Boomin has revealed to Estate Agent Today the latest figures on agency branches signed up to its fledgling portal.
It says it now has 6,800 branches and an announcement is expected shortly to confirm it has exceeded 7,000 branches; Boomin believes it is in a position to drive that figure higher and achieve “a significant number of extra branches in a record time.”
Group chief executive Michael Bruce says: “In less than four months we’ve achieved more agents than any other portal has ever achieved in that period. Rightmove took over six years to get to the number of agents we’ve got, and OnTheMarket took over five and a half years, while Zoopla took a number of acquisitions to get there.”
He says he ultimately wants the largest number of branches possible - including corporates, who are currently absent - but he suggests that existing contracts and deals means Boomin has to be patient.
On leads, he says Boomin will not quantify leads in the same way of existing portals.
“They count leads as any single contact, whatever the quality - that counts as a lead and an opportunity. Well we want to build more quality of engagement which means that agents can build longer-lasting relationships.”
Bruce says: “If we copied how other portals distribute leads we could distribute a significant number [now, through its Secret Property feature, averaging six interests against each property] … but we don’t distribute them at all until agents are instructed … What we want to do is get quality leads that we can measure the performance of and measure the value of. They will grow over time.”
He says he has intentionally not taken portal down the direct marketing brand - that way, he says, stops a brand being ‘loved’. “Other brands in this sector are transactional brands - people don’t necessary dislike them but people don’t love them.”
Referring to the various tools and features on the portal, Bruce says: “Matchmaker’s had 6,000 adverts, thousands of Secret Properties … we’re building on that … We’ve got a ground breaking YouTube channel, with nothing like it in the property world. We’ve already overtaken Rightmove in terms of the number of subscribers after three months, gaining momentum with over 200,000 views."
He continues: “We’ve got new retailers queuing up to appear on the Playground. We’ve recently added Farrow & Ball and B&Q.”
Bruce says that these figures - added to the many management appointments, including last week’s announcement regarding six estate agents on the portal’s strategic board - represent a highly successful beginning for Boomin.
“For a business which is a start up, very early in its evolution, it’s only four months old…the success we’ve had so far has been everything we’d hoped for.”