Another group of independent estate agents have launched a portal - a rival to a similar project launched by other agencies just a few days ago.
It charges agents £150 per office per month to join.
Localmove has been set up by Sutton Coldfield estate agencies Acres, Green & Company and Paul Carr, which have 26 branch offices between them in north Birmingham.
With other local agents on board, it claims to give local buyers access to over 70 per cent of properties in the area: the three agencies say they will soon have 90 per cent. The portal allows buyers and sellers to use the regular filters, register their search and receive emails regarding listings.
Localmove has also developed a franchise option for what it calls “like-minded agents across the country to take control of their own areas.”
It says: “Any group of agents can take a franchise and thereby own and run their own Localmove portal, which will be totally owned and independently run by its member firms, with shares for each member. It gives local agents across the UK the chance to cut down their portal costs whilst buying into the success of this model with a share in the ownership."
Localmove appears to be very similar in principle to Wearethemarket, another local portal which has the support of over 50 offices in Coventry and Warwickshire, and with plans to expand its geographical reach.
Nigel Deekes of Acres, a director of Localmove, says: "There has been much debate in the market about the cost of national portals and we felt it was time to take action. We know from our own statistics that 90 per cent of sellers and buyers want to focus on property in their local area within a radius of around fifteen miles. What’s required is a property portal to enable this to happen effectively and efficiently.
“Fundamentally, property buyers will search where the majority of the property of interest to them is advertised. Localmove will deliver not only the most local property but also a group of estate agents that have the experience to assist them with their property journey.
“By teaming up to launch Localmove, we can ensure that we remain competitive in terms of cost, whilst really focusing on the local property market to deliver a better service for the house buying/selling public.
"For far too long agents have been at the mercy of national portals who are strangling the independent agents and now is the time for these agents to be able to reduce their portal costs and take control back."
Paul Ivens of Green & Company - another director of the new portal - adds: "All previous attempts to break the portal duopoly have failed because being national is not appropriate; it doesn’t work. We know agents across the UK are disillusioned with the national portals’ attitude to agents and their fees, and we know they want an alternative to the current choices.
“We believe that creating local/regional groups - who own and have control of their online marketing - is the way forward and the Localmove concept provides a viable choice. This has real potential to change the way buyers view properties. We have a real opportunity here, perhaps this is the last chance to take back control, and it's time for a change. One of the developments we are currently evolving is the creation of local business marketing and events, thus enabling Localmove to be the centre for all community information."
Paul Carr of Paul Carr Estate Agents, director of Localmove, said: " Traditionally local property markets have been very competitive and there has been little collaboration between agents. By teaming up to launch Localmove, we are ensuring a better service for the house buying/selling public and for other agents too.”
You can see the new portal here.