New twist as Domain.com.au enters broking

Follows rival property search giant realestate.com.au but will launch earlier in July

New twist as Domain.com.au enters broking

Follows rival property search giant realestate.com.au but will launch earlier in July

Domain Group is entering broking with the launch of Domain Loan Finder, in partnership with online mortgage broker Lendi. 

Announced late last night, the new business will be 60% owned by Domain Group and will offer consumers a panel of 30 lenders. It follows Tuesday’s news that realestate.com.au (REA Group) will create its own mortgage broking business in conjunction with NAB, as well as acquiring a stake in Smartline

Domain CEO, Antony Catalano, said:  “Domain Loan Finder helps consumers apply for loans that are genuinely available in the market - it is not just another rates comparison website.”

“We expect Domain Loan Finder will quickly become a must-use and valuable digital tool for all Australians looking to secure a home loan. We will actively market our home loan solution to our large and highly engaged audience of more than 4 million a month in a highly relevant, personalised and timely way.”

Just a coincidence?

The timing of the two announcements from the rival websites is unlikely to be by chance.

It appears that REA Group’s announcement on Tuesday may have pushed Domain Group to unveil a project it had long been working on, given Domain Loan Finder will launch in a matter of weeks. In comparison Realestate.com.au Home Loans will not launch until “later this year”, REA Group told MPA.

Domain has been progressively adding auxiliary services to its core property search offering, CEO Catalano explained: “Domain Loan Finder adds to Domain’s other investments in utilities connections business Compare & Connect, home improvement and maintenance business Oneflare, and open for inspection check-in management system Homepass.”

Not quite copycats

Although Domain will own 60% of Domain Loan Finder, it will not be taking a stake in online mortgage broker Lendi. 

This differs from REA Group’s decision to take a majority stake in Smartline and create a fully-owned realestate.com.au Home Loans. Furthermore, Lendi is a very different business than Smartline, having been set up in 2013 as an online and phone-based broking business, backed by major institutional investors and venture capital.

There are other differences between the two offerings. At present, Domain has made no mention of launching a white label product, whilst REA Group will launch a NAB-backed realestate.com.au home loan as a core part of their strategy.
 

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