The Bruce brothers’ latest project, Boomin, is “ready to launch” some two months after it was expected to see the light of day.
In a trade ad the portal - which during the autumn let it be known it was going to launch before Christmas - now says: “We have signed up thousands of estate agents in the first weeks of 2021. Our marketing is ready to launch with a bang. Agents we have already trained and onboarded couldn’t be more positive about the tech we’ve created.”
And executive chairman Michael Bruce adds in a message specifically for those agents still unconvinced: “My team and I are here to answer any questions you have. We’re ready to launch.”
In mid-December Bruce wrote a lengthy letter to Boomin’s founding agents - the several hundred branches that had committed to the portal by that time - saying the launch had been delayed until “early” in 2021.
In Boomin’s latest trade advertisement it is sharply critical of existing portals which it says “deliver continual annual growth and world-beating net margins almost all fuelled by estate agents' membership fees.”
It adds that “it's evident that the vast majority of agents are paying many, many times more than a chosen few who are paying very little, not to mention getting the lion's share of paid-for products included that others are paying for or can't afford.”
The claims came on the same day as a report from software company Homehere, stating over a six month period Zoopla’s average cost per converted lead was £83.92, with Rightmove at £112.15 and OnTheMarket at £161.76.
Homehere went on to claim that when tracking all incoming leads and outcomes, none of the portals achieved more than three per cent success. Rightmove converted 2.65 per cent of leads into a sale or rental, Zoopla 1.9 per cent and OnTheMarket just 1.0 per cent.
Bruce says Boomin will offer fair fees that recognise the size of the agent, as would be the case in any commercial relationship, but not underwritten by agents with fewer offices.
“The future for portals is not one where they can expect to continually raise fees by material amounts year after year” he concludes.