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.”