New Zealand Property Investors' Federation

The NZPIF is the umbrella body for 17 local Property Investors' Associations throughout New Zealand.

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Vendors treated as pawns: Helm


Vendors are losing out as agents battle Trade Me over fees, one commentator says.

Groups of agents in some parts of the country have boycotted Trade Me after the company announced price rises. It has stopped charging a fixed fee to list all their properties to a fee of $159, plus GST, per listing.

One Hawke’s Bay agency, Tremain, said the move would quadruple its Trade Me costs.  It would instead advertise listings only on its website, and Property Page – as well as via print media.

In total, 1700 Hamilton and Hawke’s Bay listings have been pulled.

Trade Me wrote to 1300 vendors, offering to reinstate their listings without charge, saying it did not want customers to be disadvantaged.

The Commerce Commission has confirmed it is investigating the issue.

Property commentator Alistair Helm said vendors’ listing should not be used as pawns in the battle.“The fact is that there are vendors in these two regions of the country who are missing out on valuable marketing on Trade Me and as ever with the web, the data is there to back up the story.”

He said the number of Trade Me listings in Hawke's Bay and Hamilton was down significantly. But the level of viewer activity was not.

As a result, the 1000-odd listings were missing buyer attention because people did not realise the extent of the boycott.

“As a buyer accustomed to using Trade Me when searching for property there is no recognisable experience that will tell a person that there has been a boycott. The functionality of the web allows for tailored searches by location, price and type and at no point do you get a sense of the number of listings in relative terms.”

He said agents needed to be careful that they did not prompt a backlash from angry vendors, who might have more loyalty to Trade Me than to their real estate agent. “The vendors of these properties are not receiving the exposure they should. The scale of the loss is substantial.”

Tags: trade me