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Graham Awards


Independent agents not yet convinced about Boomin - claim

The Federation of Independent Agents says a survey of member agencies suggests only around a fifth per cent would definitely be listing on the Bruce brothers’ new portal, Boomin.

While 18 per cent would definitely list, 50 per cent were still undecided and 32 per cent said a firm No.

The poll was of the federation's 40 agency group members.


"In the wake of yet another new portal being announced recently, I wanted to get a temperature check of sentiment from our independent member agents, particularly with ‘Boomin loom-ing’” says Graham Lock, the FIA founder.

The survey questions included ‘Which portals do you currently list on?’ the result of which was 100 per cent Rightmove, 90 per cent Zoopla, and 64 per cent for each of OnTheMarket and Homesearch. 

Some 82 per cent of survey respondents felt that Rightmove still dominated the portal market, although 59 per cent said that they felt they were ‘held hostage’ by the portal giant; 18 per cent thought it provided fair value. 

Only 4.5 per cent of respondents felt that Boomin would fundamentally change the portal market landscape; another 18 per cent wished that OnTheMarket could be better at lead generation. 

Thirty six per cent of respondents said there were now too many portals in general.

Lock continued: “There’s a feeling that agents want a challenger to Rightmove. This sentiment has been around for some time but as of yet hasn’t really materialised into a portal that agents and the public love as one.”

“Could OnTheMarket come into sharp focus again? I wouldn’t rule it out: their new CEO Jason Tebb is a talented and likeable guy and I still think many agents are willing it to do better” continues Lock. 

“It’s clear that Boomin does not have a great deal of support from FIA member agents at this moment in time, it remains to be seen as to whether this changes in the future” says Lock. 

“There are currently more than 10 portals for agents and consumers to choose from, I don’t think agents will ever list on more than three or four and I certainly can’t see the general public accessing more than ‘a couple’ when searching for a home.”

Lock concludes: “Searches will always go to the sites with the most stock that’s why the big three have stood the test of time. It will be interesting to see if the likes of Boomin can force their way in. It’s a huge task if our survey is anything to go by.”

  • Murray Lee

    18% only think its fair value? They what are the other 82% doing staying with them. We didnt and have not noticed andy downturn in business. And we have saved "shed loads" of money. #saynotorightmove

  • icon

    More Portals then Agents own websites, it's about time Agents concentrated on what the consumer wants NOT another Money grabbing Portal that serves no purpose to them.

  • icon

    If we applied this thinking across the board of only having 3 or 4 portals then there really would be no choice, no motivation for change or innovation and the portal fees would continue rising because there would be no competition. How about we do the same for CRMs? there are 35+ last time I counted and also for organisations like the FIA? Doesn't Kerfuffle and a few others do what this does? It is very limited thinking and restricts growth.

    Some of the challengers coming through are far more innovative (sorry, wouldn't touch boomin) so time will tell in terms of what the public think. Don't second guess what the public want or will choose as none of really know what the future holds.

  • Hybrid Agent

    If 98% of consumers first find their property on the internet (regularly spoken of, mostly by Rightmove) then the portals are almost entirely do the primary job of the property promotion/marketing/ selling industry often termed Estate Agency.
    Estate agents no longer have a requirement to ‘market ‘properties, only to pick up and effectively deal with the buyer/seller enquiries generated by the portals. No need for agent’s shops, window displays, newspaper ads, brochures, phone outs, client databases or anything that used to ‘market’ a property.
    How the buyer and seller enquiries are received and handled by an agent is now their primary role. All the other viewing, offers, negotiations, sale agreement and chasing stuff is still part of the agent function to get to a satisfactory completion but not the promotion of the property itself. Demonstrated well in the declining use of newspaper ads for properties available.
    The up-shot is that if a portal can push the supposed 98% of first contact that a property receives in to the agents that they work with to receive and act on them effectively then this will be the winning portal and the winning agents in the 2020’s.
    No traditional high street estate agent will ever see things this way or acknowledge it to be so as it contradicts the offering they have for selling clients.


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