I firmly believe that niche real estate portals can be successful and fill a gap which the major players Domain.com.au and Realestate.com.au don’t cater for. There is no better example than Farmbuy.com which targets a niche very relevant in Australia…rural properties.
Farmbuy.com launched in October 2009, it has grown from approx 4,000 unique browsers in the early days to now consistently achieve around 30,000-31,000 unique browsers per month (their stats). Currently they have approx 450 offices uploading – they include major franchises like First National, Ray White, Elders, PRD Nationwide and also a number of smaller independent rural agents.
I asked founder Philip Sondhu what he sees Farmbuy’s strategic advantage being:
- Farmbuy.com’s key focus is complimenting and enhancing our agents rural property marketing (something which appears that nobody else is doing well)
- Our site also incorporates a number “rural specific” tools, the main ones being the ability to search by weather district & land size, but more importantly once the buyer has found a property the user can run a number of farm income / production calculations to help work out the production and income capability of the property.
- By focusing on a niche we provide agents a qualified audience to market their rural properties to buyers solely interested in rural property. They’ve also found that by adding farmbuy.com to their suite of marketing tools it also helps them to win over vendors who like the fact that there is a dedicated / specialised online service in Australia.
- Lastly, this qualified audience has helped us gain 3rd party banner advertising from the likes of Commonwealth Bank, Rabobank, Suncorp Bank and John Deere who can leverage our site to reach the Agribusiness market. Farmbuy.com would now be one of the bigger online Agribusiness websites in Australia.
It is also of note that we now allow lifestyle properties to be listed on the site which was largely due to the demand coming out of metro areas.
A further example highlighting that web browsers are looking to begin their searches at content which is already relevant to their needs. What are your thoughts?