There’s now more-than-sufficient number of portals which display listings in Malaysia, but as Pareto tells us, the top 20% (in this case, the top one) will take the lion share of the user traffic, and therefore, the lion’s share of the vertical’s profits. As iProperty head honcho Patrick Grove once said, in the classifieds game, only the top dog will win, and win big. We’ll see how this pans out in the Malaysian context; while the data seems to indicate that iProperty is indeed the numero uno in terms of listings and traffic, the smaller guys seem to also be getting traction – simply because there’s not a whole lotta brand loyalty in classifieds. Here’s a blow-by-blow comparison between some of the biggest players in the Malaysia online real estate vertical.
The big kahuna. Admittedly, online property in Malaysia was kinda dead with less-than-serious attempts along the lines of Apanac and a couple other mom-and-pop operations. iProperty was also one of these until Patrick Grove came along, bankrolled it with Catcha monies and the juggernaut has been rolling ever since. You gotta give it to Grove. Such a #baller.
As it stands, now iProperty has got the most listings in Malaysia (according to its homepage, there are 512,000), and most property agents are members. Lots of pictures, flashy banners, guides, resources, flashy banners, free reports, surveys, flashy banners. iProperty is also an organizer of property shows; its series of expos are very slickly run with lots of participation from developers, agencies and gurus.
Out of the iProperty network across the region, the Malaysia site is profitable.
iProperty’s main competitor, Property Guru is HQ-ed out of Singapore. Property Guru is the market leader in Singapore, but in Malaysia it lags somewhat behind. The homepage boasts of 200,000 listings. The site’s nothing much to shout about, and does not really look any different from iProperty. Just change the colour scheme and we’ve got one more of the same.
Property Guru in Malaysia was known as HomeGuru before, well, the URL was surrendered back to them. There’s a long back story about this and we’ll save this for another time.
Disclaimer. We know the guys behind GoodPlace.my, and there’s a strong possibility that we will be working together. Smaller guys in this industry need to band together to stay in the game.
GoodPlace.my is more of an informational site than a listings portal, but we can surely see what’s in store – if it manages to capture a chunk of traffic which is neglected by the big boys then it will stand a fighting chance. Rather opinionated reviews and articles – not for the faint hearted or the easily offended.
Star Property is the property classifieds arm of the Star newspaper and media behemoth in Malaysia. It underwent a revamp earlier this year, turning to the map display format which is rather search engine unfriendly; it then acquired Propwall which is a Google darling. It remains to be seen if the integration is smooth by combining both Propwall’s SERP prowess with Star’s “offline” capabilities.