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Boomin dismisses speculation of ‘direct sales’ cutting out agents

Boomin has denied that it will ever allow direct property sales, cutting out estate agents.

Founder Michael Bruce says the new service “has not, and will not, ever look to move to a direct model.”

The denial has emerged from a debate the portal has had with The Guild of Property Professionals.

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The Guild has today given Boomin its backing. However, while a statement from The Guild says on the one hand it gives “full support to Boomin” on the other hand it says that amongst Guild members “opinion on Boomin has been divided” 

In an unusually worded statement, the Guild says its support for the yet-to-launch portal “follows an agreement between the parties, that guarantees the integrity of data and its ownership rights, as well as the primacy of the agent/customer relationship.”

The Guild has been in discussions with its membership and the Boomin leadership team - led by founder Michael Bruce - over recent months.

The Guild’s statement today says that “like the broader industry [the Guild] represents, opinion on Boomin has been divided, though the need for fresh competition in the portal space is absolutely clear.”

In November last year The Guild hosted a debate amongst members about Boomin.

“At the time there was a polarisation within the membership regarding the new portal, and we wanted the network to be able to voice their concerns so that we could address them directly with Boomin” says Guild chief executive Iain McKenzie.

“Members were concerned about two main areas, namely whether the portal was, in the long term, planning to go directly to consumers cutting out the agent, and who owns the data and how Boomin intends to make use of it.”

The Guild asked Boomin to provide a specific integrated tech platform and solution, which it has done. 

This means that member agents’ listings data will first pass through The Guild’s platform and then feed through to Boomin in accordance with the agreed service level of each agent. 

"This gateway provides the necessary reassurance that the Guild members’ data is protected” continues McKenzie.

“As a result of the agreement and the open and transparent engagement with Boomin, The Guild is recommending that members sign-up to Boomin, safe in the knowledge that there is no conflicted data play, and that the portal has no intention whatsoever of going direct to the consumer.”

He adds: “We believe that Boomin will act in the best interest of agents, providing them with more options and additional revenue streams.”

Meanwhile mystery surrounds the actual launch date for Boomin.

On December 10 the launch - which Bruce previously insisted would be in December - was pushed back to “early next year.”

As of today, the last working day of January, no indication has been given of when that launch will be.

Meanwhile Zoopla has this week revealed a detailed strategy of development including keeping consumers involved between transactions, and asking for agents’ participation in some activities - two areas on which Boomin was hoping to steal a march.

In reference to The Guild’s announcement today, Michael Bruce says: “We are proud to have entered into an agreement with The Guild that reinforces beyond any doubt our commitment to an agent and customer relationship and puts pay to any concerns of a data play. 

“To be very clear Boomin has not, and will not, ever look to move to a direct model, something this agreement guarantees.

“We encourage all agents who are yet to sign up with Boomin to join other leading agents, as pioneers for change, rather than be forced into a future that does not embrace and support them and their customers and almost inevitably continues to feed a financial model that is, or will become, unaffordable for the vast majority of agents. 

“We will work tirelessly at Boomin in partnership with agents, to repay their trust, deliver on our ambitions to provide a transformational experience and earn agents more income than they pay over in fees.”

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    Really....... what can this site offer that will makes it worth using rather than rightmove and zoopla. Direct Sales listings is something it should NOT rule out.....

  • martin moston

    Nothing other than another big payday for Bruce. Lockdown can do strange things to the mind...

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    The industry does not need Boomin.

  • Algarve  Investor

    The bigger question is...when will it actually be launched? Seems to have been in the offing for ages.

    Early next year suggests January, February at the latest to me. If it doesn't appear next month, I think legitimate questions could start to be asked. It could start to turn into the property version of Crossrail, forever being pushed back and back.

    What is the hold-up? What is the delay? To be fair to them, Agents Together seems to be doing a great job for agents during lockdown, even if I do think it was at least in part a cynical ploy to soften agents before the introduction of Boomin.

    Maybe the merger rumours with OTM hold some weight?

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    Rumours have it that a couple of the so called challenger portals have been knocking on the door at OTM, I wonder why?

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    Completely untrue.... I'm as retired estate agent and now manage my own portfolio. I was called by a Boomin sales rep yesterday asking me to sign up. I advised I was no longer an agent and purely a private landlord/investor and he was still keen to sign me up giving me the hard sell for 5 minutes......

  • Richard Copus

    Because they don't speak English we completely ignore what is going on a stone's throw away across The Channel. In France, Le Bon Coin is massively more successful than any other property portal. Se Loger, France's Rightmove is a long way down the scale. And what is Le Bon Coin? It is best described as an EBay plus selling absolutely everything, residential property being one of its sectors. Hundreds of thousands of French people sell their houses through this portal each year and you only have to look at the reviews to see how popular it is. Ok, this is France and the legal system is different - no messing around between sale agreed and exchange so sales chasing not really needed much - and French estate agency fees are exorbitant (rather like buyers' premiums under the Modern Method of Auction here) - but it works well. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to work out a way that a similar model could be successful here. Don't trust any portal that says it will never allow private sales. it WILL happen.

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    This could easily happen over here with Facebook Marketplace which so many agents are quick to promote. Why are some agents so daft?

     
  • Steve James

    Funny how these Bruce guys launch purple bricks and attack estate agents and now want to sell to these guys, they have big balls in or big egos! Either way they are crooks both Michael and Kenny

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