New ‘super’ portal launching in just six weeks admits to having no marketing budget – but will rely on word of mouth

A new property portal planning to launch in the UK in less than six weeks’ time has admitted that it does not have a marketing budget.

It has been hailed as a ‘super portal’, combining listings, providers to the industry, and a ratings and reviews feature.

However, it has revealed to EYE that there will be no TV or other advertising for Linktosale as it simply doesn’t have the money. It plans to rely on nothing more than agents’ good will.

It  has already just launched in Australia and plans to go live in the UK on March 1.

In the UK, it says it plans simply to rely on word of mouth – and to attract agents initially by offering free listings and then charging £30 a month.

Christine Solvedt, who has built the portal “without any kind of investment”, said: “We are a brand new start-up and do not have that kind of marketing budget [for TV advertising].

“Our plan was simply to get a message out and go from there.

“As with many start-ups, we had an idea (fuelled by real world problems) and built Linktosale as a possible solution.

“We need to think outside the box and attract new customers in a different way using non-traditional methods.

“We believe the way consumers make decisions is changing and we want to embrace that and try something new.”

She said there are agents who “might be willing to take a chance on something new and different, and join us on our journey”.

She admitted that she knew an “uphill struggle” lies ahead, saying: “We don’t know if we will succeed.

“It is in the hands of those who work in the industry and whether they think it will add value.”

She did say that the new challenger portal will not be scraping properties.

She went on: “We believe Linktosale is different – the main focus is not on the portal itself but on ‘property’ generally and on collaboration.”

However, it looks as though the aspirant new portal will attempt to monetise itself through other services such as conveyancing and surveying.

Solvedt said: “People visit traditional portals to search for property and send inquiries to agents – future communication takes place elsewhere.

“With Linktosale that first connection is only the start. For example, after committing to sell a property with an agent, the seller might also require a solicitor, surveyor and other services, i.e. to carry out repairs before the property is marketed.

“They can ask the agent for recommendations, or go off and find their own via the internet and other sources. Being able to carry out all these tasks under the same roof simplifies processes for the user and will hopefully create a ‘stickiness’ to the site that will keep them returning. This is a massive benefit for agents/providers and opens up more opportunities to generate leads.

“Plus because it is live and interactive, agents will gain insights and feedback through reviews, but also through other ways such as comments, reactions, sharing their content, liking and so on.

“They also have access to tools to help them promote their content to other sources and can promote and manage events.

“We also believe collaboration and building relationships are key.

“People buy from people, and in the absence of being face-to-face, being able to connect and engage using the in-built social technology is the next best thing.

“Additionally, the UK is home to multiple nationalities and communication can sometimes be a barrier, so being able to chat live with an agent/service provider about property in their own language makes communication easier for both parties.”

She confirmed that there is absolutely no marketing budget, but said that getting financial backing will be at the top of the “to do” list once they have assessed reaction to news of the launch.

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35 Comments

  1. Simon Bradbury

    How utterly refreshing to read a release about a new business idea that ISN’T claiming to be “disruptive” or a “game-changer”.

    Whether the concept ( without a marketing budget) proves viable or not is a matter of conjecture – but I for one wish them luck!

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    1. NewsBoy

      NAEA tried this years ago with about 10,000 members. It didn’t work then and won’t work now. A shame

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      1. AgentV

        Was their heart truly in it……or were they just trying to make more money?

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        1. PeeBee

          Erm… it was FREE to Members, AgentV –
          and they still didn’t list on it!

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  2. J1

    She is under estimating how much she will be charged by the software houses providing the data feeds

    Usually around £30 per Office per month

    Good luck though – a tough nut to crack

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    1. NewsBoy

      Exactly!

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    2. Robert May

      I’m not sure all service suppliers make a charge. There’s no justification for such a charge, it’s something the CMA would have to consider if the companies trying it on don’t have a consistent policy covering all portals and all customers. At £30 I’m fairly certain Christine could justify the additional charge to customers with the simple explanation.

      “Everyone else pays £30, but your service supplier charges me so I’m charging you! £60 please. Here’s a list of other service suppliers who don’t charge and are supporting our efforts to  help you control your portal costs, I’ve got contact details for their BDM’s if you’re interested”.

      No-one in CRM sales  currently has a product strong enough, established enough or cheap enough to justify such a high handed attitude towards their customers and  it would simply be inept or arrogant to allow even the potential for that dialogue to exist these days.

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      1. CPestateagentesq

        No-one in CRM sales  currently has a product strong enough, established enough or cheap enough to justify such a high handed attitude towards their customers and  it would simply be inept or arrogant to allow even the potential for that dialogue to exist these days.

        Rezi would belive they do…

         

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        1. Robert May

          I didn’t realise Dezrez charge Rightmove, Zoopla, On the market and all the rest  a fee per agency for uploading agents data to each site.

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          1. CPestateagentesq

            sorry wrong way round – they charge (like a wounded bull) agents to upload feed..

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    3. Moolamarkie

      I’m with Robert on this.  The two that I worked for never charged for feeds to the portals.  Would be good to know specifically who does?  Back over to you J1!

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      1. AgentV

        Our CRM provider has been taken over by one of the portals. When I went out on a valuation, which I had booked on the CRM a couple of weeks ago, YOPA (who we hardly ever see in our area) had been booked as well by the owners. Is this pure coincidence?

        Has anyone else experienced this kind of coincidence?

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  3. Typhoon

    Bless her and the best of luck. 

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  4. smile please

    Is she also known as Sally???

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    1. AgentV

      And is she long and tall?

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  5. Countrybumpkin

    Quite refreshing to not have PB in the news today…was becoming quite tiresome PIE.

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    1. PeeBee

      Suggest you don’t bother tuning in tomorrow, then…

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  6. jackoTLG

    Even with a 2 million marketing budget this would fail. Look at on the market

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    1. PeeBee

      Come on then, jackoTLG – let’s look at it!

      Spill your guts… vent your spleen – we haven’t had a good OTM savaging for a while…

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      1. AgencyInsider

        Spill guts? Vent spleen? Steady PeeBee, I’ve only just had me breakfast.

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        1. PeeBee

          But was it a breakfast of pork scratchings?

          Who knows – this may be the answer to the ills of the industry!

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  7. AgentV

    There is an article on BBC breakfast tv this morning, where an RAF Pilot is describing how the F35 planes for the new carriers are real ‘game changers’ because they allow the flying to be effortless…..allowing the pilot to concentrate on the advanced sensors….in other words the real intelligence and ‘engagement systems’.

    I couldn’t help but think this is a great metaphor for our industry. We need proptech to enable us to do the everyday things more efficiently, so that we can concentrate on the real ‘targets’……..customer service and reputation, which obviously go hand in hand.

    I wish Christine the best of luck. I am all for anything that helps collaboration and particularly independents……so I will be giving it a go. I also have an idea which I hope will help enormously.

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    1. Moolamarkie

      Proptech should simply be about automating the routine and mundane freeing time to focus on what’s important – the client.However, this has been the failure of not just the proptech industry but a wider range of technologies promising to disrupt and revolutionise with an end go of making things seamless and easy and ultimately making us all more productive.Think back to any classic sci-fi movie that predicted a better future.  Heck in “Back to the Future II” we were all going to be in flying cars by 2015!Not sure about you guys but what with email, messenger, Twitter, blogs, websites, LinkedIn, Facebook, and cell phones, I don’t feel that my life is any less chaotic!

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      1. AgentV

        Which is why we need a marketing system that does it all for us effortlessly….Collective Marketing….leaving us to do what we do best…sell the properties.
        Join us at the ideas network  in@agentv.co.uk

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  8. AgentV

    42 days to go……..wasn’t that the number of ‘the meaning of life the universe and everything’?

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  9. Property Paddy

    I’ve got a website too, it’s really great all about property too.

    And it’s free and it’s a game changer and this hasn’t been covered before on property eye.

    what’s it called?

    Um!

    wrgsrgtrhsdfhwuafoijweifjciwwfwoijfiwj.com

    hold on I might have misspelt it!

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    1. AgentV

      The link doesn’t work 😉

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      1. AgentV

        Are you listing ‘all the right letters, but not necessarily in the right order’?
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1009121/Playing-wrong-notes-THAT-iconic-Morecambe-Wise-sketch.html

        Mr Preview 😉

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  10. GeorgeHammond78

    Seriously, ‘we had an idea (fuelled by real world problems)’ Must be a millennial if she believes her own PR. Come on, its only a portal to try and make money taking some of RM’s table crumbs. Its not exactly going to solve Brexit, Donald Trump, or Plastic in the Ocean, now is it?

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  11. StatementOfFact

    What is wrong with people.

    If you think you can take on Rightmove and Zoopla with no marketing budget, and a handful of staff compared to their huge corporate machine, you are insane. You don’t deserve good luck and best wishes, you deserve sympathy.

    If OTM can’t make it work with the support of many 100s of agents, how is this going to work?

    And even if it did work, where does it make money? Unless you’re a retired millionaire doing it as a hobby, at some point you’ll need to be paying the bills and earning a salary.

    Wake up and smell the coffee.

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  12. AgentV

    On another note looks like the spat between allagents and PB is about to heat up!!!

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  13. KByfield04

    For any portal to work they need at least one of two things- truly cutting-edge tech/ux or deep pockets, if not both of these. Agent backed launches simply don’t work- not unless the portal is amazing and this looks very ordinary without much of the enhanced functionality/features of Zoopla & RM.

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    1. PeeBee

      Sorry Mr Byfield – but I disagree.
      In order for another #portal_wars combatant to succeed it requires two things:
      1.  Agents to support it collectively;
      2.  Agents not to list properties on the others (not collectively, for past obvious reasons…).
      Sorry – make that three things
      3.  “Someone” with the ability to juggle jelly whilst sewing a button on a f@rt (we Agents being the jelly and/or the f@rt).
      Would that person be kind enough to step forward and make themselves be known…
       

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  14. mattstephens38

    whether it is a good idea or not – what on earth are they doing with the branding? Linktosale is simply not going to be something that the public will pickup on or be interested in (I know Zoolpa doesnt exactly say what it is from just the name but at least it is memorable) – you have to have something that could eventually just sink into public vocabulary – linktosale just never will

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    1. AgentV

      Agreed

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