Which advertising portals cost the most and get the best results?

This year marks five years since Google shuttered its free real estate listings service after it failed to make any inroads either here or internationally. As we mentioned in our previous post about the Google real estate listings service, the marketplace for property websites here in Australia is a tough market to crack, given the vast amount of market share both Domain and REA Group occupy. So what does this mean for vendors looking for alternative advertising options to Domain and realestate.com.au?

Before we begin, it’s worth noting that Australia has never had the luxury of a great deal of media diversity, especially when it comes to real estate. Both Fairfax and News Corporation (the owners of Domain and REA Group respectively) each control 90 percent of Australia’s metropolitan, regional and community newspaper titles; Fairfax also owns a number of radio stations, while News Corporation owns a 50 percent stake in Foxtel and also has a stake in the Ten Network. Between them, Domain and REA Group also own four property portals (their respective flagship sites, as well as Allhomes.com.au and Property.com.au).

So while it may seem difficult to get away from Fairfax and News Corporation, it’s also nothing new. As it happens, both Domain and REA Group’s flagship real estate portals generate the largest number of users to their desktop sites and accompanying smartphone and tablet apps. In advertising speak, this makes them highly efficient media channels, because, together, they capture a near majority of the property searches, across each platform.

Alternatives to Domain and REA Group

If you’d rather steer clear of Domain and REA Group, however, we’ve rounded up a some alternatives to the Big Two property portals.


Operated by Independent Media Group (IPMG), Homehound was first launched in 2004 as the digital real estate arm of the Courier Newspaper Group, originally published by IPMG until the newspaper business was sold to News Corporation in 2006. Homehound is used by around 4,000 agencies and 20,000 agents, and has a database of 200,000 individuals subscribed to receive its property newsletters. Homehound offers free property listings to real estate agents (no private sellers), as well as paid ‘premium listings’ which cost $250.  


Launched in 2009, homesales.com.au is the real estate arm of carsales.com.au. Homesales.com.au attracts around 1 million unique visitors per month, and is available to both real estate agents and private sellers to advertise on, offering free listings, as well as a paid listing model.


Independently owned and operated in Melbourne, Homely is a free property website, dedicated only to real estate, that real estate agents can advertise their properties on. It’s goal is to create a real estate community, rather than just another real estate portal. For this reason, there’s no third party advertising on its site (agents are instead encouraged to sign up to Homely’s ‘premier agent’ account, as part of Homely’s community portal.


Australia’s largest free online classifieds site is best known as the free version of eBay, but it originally started out as a community site connecting people who were either planning to move or who already had moved, and were looking for accommodation, employment or just wanted to meet new people. And it’s still a popular way for people buy, sell, and rent property.

In avoiding the Big Two, you may also avoid a quick sale

As great as a $250 premium listing on Homehound — or a free one, even, on Homely — may sound, it’s also important to remember that you get what you pay for. As expensive as the Big Two property portals may seem, their rates are set the same way newspaper rates are: they’re based on the number of users each portal attracts each month.

In other words, a smaller number of unique browsers each month should be reflected in the rates, and vice versa. So while you may save a few hundred dollars, initially, your property could spend more time on the market, which will undoubtedly wind up costing you more money in the long run.

Always speak to your real estate agent about the best marketing strategy to sell your property, and ask them how one of the alternative property websites might affect your campaign. If you’d like to learn more about property marketing and advertising, subscribe to receive access to our free guide, called Selling Your Property: What You Really Need to Know. Alternatively, continue reading our blog.

As seen in..

Our educational blogs are designed to help you understand each of the steps involved in selling your property so whether you choose to work with a real estate agent or do it yourself you'll understand the work involved and be more efficient and aware of what you need to do. Our articles have been seen in these major online news and information portals..

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