- New Canberra property listings site now one year old
- Attracting 340,000 monthly visits
- Has just hired former REA executive to be CEO
Can a locally-owned real estate listings portal succeed in an environment dominated by large media backed websites?
One such site, Zango, based in Canberra, is bravely taking it up to the ‘big boys’. The capital city has seen a local site hold off challenges from national listings portals before.
Back in the 2000s, as the internet cut huge swathes through various industries, the Allhomes site was one independent property site that stood out. It built itself up to be the number listings site in Australia’s capital city. In all other major centres, Realestate.com.au or Domain.com.au dominated. Usually the former.
Eventually, Allhomes was bought by Domain for a reported A$50 million in 2014. The site now sits within a suite of Domain-operated media brands, which itself is listed on the ASX (having been spun out from Fairfax in 2017) and is now majority owned by Nine.
Realestate.com.au has gone on to become the dominant force in property listings, is the number 12 web site in the country – for anything – and in the top 500 globally. Their profit and share price has recently hit new heights, with the company worth more than A$20 billion.
So with this background, it is interesting to see a new property listings site, Zango.com.au, set up shop in Canberra a year ago.
Reportedly, the site was established by a “group of real estate agents… backed by experienced local operators.”
One of those local operators would be Tim White. The original CEO of Allhomes, he was in the job for more than eight years, so has some very useful and specific experience in this field. He is also a director of Canberra-based news and opinion site The RiotACT and the Region Media Group (under whose umbrella other sites run such as About Regional and This is Canberra).
The promotion behind the Zango site emphasised the fact that they were local, (as opposed to those large sites from other states, was the inference.)
Offering relative lower advertising fees enticed paying agents on board, and local ad campaigns in the Canberra area got the word out to local home searchers that there was a new kid in town.
A year on, traffic to the site is up to 340,000 monthly visits (according to SimilarWeb), a 125% increase since August last year.
As if to demonstrate that Zango are in it to win it, they have recently appointed longstanding Realestate.com.au executive Darryn McRae as their new CEO. Mr McRae was the third longest-serving employee at the REA Group.
Comparing the amount of properties for sale (not including under offer) on the main three sites for a few suburbs in Canberra (not surrounding suburbs), one can see that Zango is making an impression, but with not quite the coverage of the top two yet:
- Realestate.com.au: 15
- Domain: 14
- Zango: 8
- Realestate.com.au: 28
- Domain: 27
- Zango: 18
- Realestate.com.au: 47
- Domain: 73
- Zango: 38
Zango seems to have made a strong start. Time will tell if it can make a big effect in the Canberra market.
The Property Tribune reached out for comment from Zango, but at the time of publication, did not hear back.