Australian real estate giant REA Group takes on the Zillow approach when it comes to disrupting the industry and what that could mean for local agents
As one of the two giant real estate portals in Australia, REA is currently sitting in the driver’s seat, happily lining their pockets with money from consumers while also finding multiple ways in which to make agents pay for leads – despite the fact that generating leads is the primary function of the site from the perspective of agents.
REA have seemingly adopted a Zillow-like model of shaking down those in the industry – and the repercussions for not blindly handing over more cash are potentially severe in an agent’s own territory.
The Zillow Model
Whether it’s Premier Agent, PA Forward or Premier Broker, American-based real estate company Zillow has no qualms about creating “products” that are essentially designed to ask agents to pay for the same leads repeatedly.
The very premise of the portal – any real estate portal in fact – is to offer consumers a critical mass of listings that agents supply. Signing up to list properties usually costs agents a registration fee, which many will swallow based on the notion that they will get some leads out of the exercise.
But then Zillow engineered different tiers of agents, based on which packages they were prepared to pay extra for. This automatically put those who either couldn’t afford or refused to pay multiple times for leads at a disadvantage.
Under the old Zillow model, what happened if you didn’t pay to be a Premier Agent?
All potential leads were given to agents operating in the same geographic area who were prepared to pay the extra amount, instantly positioning those who weren’t as lower quality operators in the minds of consumers.
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