribution of this content should go.
    We are both free to list for agents- lets give them some support.

    By the way, nice site.

  • Michael Fredericks
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 10:48 am 0Likes

    Thanks Vic

    I wasn’t suggesting portals should pay for agent listings content.

    My point was that there are significant costs associated in aggregating content and obtaining the attention and support of the industry and back office feeds take a lot of the hard work (and expense) out of that very challenging exercise.

    Agree that agents should not pay for the distribution of content to portals. If a fee is to be paid, it should be paid by portals as a portal administration fee.

    Best of luck with your venture.

  • Vic
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 11:43 am 0Likes


    I see your point for your business model. However, it doesn’t apply to ours.

    My point, and seems to be confirmed by a couple of the commentators in this thread, is that gouging, simply because a service provider has an agent by the balls, doesn’t make it right.

    Best of luck with your venture.

  • Ryan O'Grady
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm 0Likes

    Scott, yes I believe REA are the only portal who charge a monthly fee to a client for accepting their listings via XML.

    Because imagery is so important in marketing property, means the import/export of property data uses a reasonable level of server resources. However, these costs can be easily absorbed by the software provider in the monthly fees they already charge agents. Never should there be an additional cost to the portal receiving the feed or an individual agent sending the feed.

  • Vic
    Posted November 19, 2010 at 7:53 am 0Likes

    As a final comment on this contribution, (and I declare that I am MD of http://www.watersidepropertysales.com.au) the following will be done in the short and medium term to enhance user experience and give agents more benefits:

    1. Word Press will be established- Courtesy of Agent Point, thanks Ryan and to you Robert Simeon for your feed back
    2. Introduction of agents contributing to the promotion of their regions via dedicated region information pages (multiple mini blog style)
    3. a new home page to allow for an easier direction to properties of choice by type and region.
    4. we are in negotiation with an innovative new product to provide an exceptionally high rate of lead generation to both agents and advertisers.

    On point 4. at this stage we are bound by a non disclosure agreement and can only just give the above glimpse.

    Thanks to those that have supported us to date on this blog and have been generous with their time.


  • Bill
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 7:22 am 0Likes

    Vic, you wrote: I have tried to negotiate a reasonable position with Port Plus but they refuse to consider my request.

    We are close to launching a portal and went through a similar situation with portplus. We didn’t pay the fees to portplus but overcame the problem and now get the listings uploaded to our portal without the agents having to physically enter the listings

    If you are interested in knowing how we did it give me a call 0423512819 I’m in Canberra

    As a comment, Portplus have so far been the only uploader to be obstructionist or what I judge to be unreasonable. I don’t think they are helping their clients with their approach.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 9:15 am 0Likes

    Portplus have erected a wall around their clients data and they want to be paid off for anybody to access it.

    Basically they are selling access to their client base which is another problem with the whole data issue in our country.

    I think many agents would be very surprised that FREE portals have to pay a very large connection fee for a standard REA XML connection to portplus. A connection that would take no more than an hour to complete.

    Then the free portals have to pay a significant monthly access fee just to be able to provide a connection to their clients.

  • Robert Simeon
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 9:21 am 0Likes

    I would love a dollar for every agent that has spoken to me this year who said that they want nothing more to do with PortPlus. One day the penny will drop in that they may have been somewhat of a revolution ten years ago – today they nothing more than a White Elephant!

    Many online businesses today simply can’t move with the times – so what do they try and do? Simple: slow everyone else down to their speed.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 11:54 am 0Likes

    PortPlus and HubOnline (and even MyDeskTop and BoxnDice), are way too expensive for what they provide! Why pay $400pm to get a totally over-engineered (and clunky) CRM when we get ours for $250pm! Even with another $150pm for a website it is cheaper!!

  • Vic
    Posted December 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm 0Likes

    I thought I was the only one to see Port Plus as being unreasonable.

    Interesting that I got a fairly abusive phone call from someone purporting to be the owner of Port Plus suggesting I was “bad mouthing” them on B2. Not good PR coming from the top. For a moment I thought he rang to see whether there was anything he could help me with…. but no.

    If there is a contemporary example of the “shadow controllers” from Plato’s cave, this is it.

    Bill, thanks for your offer, I’ll give you a ring tomorrow.

  • Vic
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm 0Likes

    I am Happy to say that there has been a noticeable and refreshing change at Port Plus since their acquisition by Onthehouse. Credit where credit is due particularly after my blast at them back in 2010.

    Well done Michael Fredericks and team.

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