Local Matters’ Client Dispels Real Estate Web Portal Myth: Proves Serving Consumers Can Successfully Serve Agents

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How the #1 Australian Property Portal Improved Customer Engagement and Agent Interaction

Our team helped realestate.com.au create an experience that serves both consumers and agents. And, the early sustained success is proof the market can deliver more value to consumers and agents collaborating on their web portals.

Three months ago, realestate.com.au pushed the ‘go live’ button on their new property portal. According to online solutions provider Local Matters Inc, the launch of the new site positioned realestate.com.au as a benchmark in the global real estate industry. Early statistics prove they’ve dispelled a myth that real estate web portals must choose between serving either consumers or agents.

As Australia’s most popular real estate web site, with more unique visitors than the next 19 competitors (1) combined, realestate.com.au adopted an online strategy to focus on property obsessed consumers.

The realestate.com.au team was convinced that providing a better consumer experience would in turn benefit real estate professionals with listings and advertisements on the site. To bring this thinking to reality, realestate.com.au partnered with local search pioneer, Local Matters to create a solution that delivers superior user and agent experiences in a more engaging and interactive way.

"Many online real estate companies dedicate themselves to serving either agents or consumers on their real estate portal, but they rarely serve both,” said Bruce R. Huebner, Senior Vice President at Local Matters.

“Our team helped realestate.com.au create an experience that serves both consumers and agents. And, the early sustained success is proof the market can deliver more value to consumers and agents collaborating on their web portals."

Using Local Matters’ local search solution platform, realestate.com.au’s redesigned site integrated more advanced search capabilities, personalization preferences and sharing tools, such as social media. And, web statistics around consumer engagement on the site are already on the rise. The new functionality resulted in a 16 percent increase (2) in average time on site and a 52 percent (3) increase in sharing properties on social media sites.

Plus, the site offers nine new ways consumers can interact with properties and agents. And, they've significantly boosted the quantity of potential leads for agents, reporting the usage of the ‘Find an Agent’ feature has increased by 8 times (4). By moving from only two performance metrics on their previous site to a whopping 22 new and improved metrics, realestate.com.au has given their agents insights into individual property listings through a simple reporting interface that helps agents evaluate areas of success and improve their listings.

“We feel strongly that balancing the needs of both consumers and agents is a key success factor for leading property portals,” said Daniel Oertli, Chief Information Officer at realestate.com.au.

“Local Matters’ expertise in consumer behavior and local search technology, coupled with their commitment to understanding our business, has played a strong role in our continuing business evolution. realestate.com.au is committed to providing consumers with the most compelling search and discovery experience and agents with the best value solution to sell their listings and win new business,” he said.

The enhanced site, realestate.com.au, uses a real estate edition of Local Matters’ flagship product, Destination Search, a local search solution that provides cutting edge tools to attract and engage consumers with rich, local content. This platform, combined with Local Matters' deep expertise in technology, consumer behavior and local search, enables realestate.com.au to continue to dominate their market while facilitating agent and consumer relationships. Destination Search also powers the leading U.S. MLS property portal, homesdatabase.com. Check out Destination Search live at realestate.com.au.

Want tips from Local Matters’ experience with market-leading real estate portals? Their experts dish at localmatters.com/blog.

About Local Matters
Local Matters provides technology solutions to online publishers of local information to help them achieve leadership in local search and advertising. With over 18 million unique monthly visitors worldwide, Local Matters has the proven experience in technology, local search and consumer behavior to support your initiative. Local Matters empowers dozens of the world’s top local media brands. With over 100 employees and offices in Denver, Amsterdam, and Melbourne, Local Matters has been an established leader in digital solutions for publishers since 2002. For more information, visit http://www.localmatters.com.

About the REA Group
REA Group (ASX:REA) is a market-leading online advertising business specialising in real estate. Established in Melbourne in 1995, the Group operates real estate websites in Australia and around the world. Together, its sites received more than 9.4 million unique browsers in June 2010 (source: Nielsen Market intelligence, Nielsen SiteCensus, Omniture). For the month of June 2010 realestate.com.au delivered 5,781,187 unique browsers (source: Nielsen, Market Intelligence, Australia). For further information, visit http://www.rea-group.com.

(1) 19 competitor websites, Nielsen May 2010
(2) Nielsen Market Intelligence, week on week 22/3/10 versus 03/5/10
(3) Omniture Site Catalyst, week on week 14/03/10 versus 16/05/10
(4) Omniture Site Catalyst, month on month 14/03/10 versus 14/05/10

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Jess Nelson
Local Matters
303-572-1122 ext. 278
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