According to Rent chief executive Greg Bader the inclusion of the current NBN status for each property listing has been done in response to demand.
“Our customers have been asking for this. Whilst NBN information is already available via the NBN website, it is a cumbersome process and no one really has the time to check each property individually.
“What we have done is taken public information and then presented it in a format that is easier to digest for our customers.”
“The way we’ve incorporated the information into our site means that customers can now also filter their results based on NBN availability, much like they have been able to do with Walk Score – neither of these are available on our competitor’s websites”, Bader says.
The second level of detail is displayed when the customer clicks on a property listing (property details page) and more information is shown such as the broad technology type (fixed line, wireless or satellite) or, if NBN is not available at that property yet, when it is scheduled.
“We always try to provide as much information as we can, including the possible ‘states’ of the availability and technology” as per a legend displayed on the website.
“I understand the general frustration from renters, people want to see as much relevant information as they can – in the one place.
“I don’t think people actually select a property purely based on the available broadband options but for some customers it does form part of the consideration set. I see it as similar to our Walk Score (the general “walkability” of a neighbourhood). It is general information that a renter can use to hopefully make a more informed decision. Choosing a new home is a huge decision, so the better informed someone is the better for everyone.”
Rent has also released statistical information about general NBN availability — claiming over 80,000 active listings from across Australia at any point in time — and Bader says the statistics provide a unique view.
“When you look at the data in aggregate, we see that around a third of our properties have NBN available right now and we will finish 2017 with about half, this generally aligns with NBN’s own releases, although we would have more of a skew to major population centres”.
“We can also see the impact of the ‘multi-technology’ strategy for fixed line services, not surprisingly it varies between the states. I have not followed NBN too closely for a while but I was a little surprised in that the FTTP penetration was lower than I expected,” Bader observes.
“This is another great initiative, currently some agents and landlords show NBN information but there was a lack of consistency across the industry and hence our listings. This solves that problem and makes things easier for renters, agents and landlords.”