The new realestate.com.au Home Loans portal has gone live, with two-thirds of Choice Home Loans brokers signing up to the new platform.
The platform, which is a jointly owned enterprise between REA and Choice, was first announced last year as an “Australian-first end-to-end digital property search and financing experience”.
It has now officially launched, with around 120 brokers operating under the new brand.
Speaking of the offering, Stephen Moore, CEO of Choice, said: “Consistent with the vision of combining digital and face to face, we’re not just espousing a theory — we’re living and breathing it in practice. Hence the decision to partner with REA to create a new broker business: realestate.com.au Home Loans. [This] is the marriage between digital and high-quality face-to-face advice on the broker side.”
According to Mr Moore, the decision to partner with REA was a deliberate one, meant to leverage its “very strong brand resonance in the broader marketplace” and its ability to “provide real opportunity for significant volume and quality of new client opportunities.”
He said: “Most importantly though, it’s [about] starting a relationship with the client as they’re interacting to buy a house, as opposed to buying a home loan, and that is fundamentally different. So, we think it’s a really exciting future.”
Mr Moore said that the leads coming through the platform go through a “lead allocation system” to ensure that leads are distributed to brokers in a “fair and equitable way”.
“So, customers interact digitally and a number of customers will then choose to want to speak to someone and that is, more common than not, they go through to a contact centre that answers any questions that they may have. If any clients want to speak to someone face to face or any clients want to talk about other loans, etc., that is the trigger to then refer through to a broker,” the Choice CEO explained.
Noting that a third of Choice Home Loans brokers chose not to join the new realestate.com.au Home Loans business, Mr Moore emphasised that no broker had left Choice on the back of it.
He elaborated: “For those brokers who value digital in their business, directly being part of a digital business, and those brokers who put high value on new client opportunities, joining a new business becomes a no-brainer.
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