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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Rightmove off the hook? Much-hyped new portal delays launch

Homesearch - the new property portal which describes itself as “the future of the property industry” - has delayed its launch.

It was scheduled to go live on May 25; just days ago it reported to Estate Agent Today that it had recruited 14 new staff.

However chief executive Giles Ellwood is now reported to have told a webinar: “We wanted to achieve something radical in two months. Unfortunately it’s going to take us three. Pushing the public release back by four to five weeks will allow us more time to properly onboard agents, more time to integrate further with CRM providers and more time to test.”

The new launch date is reported to be July 1.

Towards the end of last year Homesearch launched a ‘live market’ features to its property data service, which it was running ahead of the portal starting. That feature, too, was delayed in its arrival.

In the past Homesearch has said it invested over £3m in the service and has called itself a truly agent-first platform. 

It has said it aims to be: “A network where consumers can interact with your agency and your instructions, as well as placing your agency in front of them for every other property they search for in your market. Everything will lead back to your website and the phone numbers and links will be yours, not ours.”

Homesearch says around 6,000 branches have registered an interest in its services - it says this is some 32 per cent of the industry. 

On May 10 the service stated on its website: “Just six weeks since we announced the plans and started documenting our progress, some 5,600+ branches have become part of the movement. Your contribution to our webinars, emails and messages of support keep us energised and working hard.

“What has become clear from the new conversations we’ve had since we announced the Network, is that the industry does want change. In most cases, and for most agents, their current portal and prospecting costs are a burden to growth and long-term success.

“This letter is a call to action to join the 32 per cent of the industry who have already shown their support.”

You can see here a video interview conducted by Estate Agent Today with one of the Homesearch founders

  • Murray Lee

    RIGHTMOVE of the hook? I dont think so!

    Homesearch were 1 of 25 or more NEW portal that contacted me since this all kicked off including, OpenBrx, WiggyWam, Rummage4, Property Mutual, TWPN and Resi People to name just a few.

    They are all READY and open for business and Im am linked to most of these too
    None have the ridiculous high tariffs than RM demand and seem to have much more customer service in mind than RM now have.

    Althiugh I support Homeearch and am behind their efforts to bring a better portal experience to the market I do not think for 1 moment they are the only "new" option or the only chalanger to RM who will be shortsighted if they dont listen to a huge part of their client base then their days could be over

    If you want a full list feel free to contatc me!
    Im not hard to find

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    And they are all hosing investors money.

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    Angus, not all no! OpenBrix is on blockchain so have no control. It’s on a public community platform and cannot be investor or shareholder led. To be fair most of the new challengers also bring new innovation. I agree the big 3 have behaved disgracefully!

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    So are any brave investors going to stump up 5m a mtg to get some consumers looking at it?
    This is the main issue Consumer mindshare.

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    A mth I meant

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    Absolutely the right decision made by their team. This was done with some consultation of agents too so was no shock. Hew refreshing for a company to come and say "Guys, we want to launch being the best we can be. Best of luck to them all.

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    Rightmove's position in our industry is rightly under threat from other competing portals and new entrants. RM needs to re-invent its pricing structure, introduce more digital marketing, and take stock of their paying customers.

    Homesearch sounds fab, and worth supporting, but the big question for agents is balancing their portal spend and the remainder of their digital marketing spend. Feels a bit like the debate I used to have with colleagues about national advertising and local advertising.

  • Andrew Ireland

    I can confirm that Homesearch are the likely main challenger to RM having looked at the service and tried it out. They are on our side and in fact all properties currently on the market are already listed with them, they are ready to go.

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    For now, but what are their intentions regarding fees if they get as big as Rightmove? Charge as much as Rightmove? I'm sticking with On The Market as they are getting there now.

     
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    That's funny, you realize April fools was last month right?

     
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    But they're not - unlike other challenger portals - offering agents the chance to own the business. Throw in their, admittedly, excellent home reports, and their desire to create a CRM, I can appreciate the concern expressed by Debbie, another monster could be being formed here.

     
    GIles Ellwood

    Thanks Andrew, we all massively appreciate your support and encouragement.

    Debbie, yours is a very good point about the fees, which is why we put in fixed conditions around pricing specifically for Agents, this is available to see on our homepage letter.

    Firstly, although as a group, we've been serving agents in various ways for 15 years, we appreciate that Homesearch is relatively new to many agents, so in acknowledgement of your concerns, we set our actual price in the future, it will be £395 in Jan 2025. and it can only increase by a max of CPI each year after that..

    (So to answer your question specifically, looking back at a post you wrote last year where they offered to reduce your monthly rate to £1175, well at our fixed increase rate, we wouldn't reach that cost until approx the year 2080)

    We do believe we are in this together, which is why we are offering the first thousand branches 60% off until Jan 2025 for supporting now. As well as providing 1,500 posted letters to help build up your pipelines over the next few months.

    Maybe whats more reassuring is that you don't actually need to pay Homesearch anything if all you want is your listings on the site and to receive the calls/emails. this is free for all agents, always.

    We are always here if you would like more info.

     
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    Otm was on everyones side too albeit cynicaly.
    But if they can't get to 10m ubs de duped from all the scraping they won't fly.
    To get to 10m ubs you need cash and lots of it

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    Or you need agents wiling to take a punt. I really don't understand the reluctance of other agents to get on board with OTM. They are supplying us with almost as many leads as Rightmove and Zoopla put together, and they are reasonably priced. Every agent has heard of them now. What's the issue, I really don't get it?

     
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    Debbie, other agents have had the complete opposite experience. Paying thousands for long term contracts and getting virtually zero back. So, lost money.

    Just because an agent has heard of them, it doesn't mean consumers have, or like the site. The fact is, consumers want more information, not less. RM and Zoopla both have by far better sites and exposure, in a way OTM just cannot possibly compete. They simply do not and will not have the cash.

    Most people have heard of Yahoo, but the majority use Google, as simply put, it is just far better.

     
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    Otm was always confrontational ,arrogant , and disingenuous.

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    you parasites should tailor your advertisement requirements for your local market and future expectations
    straight into greggs buy a fruit bun and give it to the nearest migrant who will gladly walk round your local high street all day with a sandwich board .
    Going be great seeing you lot die a slow death people wising up selling their houses for 65 pound +vat no suited and booted jumped up uneducated spiv with huge overheads and labour costs. Just ask a travel agent technology as they say is a killer

  • Nick Ferrand

    I would like to wish Homesearch all the best. We on the other hand have not delayed and are open for business to all agents.

    PS: Privately funded by agents for agents.

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