Sources tell Property Portal Watch that the complete realestateview.com.au sales force was retrenched last Friday. The sales team was responsible for selling realestateview advertising packages and the property data online subscriptions to real estate agents in Victoria, Tasmania and Sth Australia.
With the sale team disbanded and only a small team left in the business, what does the future hold for realestateview?
realestateview is the 4th most visited real estate portal in Australia and the third most visited in Victoria behind realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. The site primarily focuses on the Victorian market but also has some coverage of Sth Australia and Tasmania and the other States. (For more information see our recent write up on the business.)
In a recent predictions article for the Australian market, we wrote that we expected to see the tier 2 and 3 players go through very tough times and this appears to be coming to fruition.
The retrenchment of the sales team is probably a sign that the Australian real estate market is getting tougher and that agents are making decisions about where they market their listings. As realestateview is the third most visited site in Victoria, it is likely that agents are now deciding to concentrate their spend on the market leading realestate.com.au and potentially the number 2, domain.com.au. This is not unexpected and this trend of agents focusing their spend on the market leader can be seen in other countries around the world.
The one saving grace is the property data online business that provides agents with access data reports on home sales in Victoria. It competes head on with RP Data (who recently renewed a deal with realestate.com.au) and the domain.com.au owned Australian Property Monitors.
It is likely that the realestateview business will see a decline in the numer of agents advertising their listings on the site and with this decline in content, their is also likely to be a decline in readership. While management are clearly cutting costs, the revenues will also decline too. It would not be surprising to see realestateview closed or sold in the next 12 months.
There are really two potential buyers for realestateview. The first is domain.com.au as it would strengthen is position in the Victorian market and therefore provide a much stronger competitor for realestate.com.au. The second is realestate.com.au. While there is no real gain for them in the Victorian market as almost all agents now advertise on them, it would provide them with a property data business and be a blocking move for domain.com.au.