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Written by rosalind renshaw

Nick Salmon's call to agents to support the concept of PropertyLive as an agent-owned site becoming a ‘line in the sand' against excessive portal charges has provoked a very strong and positive response, he said last night.

Over 100 agents posted their views on EAT and many more than this number have privately emailed Salmon with their views.

Assessing the response, Salmon said: “It is very clear that there is profound concern among agents over the power and charging structure of the big portals.

“I would go so far as to say there is a genuine fear that one way or another these portals will slowly but surely exert a stranglehold on agents – perhaps by direct-to-consumer offerings – and as a result there is a strong appetite for the creation of a credible, viable, agent-owned portal that will give agents the ability to say 'no' to excessive charging.

“I have been immensely impressed by the fact that none of the comments and expressions of support I have received has talked about taking Rightmove/Zoopla head-on. That was never the intention of my call. Both these portals are, and will probably continue to be, a vital part of agents' marketing mix.

“But to create a buffer, many agents are willing to pay for PropertyLive, subscribe for shares, and pay a subscription.

“It is evident that if they own it they will promote it. If they promote it they will list their properties on it. If their properties are on it, the public will view and buy, and in time expect their properties to be listed on PropertyLive.

“It will take time but it really can become a virtuous circle. And while it is but a dream, the reality is that if all agents joined PropertyLive and only listed their properties on PropertyLive, that is where the public will go. I do not for one moment expect that to happen overnight. But it might. Over time.”

Salmon said he is confident that NFoPP will take note of the response to his call and that it is by no means a foregone conclusion that PropertyLive is a dead duck.

He said: “If a coherent and commercially sound proposition is made to NFoPP, I have every reason to expect that it will be seriously considered.

“PropertyLive is sick, but it can be made well and it can thrive for the good of all the industry.

“I do have a certain sympathy for NFoPP in that it is clear, just in these few days since I made the call, that there are an awful lot of firms and individuals who think they could run PropertyLive more effectively than NFoPP.

“Perhaps one should be sceptical of the claims, and part of the resurrection of PropertyLive should be to have a completely dispassionate review of the softwares on offer by an independent third party that can assess the merits of each one.”

One of the most telling comments made was that, whilst a laudable and desirable aim, bringing agents together to make PropertyLive work would be akin to herding cats.

Salmon says he has not got the time or inclination to go herding, but that if agents keep sending him their support – and, he stresses, they need to do this quickly – the case to build PropertyLive into the buttress against the big portals inexorably ramping their charges will grow to unstoppable proportions.

Salmon said: “Agents have a one-off opportunity to alter their future for the better. We all need to grasp it. Now.”

Nick Salmon can be reached at nicksalmon@splinta.co.uk


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    I read the first paragraph of your reply to me. It was Boring.


    • 27 January 2013 19:42 PM
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    - a valid observation, however; Hoover adopted that approach when considering the threat from Dyson.

    Goliath -v- Upstart. Dyson now has 75% market share and Hoover almost went bust. I know I held their shares.

    In the more unique situation within EA land, the agents occupy a unique position at present in that they control the supply of listings and advertising material to the portals. If the supply of listings were cut the market positions and market value of these companies would simply collapse and the VC's would run to the hills.

    Comet was a recent example of a VC investing millions and the company still collapsed. VC involvement is not a guarantee of certainty or business success.

    The agents do have a unique opportunity here. They need to quickly orchestrate a framework and co-operation that enables them to take full advantage of their position of strength.

    Consider this - over the next five years agents' collectively will spend upwards of £530 million with the major portals.

    That makes the effort required all the more worth while.

    • 27 January 2013 12:06 PM
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    Taking context back. How much did it cost to get Rightmove where it is and how much have Zoopla raised to catch up. Don't oversee that millions of pounds were also spent on PrimeLocation and FindaProperty. Do us agents have the funds to replicate what Zoopla has had to invest.

    If Nfopp have N-flopped, without things being different how could such a thing survive, let alone become no.1 or 2 up against Rightmove or Zoopla. Zoopla has some heavy cash behind it from vc's. vc's normally look at 5 year plans to exit. They won't be backing down now

    • 27 January 2013 11:05 AM
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    Unfortunatelt this site is fast becoming a sounding board for the two way conversation between Happy Chappy & Trevor Mealham.

    The thread has gone completely off message for this story, and the clue is in the headline - and that is 'what are agents prepared to do about reviving PL, PL2 or a successor', 'will of the vast majorityagents invest in such a venture, as is needed to enable the project to work?', 'if so; how and when and how much is needed?'

    Ladies & Gentlemen - action speaks a lot louder than words.

    • 27 January 2013 10:32 AM
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    Finally we agree on something there is indeed this way, that way, any other way furthermore the right way and the only way don't exist.

    Tell you what when everyone on here declares there true identity so will I. Perhaps I am scared you will boot me out of your club if you find out who I am :o)

    Maybe the name nickers joke about boot sales is another way forward......no need for those expensive shop fronts....you go find the clients rather than waiting for them to come to you. ;o)

    Quaggy who said I charge a fee, my clients don't have to pay me but many make a donation to charity, lol.

    • 26 January 2013 12:45 PM
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    Agreed, US realtors comms are 6% generally. But they deal typically with say 6-8 properties whereas UK agent would be 20-30. Realtors also do pre legal pack preperation which UK agents don't. The 6% is typically divided 3% to sellers brokerage and 3% to the buyers brokerage. Depending on how good the agents (realtors) are depends on whether they get 1% or 2% of the brokerage 3%. Good realtors will get 2%, whilst those not so good realtors may see1% for being carried.

    Remax/Cent 21 Models USA/Canada work as the realtors in them collaborate with other neighborhood agents for MLS sharing/introductions.

    In the UK most Remax/Cent 21 franchises buy into the US branding and not the true value being the collaboration factor. I don't know of UK R/mx or Cent 21 outlets that do deals with neighboring other agents. Additionally technology to network agents cross software brands hasnt existed that long in the UK

    Totally agree, if thats your choice then fine. Equally the OFT confirms that private sellers CAN be sued if buyers are misled in reference to what was agreed being wrong and out of contract.

    Totally agree re Chappy who I read down below uses a FIAT and boot sales as outlets. Nice approach Chappy :-)
    Quag - Those customers wouldnt have brought in the thank yous had they not have been impressed and happy with your fees. I think Chappy Clappy also has to accept that his way, A N Other way or the MLS way are all options. My offering is simply that MLS can now happen between agents who feel it is right for them. MLS could also offer a back end behind a portal front. PL has battled with the main portals using portal rules. MLS is a 90% different beast and the wild card that if nationally adopted could make main portals secondary in 3 years.

    I think Clappy Chappy should reveal him or herself to have the right to comment. Why the need to hide behind sudo's

    • 26 January 2013 11:46 AM
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    @american realtor

    That is some very interesting points you have made here. I wasnt aware AA had a property portal.I do agree the time is right for agents to make the changes.

    What other issues are american estate agents coming across? Are you seeing their market picking up?

    • 26 January 2013 11:35 AM
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    Ohhh I see you 'help' people find the right agent and earn a fee. What was you saying about value for money? So tell me what exactly what do you do to help people and how could you possibly earn a fee out of it?

    You could also tell me where I said that it should be high street agents only?

    • 26 January 2013 10:36 AM
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    Quaggy I do very well out of the industry thank you, but you are correct its not my main source of income. I have many close friends and relatives that are estate agents both on line and high street.

    As one poster puts it consider me a broker I help people find the right type of agent for them. Clearly for your customers you are the right tyoe of agent well done.

    Never once have I said I don't like agents, I like good agents a lot. I just know and I am not naive enough to think one size fits all...... it doesn't. Look through my posts I have repeatedly said there is and always will be a significant need for the commission only based model.

    Ps I have blown your only high street agents can use rightmove as they paid for the development argument out of the water so many times I can't be bothered to do it again. On that note I am out iof here. Cheers

    • 26 January 2013 10:26 AM
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    What exactly is your beef Chappy? You don’t like agents, you don’t like fees, you think that portals that have been built with agent money should be open to people who want side step agents.

    You are not an agent. I think Trevor needs to realise this before he waists anymore time on you. In fact you’re not even in the industry are you?

    Listen, not once in two decades have I had someone question the fee after completion. The cards and bottles of wine we get on a daily basis says that our clients have been happy with the fee and the service level they have received for it. While that is the case, I shall carry on regardless of whether the odd person like you, thinks they can do it better with no experience, knowledge and dare I say it brains.
    When on a valuation, the next vendor who asks me 'can I just pay you some money up front?' I'll let you know.
    It hasn't happened yet.

    • 26 January 2013 10:03 AM
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    @Trevor, mls is the way that America realtors do business. However they operate with brokers and individual agents. Their commision is much more than what the UK charge (around 6%)

    Moreover, they are very big on online reviews and integrate this into their websites. This is something that doesn't fit comfortably with realtors over here.

    If you want to bring the American model to the UK is for agents to change their business models to broker, teams and agents and everyone operating on commision only.

    The remax realtor model has been here now for some time and hasn't been a huge success.

    Having said that, we are in the worst market slump this industry has ever seen and there won't be a better time for agents to evolve into the American way.

    One website that has been clearly overlooked in the UK is Allagents (Allagents.co.uk). This website has got both broker and agent listings along with reviews. If this website was developed more as an mls/ property portal then your rightmove model will be a thing of the past overnight.

    Have you or NFoPP ever considered joining forces with allagents to form one large mls before the corporates get their teeth into it?

    • 26 January 2013 08:47 AM
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    You can sell and let property without an agent. It should be down to a choice and a level playing field. The portals should charge per listing simple.

    • 26 January 2013 04:47 AM
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    Property Live needs saving now as in a week it looks like it could be too late. If the current PL has failed, yet we want to keep it, maybe its time to give a agent sharing platform below it a chance. I agree with Yank that FSBO is not the way to go and that agents who would support a revamped Property Live could sell each others listings but as agents wouldnt support a private sales model.

    • 26 January 2013 00:09 AM
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    Happy chappy Ive been following the blog. In the usa mls is king. Your private sales model we had for a while and to be honest us realtors sponsor community events and become part of our communities, getting known by the locals.

    As such community trusts us and we become the go to real estate professionals. People have tried FSBO and it simply doesnt work. If you have the opportunity to encourage mls in the UK take it as it widens your selling chances.

    FSBO models in my experience dont last long. Learn from us Yanks mls has seen FSBO come and go.

    Have a look at this guy who founded a FSBO brokerage


    He couldnt sell by his own site and six months later ended up using a realtor who did sell for him and got a better price by networking through our mls the listing out.

    So take it from us Yanks MLS is worth taking any day of the week over FSBO

    • 26 January 2013 00:05 AM
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    Trevor How many times have told you what difference does it make who i am or what i do...but i don’t have a website......you and the idiot pretending to be me think I am an online budget agent I am not.

    Those signs above the shop advertise an EA's business to potential sellers more than properties to buyer (god it’s like teaching marketing to a year 11)

    So you are correct Online or traditional is irrelevant but you and I disagree over business models namely fees (you simply always claim no sale no fee commission is the best and the higher the fee the better) prove it

    We have seen that an agent charging 1.5% commission performs no better than fixed price budget agent. FACT. You went very quiet when presented with the evidence didn't you?

    Yes I understand how you want to protect your agents and the old business model at the expense of the customer.

    A motivated seller is someone who wants to sell quickly and as such will accept a lower price in order to achieve this. If a price is lower than the comparables it is easier to sell....ohhhh I forgot you keep claiming subbing etc will get the vendor a better price but you can't prove can you!

    So are you really trying to say that between 1990 and 2010 (this was when you were an agent right?) there was not massive House price inflation. I'll dig the graph out if you want to see it!

    I am not saying you did not do well, I clearly stated I am sure you offered a great service but the business model has nothing to do with it...it’s the agent not the model that offers great customer service and value for money.

    If a vendor wants to go DIY or FSBO why should he be denied access to the portals....the repeal of the PMA has also opened the door to intermediaries and you hate it don't you!

    • 25 January 2013 22:37 PM
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    Im going to sue Happy Chappy. The Camper was my idea

    • 25 January 2013 21:18 PM
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    I got my website of Ebay for $29.95 and I dont have a traditional set-up.

    I find boot sales are good places to pitch homes. As an online agent my camper van doubles up as my office but i did run out of petrol the other week so was late for two bootsales so that Sunday I didnt get any buyer enquiries.

    Its the future, Im opening franchises for £50k and I throw in a Fiat Camper and ebay website. But you have to calculate in dollars as the Uk version is another 25dollars. The camper also makes a good board van

    • 25 January 2013 21:16 PM
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    Out of all these comments here, I can only see ONE genuine agent posting here!

    Look lads, get real. If there are genuine firms here then declare your interest officially here. If not then it has to be assumed that this thread is made up with a lot people that have a lot of time on their hands

    • 25 January 2013 21:14 PM
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    Happy Chappy, please identify yourself and how long you have been in agency, or what you do?

    A sensible fee is a fee that achieves best results for the client. Why am I even bothering? In some instances sole agency may be enough. Other times increased marketing can bring a seller a better price or a more solid buyer. One fee fits all is not good agency and service should be calculated on the clients speed required to move and other needs. This feels like teaching juniors in their first week at the office.

    I have no problem as I said to you the other day with online and traditional agents and often one may have attributes to compliment the other. pooled resources ca be client beneficial. I also think that now were in 2013 there are few ''Traditional agents'' who are not online.

    Often web agents may be a little more savvy as to web SEO and marketing, yet traditional agents as you wish to define do have a magic flag in their communities called a shop front. take a look sometime and your see that above the glass bits above the pics of houses is normally a 10ft-20ft big banner called a facia. These things give advertising even when peopl are not looking for property.

    FSBO - Today another portal asked that we feed INEA agents listings to them. I refused unless all FSBO marketing was refused. If PL2 acting for agents accepted FSBO or private lets the ones losing revenue would be agents. No portal wanting agent business should equally use agents content to drive traffic in next to agents ads. FSBO doesnt pay to feed agents families, car tax or those office thingy's

    FSBO and agent sites are different beasts and FSBO sites are not allowed under the Sept 2012 CPRs to offer ancillary services relating to estate agency, ie conveyance, photography, mortgages etc. But being such a well informed chappy I thought you would know estate agency law and regulation - don't you?

    Motivated sellers - You really haven't done this for long have you? Love to see your website. Fact is a motivated seller going through divorce, need to be near schools to get child in, separation, lottery winner wanting to fast upsize, need to move near to work, need to merge home to larger place to accommodate needing relative. All motivated situations.

    If an agent is on just one portal be they online or ''traditional'' with an office thingy (as found often in Hg Sts) Do you know what a Hg St is? - well whatever type of agent - increased coverage via more agents can expose a listing to more buyers. More buyers can drive a price up, or find a better buyer than a lone agent. But you wouldn't know as I expect you work on budget fees that drive the industry down and leave nothing in the pot to collaborate to do more for your clients.

    revenue increases. - Well bright one if you had been about we saw prices go up mid to late 1980's. 1990 to 94 were tough and if you remember pices in this period dropped due to lenders repossessing. 94-95 saw a mild return of properties selling but no real increases.

    Those facing repo were happy to exit facing repossession and offering them greater exposure for another 0.5% to 0.75% on top of 1.5% sol was better than taking a £10-20k drop. I started subbing in 1991/92 and whilst prices were dropping by collaboration with 3-4 other agents my revenue increased 41%. By working with other local agents we increased from 25 listings to 125-130. More stock = more sales.

    More other agent stock means more enquiries. More enquiries created more conversions into valuations.

    More business early 90's meant we had funds to open a second office and grow the 4-5 agent network to around 20 offices.

    I don't mean to be rude, but your a great expert on what you don't understand. Your model pitch low and probably charge up front is much costlier for listings that don't sell. If a fee is 1.5% or 2%. No Sale No Fee is cheaper than No sale and funds up front.

    If you feed back please show your name and website.

    My comments are genuine and not under a sudo.

    • 25 January 2013 20:40 PM
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    More anti-competition and protectionist, rhetoric from Trevor.

    So you believe Estate Agency is about sensible fee and service. What is a sensible fee???

    We have already seen that fee has nothing to do with service. That was proven on the "what-sam-saw-today website.

    So i take it if you have anyting to do with PL2 it would only welcome Traditional Estate Agents yet Nick Salmon already supports FSBO and online agents. So if you reverse this i think PL2 will be missing a revenue stream not available to RM and Z. (an FSBO is also a buyer)

    Motivated sellers want and should pay less in commission a motivated seller makes your job easier a sit and wait for the "Right offer" is a traditional agent’s worst nightmare.

    As for your revenue increases between 1990 and 2010 How much of that was due to house price inflation perpetuated by the availability of easy money, as much as your undoubted good service?

    • 25 January 2013 20:00 PM
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    Thanks to those showing support unlike GAH who really appears to not give a damn about estate agency. If GAH did maybe some other positives could be offered. Do you have the funding and technology GAH. If not could you find it by the 31st. I can offer a life line to hold the site up and put a turbo on the engine - can you?

    I got in this game in 1986 and my two offices got approached for buy out after near 2 decades running them. My turnover in the early 1990's rose 41% by working with other agents and the then group grew to 20 offices. Together we gave the local corporates a pasting as they only had 2-3 offices. As such I have a right as anyone who cares about this industry to have a say.

    People like GAH hide behind silly initials and would contribute more if we knew who they were and they brought sense to the table. GAH tell us who you are and how you could save a ship the captains are about to abort.

    I worked to get TESCO ousted out under the 79 Act to keep budget agents out and after got involved with the open OFT consultations which were released Sept 2012. I heavily pushed for restrictions and hardships on FSBO and budget agent sites as I believe agency is about a sensible fee and service. RM and Z allow budget marketeers in and then in England and Wales allow private landlord ads next to yours GAH - that is if you are an agent.

    To me sole agency might be worth one fee, yet why not ask motivated sellers, if I can gain wider exposure to more buyers would you pay another 0.5% to 1% - most will say yes. MLS isnt about reduced fees - its about higher fees for more. The upsell allows the main agent to pay for sub introductions that complete.

    To make MLS work its a totally different IT structure. My team have had 5 years R&D to make it workable in the UK. Im not even saying put the INEA homepage front end. INEA isnt about being a pretty website, you already have a PL front end. What you DON'T have is a different structure to mass connect UK agents. INEA does.

    For non teckies. INEA replicates simple paper based subbing that many experienced long term agents will remember helped increase revenue before the portals happened.

    • 25 January 2013 18:54 PM
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    Good grief. No discussions have taken place yet some of you are drafting terms of business. I am sure it will be a team effort with some heavyweight support (no reference to EW!)

    • 25 January 2013 18:20 PM
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    The good thing about London is that we have trains. They go in both directions as well. Not everyone has the ego you seem to think!

    • 25 January 2013 18:14 PM
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    I hope that sharing listings won’t be a prerequisite or you can count me out. The cowboy with nothing to sell down the road is NEVER going to have access to my stock. EVER.
    This exercise will be difficult enough without making the new propertylive members agree to share.

    • 25 January 2013 17:43 PM
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    We do not all have the luxury of being within easy commute of SW1 so the very vast majority of Agents are unable to pop and have a beer with each other. Any proposal or idea posted on EAT has to be robust due to the experience and expertise of the whole market rather than a few select London postcode districts.

    Trevor has had a right old roasting at the hands of the EATERs and his commitment to what he believes shines through.

    You boys have your cosy meeting and it will fail, open it up for all which is the intention and it will succeed.

    • 25 January 2013 17:39 PM
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    'INEA is throwing you a life line.'

    No its not. All your doing is still shamelessly try to self promote your site Trevor. Its getting a bit boring now and its borderline spamming.

    • 25 January 2013 17:26 PM
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    I am sure that all options will be looked at - the key is to get it right. Trevors offer is a good one, but its not just about a MLS. The back end of INEA may be surperb for what it does, but PL2 needs other radical ideas as well. Perhaprs there is synergy.

    I know one of the people who has been associated with PL2 - not that he knows it yet!! I also know a couple of his connections which would kill 2 birds with one stone. If he signs up and, more importantly, gets these people to buy into the concept - then watch this space.

    • 25 January 2013 17:25 PM
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    There is much to discuss and I suspect many meetings. This isn't the place.

    • 25 January 2013 17:02 PM
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    You need more than good ideas and you need funding/commercial way forward. By bringing in a commercial partner caps could be put on subscriptions costs so fees don't go silly.

    The corporates built RM and its data structure. You could have a PL2 as just the 65% of independents. Corporates then have a problem having only 35% listings. The little guys then play the bigger place to shop (collectively)

    You also at the mo have a 1/2 decent web ranking. Once the site goes down your £2m in getting the site to where it is will drop like a lead balloon. This part could be salvaged but bad press and the letter saying the site goes down on the 31st are the first nails in your SEO coffin.

    I'm more than happy to help. We have one of the fastest portal servers at Rackspace so security is as good as can be found in the UK. INEA could provide PL with a totally new MLS back end to link all agents. Our technology isnt based on the 17 year old RM feed.

    Whats wrong with agents introducing buyers and tenants to other agents. Why rely on portal leads when local agents can locally network leads. Agents get sellers who need to buy. Often the agent up the road has the ideal match. 75% of people move locally, so link local agents. ........

    INEA could host and create a state of the art new PL for you.

    We could link all your members in 1-2 months. Your members could cross network sell each others listings.

    You have a life line. My team are the most advanced in UK MLS and sharing data cross non interoperable softwares. We even have data structures to populate a single members website with the 8-10-20 agents shared listings. Imagine having 150-250 listings or more. Members SEO would rocket.

    Get Nick or Eric, Ian, James Wyatt to run your front end. INEA could power the back end.

    The reality - if nothing is done in days the portal switches off. 2 weeks later - a month later ranking would mass drop. Some will suggest resurrecting, but confidence will be lost.

    INEA is throwing you a life line.

    • 25 January 2013 16:42 PM
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    @Corporate Jockey

    The corporates, namely Countrywide have their own version of Rightmove(2) - Propertywide. This was developed after selling their shares in RM post floatation. Remember CW were the founders of Rightmove.

    Propertywide already has around 1200 branches on board - their own.

    • 25 January 2013 16:13 PM
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    I met Eric Walker for a beer last night - I have to say he has some very very good ideas to provide something that benefits both consumer and members. It was but a general discussion but lets hope he joins up with Nick and some of the others who also have good ideas.

    • 25 January 2013 16:06 PM
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    "PropertyLive has been a valuable resource both to our members and, more broadly, to the market"


    • 25 January 2013 16:02 PM
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    @JJK on 2013-01-25 13:47:00

    You say.....

    " Before I would consider investing £350 I would need to see more basic info.

    Is there/will there be a website where I can see the whole proposal? Quicker and not as time consuming as a meeting in central London"

    Is not the £350 is needed to pay for just what you want. It will be held for a time until matters proceed or do not. If they do not the residue will be returned. Yes, it is an investment but how else will the "reseach" and preparation be paid for?

    See: TM on 2013-01-25 13:04:16

    • 25 January 2013 14:53 PM
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    24th January 2013
    Dear Sir/Madam,

    PropertyLive closure, 31st January 2013.
    As part of NFoPP’s recently announced restructure, NFoPP’s property search website, PropertyLive, will be closed by the end of January. This move will enable NFoPP to redirect investment towards those brands and marketing activities that deliver the most benefit to members.

    As the UK’s only regulated property portal, PropertyLive has been a valuable resource both to our members and, more broadly, to the market. NFoPP’s remit and strengths, however, lie more in marketing the value our members bring to the market, rather than necessarily marketing their properties. In order to best represent our membership, uphold standards and drive industry reputation, we believe we need to focus on our core brands and the important advocacy role we have to play in the sector.

    In a competitive market, PropertyLive was unique in showcasing only regulated properties giving peace of mind to tenants, buyers and sellers alike. However, we feel it will be more effective and appropriate to direct resources towards the brands that are integral to our aim of championing the industry and forwarding its interests.

    When PropertyLive.co.uk becomes inactive at the end of January the service will no longer be maintained and properties will not be displayed. Accordingly you should cancel all data forwarding processes to PropertyLive as the functionality of PropertyLive will cease.

    Whilst every effort has been made to find an alternative supplier or service for the PropertyLive portal
    and for the display of properties , unfortunately NFoPP is currently unable to recommend an alternative.

    Yours faithfully

    Ian Potter
    Managing Director ARLA

    Mark Hayward
    Managing Director NAEA

    • 25 January 2013 14:48 PM
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    Yorkshire agent makes the most valid point - without the corporates on board, this will be handing them more market share on a plate. as all the public know is rm and zoopla, as a corporate I'd love to be able to tell all my clients that i'm the only agent in town on rightmove, dont get me wrong i'm all for this move, but someone has to be meeting the bigwigs at the corporates - although knowing the people in charge of some corporates they dont have a clue about estate agency

    • 25 January 2013 14:33 PM
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    Before I would consider investing £350 I would need to see more basic info.

    Is there/will there be a website where I can see the whole proposal? Quicker and not as time consuming as a meeting in central London.

    As to MLS, shared fees etc - at the end of the day the properties will still need to be web promoted.

    Only 1500 people have read this blog, from say 750 - 1,000 businesses. We should all help the cause and send a link to this story to everyone we know in the EA industry. Go Viral big time.

    • 25 January 2013 13:47 PM
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    This will be dead as a dodo in less than four weeks.

    What we need is an independent multi listing service like the USA.

    Agents list their properties but other independents in the area can list them for sale as well. Blows the single office marketing of any corporate agent out the water.

    Listing agent gets a listing fee, seller gets a sales commission.

    • 25 January 2013 13:29 PM
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    The technology exists to link all independent agents in one large hub network.

    Have a look how to increase your website with double - treble - 5- 10 times the stock you have on it today.

    idx websites are 6-7 years ahead of most UK agents websites. Portals and SOME softwares are holding agents back.

    A few softwares are now able to bring more listings to agents sites.

    Have a look:

    The technology is multi directional data feed technology. The RM default is single flow. Its design stops agents on different softwares working together.

    • 25 January 2013 13:18 PM
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    The last comment was not from this TM but another TM

    Who is game for a central London meeting?

    A brain storm on agency technology.


    • 25 January 2013 13:08 PM
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    An interview for membership is more than the queen ever sat!
    Do you have the same beef woith OBE, MBE, CBE Sir or Dame. I don't think there is any examination one needs to pass to sport any of those how about JP too?

    • 25 January 2013 13:05 PM
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    Dear Nick,

    Clearly action is needed now from all interested parties. The project needs URGENT commitment and CASH from agents as well as management and technical expertise to allow it to draw its first breath. It is encouraging to read that hundreds of agents have already pledged support.

    As we all should have realised by now, the current strength of the portal suppliers is simply determined by the supply and demand rules of any market; two suppliers and 18,000+ consumers. The market place should demand more suppliers.

    If agents co-ordinate their efforts the value of their collective bargaining power will be many times greater than the sum of the parts.

    FIRST STEP - as a measure of real commitment and at no initial risk to subscribers, agency owners should be asked to invest an initial sum, say £350, be held and protected in ESCROW and administered by a legal firm or bank, or both. The scheme rules would only allow the money to be released to the project upon satisfaction of a number of pre determined conditions; e.g. time elapsed, fund size/critical mass, ownership of the PL asset or new platform, etc. etc. (This is not the correct forum for detail.)

    If the fund's critical mass were not achieved then the money is simply returned to subscribers less minimal administration costs.

    As a guide - a £2m fund would require that 5,700 agents subscribe to the ESCROW (NewCo) account. Rightmove currently has 18,299 subscribers as at their 2012 interim statement.

    There is everything to gain.

    NOW really is the time to cement the current momentum.


    • 25 January 2013 13:04 PM
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    You need to ask yourselves 4-5 questions:

    What do you want from a site. Simplicity or the No.1 spot. One gives a reference point to where agents and listings can be found, the other costs mega amounts. There's no real in-between.

    Who could run it. There's again a big difference between being an agent and an IT specialist.

    What content do you want? Just NFOPP or open to all.

    What are the commercials like. Sorry but a not for profit won't fund the bigger picture.

    Additionally, the RM feed fast became the UK default. Its now 17 years old and for teckies not pretty. This game isnt about just using existing data flows, you need to be forward thinking. The RM data feed by design doesnt allow agents on different softwares who could be doing trade to work B2B

    With so many ideas on how it should run and lack of funds your trying to push water up hill before you start.

    Lou said she is running expensive portal bills, her site is nice, plane and simple, yet only 4 listings is crazy expensive.

    Surely if you can come here and discuss vision - then whats so hard about working with the agent up the road.

    All - you should be pulling together. The funds you need can come from clients happy to pay more for greater service. Collaborate and rather than a handful of properties you could be showing 100+ on your websites.

    If you simply be a RM 2 or a Z2 your be no further forward. You need to actually change the technology. Play the portals with their own feed structure and you fail. Change the rules and collaborate and its the agents in control.

    Who are the biggest sub agents out there?
    EASY RM and Zoopla: Why? because each month agents pay them a fixed feed to show your listings. Its funded by sales and lets you do/don't make.

    If agents worked together - agents could part pay other agents sub fees for introductions.

    Change the rules and you change your predicament. The other day I suggested delayed marketing on main portals. Many have picked up on this. Its just a case of turning instances around to your advantage.

    Delay to RM or Zoopla by 10-14 days with 14 week client agreements. Cost? nothing if your the sole or main agent.

    List on RM/Z and PL all at the same time: Cost £millions to compete.

    Onwards - if any agents work with other agents I'll happily give those agents 2 months free trial on INEA. I can share agents data over the INEA hub. We are only 10% portal and 90% MLS property sharing platform.

    We also have agents who get leads from fellow agents who get a zoopla or RM applicant and dont have stock. MLS offers agents others stock. We have deals being done before properties hit portals simply as two agents have the sense to talk and work together.

    The RM data feed does not allow agents to collaborate when on different softwares. INEA does. As our path is different to portals, so is our technology. Our difference could make the difference.

    • 25 January 2013 12:57 PM
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    There are lots of very good ideas being suggested for a new or re-launched Propertylive site.
    However, in my personal view, the most important thing is that a critical mass of agents is on board in advance ready to hit the road running. EVERY bone-fide estate agent/letting agent should be able to take part and undertake to VERY VISIBLY promote it INSIDE their office, in the WINDOWS and in all advertising. Whatever else Propertylive failed because agents did not support it in the same way they did RM.
    Be prepared, if this takes off it should be remembered that RM & Z etc. will react vigorously!

    • 25 January 2013 12:32 PM
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    Why not protest and say you are not going to use the paid for initials that try to trick the public into thinking you are qualified?

    • 25 January 2013 12:14 PM
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    Hello Nick,

    I join in your anger at the swift decision by NAEA/NFOPP higher archy to shut down Property Live without any consultation with members.

    Our company have supported property live, carry the logo in our advertising and loyally used property live to produce our App which took considerable time to get right and up and running and, now it is working, is due to be cut off next week!!

    I have always been a very loyal supporter of NAEA , have defended many of their decisions in the past, was a Branch Chairman and Branch President, etc etc but this swift decision without consultation has angered me greatly.

    I am sure that as a company we would be happy to a sensible monthly subscription to property live if it meant the site improving and more marketing of the site,

    If the decision is to close the site then more notice should be given so members can make alternative arrangements.

    Kind regards


    • 25 January 2013 11:35 AM
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    Dear Nick
    Will Online agents, Intermediaries and FSBO continue to be allowed on your site, I know currently you have said they are?
    Good Luck and Best Regards

    • 25 January 2013 11:29 AM
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    Dear Nick, further to our emails. As a chartered surveyor and estate agent with 30+ years in the business it seems foolish not to explore this fully. The NAEA memebrs have already paid for PropertyLive, subject to any licenses and ongoing staff costs. The members who have paid their NAEA dues and thus supported its creation from the start have an interest in this website already. Those interested should take this up with NAEA and take the business unit over by the formation of a company structure based upon shareholder subscriptions. NAEA should willingly offload the unit to such an entity as a 'thank you' to their loyal members and the new business entity would then promote the NAEA for the benefit of the NAEA whilst working to create a site that agents will love to use. One idea of mine, for example, would be that all member agents upload their new instructions only to PropertyLive first, and the other portals after say 10-14 days...once the public are aware of this traffic and awareness will increase fast. Please
    keep me in the loop.

    • 25 January 2013 10:57 AM
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    We are a small independent agent with portal subscriptions our biggest monthly outlay. I agree with many of the comments posted - this can work, but start from scratch. The site does not need to be complicated, most people just want clearly displayed property details with nice clear images.

    Keep in simple!

    As agents we provide all the data - its not difficult to upload it to a portal - we all do it one way or another already. The main obstacles as I see it, most agents are too busy running their business day to day to give this much thought. Focus on the small agents where every pound spent on portals really matters!

    • 25 January 2013 10:47 AM
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    I'm 100% behind this. Its a viable venture that needs us all to get involved.

    • 25 January 2013 10:44 AM
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    With people like Nick Salmon and Eric Walker on board, this is probably the best chance we are ever going to have to curb the soaring costs and power of the two big portals.

    The vital ingredient now is AGENT SUPPORT. And surely, that's the easy bit! Just do for it what you did for Rightmove. Promote it. Support it.


    • 25 January 2013 10:39 AM
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    I am in support of what I believe Nick is trying to do. I am one of the 100 plus emails he has had. I wrote the following 3 paragraphs.


    "You have  our support.

    Good luck and  if property live does come back  to  life then  we  will be posting  on it.

    I had just done Some homework into doing  this after  the relaunch but once  I read the announcement that it was closing I stopped  all efforts."



    It is dangerous to have a monopoly situation with 2 giants controlling the life blood of estate agency. There needs to be a credible alternative to remind the giants that if they go too far agents will walk.

    If property live can giive me a proper lead a month and my conversion rate is 1 in 6 then it just about pays for the time and effort of listing etc (lettings) what it could do however is keep the giants in check and it does currently raise the profile of my own website on the net.

    • 25 January 2013 10:39 AM
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    Dear Nick. You can count on the support of JRHopper & Co for either a modest monthly subscription £50-£100/month to sustain Property Live which we currently populate and promote, admittedly alongside RM, Zoopla and the Digital property group.
    We would also invest a modest lump sum amount (£500?) in lieu of a monthly subscription to be a shareholder. We would need to open and enlist the RICS members as well as NFOpp to create a complete property package which could be a “Go To”for a house hunter.
    At thye moment we are over the barrel of 2 very good but very greedy portal suppliers who dont have to compete very hard with each other to earn a very healthy living.

    • 25 January 2013 10:21 AM
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    A viable alternative must offer agent ownership creating one monster is enough, the public couldn’t care less what site they use so long as it has the properties, the key is a coordinated removal of OUR properties along with public education; you don’t need TV advertising rightmove didn’t. We already spend a fortune in the press, we have thousands of shop windows and communicate with millions via post and email) is it so hard or inconceivable to get an industry to work together for their own benefit, just a few weeks of shared press advertising AND the removal of YOUR properties from the competition is all it would take..

    • 25 January 2013 10:18 AM
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    For all the doom Mongers out their I would gladly place abet, that if Property Live did take off and was doing the business, then you would all jump on board.

    When Zoopla were the new kid on the block a few years back, we were one of the first agents in a few of our respected towns to sign up. I can tell you the appraisal leads and the leads we received in the early days more than paid for itself.

    Other agents took note and jumped on the badwagon, I know the merger happened in the last year and a lot of dosh was spent, but now in my opinion they have lost their way and are going backwards, and wanting to charge us 200% more than we had been paying last year.

    We as agents have a great power to promote such a venture.

    • 25 January 2013 09:55 AM
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    Ideas are one thing - its execution that counts.

    PropertyLive was a good idea...... I rest my case.

    • 25 January 2013 09:16 AM
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    Well well well, isn't that exactly what Trevor Mealham has been banging on (and on and on) about

    • 25 January 2013 09:03 AM
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    Key with agents is giving them something they need. If simple 3rd party software was set up and also allowed agents to upload to other portals ONLY after 3-4 days on Propertylive (or any other site), this would benefit everyone. Agents get software they can use, Propertylive gets the heads up for new properties and the public will eventually see it as the first place to go. A lot of people don't get the importance of reacting before RM and Z ruin estate agency as we know it. Worst thing is we would have paid for it all! React for fucks sake!

    • 25 January 2013 08:57 AM
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    My point is to not only make it a customer focused website advertising properties but also a resource for regulated agents to improve service, help clients find properties in areas they don't cover, refer business, post wanted ads for specific applicants, share business and ideas, post vacancies, announce news - the list is endless.

    Not a site to compete - an alternative.

    • 25 January 2013 08:56 AM
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    Every independent agent wants to see this happen, the major issue will be getting the likes of Countrywide and LSL onboard otherwise they'll have a field day. Problem is the corporates pay a fraction in fees compared to small outfits. If the large corporates can be bothered to get off their backsides and do something, this could happen, has Nick Salmon met them to discuss?

    • 25 January 2013 08:49 AM
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    It will need more than 100 agents - but the sentiment is very encouraging indeed.

    I sincerely believe that if agents with new ideas have a say, it will work. I absolutely agree with Nick that it's not about competing with the duopoly rather offering something different.

    I believe that by integrating social media, building in a TEAM / LonRes function, it could be immense.

    In the words of Don McLean...

    "They would not listen / they did not know how / perhaps they'll listen now."

    • 25 January 2013 08:48 AM
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    The thing is Ray they are arrogant enough to think it is worth something, it isn't, it is a post graduadate project that looks like portals did when the lecturers were young.

    • 25 January 2013 08:36 AM
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    My personal view:

    Do not involve NFoPP in any way because, among other things they will want unacceptable restrictions on the venture which should be open to all 'professional' agents?.
    Buy the name Propertylive if possible at a reasonable price - if not - choose another.

    • 25 January 2013 08:30 AM
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    If rightmove and Zoopla are destined to remain "a vital part of agents' marketing mix" then what on earth is the point of trying to persuade agents to prop up a dead-in-the-water portal that will only ever be a poor relation at best and a dead horse at worst.

    • 25 January 2013 08:27 AM
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    Whops sorry, this is already a doomed project

    • 25 January 2013 08:24 AM
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    Propertylive is a mutant mongrel bit of code which even if revived really needs a clean sheet re-write to of be of any use to the owners, shareholders, subscribers.

    Nick is defining his limitations for the role even before he starts. One week on if he were listening to one of the cats that has posted on here would tell him that he need to be certain of what is powering his revolution.
    Ultimately it is wrong to attempt to go head to head with Rightmove, with both the finances and sound Agency experience that some of the shareholders 12 months would see an early decimation of the existing world of Agency.
    The alternative has to be Right for Agents and right for Rightmove, (Alex can be left out of the equation while he does what he wants with the TDPG cash and customers)
    Rightmove pay for their property content and Agents are happy to fund that data purchase from themselves, that alone is madness but it is an indication of what the valuable bit is; the data, the property listings. Once agents realise that they are the manufacturers/wholesalers who control the product and not simply the muggins consumer the way forward becomes clear. Agents are competing Entrepreneur Bull characters that will work happily with an agent 50 or 100 miles away but will be fiercely competitive with anyone on their turf. Propertylive is a property portal that is not capable of providing the Agent centric solution the industry needs and if Nick is daft enough not know that or listen to people who have years of experience successfully herding this particular clowder of cats.

    • 25 January 2013 08:22 AM
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    Why is it dead in the water? You haven't correctly read what he said.

    'Over 100 agents posted their views on EAT and many more than this number have privately emailed Salmon with their views.'

    Does not say he had just 100 replies, it says he had 'many more'

    '...if all agents joined PropertyLive and only listed their properties on PropertyLive, that is where the public will go. I do not for one moment expect that to happen overnight. But it might.'

    He's talking about agents eventually solely listing on PL, not about whether PL can be made viable now. Clearly he thinks it can be.

    • 25 January 2013 08:19 AM
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    @marketeer......perhaps you wwould like to offer your expert help then!! ;-)

    • 25 January 2013 08:17 AM
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    100 agents bothered to e-mail Nick Salmon directly out of how many in the country?

    Dead in the water then I'm afraid.

    Even Nick doesn't believe it can be fully successful. His own quote "I do not for one moment expect that to happen overnight. But it might. Over time.”

    • 25 January 2013 08:07 AM
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    Good Luck Nick with your quest

    • 25 January 2013 07:06 AM
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