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Domain to close the door on private landlords

Speaking exclusively to Elite Agent this week, Domain Group Chief Operating Officer Tony Blamey says the group are "turning off the self-service channels for residential landlords" to work more closely with agents.

Domain has announced two significant changes to their advertising platform which they believe will strengthen relationships with industry professionals.

The first initiative, taking effect from January 2021 is to discontinue the feature which allows self-managed landlords to promote a property for rent on Domain.

The second initiative is to extend the duration of rental listings by 15 days for Silver, Gold, and Platinum subscribers for the same price.

Further, those with 45-day listings will be given the opportunity to ‘refresh’ for no extra cost if the property is not leased, effectively doubling the listing duration.

These moves are designed to demonstrate support for agents – particularly property managers – and the wider real estate industry, bolstering the support Domain has made an effort to provide throughout 2020.

“We’re really just trying to support agents around rental listings and property management,” said Tony Blamey, Domain’s Chief Commercial Officer.

“It means that self-managed landlords will no longer be able to directly list their property and will instead need to connect with a property manager.”

Removing this line of business may mildly impact Domain’s bottom line in the short term – something that doesn’t seem to bother Tony too much.

“We do get revenue from private advertisers,” he said, “but we want to commit to partnering with agents and seeing them achieve strong results for their landlord clients”.

“We believe this will help the industry and help achieve better outcomes for landlords and renters as well.

“Property managers are trained professionals so we really want to direct landlords and renters to the professionals in the market place. We think they will get a better experience as a result.”

The new initiatives come on the back of what has been an innovative year for Domain. They recently launched their Early Access product which Mr Blamey said has been quite successful.

“It’s really been timely and being received well – and getting great results for agents.”

Despite the various market slowdowns this year due to the pandemic, Mr Blamey said Domain is optimistic about 2021.

“I think there’s a lot of confidence in the market, and we expect it to be a good market, going forward.”

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