Real estate agents looking to expand their digital footprint and low-cost marketing options should consider homely.com.au, its Co-CEO Jason Spencer says.
Speaking as part of Transform 2020, Jason said the popular real estate platform drew interest from 18 million visitors last year, who were attracted to its unique, hyper-local, user-generated content.
Founded in 2014, homely.com.au is like the Tripadvisor of the real estate world.
It not only contains real estate listings but user-created street and suburb reviews, Q and A forums seeking advice on topics ranging from the best schools to public transport, and insights into whether particular suburbs are family-friendly.
“Today, over 9,000 real estate offices from all over Australia are using homely.com.au as a low-cost alternative to market their homes online,” Jason says.
“If you ask most of our agents, they say they love it for the hyper-local street and suburb reviews and Q and As, and that’s how we’re different.”
Jason says agents can grow their digital footprint by creating discussions on the platform and through answering user questions or leaving reviews as local area experts.
“There is a huge opportunity for real estate professionals to engage with locals on our community and build their own,” Jason says.
One of the hottest topics on homely.com.au is about schools, with the Number 1 thread being what the best school in Melbourne is.
It has generated 502 comments and 182 people are following the discussion.
“If you want to have your say on that, jump in right now and you’ll have 182 people to talk to,” Jason says.
“The beauty of this is it’s incredibly emotional content.”
Real estate specific features include vendor street reviews on property listings as well as community profiles that compile the agent’s listings as well as any forums or discussions they’ve participated in and reviews they’ve written.
“You are building a massive content asset,” Jason says.
Jason says he started homely.com.au after a frustrating real estate experience of his own.
After buying his first home, in an area that was supposed to be one of the best in Melbourne, he hated it because the street wasn’t right for him and his family.
He didn’t like the neighbours, the cut-through traffic, the flooding in the street or the waves of bats that would land in the backyard at night and scare his children.
“I remember saying to my co-founder, my brother, ‘if only I knew about the street before I bought the house’,” Jason says.
“That was the lightbulb moment when homely.com.au was born.”