REA Sells

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HomeAway the world leader in holiday rentals today announced the purchase of the Australian holiday arm of REA.

From their press release:

The acquisition of, which features 21,000 listings(1) not only broadens HomeAway’s reach into the Australian market, but also marks its expansion from North America, South America and Europe into Asia-Pacific.

“Australia is a tremendous travel marketplace, and HomeAway is excited to continue the work begun by REA Group to provide even greater choice to Australian travelers,” says CEO Brian Sharples. “We look forward to working with the customers to help them benefit from our technology and the marketing of their properties to a new, global market of vacation rental travelers.”

“REA is proud of’s success in the Australian holiday rentals market,” says Greg Ellis, CEO and Managing Director of REA Group. “However, we recognized the opportunity to further develop the business and, given our focus on residential and commercial property sites, felt it would be best managed by a specialist. With an expertise in holiday lettings around the world, HomeAway is ideally placed to provide even greater value to’s customers.”

This is an interesting move by REA as until now their consolidation has only involved the sale of overseas interests and excluded any Australian based portals. It also comes just after the announcement that their major Australian competitor Fairfax purchased two Australian based holiday portals.

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  • Nick
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 9:19 am 0Likes

    Very curious. I have been wondering for awhile what they were doing with because it looks quite neglected.

    I wonder what the property data sharing arrangement will be like?

  • Vic
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm 0Likes


    $19m for a neglected site- not bad eh?

    Strange world this. Domain/fairfax buying, REA selling, what next?

  • Vic
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm 0Likes

    Sorry, may have got the number wrong- I don’t know that it was $19m.

  • Sal Espro
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm 0Likes

    Hopefully this crowd won’t charge us to upload our listings and so save us $25 per month currently charged to the tech uploader (who passes on to their agencies) by REA!
    (That $25 per month is a total rort by REA and is distinct from the tech uploader’s monthly fees! 5,000 agencies uploading to REA @ $25/mth = $1,500,000 p.a. revenue agencies pay to REA just provide them with our listings so they can charge us subs to advertise there!)

  • Australian Holidays
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm 0Likes

    Does anyone have figures on what revenue realholidays was already actually bringing in when sold? And I presume the sale price is unknowable?

    Coffs Harbour

  • Glenn Rogers
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm 0Likes

    I guess it’s an admission that they couldn’t compete with Fairfax in that area.

  • Glenn Rogers
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 8:21 am 0Likes

    Off topic but here goes – does anyone know the value of Google Adsence ? I always thought it brought in next to nothing and lowered the tone of your site but which was recently acquired by Fairfax has them and I would have thought the revenue stream from that site would be plenty and the last thing they’d want would be Google ads, so is there more in it than I thought ?

  • Ryan O'Grady
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 8:45 am 0Likes

    I have always thought the same but we must be wrong. I noticed the other day that Fairfax are running them at the bottom of their articles

  • Vic
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 10:44 am 0Likes

    Adsense does not give you a living but helps to fill the spaces you have created for third party advertising pending third party advertisers coming direct to your site.

    Google ads come in all shapes and sizes, from simple script type to flash images.

    check out our site which is nearly all google ads.

    Around June 2011 we launch 3rd party ads to the public, targeting regional businesses, but meantime the google adsense is helping to pay the rent.

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 11:07 am 0Likes

    Adsense is just a numbers game.. The more pageviews the more you can expect to make.

    This is my experience… For a product based website.. ie.. if you run a website doing mobile phone reviews then the ads on your website will be for a specific product and can convert at about 4%.

    For most other websites the conversion is more like 1 to 2%

    Of course if you place multiple ads on a page you wont get the same rate out of each ad. Similarly your placement of ads on the page will also effect their CTR.

    How much you can per click will depend upon the subject matter on the page, but assuming it’s real estate you can expect to get about 70 to 80 cents. So with a couple of prominent ads in the real estate space you could expect RPM (revenue per thousand pageviews) around $7 to $12

    So if you generating 100,000 pageviews per day its going to generate a nice revenue stream, but if you are only doing 1000 pageviews you can probably only expect a few hundred dollars a month.

  • Vic
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 11:17 am 0Likes

    spot on as usual Glenn B.

    Another issue of interest: If you open up your site to google adsense, you really don’t have any control of what ads appear, albeit that google tries to match to your core product.
    In a recent post on the Buymyplace removal from REA, I spotted that had google ads that were posted for rival advertisers. I now notice, and it could be after I pointed it out, that has removed their google ads- interesting eh?

  • Glenn Rogers
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 11:20 am 0Likes

    Might be worth a try, but it has to look tasteful otherwise it could do more harm than good, the ads on
    blend in well and look part of the site, not tacked on.

  • Glenn Rogers
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 11:21 am 0Likes

    Vic I was under the impression you could exclude some sites from your ads ?

  • Vic
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm 0Likes


    Yes you can block a particular segment ie porn etc, as well as individuals sites. We were getting a number of competitor sites and we simply blocked them, because we knew who they were and they were either not compatible with our philosphy or were direct competitors.

    We may miss some because google changes them frequently. But I must point out that the returns are not worth the trouble of setting up specifically for google ads. We did it on standard format ahead of selling advertising space direct to regional businesses.

    Even if, as Glenn B says, you were getting 100,000 page views per day, you could definitely get better value from direct selling your spaces.

    Check out They set up sites for advertising spaces and procure CPM advertising- they operate in the area of ads suitable for real estate sites.

  • Richie D
    Posted April 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm 0Likes


    Real Holidays never really got a real foothold in the market and played the very poor cousin to the other Australian based business streams. They had a couple of well intentioned people running it but never garnered the senior executive support at any time.

    To answer your question the revenues would have been meagre compared to residential, commercial and the various media segments and my guess would have been lucky to crack more than $1m a year. Any profit that REA makes out of the sale would be a bonus but is also a totally understandable decision given where the site sits against its competitors which is obviously down the list a bit. If your not 1,2 or 3 you are pushing you know what up a hill and REA’s focus is not on that area.

    **Disclaimer – I was the Director of Operations at the REA Group (Aust) between 2007 & 2009.

  • Glenn Rogers
    Posted April 13, 2011 at 9:52 am 0Likes

    Thanks Vic, I think it’s best to try to get your own ads on board if possible.

  • Wayno
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm 0Likes

    Hi Guys
    A couple of agents I know have just got their REA renewal and it’s gone up over $200.00

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