Industry-backed national real estate portal Homely has inspired Tasmanian agents and property managers to jump on board through its capacity to inspire business leads and build agents’ profiles.
Its commitment to community building and ability to offer vendors a competitive advertising avenue are other driving forces behind the successful online real estate marketplace expanding into the Apple Isle on the back of securing a network of industry partners.
Tasmanian launch partner Tameka Smith, the property management director at Key2Property in Launceston, said they’d been active on the platform for about a year and were really “gaining traction” in key business areas.
“We’ve picked up eight new landlords out of Homely,” she said.
“That’s where they’ve told us they found us. They’ve looked at our profile on there, our reviews on there, they’ve looked at our listings and contacted us.
“Now we’re also starting to see about 10 per cent of our tenant inquiries coming from Homely.”
As well as the boost in business leads, Ms Smith said she was impressed by Homely’s suburb and street review capabilities, which were not only a valuable resource to clients but a way for property managers to build their digital profile.
“Each of our team members has a KPI to, once a month, do a street review from somewhere in our marketplace on Homely,” she said.
“We’re constantly building our individual profiles and our company profile in the community on that platform.”
Ms Smith said that she’d also used the review section on Homely to help refer her clients to agents in other parts of the country.
“When an agent that I’m following gets a review, I’ll get an email alert about it,” she said.
“So when my clients are looking to invest in other areas, I’m able to send them to other agents around Australia because I’ve seen what they’re doing in their marketplace.”
Ms Smith said another factor that inspired her to become a partner was that Homely connected with the community, provided valuable information and gave clients another option to help find a home.
“Homely is a bit more about our community, and I really like that,” Ms Smith said.
“That’s really important to our office. Our office is built around our community.”
Brothers Jason and Adam Spencer founded Homely in 2014, and it has since built a network of more than 500 agents across Australia.
The Homely ethos is not just about buying and selling but providing consumers with information on what it’s like to live in the area they are thinking of moving to.
Homely Head of Sales Rory Cook said the expansion into Tasmania was a positive move.
“We are excited to be gaining even more momentum, this time in Tasmania,” he said.
Homely Senior Partnerships Manager Freddie Seaholme-Rolan said the portal offered consumers greater choice when buying and selling.
“Being a national, industry-backed portal, it was important to meet with agents across Tasmania and listen to their frustrations with online advertising costs,” he said.
“The beauty of the Homely service is that agents can build their own digital footprint through engaging with Homely’s reviews and discussions.
“That helps everyone in the agency by bringing more traffic to their site, plus it adds more useful content for the community.”
Harcourts Launceston Director Jeremy Wilkinson said he came on board as a partner to give his clients great options when it comes to advertising their properties.
“It’s beneficial for our clients to have another player in the marketplace,” he said.
“More than anything, we just want to give our clients options.”
Mr Wilkinson said he also liked that Homely was an intuitive platform that helped build agent’s profiles through its street and suburb reviews.
“It’s a responsive site,” he said.
“Every time we bring on a listing, we get a prompt 10 seconds later saying, ‘Hey, leave your suburb profile information now, tell us everything about it’.
“It’s really cool, and it gives you a bit of ownership, and you can tell people about the area and why you’d want to live there.”
Mr Wilkinson said potential buyers were also likely to believe the website more than an agent telling them the same thing.
“If I tell a buyer, they might say, ‘Yeah, whatever’, but if it’s a website telling them something and they see a group of comments, it’s very much believable.”