The fast-growing trade group for independent estate agents has launched a partnership with the soon-to-launch Homesearch portal.
Of the various free-to-list portals currently operating or on the starting blocks, Homesearch - scheduled to launch in under six weeks time - is the one the appears to have the highest expectations of challenging the existing Big Three.
Some 6,800 agency branches have already indicated that they support the concept and from the end of this month these will be able to become paying subscribers if they choose.
It’s been reported that around 500 branches have already committed to do so; each of the first 2,500 branches to subscribe will be offered 1,500 prepaid direct mail letters to potential customers.
Now the Federation of Independent Agents, founded by former agent and respected property consultant Graham Lock, says his trade body has entered into “a key long-term strategic partnership with Homesearch that will run until the end of 2024.”
The FIA already has a deal whereby its members agents have subsidised access to the Homesearch Pro product, which offers property data.
“The agency landscape is rapidly changing so it’s important that our member agents have access to the latest products and services to enable them to compete at the highest level. Our subsidised solution for Homesearch means they receive the full benefit of the product with long term pricing security” says Lock, launching the new deal.
He says the creators of Homesearch - Sam Hunter and Giles Ellwood - “understand the power of data and the importance of listening to what agents want, not what they think they want.”
Hunter, chief operating officer at Homesearch, says: “Graham and his members have played a massive role in the development of Pro and they were the first agents to see the full Network [portal] offering. Their feedback directly help to shape the product, as it will be when released. We’re grateful to continue our relationship long-term.”
As of last evening Homesearch’s portal, set to launch on July 1, had 6,818 agents who had expressed an interest in its service, which it says will offer “unlimited listings, no contracts” and with all leads generated going straight to the agent at no cost.
The FIA, now a year old, aims to give its members the scale of financial leverage with suppliers enjoyed previously just by large-scale corporates.