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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

New off-market 'members portal' insists OTM portal rule does not apply

A new portal has launched listing off-market properties at the very highest end of the market, and says it does not contravene OnTheMarket’s ‘one other portal’ rule.

Called Ultra Primus it offers what it calls a members-only service for buying agents and estate agents “catering to those owners who seek to sell their property in a discreet yet efficient manner.”

The portal claims that property intermediaries and advisers to High Net Worth/Ultra High Net Worth individuals can use it to notify potential buyers when appropriate off-market properties becoming available, while retaining full control over the amount of information disclosed, respecting the vendor’s desire for complete privacy and ensuring that a digital footprint of the listing is not created in the way it is with some existing portals.

“Having partnered with luxury brands including Rolls Royce and [watch-maker] Parmigiani Fleurier on our recent property events, we were increasingly being contacted by buying agents, selling agents and other property intermediaries regarding their off-market properties” explains Art Jenkins, director of Ultra Primus. 

“Whilst current methods - relying on professional and personal networks  - do produce some results, they mainly focus on the seller's requirement for discretion whilst not necessarily being efficient or making enough relevant buyers aware of the property's availability. We would therefore describe our service as a significant enhancement to the current marketplace” says Jenkins. 

The portal does not charge a percentage commission but levies a single per-property fee with no on-going costs. 

Ultra Primus has told Estate Agent Today that once its website is out of its beta version at the end of this month, it expects to have between 50 and 100 properties listed at first with a total value of over £500m.  

Whilst its portfolio will be modest initially, it has told EAT that: “We believe that having a few thousand live listings at any one time is feasible. Our goal is to make Ultra Primus synonymous with this 'space' whereby if an agent needs to discreetly market, pre-market or source a luxury property, this will be the platform for them to use.”

The site will also list off market boutique hotels and off market residential investment portfolios. The site is global but anticipates have a number of London properties listed at any one time. An existing Ultra Primus hard-copy magazine is focused on UHNWI readers.

Ultra Primus says its now online venture is not in breach of the one other portal rule imposed by OnTheMarket, which was founded by high-end agents, many of them handling off-market properties.

“As a members-only, industry-focused network (not available to the general public), we don't believe we would fall under their definition of a portal” Ultra Primus has told Estate Agent Today.

  • Trevor Mealham

    Come February the court should have highlighted to AM/OTM that it's cartel restraints are anti competitive and to end for being cartel

  • Simon Shinerock

    I believe there as a debate around portal juggleiing and the idea that all properties have to be publicly marketed all the time. An estate agent is much more than an advertiser of property, or even a marketeer. Estate agents use human nature, reverse psychology as well as real psychology in order to create, fan and increase desire to buy. The use of competitive tension is a skill, even an art that as yet no system can reproduce, estate agents job is to identify ready willing and able buyers and weed out the ones who aren't. Any tool that makes buyers qualify themselves as hot is a useful one, offering previews of new or reduced properties to qualified buyers in advance of general marketing can often help achieve a quicker sale at a better price. These real estate agency skills are what separates us from the new wave who appear to rely entirely on passive marketing to achieve a sale. Real estate agents need to become brilliant at pushing these subtle yet invaluable skills in the face of ever increasing cut price competition

    Trevor Mealham

    Agree. It takes a range of tools and contacts for an individual to be able to be a moderate agent, let alone a good or brilliant one. The more lead generators the better. No commercial concern such as a portal should restrain the agents tool box.

    New platforms away from portals as we know them will form part of the future. But I'm not sure a hidden away platform (unless heavily advertised) will be one that springs to mind.

    For sure high end is in OTMs radar. As such alike RM/ INEA/ ZOOPLA. Will this be another site the Springer club add to their 'another to boycot' list. Silly chap

    With main portals (according to research) achieving only 4 in 10 buyers. The true test is how a agent handles a tougher market, when sticking a listing on RM and Z fails.

     
  • Kit Johnson

    Spot on Simon, as agents we create markets, hold deals, find the opportunities that passive marketing cannot do, portals are added tools that good agents should use but never rely on, those that sit back and do won't survive.

  • James Robinson

    Please correct me if I am missing something here or, as members of CLEA, don’t we already own a central London portal called Lonres which does exactly this with the London Mag thrown?
    Rather than diluting our marketing budgets on yet another have a go website shouldn’t we concentrate on supporting Lonres?
    If there is an appetite for this doing business this way outside Central London then we should encourage Lonres to expand across the country. After all the infrastructure is in place and as shareholders it would be nice to see it grow.
    Incidentally am I the only person who finds the phrase ‘high net worth individuals’ buttock clenchingly gauche? Surely the word ‘wealthy’ covers it just fine?

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