Yesterday we reported that the REA Group would be closing down its operations in New Zealand at the end of the month. Today the REA Group and realestate.co.nz jointly announced a marketing deal that sees realestate.co.nz become the New Zealand node on the REA Group network.
From the press announcement on the REA Group site, it looks like the allrealestate.co.nz URL will be redirected to realestate.co.nz. In addition, "will be able to access realestate.co.nz from a tab on the home page of every REA Group portal and from the map of New Zealand on the REA Group websites."
In the release, Alistair Helm, CEO of realestate.co.nz, said “This alliance is great news for New Zealand’s real estate agents and consumers; because together with the REA Group we can run a much stronger real estate web portal than if we continued to compete as two separate portals. We believe this will mean a more efficient and cost competitive solution for the real estate industry as compared to all other media options."
I think the big winner from this move is realestate.co.nz. They have, in one move, managed to remove a roughly equal sized competitor from the NZ market, increased traffic, gained a few more customers, have a better ability to increase yields, and can now truly lay claim to being the largest real estate portal in New Zealand.
While some people may fear a massirve hike in fees, i think this will be unlikely. The major shareholder in the site is the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand and they would have a hard time justifying to members any profiteering from this.