The September quarter was one of steady growth for Australia's Rent.com.au highlighted by the growth in traffic and non-agent listers. However, its September quarter cash flow statement shows that it is still burning cash with it delivering a cash flow loss of AUD 918k on revenues of just AUD 69k. At the end of the quarter, it had just AUD 3.4 million left in the bank or around 1 year of cash reserves based on its current cash burn rate.
Operational highlights include:
Unique visitor traffic to www.rent.com.au increased consistently from 252,000 in June to over 310,000 in July and to a new record of 418,000 in September 2015, with expectations of exceeding that number in October 2015. RENT Managing Director, Mr Mark Woschnak said, “This growth in traffic has generated increasing awareness of www.rent.com.au as an online destination. Our share of unique audience has grown, with AC Nielsen reporting that 54% of our audience did not also visit realestate.com.au and 68% did not visit domain.com.au. This represents a 10% shift in share of audience towards RENT over last the quarter alone.”
The Company also locked in key digital partnerships, signing a digital marketing agreement with Accordant in July and a referral agreement with the Mitula Group in early September.
Non‐agent Landlord Listings
During the quarter RENT achieved a tenfold increase in listings off a low base. Almost half of all residential rental properties in Australia are currently not managed by property agents and these are still primarily advertised offline, creating a significant opportunity for RENT as the first online rental portal to openly target this market in order to provide Australia’s 7 million renters with the widest choice of properties to rent.
Mr Woschnak said, “in order to accelerate the migration of non‐agent landlords from offline to online at www.rent.com.au we have waived our usual $99 standard listing fee. This, combined with the commencement of cost effective online marketing through our digital partnerships, has driven strong early volumes in our market share and awareness objectives. We recognise however, that there is a lot of growth left in this market segment and we are continuing to expand our efforts with the recent recruitment of a telesales team and increasing our business development activity to key property investor audiences around the country”
During the quarter, the number of agents registered with RENT has increased by 310, bringing the total number of agents on the RENT platform to 6,503. “With the strong growth in our traffic we’ve commenced deployment of a field sales team to complement the newly appointed telesales team in promoting RENT’s premium plans to agents in order to upsell them from the unbranded basic listings package” said Mr Woschnak.