Last week, I went to the realestate.com.au ‘Open For Inspection’ event in Sydney where the new look site was showcased to a large group of real estate agents.
Greg Ellis, CEO/Managing Director of REA presented some of the recent changes made that will impact the sites use:-
For all site users there has been a New Home Page, Enhanced Search, Multiple Views (Gallery View, List View & Map View) Compare Features (pointed out that the agents logo appears in the middle of the browsers computer screen) and MyRealEstate (an improved ability to store information on the site).
The suite of products for agents discussed were:- Suburb Profile Sponsorship, Suburb Sponsorship (IAB size ads), Exclusive Agent Showcase (No longer Guaranteed Top Spot but rather made available on every results page within that search), Feature Agent (a section of the site which has seen a 400% increase in traffic), Feature Property (appears as featured in List View, Gallery View & Map View) and eBrochure ( currently with over 800,000 people registered ).
Greg Ellis also announced that Realestate.com.au will shortly be releasing ‘Premiere Property’ which looks like it will appear on the top of the search results like the ‘old’ Guaranteed Top Spot but the ‘Premiere Property’ will open to a property page which features both the property & the agents details and branding exclusively (‘No Third Party Advertisers’).
Pricing was not discussed at this stage for ‘Premier Property’ but I can imagine it won’t come cheap when you consider the amount of revenue they could raise by keeping the advertising on these new pages.
Also, he mentioned that their Mobile site has already had 450,000 UB’s and they plan to have a Mobile/Social product which enables sharing via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & RSS.
Finally, Greg Ellis felt that there was also a great opportunity existing for agents to promote their profile via the Local Voices section of their site.
During the event I spoke with a number of agents and numerous REA Group employees and the feedback seemed quite positive.
Whilst there was one heckler in the crowd during Greg Ellis’s presentation, most agents I spoke with seemed to like the new look site. Most felt that it was about time that REA evolved with the times and that it had been screaming out for a change for a long while.
Although most discussion was positive, one agent said that they liked the site but they had actually experienced a significant drop in traffic since the launch. May be just an isolated case??? Not sure, whether this was related to the technical issues they were having within their suburb search or not? The agent is located in a first home buyer market so the marketplace shouldn’t be the issue. It will be interesting to know if other agents have experienced similar results.
With all the PR around the new launch I’d have thought that the visits would have actually increased.
I really like the MyRealEstate section and the new search capability.
Interested to hear your thoughts about the new look site…