Ray White, the country’s largest real estate agency, has started to sell tradie services through a partnership with e-commerce platform hipages.
The real estate agency has added hipages, a referral site to 70,000 tradespeople, to its Concierge platform that already gives clients links to services such as removalists, insurance and conveyancing.
The partnership, under which Ray White gets paid per referral, is the latest tie-up the agency has made to keep engaged with customers and potential customers at a time when service levels were the main thing that would keep people loyal, Ray White chairman Brian White said.
“Once it used to be ‘Quick, make a decision whether you want to sell your house and we’ll become interested’,” Mr White said. “It used to be ‘Come and pick up the keys – the keys will be waiting at the front desk’. Now, we’re looking to understand what you might be doing in a year or two years and if we can still provide any assistance.”
While the revenue resulting from the Concierge service – which employs 80 people – would hopefully make it viable in its own right, it would never challenge the core revenue stream of property sales, he said.
“It’s certainly not a profit driver,” Mr White said. “That will always remain the sale.”
David Vitek, co-founder and chief executive of hipages, said the partnership would help real estate agents serve their clients better.
“Real estate agents will have a bunch of business cards of people they’ve used before,” Mr Vitek said. “It’s not exactly scientific. What we offer is that recommended network with reviews.”
hipages already has a partnership with Ikea, to refer customers to installers of the retailer’s flat-pack kitchen units.
There is no exclusivity preventing hipages from making similar partnerships with other agencies, but Mr Vitek said he wasn’t thinking about that.
“That’s not our focus at the moment. Ray White is one of the largest. We want to make sure we look after Ray White.”
Sourced: Financial Review