Recently a very popular business for sale website owned by the REA Group called ‘Real Businesses’ closed its doors.
The announcement said:
“As a subscriber to our ‘Real Businesses’ website, I want to let you know first hand of our intention to close the service on the 3rd March 2014.
During the past 12 months we have reviewed all aspects of our wider business to align ourselves to our long-term strategic goals and REA Group purpose; to help people to live their property dreams by making the entire process simple, efficient and stress free.
We carefully considered the site experience for our ‘business for sale’ consumers and customers and whether it was in line with REA Group purpose. In this context, we felt that the capital investment required to take the‘’Real Businesses” website into the future (including the development of a strong mobile proposition) could not be justified.
We are informing you of this decision 3 months in advance to allow you the time to transition to other marketing solutions for your business.” Referenced at www.rea-group.com,
This ruffled a lot of feather within the industry and in particular, business brokers in Sydney, as they were the major percentage of Real Businesses client base.
What Will Brokers Do Now?
As I predicted, this was just a storm in a tea cup. Yes, they did leave their customers in the lurch, forcing them to advertise on other websites, but moving to a new site isn’t that difficult.
All brokers were required to do was to advertise on another highly ranked website, or simply advertise on the website which replaced ‘Real Businesses’ in the search engines (when they were removed from Google, all other sites simply moved up one position).
Sure, this would require setting up a new account on a new site, and re-uploading all of your listings, but this can be done relatively quick. And most sites these days cater for bulk uploading via XML files.
What Are Brokers Saying
At Business Sold, we received a lot of feedback from different business broker agencies around Australia as a lot of them were already advertising on our site. And the general feedback was that business brokers nation wide were not that concerned and were actually seeing it as a way to get out of their contracts.
The general consensus was that ‘Real Businesses’ were over priced and under servicing their customer base. With huge overheads, they were forced to charge ridiculous monthly prices that did not meet most agencies budgets. Hence their downfall.
As it turns out, ‘Real Businesses’ closing their doors was a blessing in disguise and according the brokers, and they are not missed!