Big bank backs comparison site – Matt McCann

LocalAgentFinder, a very fast-growing comparison website has just received a significant shot in the arm, by announcing a brand new heavyweight partnership agreement with the Commonwealth Bank.   CEO Matt McCann explains what this means to you and I.
Kevin:  We’ve spoken in the show in the past about LocalAgentFinder, a very fast-growing comparison website. It’s just received a significant shot in the arm, announcing a brand new heavyweight partnership agreement with the Commonwealth Bank. Joining me to talk about this is the CEO for LocalAgentFinder, Matt McCann.
Matt, congratulations on this link. What does it mean to LocalAgentFinder? What does it mean to consumers?
Matt:  Thanks, Kevin. It’s nice to be talking to you. It is a significant partnership. I think probably the first thing is you bring together Australia’s largest bank with the largest real estate agent comparison service to provide an entirely bank-branded service for CBA customers.
In a sense, what it means is that the ability of a customer to understand the options to them when selling their property or even considering doing something with their property is now far greater because they now have access to the ability to compare the information that will help them select an agent to do any one of those things.
Kevin:  Is there any indication about where people go to first, Matt? Do they actually go to check on their finance, or do they start looking for an agent first? What comes first?
Matt:  There’s a mix. I think a lot of consumers will start with the idea that if they think they’re going to go down the path of selling their property, they’ll go straight to the idea of looking for an agent first.
That’s the LocalAgentFinder piece of this, which is providing those four big pillars of information: sales history of an agent, independent reviews, pricing and fees, and then our videos, so seeing an agent in action means that the consumer is now very well-informed in terms of what they want to do. What the bank has seen in the partnership is that that is a key driver of that first step, and they want to be there in terms of offering that service to the bank customers.
The corollary of that is that actually, there’s a number of people who do look at finance first. They go off to the bank, and within the banking universe of CBA – which is over 16 million customers across the country and about 6.2 million who access digital assets – they want to build out a much deeper and wider offering so that they’re providing all the services they possibly could to their customer base and being seen to be a real value-add.
Kevin:  As I understand it, the bank will be accessing your platform to help their customers find the agent of their choice. Is that right?
Matt:  Yes, correct. The way that the partnership will work is a CBA-branded Agent Finder service will be positioned all the way through CBA’s digital assets, but obviously particularly focused around the property portals that they run.
And there are millions of customers a year accessing those portals looking for both information on their finances but certainly information on how they might go about approaching a sale of a property. So, this is a real step up in the level of functionality that the bank is now going to be putting in the hands of those people.
Kevin:  It’s interesting, Matt, how the landscape has changed so much, and we’re now seeing a lot more consumer demand for this type of service.
Matt:  Yes. I think there are two things that come out of a partnership like the one we’ve announced for CBA and ourselves. One is – you’re right – the consumers are really marching with their feet in terms of what they really want to understand before they pick an agent. I think that’s starting to be recognized by some of the biggest brands in the country, and so you see something like CBA saying to its customers “We recognize that you really want to understand this information about agents and which agent will be the right agent for them, and so we’re going to offer that service to you.”
Now, we expect that there will be others who will follow us in. This is a unique partnership and it’s the first time a bank has branded up a service like ours, but we would expect to see more follow.
And the changing nature of that for the consumer means that there will be a range of places and you’ll be offered services just like the one we’re offering with CBA in many places throughout that digital search process that you go through as a consumer before you make that step of appointing an agent or even selling a property. So, it’s a big step.
Kevin:  A big step for the bank, but a huge step for LocalAgentFinder to get that type of endorsement and that amount of traffic, I would have thought, Matt.
Matt:  It is. This is a very big deal for LocalAgentFinder. What it really means for us is that the size of the opportunities that are coming to the platform will more than double perhaps what’s there today for us. And with that kind of volume comes the ability for us to provide many more Australians with an opportunity to be really very fully informed about the athat they use to pick and select agents across the country.
We’re obviously very excited for what we can deliver for consumers, as well as agents because there’s a significantly larger pool of vendors and property letting/management opportunities that we now will put in the hands of agents as well.
Kevin:  Yes. It’s great for agents, great for LocalAgentFinder, and particularly good for consumers. We’re happy to endorse anything like that, and we do actually support the services of LocalAgentFinder. You’ll hear a lot more about it on our portal.
Matt, thank you very much for talking to us. Congratulations on this, and full marks to you and the team. It is truly a great endorsement of your services. Thanks for your company.
Matt:  Thanks, Kevin. Cheers.

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