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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Secret portal from Purplebricks founders wins praise from Rightmove critics

The Say No To Rightmove campaign has given a thumbs up to the new Boomin listings service created by the brothers who founded Purplebricks.

Michael and Kenny Bruce have released few specific details about exactly what Boomin will be, but it’s strongly expected to be a portal to rival Rightmove. The brothers have already promised it will be "the most agent and customer centric solution ever created, putting agents at the forefront of determining the future rather than needing to react to it.”

Now it has won the early enthusiasm of the Say No To Rightmove campaign, led by the Acorn Group of agencies serving parts of London and the south east of England. 

The campaign has written to its supporters today and says: “SNTRM have had a sneak peek behind the Boomin curtain and - save for the industry’s reservations about the Bruce Brothers and their former Purple incarnation - we can report the proposition is exciting, exceedingly well-funded, and has potential to be a game changer.

“We had reservations about a new Bruce Brothers business model before meeting them, but it does appear they are wedded to a concept that is focused on Boomin being the professional full service estate agent’s friend, delivering a raft of technology that will create new transactions and offer agents additional income. 

“Thus far, we are also aware that they have had engagement with a number of the country’s leading agents and have had an overwhelmingly positive response … From an Acorn Group perspective we are very seriously considering committing our support.” 

The Say No To Rightmove campaign makes the reference to the new Bruce brothers offering in an update to members, marking roughly one month before Rightmove is scheduled to return to its full tariff.

The note says Rightmove looks likely to justify such a return because of the relative strength of the market since lockdown.

But SNTR warns: “It seems Rightmove have learnt nothing tangible from their misjudgement of the pandemic back in March of this year, and furthermore are making no long term plans to assist their clients (UK estate agents) in the face of what is likely to be an inevitable correction to the British economy.”

The campaign goes on to says that now is the time for Rightmove to change its business model as a sign of respect for customers . 

Specifically the campaign wants: 

- a genuine core rate per office, not predicated on an inflated target spend;

- flexibility to buy additional products at a fair tariff as, when and if required;

- justification of returns on spend and more transparent conversations surrounding returns on investment;

- significant investment in technology and strategies designed to grow the overall size of the UK property market and transaction volumes;

- shorter, flexible contract periods allowing agents the freedom to adjust their spend in line with market conditions.

“There are many more suggestions and ideas emanating from the UK estate agency industry that are being ignored by Rightmove, but the five points above touch every hard working property professional. Our door remains open to Peter Brooks Johnson, Miles Shipside and the senior Rightmove team” says the campaign update, signed by Acorn chief executive Rob Sargent. 

Acorn Group itself has not yet stated whether it will remain with Rightmove but Sargent’s update concludes: “We believe that in the absence of a sea change to Rightmove’s approach to its clients, the portal market is about to become more competitive. However, that process can be accelerated if a significant number of agents refuse to succumb to tariff rates that they feel are too expensive, inflexible and out of kilter with their own turnover and profit margins.

“We have received representations from significant numbers of smaller independent agents who are intending to serve notice if Rightmove do not offer continued discounts and longer term changes to their tariff system.”

  • icon

    the game was changed months ago on Duopoly Friday. I remember having a conversation about it at the time with Simon Whale and what it meant to have Rightmove and Zoopla in competition with each other rather than being a supporting double act.

    Rightmove isn't a bad company they simply did what was logical and obvious in October 2011 when Zoopla- Prime- Finda merger was first mentioned. As I posted on the story in EAT "if this merger goes ahead it will remove competition from the sector and allow Rightmove subscriptions to rise to £1000 a month"

    Al that has happened since is because the Duopoly is broken.

    Without doubt Boomin will be something significant but what is likiely to happen is that the 3 existing portals will react to whatever it is, copying the innovation and income model and fitting it it with their brand awareness.

    What is going to be interesting is what happens to ZPG- Zoopla could end up very much disadvantaged- 5 legacy CRM's and a replacement system that's rapidly becoming legacy tech.

    One thing is certain now, finally change is being forced on Rightmove

  • icon

    Again, lots of noise from Acorn but no action. Isn't the idea to lead from the front? Rightmove aren't going to listen to non-corporate agents and it pains me to say it but, if it takes the Bruces to break the current stranglehold, the industry holding its collective noses might get the result it deserves; freedom.

  • David Thomas

    I totally agree with Rob Sargent and also believe Boomin to be an exciting proposition that will totally change the portal market as we know it! As a result I’m off Rightmove the end of this month and looking forward to the months ahead.

  • icon

    Did PB help the credability of our industry.How short memories are,suddenly everyones friends .

  • Algarve  Investor

    Hmm, seems a bit ironic that an anti-Rightmove group is now getting into bed with the Bruce brothers' new venture. Purpblebricks regularly laid into traditional agents during their tenure - they were, in fact, painting themselves as the antithesis to the high street model - and things ended disastrously for the Bruce brothers. As the comment above says, now they are suddenly being treated as allies. All very bizarre.

    PB, love them or loathe them, have spent years doing down the credibility of traditional agents. So I find it strange that a naffly named new portal and a charity initiative means all is now forgiven. Bruce seemed to have a bit of an easy ride of it in the Chris Watkin videos, so maybe money talks for all those who have previously been very critical of the brand.

  • Murray Lee

    Just to update
    For the information of the followers my notice has been served.
    I will now be taking advantage of the continued discount offered by Zoopla
    Lets see what life without Rightmove will be like (in October LOL)

    Paul Barrett

    You shouldn't notice any difference in business.
    If I was looking to buy or let property I would use

    RM
    Zoopla
    OTM

    I would NEVER just use one web portal.

    So as long as you are on one of these you should get all prospective eyeballs reading your listings.

    EA DON'T worry about being with just one of these web portals.
    It is all you need.

     
  • Michael Riley

    Really dramatic change in markets rarely arrives with much warning.

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