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Boomin wins backing of ‘anti-Purplebricks’ industry guru

One of the highest profile figures in the agency industry - and a past critic of Purplebricks - has come out as a vociferous supporter of the new portal Boomin.

Iain White - who has 30 years experience in the industry, running his own independent agency and working for corporates including Countrywide and Romans - has long been a vocal critic of established portals. In recent years he worked closely with agents who were critical of tactics deployed by OnTheMarket, and has spoken out against Rightmove on several occasions.

However now he says that in the coming months he will be “engaging with agents on Boomin’s behalf” and dispelling myths about the soon-to-launch portal.

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White has told Estate Agent Today: “I am now backing Boomin as a much needed challenger to shake up the status quo.”

Boomin - which has announced a string of agency chains as its so-called founder members, and which now claims to have signed up around 40 per cent of the top 100 agencies in the UK - has been set up by Purplebricks founders Michael and Kenny Bruce.

White continues: “I have always been very vociferous in my distrust of the current paid to list portal operators and how in the main it’s dominated by one player to such an extent that the estate agents are held captive as customers in the main against their will. 

“I meet lots of agents where Rightmove take more from their turnover than they do themselves and this isn’t healthy, fair or right yet they feel trapped by ever increasing prices and ever decreasing returns. This isn’t sustainable so change has to happen. For me it’s simply not an option to do nothing.”

White says without a credible alternative, Rightmove’s stranglehold will get stronger and the company will have a free run in the long term.

“What I like about Boomin is the calibre of the team behind it, I have been very critical of the Purplebricks model so it may surprise some people as to why I am so enthusiastic about Boomin” he says.

White says there are eight reasons why he’s backing the new service.

1. “Boomin is fair in its charging model and will provide a revenue stream to agents longer term”;  

2. “It’s credible, well backed and well organised and can bring much needed competition to the portal space which in turn will reduce costs, increase customer service and force innovation”;

3. “It’s innovative and opens up the passive market which I believe will bring additional movers through old fashioned serendipity transactions which largely died with the newspapers”;

4. “It takes away the barrier between agent and client and promotes deeper more personal contact, putting the skill and relationships back into the estate agency. The best agent wins not the cheapest one”;

5. “I dislike Purplebricks and have been very noisy about the model and its effect on agency. However I can’t deny what it achieved in terms of brand awareness and it is now the largest lister of property in the UK. I believe the Bruce Brothers will achieve the same with Boomin and if they do they give agents agency back”;

6.  “I have checked double checked and checked again and grilled Michael and Kenny at length but I can’t find a single reason not to get involved and I believe their intentions are genuine. They are not taking possession of your database, controlling your customers or seeking to do anything other than support great agents”;  

7.  “The no tie in free period creates a no lose scenario, if Boomin fail to deliver on any level you simply don’t opt to move forward onto the paid period”;

8.  “Doing nothing in the current portal space simply isn’t an option for estate agents.”

  • martin moston

    “engaging with agents on Boomin’s behalf” Why ?

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    Exactly my thinking. WHY? Glad we are not one of his clients as would be a bit pis***d off if he started pushing this down our throats.

     
  • Murray Lee

    Anything to disrupt RMs hold is good. If Iain is right and RMS fees are higher than the earning of the agent themselves then even more reason to leave? Oh and the proposed 14% increases at your renewal STLL saying #saynotorightmove

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    The only engagement with agents he ever has is always negative if they don't agree with his opinion, he's like a jack Rabbit jumping from Portal to Portal which one will he back next, 'Good bye folks'

    For everyone's sake get down from your Soap box.

    Iain  White

    I have no issue with you not liking me, but let’s be clear , I have not jumped from portal to portal , I have only ever publicly backed OneDome before now and still very much do . Obviously i also believe Boomin to be a credible and viable proposition.

    The portal market needs competition to bring fairness to pricing models , better service standards and much needed innovation.

     
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    Have we witnessed the birth of the industry's first portal tart here?

     
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    It needs competition, just not from the pair that tried to ruin us. Surprised at you for aligning yourself with these. They won't be getting our listings

     
  • Charlie Lamdin

    1. “Boomin is fair in its charging model and will provide a revenue stream to agents longer term”; ***although it will take the majority of that additional revenue for itself.

    2. “It’s credible, [in your opinion Iain] well backed [please define that, eg more money than OTM?] and well organised [surely too early to tell] and can bring much needed competition to the portal space which in turn will reduce costs, increase customer service and force innovation” *** Can it? Why? How will it reduce costs? Did OTM reduce costs? What does "increased customer service" mean? Who are its customers, movers, or agents?

    3. “It’s innovative and opens up the passive market which I believe will bring additional movers through old fashioned serendipity transactions which largely died with the newspapers”; *** magic sauce that will make people who weren't going to move, move? That would be impressive.

    4. “It takes away the barrier between agent and client and promotes deeper more personal contact, putting the skill and relationships back into the estate agency. The best agent wins not the cheapest one”; *** I agree this would be good, if it happens.

    5. “I dislike Purplebricks and have been very noisy about the model and its effect on agency. However I can’t deny what it achieved in terms of brand awareness and it is now the largest lister of property in the UK. I believe the Bruce Brothers will achieve the same with Boomin and if they do they give agents agency back”; *** Anyone spending £20m+ per year on misleading TV ads can achieve brand awareness. Largest lister perhaps, but largest seller? We don't know, and they still take millions off consumers for properties they never sell.

    6. “I have checked double checked and checked again and grilled Michael and Kenny at length but I can’t find a single reason not to get involved and I believe their intentions are genuine. They are not taking possession of your database, controlling your customers or seeking to do anything other than support great agents”; *** there intentions are genuine, to siphon off as much value for themselves as they can, without solving any new problems. Anyone who thinks the Bruce's aren't in this first and foremost for themselves has been snake-charmed.

    7. “The no tie in free period creates a no lose scenario, if Boomin fail to deliver on any level you simply don’t opt to move forward onto the paid period”; - *** agreed, but RM said the same when they launched.

    8. “Doing nothing in the current portal space simply isn’t an option for estate agents.” *** Nonsense, of course it is. Thousands of agents are doing precisely that, staying as they are, and continuing to do fine.

    Until/unless someone solves a major pain point for the consumer, all these ventures are simply more and more lead-gen middle-men, taking value without creating value.

    Algarve  Investor

    Hear hear! An excellent and thorough run-through of the situation.

    Boomin clearly has something, as PB did/do - plenty of financial clout behind them, savvy marketing and PR, a distinctive brand that gets people talking - but the hailing of them as the saviour of agents just doesn't seem to tally with what went before, and the continuing dominance of RM, and to a lesser extent Zoopla.

     
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    Thank you for ripping Mr White a new one.

     
  • Michael Brain

    Makes me laugh , you all moan about Rightmove and what there model is and their future and as soon as viable alternative comes you all come out moaning again , and the most laughable comment is they’re in it for them self’s , what businessman is not in it for them self’s , yes we all want to give the best we can to our clients and go that extra mile , but honestly , don’t tell me you do it for the love of it , Charlie lambdin and live in a two up two down and drive a Ford Fiesta ,

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    You are missing the point Michael. Yes everyone in business is in it to make money. This isn't about that, it is about backing the right alternative and this just isn't right, they aren't right. You may not have been affected by their PB commisery etc. so don't feel as strongly as some of us and so don't understand the depth of feelings and anger here.

    The power is not in their TV and other marketing campaigns, the power is in our hands. RM didn't do it with TV ads in the early days, they did it through the agents, it was us who promoted RM, it was us who told buyers and sellers where to go and we can do that again with the better alternatives that are out there. Its that simple.

     
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