Economists are tipping a big boost for the property market as interest rates drop. Photo: Rob Homer
Ray White Group has thrown its support behind a group of real estate agents that have appointed a media buyer to negotiate digital advertising rates for them.
The group, known as Real Estate Digital Marketing Services, was formed largely in response to price rises at marketing website realestate.com.au. It has more than 400 agency members.
But that membership has, to date, been confined to Victoria.
The agents have appointed media agency Vizeum to negotiate on their behalf with all digital property marketing groups, but they are particularly concerned by soaring rates at realestate.com.au.
The support of Ray White is significant because the company has about 635 franchises across Australia and more than 400 in NSW and Queensland, where REDMS is yet to establish a presence.
Ray White co-chairman Brian White has drafted a letter that could be sent to the franchises recommending they sign up to allow REDMS to obtain information about the performance of their advertising with property portals, which may be a pre-cursor to having REDMS negotiate ad rates on their behalf.
‘‘We have certainly spoken with the drivers of REDMS and yes, we think it makes sense to professionalise the financial arrangements between the agents that provide the advertising and the digital deliverers,’’ Mr White told Fairfax Media.
‘‘We think it would be fantastic for the individuals to be able to speak with one voice.
‘‘It would surprise me if it didn’t make sense for the other big franchises to embrace this philosophy.’’
REA Group, which is the operator of realestate.com.au and is 61.6 per cent owned by News Corporation, has refused to negotiate with REDMS, but the clout and market presence of Ray White is a potential game changer.
A large number, but not all, of the Victorian agents involved in the REDMS group are also shareholders in Metro Media Publishing, which is half-owned by Fairfax Media, owner of Business Day.
News Corp has raised questions about the legitimacy of REDMS due to its links to Fairfax, which owns the No.2 property marketing groupDomain, but the support of Ray White confirms that the concerns of agents about ad rates are genuine.