15th October 2008
Globrix to launch overseas with free-to-list model
News International-backed Globrix.com
is planning to expand into international property with a free-to-list model, Globaledge can exclusively reveal. The move will further intensify competition in the overseas property portal market and could mean lower lead prices for overseas agents in the longer term.
Globrix already has partners in place in the US, where it plans to begin its expansion, initially focusing activity on premium property on the East and West Coasts. The initial rollout in the US and Ireland is planned for the early part of 2009, with other countries to follow later in the year.
Multiple language plans
According to Globrix Chief Technical Officer Ian Parry, they have always planned to expand overseas: “Although we only launched in January, the site was two and a half years in the planning and the site can be customised very quickly [to adapt to new markets]”. The Globrix team have developed semantic translation technology that Parry believes will allow them to translate real estate listings into multiple languages quickly and easily.
Lower prices for agents?
Since its launch in January this year, Globrix is widely believed to have put pressure on the so called “Big 4”, which includes UK market leader Rightmove
. According to Globrix, the site attracts around 500,000 unique visitors per month, around 20% of the traffic going to Rightmove*. A survey last week by Estate Agent Today found that 75% of UK agents now plan to leave Righmove
in favour of cheaper competitors. Actions speak louder than words but it could be a sign of things to come for portals charging high monthly fees in the overseas market.
Yannick Lacklau, CEO of Properazzi.com
, which operates a similar model to Globrix but on a global basis, says it’s “do-able” but warns Globrix it’s not an easy win. “It’s easy to underestimate the difficulties of operating [a international listings scraping portal] internationally. Many residential property portals see going abroad as a golden oasis. Lots of people talk about it, but it’s difficult to do,” he says.
*ComScore Figures August 2008
Also note that the Globrix figures are not from an independent source so should be treated with caution.