Upgrade Listing Costs

Contributed By: Nick Buick on

We have received a lot of feedback recently from our managers that Premier Sales Upgrades on RealEstate.com.au are very expensive (well, yes, no kidding!). There’s 4 reasons for this:

Firstly, yes, Premier upgrades are the top level of upgrade and so they command a top level price. This can be problematic when you’re an onsite manager selling low-cost product like half million dollar apartments and competing with agents selling five million dollar houses.

Secondly, a lot of franchise agents are on Premier All plans. These make premier listings orders-of-magnitude cheaper for such agents – and again when they are raking in fifty grand in commission on every listing, the expenditure is easily justified and covered. The catch is, you need to upgrade EVERY listing, EVERY 30 days. For us, this would cost over a million dollars a year just for our sales portfolio and we make no commission – it’s not a viable plan for us, and our managers generally prefer the flexibility of choosing when and if they upgrade. This choice comes at a cost, and that is why we are charged a premium for premier.

Thirdly, my suspicion is that the purpose of a Premier is to encourage the agent to use the vendor’s marketing budget so they can get their own logo and mug shot all over the internet. In my opinion they relatively offer little benefit over a much cheaper highlight listing, other than gratuitous self-promotion and ego stroking for franchise real estate agents (egomaniacal estate agents??? say it ain’t so!!!). I always recommend getting a Highlight listing instead… they’re a fraction of the cost, and appear basically the same without all the agency branding plastered all over them. Highlights offer a lot of bang-for-buck in terms of enquiry rates and visibility. But as for Premier upgrades: I don’t care if my logo is all over your ads, you don’t care, and the vendor DEFINITELY won’t care, so why are they paying for it?? I want to make a clear distinction between Premier upgrades, and the lower level upgrades such as Highlight and Feature. I consider these Highlight and Feature upgrades vital and it boggles my mind that more managers don’t upgrade their listings to these as the cost-benefit is indisputable (see our case study from last year: https://theonsitemanager.com.au/news/feature-listing-upgrade-value-quantified-a-case-study/ )

Finally, in 15 years of business we’ve only ever booked one Premier sales listing… ever… hence RealEstate.com.au doesn’t generally worry about providing us with accurate pricing for this level of listing in our price matrix, they simply give us pricing for features and we calculate the formula of a premier by multiplying the feature price (by about 4x). This works for SOME suburbs, but not others. Subsequently some pricing was quoted too high – given we never actually book these upgrades, it wasn’t a big deal – but it would of course be nice to at least have accurate pricing. I’ve gone back to REA and requested a full matrix of pricing on all levels of upgrade across every suburb our managers have listed any sale or rental in, in the previous 12 months and they provided this to me. I have now applied this new price calculation so we can auto-quote these Premier listings with far more confidence now.

Featured listing prices of course remain the same (as this was always the pricing they gave us anyway) but highlight and premiers will now be totally accurate. In most suburbs this has come down. We have done this for rentals also, new pricing will be totally accurate provided we’ve been active in that suburb any time in the past year. 

Due to the massive volume of upgrade listings we do (feature and highlight), we unlock some really great pricing here, I’ve actually run some comparisons and am happy to report we’re offering your owners cheaper upgrades on Feature sales and Feature and Highlight rentals than all of our competitors. We’re also paying to upgrade ALL rental listings at no cost whatsoever to our managers on Rent.com.au. Just another reason TheOnsiteManager.com.au is the number 1 portal for onsite managers. These smaller guys don’t have the buying power (or software capability) to offer real time upgrade pricing and it’s costing their managers dearly… good! They should have gone with the best, lol. 😉

At any rate, our new price matrix is in place now so all rates should be accurate. I should finally point out that we book upgrades every business day morning at 7am. If we book an upgrade the same day the listing was created there is no ‘standard’ marketing fee applied by REA, it’s included for free. However because our bookings are done manually, if you make any booking on Friday or Saturday, it won’t be booked until Monday morning. This means it will miss the 24hour window for free standard inclusion and you’ll have to pay the additional $120 for a sale or $25 for a rental. So keep this in mind: Avoid Friday and weekend bookings if you can as they’ll cost more, always book your upgrades Sunday-Thursday to save your owners money.

Leave a Reply

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