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Australia is getting a new real estate portal this spring, and it’s set to try and shake up the existing incumbents of REA and Domain.

The downturn in the real estate market is putting the pinch on agents, and the industry leading portals – domain and realestate.com.au – aren’t helping. The cost of listing properties on these sites can be prohibitive for both smaller and large operators, and it’s only getting higher.

Enter Homes.com.au

In an effort to breathe new life into a sagging market, Homes.com.au will introduce much needed competition and give agents (and users looking for a property) an alternative to the big players.

As Homes.com.au spokesman, Vic Laruso, states 

“the property market is doing it tough at the moment. You’d think that the major real estate portals would understand this and freeze their prices, but no. Their prices keep going up, and up, and up. The only way this is ever going to change is by introducing some real competition to the market.”

With the launch of Homes.com.au, agents will benefit from a transparent and straight forward pricing model in which standard listings are free.  Meanwhile, premium listings are very affordable for both 30 and 60 day campaigns. 

Here’s where a key point of difference arises for Homes.com.au. In an innovative move that will level the playing field for countless agencies, the funds generated from premium listings are circulated back into marketing initiatives designed to drive people to the website, in turn increasing traffic to agent’s sites.

In order to enable this type of pricing structure and give agents a fighting chance with large-scale, national marketing programs, the team behind Homes.com.au have raised significant capital with “plenty in the bank”.  Laruso adds

“We’re properly capitalised… so that means we’ve been able to build great tech and can afford a strong marketing campaign all aimed at getting agents leads, and leads are what it’s all about” 

While Homes.com.au aims to provide agents and property managers with strong leads, it’s important to note that the site is also geared towards the end user.

With agents and agencies paying less for listings, there is a potential flow on effect in which vendors and purchasers are afforded some relief from the burden of financing marketing campaigns for their own properties.  

Plus, lower listing prices means more listings, giving those in the market greater choice and a better understanding of the current valuations within the area they are looking at.

Pat Carbone, Founder and Chairman of Homes.com.au says

“We set Homes.com.au up as the “agent’s portal” where unlike Realestate.com.au we won’t take from the agent’s pocket rather we will give back to them helping them be more successful and build their businesses”

He also said,

“We know we have a huge challenge ahead of us but we’re here for the long term and ready to do what is needed to create a real competitor.”

The forecasted reach of Homes.com.au is another advantage the site offers. The incumbent portals use a subscription based pricing model meaning some agencies can only afford to list on one of Domain or Realestate.com.au meaning neither portal can guarantee 100% of the properties for sale across Australia.  Homes.com.au has no subscriptions nor no contracts meaning there is no reason why agents shouldn’t list with the portal. Meaning over time Homes.com.au will be the location where consumers are guaranteed to see every property that is listed for sale and lease in Australia.

With their trailblazing approach to competing with the big portals – including free listings and no lock-in contracts or subscription fees for agencies – the launch of Homes.com.au in October is poised to create a refreshing and much needed shift in the way Australia views, sells and buys real estate.

Note: Agentpoint.com the publisher of Business2 provides technical services to Homes.com.au

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