REA Group’s Realestate.com.au has formed a strategic partnership with home improvement site hipages.com.au which the companies say will allow the integration of their products and services.
The companies say the partnership will enhance consumer experience and benefit anyone with home improvement needs whether they be sharing, renting, buying, renovating, investing, selling or building.
REA Group Chief Executive Tracey Fellows says Realestate.com.au and hipages.com.au are both fast-growing, consumer focused and mobile-first businesses.
“It makes perfect sense for us to partner together to help people make informed decisions about their homes," Fellows says.
“This strategic partnership will not only make it easier for people to be connected with the very best trades people for their needs, it will create a less stressful, more efficient experience.”
Hipages CEO and co-founder David Vitek says the site has so far helped over 1.1 million Australians get projects done around the home.
1.5 million Australians request jobs every 29 seconds on the platform with $1.35 billion in job value posted through the hipages platform over the last 12 months.
The venture-backed company, which recently added a payment function, secured funding from News Corp in 2015. It operates Australia wide with more than 70,000 businesses registered and approved by hipages.
“Our platform brings people together helping homeowners find trades people who are ready and available to do the job,” Vitek says.
“People can chat and message and more recently we support payments,” he adds.
“People love having an easy way to find and work with the best trades person for any job they need done. We’re thrilled to be building our reach by partnering with realestate.com.au, one of Australia’s best-loved and most-used websites."
The partnership follows News Corp taking a 25 per cent stake in hipages in December 2015. News Corp is also the majority stakeholder of REA Group, the parent company of Realestate.com.au.
News Corp, which is moving to gain more exposure to the booming online marketplace, sees digital real estate as a growing revenue opportunity.
According to The Australian Business Review, News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson has made the billion-dollar industry a key focus in the company’s global strategy.
The Australian report says in addition to offering synergies with its portfolio of newspapers, the move has helped reclaim lost ground as print classified ads increasingly migrate to the web.
"After REA acquired Southeast Asian property listings business iProperty in a $751m deal, Thomson heralded News Corp as the 'world’s largest player in digital real estate'," the report adds
In 2014, REA acquired 20 per cent of US digital real estate business Move, operator of realtor.com, in partnership with News Corp
More recently, News Corp Australia took a majority shareholding in marketing specialist Diakrit, a Thailand-based company which provides software to help property portal users and the clients of traditional agents plan, furnish and decorate homes online.