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Realestate logo is at it again. Hiking prices up like the proverbial harry-high. And it’s got many agents with their knickers in a knot, us included, because alongside the hikes, they’re really not offering anything extra.

Over the past five or so years it’s been a bumpy ride from a local and global financial perspective and in that time real estate agents have been slugged by – otherwise known as REA – with ongoing price hikes for their listings.

An often used price-increase strategy is the bamboozle and befuddle route; change your pricing model and make it more complex so that clients will require a PhD in something complicated to actually work it out. Or they’ll submit and continue to be your client …

And it’s a strategy that’s worked well for in the past, having increased its fees, while changing its pricing model many times over the past few years and shareholders are singing a happy song, while agents and vendors get nothing extra for their buck.

With the vast majority of buyers hunting for houses online, the go-to portal is typically And that is, quite simply, why many agents continue to place all their listings with them. It’s easy.

But here’s the thing. There are alternatives. And savvy buyers know how to sniff out properties marketed elsewhere. And savvy agents are beginning to implement their own alternate strategies to rival and counter the one headed beast.

There are other portals out there to find your new property and many agents have stopped their subscription with REA, or are considering alternatives. Perhaps this is one of the causes of the continuing price hikes? But continuing to raise prices to a shrinking customer-base is not a good long-term strategy for success. is a publicly listed company with the Australian Stock Exchange, whose mission (amongst other things) is to maximise profit for shareholders. We get that. No one is in business just for love. We all need to earn a living but our contention here is about fairness and everyone winning …

Either way, here’s our prediction. Buyers will continue to find the properties they desire by whatever means possible. Real estate agents will find alternate ways of marketing those properties. And the lesser-known portals will gain greater rankings in searches over time.

It’s all well and good to be competitive and to aim for profit; that’s the basis of a healthy functioning economy. But not whilst gouging your customers. Customers have a habit of only being gouged for so long before they revolt and find a more fair way of conducting themselves.

Monopoly is not a game, when corporations continue to exploit their customers in the mistaken belief that those customers have nowhere else to go.

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Hicks Real Estate is a Brisbane based, full-service real estate agency supporting buyers and sell as well as renters and property investors. With almost 20 years experience in the local market, we are the real estate experts you can rely upon.