A new portal is launching next year with Countrywide and some 30 other estate agency groups signed up, as well as some of the UK’s largest housebuilders.
Rummage4Property - the creation of agent Robert May and now headed by Anthony Codling, a former analyst at investment bank Jefferies - says it can offer a listings service for just over a tenth of the cost of market leader Rightmove.
In an interview with this morning’s Financial Times, Codling says: “The key selling point is that it is much cheaper than Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket plc.”
The FT article is behind a paywall; in the piece, Codling tells the FT that Rummage4Property would begin by charging a flat fee of £100 a month and would link any changes to house price inflation.
Rightmove currently charges agents a typical £987 a month; OnTheMarket, in addition to including a large number of temporarily-free agent listings, charges others around £235 a month.
Codling, Rummage's chief executive, is likely to be key to the success of the new portal; he is a respected figure in the property industry and made his name at Jefferies, particularly as the author of an analysis of Purplebricks which claimed the hybrid agency sold only around 51 per cent of the properties it listed.
Codling also tells the FT that Rummage4Property will be structured as a membership organisation with agent and housebuilder members able to vote on decisions such as any future sale of the company.
Jeremy Hipkiss, group sales and marketing director at Barratt Developments, the UK’s largest housebuilder, is quoted in the FT saying: “We are always looking for ways to invest in new and innovative digital platforms like Rummage4Property to effectively target prospective customers. We’re looking forward to working with Rummage4Property as they roll out their pilot project.”
Rightmove has an operating profit margin of 74.7 per cent, according to data from S&P Capital IQ. Codling has told the FT this is “quite incredible”.
In the summer it was reported that Suzanne Deakins, a former marketing manager at Rightmove, had been hired by the Rummage business.
Last week we reported that TheHouseShop - a platform that lists individual owners’ private listings - was displaying properties to let on Facebook Marketplace, echoing an agreement earlier this year started by Zoopla and OnTheMarket.
A Rummage4Property holding page is online here.