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.