It’s been an action packed two weeks which started with REA’s sale of Realholidays and has built up since then. There is certainly some major restructuring taking place in Australia’s online real estate space:
- As a follow up to BuyMyPlace.com.au being kicked off REA other agent assisted and private selling sites including Forsaleforlease, Myhomeisforsale and PropertyNow had also had their listings removed or threatened to be. I’ve heard from one of these companies that their listings have been reinstated to REA. They will remain there for a few months, during that time they will be closely scrutinised by REA and will have to prove they follow their Private Listing Policy
- I was chatting to Geoff Luff – Director of realestate1 who provided an update on the legal proceedings against them:
“Further to the proceedings issued against realEstate1 by the REA Group, we can report that Discovery is well under-way and mediation is scheduled for the 6th May 2011 at the offices of the REA Group’s Solicitors, Mallesons Stephen Jaques.”
This hasn’t restricted their growth as since launching Australia wide in December 2010, realEstate1 has gained momentum and is now able to report that the site has increased their agent numbers by 30%. The agent database is now above 700 + agents and their traffic is between 45,000 to 50,000 per month.
- American company CoreLogic Group who is currently a 40.22% shareholder in RPData (RPX) has launched a friendly takeover of RPData. The Board has approved the takeover on 20/4/2011 and it appears that yesterday shareholders have voted in favour of the move.
- It’s rumoured that this week REA has sent a termination letter to RPData ending their data sharing relationship agreement. It’s thought that REA now believe they have enough sold data to go alone. They’re responsible for the online brands Homeguru.com.au and Ozhomevalue.com.au
- A new look at Thehomepage with an overhaul of their interface. It’s very crisp, clean and fast which I believe are key factors for a real estate portal. Well done to Ben Stockdale and the team at Thehomepage as they’re definitely moving in the right direction.
- Domain and REA both launched Android apps in the past two weeks offering android mobile phone browsers with the same enhanced experience which iPhone owners receive.
- Last but by no means least important, is the planned $80m IPO by Onthehouse and the integration with real estate software and services companies PortPlus and Console.