Local property search portal PropertyGuru’s decision to increase prices for property agents to list on its platform has sparked a backlash among some real estate agents.
According to a notice PropertyGuru sent to its subscribers on Jul 31, prices of new agent packages will range from S$880 per year to S$9,880 per year from Friday (Aug 4) – up from the current annual cost of S$630 to S$2,240.
These packages also include the number of concurrent listings an agent can have on its site, and a pool of credits agents use to put up their listings, or “boost” it such that it appears at the top of the page.
More than 3,000 agents have joined a Telegram chat group called “No to Propertyguru” to discuss the issue, with some calling for a switch to other similar portals once their subscription with PropertyGuru ends.
Agent packages on 99.co, another real estate portal, cost between S$388 and S$588 per year, while rates on SRX Property are between S$499 and S$4,299 a year, according to their websites.
Mr Jeff Koh, the agency relationship director at 99.co, said his platform does not have a credit system. Instead, agents can click a “refresh” button every 12 hours on a listing so that it comes up on the site’s front page.
PropertyGuru told Channel NewsAsia that the changes were made in order to “improve the property seeker’s experience”, which will “ultimately deliver more leads to the agents”.
However, real estate agents Channel NewsAsia spoke to said they were unhappy with the price hike, particularly as PropertyGuru is the most popular site among clients, with a majority of their enquiries via real estate portals coming from there.
A 29-year-old, who declined to be named because she belongs to a well-known property agency, said the price hike might make it harder for agents with fewer years in the industry like her to reach potential clients.
The “top producers” will continue to receive queries from house hunters as they have the capital to spend on online listings, she said, while younger agents will have difficulty “getting on the front page”.