Contagion has walked away with Realestate.co.nz's media and creative account after a three-way pitch, which also involved Sugar & Partners and Republik.
Contagion chief executive Dean Taylor says that there was no incumbent account holder, and that until now the online real estate company has worked with different agencies on a project basis.
The pitching process included two rounds over a three-week period, and included both media and creative aspects.
In commenting on his plans with the account, Taylor said that he hopes to push Realestate.co.nz forward so that it becomes the number one real estate site in the country.
"With property one of New Zealand’s foremost obsessions, it is an incredible opportunity to work with such an ambitious client who are leading the industry into the future and we can’t wait to tell their great story," he says. "We’ve got great synergy with this client. They’re a challenger in the market, much like us, and have very big plans. The entire agency is thrilled to be part of building on their success."
Realestate.co.nz continues to be embroiled in a battle with online juggernaut Trademe, as both companies aim to dominate the real estate market in New Zealand.
This competition was evidenced at the beginning of the year when both companies launched TVCs within a few days of each other.
As with most of its online endeavours, Trade Me has managed to lead the real estate market but Realestate.co.nz has recently made some decent headway.
At the end of last year, Trade Me increased its rates for property listings and this led to the website being boycotted by real estate agents in several regions. In April, shortly after boycott was initiated, Alistair Helm of Properazzi reported that Trade Me had gone from having 18 percent more properties listed than Realestate.co.nz to having four percent fewer listings than its competitor. After the effects of the strikes were tallied, Realestate.co.nz had 43,394 listings while Trade Me had 41,687. And the difference was even more pronounced when it came to listings by licensed agents in that Realestate.co.nz featured 43,394 while Trade Me only had 35,674 (an 18 percent difference). In Hawke's Bay, where the impact of the strikes was most severe, Trade Me was hit hardest, with Realestate.co.nz featuring 1,605 listings while Trade Me only had 634.
And it seems that the issue in Hawke's Bay has not yet been remedied, because while Realestate.co.nz has 1,876 listings for the region (at the time of writing), Trade Me only has 1,005.
Immediately after this boycott, Realestate.co.nz released a short pamphlet that elaborated further on the growth that the website had enjoyed since the boycott debacle.
Although Realestate.co.nz has increased its unique online visitors by 30 percent in the last six months, it still lags way behind Trade Me Property. In Nielsen's figures for May, Trade Me Property had 575,000 unique visitors while Realestate.co.nz only had 204,00.
Since taking over the Realestate.co.nz account, Contagion has already tapped into the promising stats registered by the website in a new digital campaign that features a Monopoly reference.
According to Nielsen's rate card statistics, Realestate.co.nz spent $26,000 on advertising in 2011, $117,000 in 2012 and $47,000 last year.