AFTER years of dabbling with its own online real estate offers, The West Australian newspaper has reached an agreement with the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia to use its popular search engine.
REIWA did not disclose the details of the deal except that The West, owned by the Kerry Stokes-chaired Seven West Media, has paid for the website to be built and there were some other commercial arrangements around advertising.
In effect, the arrangement is a white labelling of an existing product, with The West running a rebadged version of REIWA’s successful site. All the data will be compiled by REIWA, which continues to run its own website and control the real estate content. Users entering the site will end up on REIWA’s site if they search for property details.
Interestingly, the online collaboration comes two years after REIWA shut down its long-running hard copy real estate publication Homebuyer after three decades of operation.
REIWA chief executive Anne Arnold said her real estate agency membership would benefit from the added audience reach provided by The West’s promotion of its own website carrying their content.
Ms Arnold said REIWA would remain in control of the sales data it collected from running the site.
She said the deal with The West would enable the REIWA site to better compete with east coast-based online rivals that dominated the field.
Ms Arnold said REIWA had been in discussions with representatives of the publisher for many years and had sought to strike a deal since Ian Law was managing director.
She did not believe the two groups were direct competitors.
“Newspaper ads don’t translate into online ads,” Ms Arnold said.
The move comes more than a year after REIWA bolstered its online market share and acquired a web development capability with the purchase of aussiehome.com.
The deal, which was done for an undisclosed sum, included aussiehome founder Charlie Gunningham joining REIWA to manage the combined product.
The aussiehome.com site, a niche website for real estate listings with a strong focus on Perth’s western suburbs, has been retained as a separate web presence.