The Australian challenger portal Homely has reaffirmed its commitment to the estate agent industry by reaffirming its policy not to allow private sellers or self-managed landlords to list directly on the portal. Since its launch in 2014 Homely has had a free-to-list option which according to a press-release "allowed the site to acquire the majority of property listings Australia-wide". This option has however not been directly available to end-users without the use of an agent, and today's announcement means this will continue to be the case.
The issue of vendors seeking alternative ways to sell their properties without the services of an agent is a hot topic in most real estate markets around the world and especially in Australia where the vendor is directly responsible for paying property portal fees. Alternative platforms such as Listing Loop looking to tap into the 'passive activation' market have taken enough market share that leading portal Raelestate.com.au took an indirect swing at them in its latest TV ad campaign. Comments from Homely's Head of Industry, David Webb make it clear which side of the argument Homely stands on:
“Typically, direct listings from consumers are published without agent insights and marketing expertise that would allow them to reach and attract the right audience. They present as an inexpensive, band-aid solution, that sees consumers often negating the money they ‘saved’ not employing an agent by achieving a lesser result. So, we maintain that giving landlords and vendors a direct listing option isn’t in anyone’s best interests.”