Trade Me changes property fees

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 18:07 30/07/2014

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Trade Me has partially backtracked on controversial fee changes it tried to impose on real estate agents last year.

The online auction and listings giant had been switching agents to a new model under which they would pay a $159 fee for each property they listed on Trade Me.

Property head Nigel Jeffries said Trade Me would add an extra choice after "taking on board feedback" from agents, giving them an option to pay a monthly subscription fee of $1399 that entitled them to unlimited listings.

The fees would be discounted to $999 for agents outside the major metropolitan centres of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, he said.

For those who preferred to pay a fee for each listing, the $159 charge would be reduced to $99 on properties with a rateable value of less than $450,000.

"We acknowledge that the pay-per-listing model we rolled out last year works well for some business owners, but it does not work for everybody, Jeffries said.

"We also need to offer options that better cater for the state of the market in the various areas."

Deutsche Bank analyst Steven Ridgewell said he believed the changes were meaningful and sensible.

"They are certainly making a lot of concessions to agents. No doubt the loss of market share over the last three or four months has played a part in that decision."

Many agents are understood to have switched more property listings to rival industry-owned website realestate.co.nz.

A Commerce Commission spokeswoman said the competition watchdog was continuing to investigate whether some agents might have breached the Commerce Act by going so far as to boycott Trade Me.

Jeffries said Trade Me Property was still attracting triple the audience of "its nearest competitor", which is realestate.co.nz.

Trade Me shares closed down 2.6 per cent at $3.43.


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