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Use small portals and social media to stop Rightmove and Co, agents told

A challenger portal says agents should reduce their reliance on the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla by using smaller rival portals as part of a wider marketing strategy for their listings.

Babek Ismayil, founder and chief executive of OneDome - a PropTech platform which runs a portal of the same name - says major portals are so strong that consumers expect to see their homes listed there.

The more content a portal displays, the more people will come and check listings - and that higher traffic allows portals to charge higher subscription fees to agents, says Ismayil.


“Portal costs for agents are also rising due to a lack of competition in the marketplace. There is a lack of new listings websites for several reasons, including agents being protective of stock which results in a high start-up cost for a new business" he continues.

"By being protective of their listings, estate agents inadvertently make it more difficult for new businesses to enter the market and compete against the larger portals.

"Instead they further empower established portals and help cement their market monopoly, which then allows those portals to charge agents more" says Ismayil.

Instead, he wants agents to use other portals to reduce what he calls “the stranglehold on agents” now held by the major sites, and to use newer marketing methods such as social media.

“The influence of social media continues to grow, with more consumers using platforms like Facebook as a place to buy and sell things and property will be no different. Agents should consider getting ahead of the curve now and advertising properties through social media while it is still a differentiator.”

He adds that agents can also benefit from focusing on improving their own websites.

“If agents’ websites had a better customer experience, consumers may start to see them as a viable route to search for properties instead of solely using the portals” concludes Ismayil.

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    Absolutely! There are a handful of portals emerging with differentiated business models that don't rely on hefty agent subscriptions. Onedome, PropertyHeads etc - we encourage our agents to explore them all.

    I would add its on the emerging portals to show they are on the side of the agent. At PropertyHeads we do this by offering unlimited free listings forever, and 100% organic reach on our integrated social network. I know Onedome offers 100 years of free listings and revenue opportunities for agents.

    Emerging portals, agents and CRMs should all be working together.


    You missed out the latest one that made a good move and took RightMove's SEO guy - Residential People. I've had good success on all the portals you've mentioned but RP has been spitting out more enquiries than the other freebies.

    @Property Pundit is probably 70 years old+. People like that don't understand the simple principle of CHANGE. If you don't change with the time you will be eaten up. RightMove will be eaten up by Zoopla and someone will gobble up Zoopla.

    If I were to tell everyone they could advertise their properties on gumtree for FREE they would instantly do it because the branding is there. However, these new emerging portals are using huge paid ads to get the word out which means the traffic might be there - its simply a no brainer to sign up and get the leads coming through.

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    When something is free, you are the product.


    Are you walking, talking robot?

  • Babek  Ismayil

    Dear Property Pundit,

    I appreciate that you might not be aware of how OneDome makes money, but I am very happy to explain it to you at your earliest convenience.

    We make money working with estate agents via profit share agreement which is separate to our listing agreement.

    Growing number of agents are paid for working with OneDome not the other way around. It a simple collaborative platform. Bear in mind, we are very incentivised for agents to sell houses, our interests are 100% aligned. We make money when agents make money.

    We don’t charge for listings for a very simple reason, we aim to reduce the dominance of major portals in eyes of consumer. As I am sure you are aware, portal businesses have a strong 2- sided network effect (supply drives demand, demand drives supply). To break that dependency we chose not to charge agents for listings and guarantee that for 100 years contractually. There is no hidden agenda, we have the same goal as any real estate agent.


    When does your business plan show you going in to profit?

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    @Sam West 'Property Pundit, I've already hammered you in previous posts. You bring nothing to the table other than speculation and negativity'. You're so funny.


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