Are real estate portals still in a 2-horse race?

Contributed By: TheOnsiteManager.com.au on

Conventional wisdom in the real estate industry has always purported there are really only 2 property portals that ‘matter’: RealEstate.com.au and Domain.com.au.

According to Roy Morgan, RealEstate.com.au enjoys 4.5M visitors per month, nationally, with 3.2M using Domain.com.au. Of that 3.2M Domain users, 2.2M use both Realestate.com.au and Domain.com.au. Michele Levine – CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says: “Of the one million people who access Domain and not Realestate.com.au in a four-week period, over 30% are Mid-Life Households, aged 45-65 with no children under 16 still at home. For Realestate.com.au, a similar proportion of its 2.3 million exclusive audience is Young Parents, aged under 45 and with kids.

So this means roughly 20% of the total property audience are only using Domain and not RealEstate.com.au… and a third of them are older households (so probably not the apartment rental market). Now keep in mind these figures are national, the southern states are more inclined to use Domain. In QLD – RealEstate.com.au well and truly runs the show. In QLD I’d hazard to guess you’d quarter those numbers… perhaps 5% of QLDers using Domain and not RealEstate.com.au, if that, and a third of them older users.

Almost all of our listings are in QLD so we are able to examine the campaign performance of both portals on our own listings and see what difference there is between portals in The Sunshine State. In the last 30 days, for instance, RealEstate.com.au has achieved 8.1 rental enquiry emails per active listing. Conversely, Domain.com.au has achieved 1.1 enquiries per active listing… This means in terms of rental performance, in our experience, RealEstate.com.au is 8 times more effective than Domain. That’s a HUGE lead for RealEstate.com.au in Queensland. But what if Domain wasn’t actually in second place at all? We’re operating on the assumption that there’s only 2 property portals in Australia. In reality, there are hundreds. We list on an additional 14 portals across the nation and overseas. One portal we now list on, is Gumtree.

Listing on Gumtree, is incredibly complicated in a commercial environment. Unlike every other portal, they don’t accept automated data feeds of listings. What normally has to happen, is a human being has to manually type all the listing data onto Gumtree. It’s incredibly time-consuming and as such – very few real estate agencies bother. As you would expect, Gumtree is therefore ignored by the industry, and also by data analysts such as Roy Morgan, who simply jump straight to RealEstate.com.au and Domain as the 2 portals that ‘matter’.

We decided to approach the problem a little differently – and recently wrote a rather cumbersome, but effective, peice of code that is capable of ‘impersonating’ a human being, and mass-loading property onto Gumtree. As far as I know, we’re the only agency in the world who now has the capability to mass load their stock onto Gumtree. We now have most of our listings on Gumtree as well as RealEstate.com.au and Domain.com.au – we’re now getting data in that allows us to compare side-by-side the performance of all 3 property portals and the results floored us! Gumtree is averaging 2 enquiries per listing. Its performance is twice that of Domain! While Domain may have a larger audience than Gumtree, the ratio of enquiries to listings is much lower. Based on our own experience, we have to conclude that Gumtree is actually holding a comfortable lead over Domain as the second largest source of email leads. It’s not a 2 horse race at all, but a 3 horse race, and Domain is the third horse.

What this means for the property marketing landscape is still to be seen. Gumtree are about to launch their new brand and as more legitimate real estate agents come to realise how many leads they are missing out on, it may be more frequent to see managed listings on Gumtree rather than the shonky FSBO and self-managed stock that is on there presently. We may even start to witness pollsters considering Gumtree as a serious contender in the Australian Real Estate Portal space, but our minds are already made up based on the data at hand. Gumtree is not only a legitimate source of leads, it’s actually the second largest source of leads at the time of writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *