Realestate.co.nz, the industry owned property portal in New Zealand has announced the appointment of a new General Manager after what was described as an extensive recruitment process with ‘quality candidates from both NZ and further afield’. The new appointee is Brendon Skipper, the current Head of Trade Me Property.
The choice of Brendon is a very interesting decision by the board of Realestate.co.nz as Trade Me Property is by far and away the number 1 property portal in NZ; it’s daily traffic is over 5 times the traffic of Realestate.co.nz.
The Chairman of Realestate.co.nz Fairfax Morseby commenting on the appointment said that “Brendon’s background in media advertising, combined with his experience in the digital arena and long standing relationships in the real estate industry will add great value and experience to the Realestate.co.nz team. We are excited about taking our next steps as New Zealand’s specialised property portal with Brendon on board”.
Realestate.co.nz together with its new GM faces some major challenges as Trade Me has recently laid down the strategy for the future business model of a pure ‘per listing’ charge for all agents – a move projected to treble Trade Me’s revenue from property-for-sale listings alone to NZ$21m far eclipsing the estimated NZ$3m achieved by Realestate.co.nz. With such a lead in terms of traffic and ‘share of wallet’ of licensed agents, the challenge will be for Realestate.co.nz to remain relevant and spearhead some improvements in technology to differentiate it from the horizontal portal platform offered by Trade Me.
Disclosure: As the author of this article I should make it clear I was the founding CEO of Realestate.co.nz from 2006 to 2012.