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Edited Transcript of REA.AX earnings conference call or presentation 5-Nov-20 11:00pm GMT

·31 min read

Q1 2021 REA Group Ltd Earnings Presentation Nov 10, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of REA Group Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 11:00:00pm GMT TEXT version of Transcript ================================================================================ Corporate Participants ================================================================================ * Graham Curtin REA Group Limited - Executive Manager of Financial Reporting * Janelle Hopkins REA Group Limited - CFO * Owen James Wilson REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director ================================================================================ Conference Call Participants ================================================================================ * Anthony Porto Morgans Financial Limited, Research Division - Senior Analyst * Craig Wong-Pan CLSA Limited, Research Division - Research Analyst * Entcho Raykovski Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - Research Analyst * Eric Choi UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Australian Telco & Media Lead Analyst * Kane Hannan Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst * Lucy Huang BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Analyst ================================================================================ Presentation -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [1] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you for standing by, and welcome to the REA Group Ltd Q1 FY '21 Financial Results Briefing. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to hand the conference over to Graham Curtin. Please go ahead. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Graham Curtin, REA Group Limited - Executive Manager of Financial Reporting [2] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us to discuss REA Group's First Quarter Results Ended 30 September, 2020. As you know, our quarterly numbers are very much top line results, so we're restricted by the amount of detail we could provide. This morning, our CEO, Owen Wilson, will provide a brief business update. Then our CFO, Janelle Hopkins, will talk to the financial results for the quarter. Following this, we'll be happy to take any questions you may have. With that, I'll hand over to Owen. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [3] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks, Graham, and good morning, everyone. REA Group has delivered an excellent result for the quarter. This is despite the severe impact of COVID-19 restrictions on Australia's property market, particularly in Melbourne. I'd like to start by saying that I'm extremely proud of the resilience and dedication of our people. We continue to deliver new innovations and incredible customer support, while so many of them are still working remotely. Revenue for the 3 months ended 30 September was $195.7 million, a decline of 3%, and EBITDA from core operations, excluding the results from our associates and joint ventures, was $123.8 million, an increase of 8%. This result includes a significant reduction in core operating costs of 18% due to our continued focus on strong cost management and a deferral of some expenditure into later quarters. National residential listings declined 2% over the 3-month period. This was primarily due to a 44% decrease in listing volumes in Melbourne as a result of the Stage 4 lockdown banning physical property inspections in August and September. In contrast, the recovery in New South Wales continued with Sydney listings increasing 23%. While closely managing short-term operational priorities, we remain focused on progressing our long-term strategic objectives. Our core objectives remain consistent. Providing our customers with access to the largest and most engaged audience of property seekers, delivering unparalleled customer value, providing the richest content, data and insights to empower our customers and consumers. And creating the next-generation of property-related marketplaces. Standing alongside these objectives is REA's commitment to sustainable business practices. Our sustainability program reflects the pillars of environment, social and government -- governance across our operations in Australia and Asia. Last month, we published our inaugural climate change policy. I'm personally delighted that this includes our commitment to reduce and offset our annual carbon emissions to become certified carbon-neutral from this financial year. Turning to our audience position. realestate.com.au remains Australia's clear #1 property site. During the quarter, we extended our leadership position, delivering new audience records. On average, over 12 million people visited our site each month in Q1, up 37% year-on-year. In September, we reached almost 6 million more people than the nearest competitor. We received a record 117.7 million visits in July, up 40% year-on-year. And on average, realestate.com.au received over 3.2x more visits than the nearest competitor each month. More people are choosing to use our app as their preferred place to search for property. In July, we had a record number of app launches at 50.3 million, a 46% year-on-year increase. And our app is now downloaded 10.3 million times. These numbers demonstrate the deep connection that consumers have with the experiences we're providing. They also demonstrate Australia's continued enthusiasm for property. We're seeing significant growth in buyer inquiry. Visits to the buy section of realestate.com.au reached record highs during Q1, up 29% year-on-year. And this drove a 30% increase in buyer inquiries. During the quarter, a number of consumer highlights were delivered to make it easier for people to log into our site and also to drive increased membership. In August, we launched the ability for consumers to sign in from social platforms. This resulted in a -- in sign-ups increasing by 39%, with social channels now representing 56% of all log-ins. Our members are continuing to attract an increasing number of properties. With 1 in 10 owners now tracking their property and over 2.1 million properties being tracked, increasing 13% compared to the June quarter. Looking at our rent segment. realestate.com.au remains Australia's #1 place for rent with average monthly visits of $22.2 million to the rent section, up 25% year-on-year. In August, we launched our new self-managed landlord feature to tap into the significant number of investors who privately manage their rental properties. This new product feature allows self-managed landlords to either connect with an agency via our site or list their property directly on realestate.com.au. Our objective is to provide renters with access to the most comprehensive view of rental properties. At the same time, we want to drive more property management inquiries to our customers. While it's early days, customer and consumer sentiment has been positive. Turning to our customers. Agents and agencies across Australia have not yet fully recovered from the impact of COVID-19 this year. Our COVID-19 support measures continued to be accessed by our customers during the quarter, particularly in Victoria. This included reduced subscription fees, the ability to re-list or re-upgrade for free and our pay-on-sale offering. Recognizing the inherent challenges COVID-19 continues to present, we have decided to defer price increases until July 2021. Agent Match continues to provide agents with access to more prospects. During the quarter, we saw an 18% year-on-year growth in the number of leads being delivered. We're pleased that over the past 12 months, 31% of leads have converted to listings. We remain focused on providing value to people beyond the traditional property transactions of buying, selling and renting. Our financial services business is core to this. During the quarter, revenue increased due to strong settlements and improved broker productivity. As we continue to enhance our consumer experience, new personalization features contributed to a record volume of digital leads from the home loan section of realestate.com.au. We now have almost 400 expert advisers around the country, and we achieved strong recruitment of new brokers during the quarter. And our average client service rating was excellent at 4.9 out of 5. A key part of our strategy is to leverage our unique data to provide rich content, news and insights to both customers and consumers. In September, REA entered into an exciting new partnership with Apple News. This partnership unlocks a completely new platform to drive increased audience to our property news and insights during a critical time for the property market and the economy more broadly. Turning to our global strategy. A key pillar of REA's long-term growth is the expansion of our global footprint into large and growing markets. Move, Inc., operator of realtor.com, delivered a strong result during the quarter, resulting in a positive contribution on the associates line. The U.S. market saw strong growth in audience and buyer leads following the depth of the COVID-19 impact in Q4. realtor.com's average monthly unique users across web and mobile sites grew 26% year-on-year to 90 million. Looking at the Asia segment. COVID-19 restrictions across all markets continue to have a negative impact. Pleasingly, Malaysia's audience leadership position remains strong at 1.4x to the nearest competitor. Last week, we were delighted to announce our binding agreement to acquire a controlling interest in India's Elara Technologies. This transaction expands REA's presence in the world's fastest-growing trillion-dollar economy, which is experiencing rapid digital transformation. It also creates an exciting opportunity to leverage the combined talent and expertise of our 2 companies to become the #1 digital real estate business in India. Janelle will talk to this transaction in more detail. Turning briefly to current market conditions. Despite ongoing volatility and market uncertainty, Australians clearly remain passionate about property. In October, we received another record month in visits to realestate.com.au, a staggering 125 million, up 36% year-on-year. We also received record views to buy listings, up 31% year-on-year and buyer inquiry volumes were up 48% year-on-year. This strong buyer demand is fueled by low interest rates and healthy bank liquidity. The announcements by the RBA this week with even lower interest rates and increased liquidity measures will only underpin this. House prices remain stable, and we're not seeing any signs of a rise in distressed sales. That said, it's almost impossible to predict the ongoing impact COVID-19 will have on consumer confidence and unemployment and the subsequent flow on effects to the real estate industry. It was so great to see the Melbourne market open up again in October. The property sector has shown remarkable resilience to date, and it's our view, this strength will continue into 2021. I'd now like to hand over to Janelle to talk through our financial results. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Janelle Hopkins, REA Group Limited - CFO [4] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks, Owen, and good morning, everyone. REA has delivered an excellent result during a period of challenging market conditions, particularly in Melbourne. Revenue for the quarter decreased by 3% to $195.7 million, core operating expenses were down 18% on prior year at $71.9 million and EBITDA from core operations, excluding the results from our associates and joint ventures, increased by 8% to $123.8 million, due to the continued focus on cost management across the group. Free cash flow reduced by 2% for the period, primarily due to the higher EBITDA being offset by the repayment of a portion of taxes deferred from FY '20. The remaining tax deferrals will be paid during Q2. As Owen mentioned earlier, the results reflect the diverging impacts of COVID-19 restrictions across Australia, with overall national residential listings declining 2%. The second wave of COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne caused significant short-term listings weakness, with volumes declining 44% for the quarter. In contrast, New South Wales showed signs of a market recovery as restrictions eased with a 23% increase in listings for the quarter in Sydney. Despite lower national listing volumes, Australian residential revenue increased for the quarter predominantly due to the positive impact of deferred revenue driven by the initial market recovery in June FY '20, improved product mix and an increase in add-on listing products, including audience maximizer. Turning to Commercial and Developer. Revenue decreased for the quarter, driven by lower commercial listing volumes due to COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne and the current moratorium on tenant evictions impacting other states. Large developer project commencements remain subdued due to lower investor demand and immigration restrictions. This was partly offset by growth in small, lower-yielding boutique projects, which were assisted by the house and land government stimulus incentive. Media and other revenue also declined during the quarter with developer display advertising impacted by lower new project commencements for large developments and reduced advertising revenue in key segments. This was partially offset by an increase in data revenue driven by higher valuation volumes. Pleasingly, Financial Services revenue increased in Q1, driven by higher settlements following strong submission volumes in Q4 FY '20 and improved broker productivity. Submissions in Q1 have continued the positive momentum, up 20% year-on-year. The Asia businesses were also negatively impacted by COVID-19, with the decline in revenue across all markets for the quarter. The group's combined share of associates contributed $2.7 million, an improvement of $6 million from the loss in Q1 FY '20. This was driven by a strong performance by Move, which delivered a 12% increase in revenue. This is due to increased lead referral model revenue off the back of strong audience growth in the quarter. Move also benefited from cost reductions and the deferral of marketing costs. The group continued to focus on strong cost management with reductions across all cost categories, resulting in core operating expenses down 18%. The savings are a combination of ongoing cost management initiatives, including COVID-19 related savings, such as lower travel and entertainment costs, plus benefits from an organizational realignment undertaken in Q1 FY '20. Part of the savings are also timing related with the longer lockdown, some planned costs such as marketing, have been deferred to later in the year. We expect our cost to be weighted towards the second half and continue to target no increase to full year costs. Looking forward, while there have been positive signs of a real estate market recovery in all markets following the removal of restrictions, the COVID-19 health crisis continues to create market volatility. In October, national Residential listings were down 1%, with increases in Melbourne and Sydney of 14% and 2%, respectively, offset by declines in other markets. As Owen covered earlier, in response to the short-term effects of COVID-19 and the inherent uncertainty regarding these impacts on the real estate market, the group will not implement price rises in FY '21. BIS Oxford recently revised their expectations for new developments, forecasting continued reductions through FY '22. These reductions, coupled with expected listing volume declines in the Commercial and Asia businesses, are likely to negatively impact revenue in FY '21. The group continues to prudently manage its cost base, targeting full year positive operating jaws, excluding the impact of acquisitions. Based on the current market outlook and excluding the impact of acquisitions, we continue to target no increase in core operating costs for FY '21. Expenditure growth rates will vary between the quarters, depending on the phasing of operating expenses with growth weighted to the second half. On 29th of October, REA Group announced it entered into a binding agreement to increase its ownership interest in Elara Technologies. On completion, REA is expected to have a shareholding of between 47.2% and 61.1%. Total consideration for the transaction is expected to be in the range of USD 50 million to USD 70 million, with USD 34.5 million payable out of existing cash reserves and the balance in newly issued REA shares. The transaction, which remains subject to confirmatory due diligence and the renegotiation of key management employment contracts, is anticipated to be completed this quarter. Assuming a completion date of the 30th of November, we expect group revenues to increase by between AUD 15 million and AUD 20 million. Core operating EBITDA, excluding associates, to decrease between AUD 20 million and AUD 25 million, and share of associates to improve between AUD 3 million and AUD 5 million. The revenue and EBITDA ranges provided are indicative only due to the market volatility created by COVID-19. REA Group has a strong balance sheet, low debt levels and cash balance of $187.5 million as at September 30, 2020. The group has access to contingent undrawn facilities, including $149 million, with the existing banking syndicate and a $20 million overdraft facility with NAB to access if required. The business remains in a strong position going forward to continue to successfully navigate current market conditions. I'll pause there. Operator, we will now open for questions. ================================================================================ Questions and Answers -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [1] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Operator Instructions) The first question today comes from Eric Choi from UBS. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Eric Choi, UBS Investment Bank, Research Division - Director and Australian Telco & Media Lead Analyst [2] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Great result. First question, just for Owen. You've come to a landing to defer the price increase to July '21. Just wondering if you can give us an update on how you're thinking about the quantum, and what add-ons might be bundled with the price increase, if you do one as well? Second question for Janelle. Just wondering if I could test my logic on the residential revenue growth. In the fourth quarter '20, we said this was down low single digit. And then just thinking in first quarter '21, listings growth has improved by 12 percentage points. And then you've got depth and deferral offsetting the price increase deferral. It sort of suggests resi growth might have kicked up to high single-digit in the first quarter in '21. Just wondering if that's correct. And then just lastly, on the costs. I think you beat the top end of your previous cost guidance by about $7 million. Just wondering how much of that's lower T&E and marketing deferrals? And I sort of get why marketing needs to come back. But is there a chance we could capitalize those T&E savings for the year? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [3] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So thanks, Eric. Look, on price, not surprising, given the market that we're in and the uncertainty and the fact that our customers are still feeling the effects of COVID-19. We've decided to defer the price increase. As we've described previously, we know we've got some new products coming to market and some new product features coming to market next year. And so it's our view that by playing the long game here, we can put a higher price rise in July '21 than we otherwise would have if we've done a price increase this year. So we feel this is the right decision. It also builds on the really positive sentiment that we've built this year with the customer base. Support measures we bought in for COVID were very well received. They did help stimulate the market and the customers appreciated that. I think this adds to that and puts us in good stead for next year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Janelle Hopkins, REA Group Limited - CFO [4] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I think, Eric, to your question around resi. Obviously, we don't provide the split of residential performance, specifically for Q1. But if I was to summarize the performance, what I would say is that if you think about gross listings being down 2%. We've also had clearly the mix challenges with Victoria and Melbourne metro being significantly impacted in August and September with listings down for the quarter, up 44%, and that was really offset by the benefit from deferrals. So if you remember, last quarter, we saw the market coming back in June. So we had more deferred out of Q4 into Q1. And then if you think about Q1 into Q2, as listings are down in September, we have seen less deferred out compared to last year. When last year was -- the market was coming back, and September was on the improve. So there's less deferral out. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [5] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And then on costs, Eric, look, the T&E was 9% going into the quarter. So that was obviously in the guidance we gave. What we didn't know when we gave the guidance previously that was how long that lockdown was going to go in Victoria. At the time it was announced, it was for 6 weeks. It then got extended by another 2 weeks and then it blew out to a lazy 112 days of us being stuck at home, in our boots and dresses. And so we adjusted our cost base accordingly. We absolutely have flexibility around what we do with that deferred cost over the rest of the year. It will depend on what happens in the market, and then that's a bit of an unknown at this stage. And so we will dial that back if needed, or we will choose to invest. We've got -- what it does, it gives you great flexibility for the rest of the financial year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [6] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The next question comes from Lucy Huang from Bank of America. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lucy Huang, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Analyst [7] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So I've got 3. So firstly, are you able to give us some feedback that you're hearing from agents, particularly on the Sydney market? Because it looks like listings have rebounded in September quarter, but October has now tapered off a bit to net 2% listings growth. So what's the feedback on why sellers aren't flooding those into the market? Or when do they see them kind of really starting to list their properties down? And then just secondly, in terms of Agent Match, so you mentioned that the conversion rate has improved slightly. So just wondering if you've thought about the monetization model a bit further. And what are -- or what kind of model are you perhaps leaning more towards now at this point in time? And then just lastly, just in terms debt growth. Are you able to give us an indication as to how much of that revenue offset was driven by debt uptake? And maybe which, say, did you see a better penetration rate this time around in terms of those Premiere All contracts? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [8] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks, Lucy. I think I'll take the first 2 questions and then hand over to Janelle to talk about debt. You are seeing that the increase or the growth in listings start to diminish in Sydney. I think there's 2 factors at play here that we're hearing from our customers. One is, obviously, there's a lot of pent-up demand from the restrictions that were in place. And so we saw a lot of that volume come back to the market in Sydney, and that's why we saw those exceptional growth rates in the first quarter, and that is coming back to more normalized levels. The other factor that should play is the comparables from October and November last year were a lot stronger. And so you're comparing it to a much stronger base. And so that -- again, that's why that's impacting those growth rates. In terms of Agent Match, yes. Well, look, we're delighted with the conversion of those leads into listings. And I can tell you our customers are delighted by that as well. This is a really meaningful business for them. We have firmed up our thinking on how we will go-to-market with monetization, but that will be held back until we're ready to announce that to the market. It is commercially sensitive. We're pretty excited about what we'll be bringing to market in the next half, but we'll need to just keep that under wraps until we're ready to release it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Janelle Hopkins, REA Group Limited - CFO [9] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And Lucy, and to -- in response to your question around debt growth we think about penetration nationally that has been impacted marginally by the substantial decline in Melbourne and Victoria for the quarter. What we have been pleased about is that Premiere penetration is continuing to increase year-on-year. So that's a good outcome. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [10] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The next question comes from Kane Hannan from Goldman Sachs. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kane Hannan, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst [11] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Congratulations on the result. Just the 18% reduction in costs, again, but no change in your full year range. Should we read that, that there's no change in expectations around listings this year from what you guys had in August? Just interested if you could comment on that. Secondly, just around the deferred price rises and the increased penetration of the add-on listings. Just wondering if there's any relationship between those 2 things, whether you've got some customers having excess budgets they can spend elsewhere. We obviously appreciated challenging times out there. And if you could just quantify the revenue impact from the add-on listings? And then finally, just on the rental side of things. Just interested what the self-managed landlord feature, I suppose the revenue opportunity that opens up for you guys? And just if you could talk a bit about the pricing model for the self-managed feature. Cheers. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [12] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So on the cost question Kane, I -- we haven't changed our guidance for the full year, and that is around -- we said no cost increase. It's around -- at this stage, our outlook hasn't changed for listings. Obviously, we don't publish that. And it's incredibly hard to predict. But as we sit here today, with the markets open and provided we don't have further COVID impact then we would expect a fairly positive listings environment next year because we're going to cycle through those COVID months, particularly April and May of this year. And what we're giving there is, in that guidance, there's a bit of flexibility. We've obviously started well, and we can choose to invest that excess savings from the first quarter or we can choose not to depending on what the market is doing. And quite frankly, that flexibility also goes to which line of the cost that we might want to spend on. So whilst we've deferred marketing, it doesn't mean it has to be spent on marketing loss. So other expenditure doesn't have to mean it's spent there as well. So it just gives us that greater flexibility. In terms of add-on listing products, look, we -- it's a small increment. Obviously, we don't disclose down to that level of detail, particularly at the quarters. So it's a small change there. And then in terms of the private landlord product, we've priced that in line with the top tier of our rental customers. What we wanted to make sure is that we weren't giving private landlords a better deal than our agent customers who provide the bulk of our revenue in the rental space. It is, as I said, the feedback so far has been incredibly well, but it's going to be a tiny increment this year. There's a big education process to actually get the message out there to private landlords that they can do this when for many years, they haven't been able to. So it's -- look, it's a -- it will take a while for that to ramp up to something more meaningful. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Kane Hannan, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst [13] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just, guys -- and sorry, just quickly, just Agent Match pricing. Is there any chance we see that before July '21? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [14] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You'll see the monetization of the seller side of things for -- starting from July '21. We'll be rolling that out next half. And for a product rollout like that, you need -- normally need to give the market kind of 3 to 4 months lead time. So we'll start to roll out in kind of March, April. But there will be no financial impact this year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [15] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The next question comes from Craig Wong-Pan from CLSA. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Craig Wong-Pan, CLSA Limited, Research Division - Research Analyst [16] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just first question on the revenue deferrals. I just -- could you explain that to me a bit more, just what, like, how that takes place? And I guess is there any unwind of that, that is, I guess, when that might occur? And then second question, just on the cost, I mean, quite impressive cost outcome there. Could you provide any split of what the drivers were, so between kind of cost management initiatives, efficiencies and the deferral marketing spend? Like how much of each of those might have contributed to the cost outcome for this quarter? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Janelle Hopkins, REA Group Limited - CFO [17] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So on the deferral, because of the fact that we recognize the revenue over the time that the listings are on site. So say, for example, Premiere All is over 60 days. So therefore, the revenue gets recognized over that period of time. So what we have flagged in the result is that because of the fact that listings were stronger in June, some of that was deferred into Q1. And then as we flagged into -- going out of Q1 into Q2, the fact that listings are lower than what we saw in prior year. So there is less deferral going out into Q2. So we got the benefit of that over time. And in relation to cost, we're not providing the specific split between marketing and cost out. But if we think about -- we did the organizational realignment back in September 2020. So we've got the ongoing savings of that coming through, which is the permanent savings. T&E, I mean, it's not a large number, but still a small number that provide a benefit. And then marketing, we are continuing to spend on marketing. But if we think about the different types of marketing, there's customer marketing that we have deferred and consumer marketing that is a bit down this time. But we've -- as Owen flagged, we are looking to reinvest that back into the second half of the year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [18] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Operator Instructions) The next question comes from Entcho Raykovski from Crédit Suisse. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Entcho Raykovski, Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - Research Analyst [19] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I've got 3. So the first one, apologies if I missed this, but can you quantify the benefit of the deferred revenue for the quarter? That would be quite useful just to get a sense for what the underlying growth is. And then secondly, can you talk about what happened to rental listings in 1Q? I'm conscious that that's something you provided at the FY '20 result. So we might just get used to getting it. But anyway I'm, I guess, interested in whether rental is now becoming a more meaningful portion of resi revenues. And then finally, Owen, you noted that 48% -- you've seen a 48% increase in buyer inquiry volumes. Are you able to comment on any work that you've done for agents or for developers in terms of buy-lead, buy-inquiry scoring? And I guess what I'm getting to is, whether you have any idea or sense of the quality of those new leads, whether they're high-quality leads or whether they're essentially just people browsing. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Janelle Hopkins, REA Group Limited - CFO [20] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So Entcho, on deferral, look, we're not disclosing the specific quantum of deferral on the overall results for the year -- for the quarter, I should say. And in relation to rental, look, it was a challenging quarter for the rental market. The overall listings were down close to double digits. But pleasingly, we did see the revenue overall up in the rental for the quarter. We did see increased penetration to -- as aligned to the Premiere penetration for buy. So that was a good outcome, and we saw some additional benefit from things like our Tenant Verification products where we had additional of those this quarter versus last year. So overall, we're pleased with how rentals performed. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [21] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And on buyer inquiry, it is genuine buyer inquiry if you talk to any of the banks. There is a massive battle going on at the moment for market share of mortgages. A couple of the banks, and you would see this in the results that they published in the last couple of weeks, maybe pulled the wrong lever earlier this year and lost a bit of market share, worried about the impacts of COVID. And they're all trying to claw that back at the moment. And so people do have access to finance. And so the inquiry we're seeing is genuine. Talking to customers, though, what they are seeing at the moment is that people are making inquiries and using that to eliminate properties from the [business] process. So they're actually seeing less people wanting to go and inspect the properties because it's a combination of the quality of the information they can get from our site. Couple that with a few inquiries on the property, and they get to eliminate and reduce the amount they actually have to go and physically inspect. But the agents are telling us these are real buyers. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [22] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Operator Instructions) The next question comes from Anthony Porto from Morgan's Financial. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anthony Porto, Morgans Financial Limited, Research Division - Senior Analyst [23] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Congratulations on the result. Look, most of mine have been answered, but just quickly on Move. Given what you stated on Elara, I assume that the earnings benefit all came through in Move. So I guess that's come through a lot quicker than what we thought. Just what I thought, just the ability is to kind of maintain that and what's really been driving that, apart from the 12% revenue increase. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [24] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. Look, we've had a very strong quarter. There's no doubt about that. You're seeing again, a few things at play here. One, there was a very healthy rebound in the U.S. market. So if you look at kind of existing volumes and property transactions in Q4, they were well down with the COVID impact. And amazingly, despite ongoing cases, numbers over there, the property market is just powered on, and so we've seen that volume come back into the market. But the real driver of that revenue is the benefit of the Opcity acquisition that we made. And we're seeing a much bigger conversion of leads through the Opcity referral model. And that, coupled with increased leads and increased conversion, is really driving a strong underlying result for Move. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anthony Porto, Morgans Financial Limited, Research Division - Senior Analyst [25] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And now -- and I just guess on the cost base for Move going forward, is there anything we should be wary about? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [26] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I don't -- look, no, nothing to be wary about. But obviously with COVID, they took the same sort of actions that we took. They reduced their costs across all lines. And I think they flagged on the News Corp flag in their call that like us, they brought their cost down very healthily this quarter, but they will be wanting to reinvest some of those costs in the remaining quarters to continue this growth momentum that we're seeing on the top line. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [27] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The next question is a follow-up from Craig Wong-Pan from CLSA. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Craig Wong-Pan, CLSA Limited, Research Division - Research Analyst [28] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just a question on your app downloads. I mean you mentioned that there's been strong growth in that. I was wondering, is there any benefit for you if a customer -- or sorry, a buyer inquirer looks at it on an app versus the website? Is there any sort of benefit in terms of data analytics or anything like that? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [29] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No, not really. We can collect the same data from both the app and the website. So there's no real change. The real benefit from us is that app users tend to be more logged in. So we kind of know who they are. And so from an identity perspective, that helps, but that's the only real difference. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [30] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- At this time, we're showing no further questions. I'll hand the conference back to Mr. Wilson. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Owen James Wilson, REA Group Limited - CEO & Executive Director [31] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay. Thanks, everyone, for joining us today. We are very pleased with our results for the quarter, particularly given the extraordinary circumstances in which it was delivered. We look forward to updating you again when we release our half year results. Thanks for attending.