- The online Canberra real estate war has hotted up, with Ray White investing in Zango
- Zango shareholders include the earlier backers of AllHomes, a site they are now competing against
- Ray White will have a minority stake, and no seat on the board
Canberra real estate listings site Zango, launched in early 2020, has won an investment from the largest real estate group in the land, Ray White.
Zango was set up by some of the largest real estate agencies in the capital city, together with some prominent local business people. One of those backers, Peter Blackshaw, was also behind the formation – and later sale – of the now number one Canberran property site, Allhomes.
Zango’s backers want to reclaim the property advertising market crown from Allhomes, where real estate ads can be priced at anything from $1,500 to $3,000 per listing.
Group director Dan White is the fourth generation of the White family in charge of Ray White Group, and was delighted to be taking a stake in Zango.
“My great-grandfather Ray White founded the company in 1902 from a small shed in rural Queensland.”
“He was an integral part of his local community, and we have strived to maintain that connection as our business has grown.”
Dan White, Ray White group director
“Across our network, there has been a strong desire to evolve the relationships that agencies have with the major property portals, and to retain more of the value created by moving house in the pockets of consumers, and their local communities.”
The rising cost of online property portals has been an issue in the industry for quite some time. After leaping out of the print monopoly pan, real estate agents now feel the burn of the online monopoly fire, notably with realestate.com.au (REA Group) in most of the country, and AllHomes (which was bought by Domain in 2014) in Canberra.
The creation of Zango is a reaction against this trend and has the backing of leading industry groups in the capital city.
The White family joins real estate tech entrepreneurs Peter and Andrea Blackshaw, Region Media owner Tim White and more than 80 local real estate agencies on the share registry.
“The White family has taken a generational view on the real estate industry, and see the potential in what we’ve built to date,” said Zango Director Ben Faulks.
“Getting a majority of local agencies to support a startup that’s going head-to-head with the media giants of our time has created a unique footing for us to drive meaningful change.”
Mr Faulks said the White family’s investment wouldn’t affect the operations or direction of the company, as they hadn’t requested a board seat.
“What’s great about the White family’s investment is that they’re happy to take a small stake in the company, but make a large contribution.”
“They see the need for local industry ownership but we also benefit from their reach and experience.”
Ben Faulks, Zango director
Earlier this year, Zango also brought on a former REA Group executive Darryn McRae as CEO.
“Zango has been widely embraced by the local Canberra and Queanbeyan agent communities, allowing us to save property owners in excess of 2.4 million dollars in marketing fees, sponsor a number of community groups and raise in excess of $70,000 for Hands Across Canberra in just 12 short months,” said Zango CEO Darryn McRae.
“It’s a tremendous acknowledgment of our circular business ambitions and combined local impact to have attracted the national attention of Australia’s largest real estate group so quickly.”