10,000th agency branch has committed to list with Homesearch

Since the development of their new consumer-facing platform was announced on 24th March, Homesearch has seen thousands of independent brands committing to list their stock on the platform within a matter of months.

Going live for agents to preview on the 1st of July, Homesearch has confirmed the commitment of the 10,000th branch to list their properties for free.

Commenting on the response from the industry so far, Sam Hunter, Chief Operating Officer of Homesearch says:

“The backing we’ve received from agents to deliver a solution that we hope will contribute to the long-term future of the industry has been incredible, and it’s something we’re grateful for.

“To be working with so many agents so early has exceeded all of our expectations.

“We believe that the traction we’re seeing is proof that agents have wanted to see something new for a long time, which keeps us focused on making sure that we deliver both the product and ongoing business support they need.

“We’re really thankful to those who have helped us hit this milestone so quickly.”

While the commitment from over 10,000 agency branches to list their properties with Homesearch in such a short period is significant, what makes it even more notable is that this has been achieved before the consumer platform has even gone live.

Hunter sounds a note of caution over how quickly the site will be carrying all potential listings:
“Given the number of agents who have ‘signed up’, our biggest challenge remains getting their feeds set up as quickly as possible.

“Will we have all 10,000 feeding on July 1st? No, but we will work with agents and their CRM providers and get through the list as fast as we can.”

Hunter concludes:

“Understanding agents’ needs is incredibly important to us, and it’s why we make sure that everything we offer has had direct input from agents themselves.

“When we first set out to deliver the public platform, we had every hope that the industry would understand our vision and want to come on board.

“Now, having received such an amazing level of support, we’re more excited than ever to deliver something that allows agents to have the best experience possible going forward, as well as providing consumers with a modern property search alternative.”

 

New launch this spring pledges to deliver ‘not just another portal but future of the industry’

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47 Comments

  1. Robert_May

    Congratulations Sam

     

    This time last year there were people throwing rocks at you  for daring to have a go , I love  how you’ve hit them rocks for six!

     

    Brilliant!

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  2. Ric

    Excited about this one…

    Good luck Sam and the Team at Homesearch.

     

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  3. J1

    Brilliant

     

    Well done

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  4. pieinthesky

    This one is a lose-lose for estate agents. What they want is your data, which they will then sell to your competitors – and you’ll never get a lead from a live, paying customer.
    “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product”

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    1. pie@gilese.com

      Hi Pieinthsky,

      I think you would find it reassuringly informative to read the policy on what Homesearch does and does not do with Agent‘s listing data.

      Please feel free to state your company name and I’ll call you to run you through a demo and provide you with all the policies on how Homesearch operates, to put your mind at ease.

      As an Agent-First platform we always ensure our practices put the Agent first, front and centre.

      In the meantime, I have copy/pasted a bit of that doc for you below:

      ———————————————

      Your listing feed/s WILL be used for the following reasons:

      1. To display your listings to consumers, when included in their search results.

      2. To direct consumer enquiries to your company/branch.

      3. To understand market share information by office and area.

      4. To inform consumers which agents have been successful in selling/letting similar homes. So that we can send ne vendors your way.

      5. To display in consumer Sales/Rental Reports, showing as ‘on market’/historical listings.

      6. To display comparable listings.

      7. To credit your company with the transaction, once the sale/let is completed.

      Homesearch will always credit your agency as the originator and copyright owners of the listing.

      Homesearch will NOT use the information delivered in your feed to:

      1. Sell your copyrighted listing information, such as images and description, to third parties, including to other agents.

      2. Share with 3rd parties

      3. Display your copyrighted listing information without crediting your brand name (and contact details)

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      1. Commentator91

        Enough said!  Thanks Giles.

        PieInTheSky, now let’s move on!

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    2. Ric

      Do you know anything about it? What they offer as a Paid For Service? 

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    3. Ric

      Some may agree, RMs strength is in some ways the product we do not hear much about, but almost ALL agents use I would imagine! Their BPG…
      Homesearch have developed something, bigger and better. 
      RM imo have a real issue now Homesearch have created a free portal – the thing they know they should be grateful to agents if we fill their shelves (and they are) but offer a Paid For product bolted on, which is worth EVERY penny.
      RM seem to think we should be grateful for filling their shelves and missed the chance to actually use one of their most powerful features as the important thing we pay for.  

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    4. Property Pundit

      Rightmove rep?

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      1. Ric

        100% defo… (assuming you didn’t mean me… hahaha)

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        1. Property Pundit

          No, directed at our brand new poster.

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    5. KByfield04

      Scaremongering around data usage is so 2000. The future of all property is the data around it. GDPR protects private data- everything else is game. It’s how you leverage data to the benefit of your business. If you don’t get that now then you need to start understanding that. If you do get it, but you’re scared your revenues are at risk as access to data broadens- shame on you for misleading & scaremongering agents to defend a failing business model.

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  5. AgencyInsider

    I hear someone has started a Say Yes to Homesearch campaign.

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    1. Estate Agent W1

      Any chance we can get Facebook style emojis instead of just a thumbs up/down buttons as this response deserves a laughing face 🙂

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  6. pieinthesky

    What they offer as a paid-for-service ranges – they’re primarily a mailing house, so there’s canvassing lists, tout lists etc etc, then there’s your competitors using detailed market information to send to MAs (volume, price, time on market, asking / sold prices – poor or struggling competitors look like they know what they’re doing);  
    When we give them an address and a property id, that’s then linked to the portal listing, and suddenly they know more or less everything they need to about your client.
    Giving them our addresses (particularly flats, particularly lettings flats) lets them fill in the gaps of what they can’t garner from portals by normal scraping. Standard stuff.
    They only need the address. This is a data-gathering exercise. 
     

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    1. giles@homesearch.co.uk

      Pieinthesky,
      I tried to address your concerns in my response above and i’d welcome a chat anytime.
      We know that we will never be able to win over every agent in our industry, but we we will work hard to prove your opinion of us wrong.
      I wish you all the best in your business and hope that we do get a chance to have that chat one day.
      Sincerely
      Giles    

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    2. Property Pundit

      Deffo Rightmove rep.

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      1. pieinthesky

        🙂 rightmove do exactly the same. I don’t think they’re scared of this portal

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        1. Ric

          You prove the ignorance of RM with that comment. (Almost confirming you are possibly a RM Rep)
          RM really do not need to be scared of any portal. (So true!)
          They should however be petrified of Agent Sentiment.
          We can switch off the success of any portal collectively at any point in time.
          This is the first offering which has been built around something completely different. Almost “oh, BTW we have a Portal too” and that may just be the winner for the Homesearch team. 
          Hope it is… 
           

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        2. KByfield04

          Sooooo just to be clear: look out these guys will be evil with your data stay with RM. But also ‘RM already leverage your data’ (whilst charging you for the privilege). I’m loving your rationed & concise arguments here PITS!

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    3. htsnom79

      Pieinthesky, you obviously have access to a time machine, reading your posts takes me back decades to prisoner cell block H and the nickname given to the chief screw by the inmates, vinegar tit$…

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  7. Property Pundit

    July is going to be a very uncomfortable month for Rightmove. Another chunk of leavers dropping of the site at the end of this month, the anti-Rightmove campaigns continue to gather pace, the challenger portal sector is gaining a LOT of traction and Z & OTM continue to offer aggressive discounts. Rightmove are nowhere; token extended discounts which are likely to only cause them even more problems, continued zero interaction with their customers and no hint of investment in innovation. Extinction awaits and no-one in the industry will mourn.

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  8. shaun@shaunmellor.com

    Hi Sam and Giles well done. This is the most innovative, creative piece of technology to come to the market and used correctly will in my humble opinion eradicate the need to rely on listing portals. Having had the training session with Simon it will also change the way I work. All the best.

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    1. Giles | Homesearch

      Thanks Shaun, we know it wont be perfect next week, we are still waiting for quite a few CRMs to complete feed integration (as per their customers requests) and there are thousands of Agents waiting for this in order to be on-boarded, but we wanted to get something out there for agents to see and feel to get a flavour of whats to come.
      While the beta site goes live next week, officially the ‘Launch’ to consumers wont be for a few months (eta early Sept), we want to ensure that all Agents who have signed up are feeding and displaying correctly.
      Your support means everything to us and rest assured, we are all working around the clock to make sure we dont let you guys down.
       

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  9. John Harding

    Shaun and the team at Homesearch have a great model very inivative I am looking forward to using it

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  10. NotAdoctor32

    As with all portals, they are pretty much pointless unless the public know about them.  Homesearch sounds exciting and 10,000 agents is a great result but who will use it?
    I don’t know anybody in the NorthWest that uses OTM as they don’t really advertise up here and they will never get to RM/Z numbers of visitors.  OneDome did the free portal and who uses that? How many other free portals have come and gone?
    A sustained national marketing campaign costs millions per year.  Surely you can’t do it with a free portal?

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    1. htsnom79

      They go where the stock is, simples 

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    2. Commentator91

      @NotAdoctor As I understand it from the demo I had, there is a very unique, exciting and innovative approach from Homesearch as to how they are going to get the traction with home movers to use the site. 
      This method also puts the agent at the centre of the transaction.
      Homesearch really do have an ‘agent first’ policy, as they keep saying. I like that.
      #Impressed
       

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    3. Ric

      The success of any portal will now ONLY depend on where stock isn’t!

      So if Homesearch (HS) proves to be a useful tool for Estate Agents, they will need 10,000 branches to come off another site and that site is finished.

      As it stands today…you can set up a million portals, and the dominance will remain with RM until the shoppers have reduced choice at RM and find out the other supermarket stocks all the usual stock plus stock only found on HS.

      Simple really… and potentially no big budgets required… local agents, telling people we are on HS not on RM and within a few visits to RM and HS people will switch habit to HS… knowing this has the wider choice.

      RM did not set up with billions! they used Agents to promote… What HS have done well is not get into the portal debate… it is not their offering really… but a brilliant extra which could save thousands for agents.

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    4. Property Pundit

      Who woke the caveman?

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      1. NotAdoctor32

        Cheers for the Caveman comment, I’m far from it but thanks for the insult anyway.

        I’m just not hearing much on the portal side that I didn’t hear about OTM and that hasn’t won market share.

        People go where the stock is.

        Agents decide

        We will tell people where to look.

         

        How many people have actually come off RM to force the buyers elsewhere?  Not signed a petition, actually come off?

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  11. smile please

    This will upset a few people.

     

    I know i have a reputation for knocking proptech …… But i LOVE this. It really is a clever bit of kit from people who understand agents and not looking to leverage every last penny out of us.

     

    If you are thinking about it, at least take up the ‘free’ option. I would urge all business owners to pay the sensible fee to go ‘Full Package’ you will not be disappointed.

     

    Homesearch have not come out and made wild claims they will topple RM but believe me, when the public us it they will love it and switch over to it.

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    1. htsnom79

      Agreed

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    2. Honest_Bloke_78

      I didn’t plan to comment, but my first comment was deleted, so I will. smile please, how do you feel about the fact that the information they provide about agents is misleading? You always post some smart comments. Do you feel comfortable that the company manipulates the information and presents it in a wrong way? Showing agent who registered for updates as an agent who signed up to list for example. also showing the same agent 2-3 times to pump up numbers. how could we trust a company that does these kind of tricks?

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      1. htsnom79

        If I may……

        What and where one advertises is moot, understanding that agency is so, so much more nuanced can only be truly comprehended by agents, those of us that do the job.

        Rightmove have achieved what they’ve achieved through first mover advantage and then the psychology of fear, they could of kept it up for 100 years with the right philosophy, but no, short termism and greed.

         

        We’re still on, and we WILL come off, and I will take every opportunity to bury them on my patch, shoddy service, overpriced corporate waank getting in the way, dated, unnecessary, a vehicle for the dinosaurs who don’t know their stuff  and don’t have the clients interests at heart. And here are my figures to prove it.

        Sorry, shills for this PLC, you do nothing, nothing at all at the local level, and as all legitimate agents will tell you, markets are local. I operate differently here to when I ran branches 200 miles away, different strokes for different folks, the chameleon is necessary.

        And I am sick to the back teeth of paying ridiculous £000’S for an online template.

         

        Rightmove have cuckolded agents no question, but a coin has two sides, lets see how they cope when we go into attack mode. Agents wouldn’t put a competitor out if they were on fire, twas ever thus and it’s been used against them. I’m ready to return fire and will positively enjoy doing so.

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      2. smile please

        In reply, I have not seen evidence of the figures of say are misleading (not saying its not true, i have just not seen it).

         

        What i will say is i have seen the product first hand and if i’m being brutally honest i don’t want my competing agents to use it. This is because there will be a ‘virtual land grab’ when it launches. If i can invite more of the public to HS I will be their prefered agent by default.

         

        Giles & Sam to my knowledge have been transparent throughout, and company building as fast as they are will make mistakes. Not excusing it just saying how i see it.

         

        Also if HS do not deliver what they promise i can leave with 30 days notice no long tie in BUT i get a guaranteed price for 5 years, Is that not what we want from other portals?

         

        If you have seen my posts in the past, you know should they not deliver, i will be the first to call them out.

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  12. Honest_Bloke_78

    My previous comment was removed. I will rephrase it.

    I really wanted to like these guys, they are trying something different.
    I am one of the REGISTERED agents for UPDATES (not sign up to list).It is disappointing to see that they started their relationship with the industry by putting out misleading stats that are not correct.

    It is not a good thing when data company manipulates or publishes misleading data. It also shows that all goodness is just on the surface. If you don’t believe me, check the list of agents yourself.

     

     

     

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    1. KByfield04

      Focusing entirely on building an amazing product so you don’t have time to regularly read read through a list of thousands is not the same as intentionally misleading. Also it’s branches so you can get multiple registrations per brand. If every company has to get everything perfect then there are no companies. We can’t ask for a quality challenger and then write them off due to a perception of something. Unless you have facts of their malicious intent & manipulation maybe let’s have them run with it for a while. However, make no mistake, any challenger needs at least 50% of the market listing with them- if you choose not to list to ‘see how they go’ and then later bemoan any failings- you are partly to blame. As a last comment, if you are such an honest bloke, can you comment with your real name so we know if you’re a real agent or an employee of a frightened competitor.

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      1. Honest_Bloke_78

        I agree with most of the things you wrote. By the way I suggested that I was also registered and I liked Sam.

        Suggesting that somebody signed up when it is just “send me an update” form is simply misleading. Not sure how this could be justified? Regardless how busy one is. Do you put random property listing on your website and mislead your customers? I don’t think so.

        I agree with you that we need as many homesearches as possible. I just highlighted that these guys misleading everybody. I cannot see how this could be unintentional. That is it !

        As you asked, let me get more details and I will send them to PIE and EAT.  Not sure if they will publish it though.

        regards,

        Miles S.  (just kidding)

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        1. Commentator91

          Its simple, here is my 3-step plan:

          1). Get your properties listed on Homesearch (for free, or the paid service if you want to take advantage of the extra benefits they offer – which are all very transparent).

          2). See how they fair for a few months…or perhaps at least to the end of the year. (Give them enough of a chance).

          3). Leave if you don’t like it (there is no contract to worry about – leave at a months notice).

          As I see it, they are trying to help the industry to realise that portal costs don’t have to be expensive. This leaves more money in our own pockets….

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        2. htsnom79

          As I say to my kids when they are dramatic, ” Go away, nobody cares “

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  13. Commentator91

    @SmilePlease Yes, you’re right, what Sam & Giles have produced is very impressive. As they keep telling us, they have put the agent first in what they are doing. They understand agents, they know it’s a local business, and that it is a business all about people.

    I cannot wait to see it live but I also understand that there will need to be some tweaking in the initial few weeks or months as it won’t be perfect straight away. (They’ve built it in just over 2 months for heavens sake, which is amazing!).

    Agents feedback is going to be taken on board and changes made. We need to be patient, and to also help them produce a better portal for us. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Not at all like the abusive RM relationship we all have.

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  14. Woodentop

    It sounds all good, but unless you can drive the public to use it ………. ?

     

    If they are going to rely on agents to push it forward, history has proven that isn’t simple.

     

    We will never charge to display properties,
    nor to deliver you leads

     

    Great news, then how are you expecting to recover the £3m you say you have already spent and the day to day expenses in the future? 50% of your profit you will give away to key workers providing social housing. Property developers and new builds income going to be enough?

     

    Why would an agent who after all is looking to list for free and get it, would want to £155 per month for add-ons. Questionable up take.

     

    Nothing is for free and expecting customers to be driven to the site by agents …. we shall have to wait and see if that is a success. On paper excellent but long before Homesearch there was a vast number of  free property portals …. all gone because they couldn’t cover the overheads. “We will never …” is a presumption you should never commit to in business.

     

    Homesearch should come clean on how they expect to cover their costs considering they are using agents to make their business and a true test of any company wanting to get into their bed.

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    1. Commentator91

      As I understand it, Homesearch is ADDING a portal to its existing paid for data services. So it already has profitable income coming in as a company. They have thousands of paying customers already.

      That’s what is covering the costs.

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      1. Woodentop

        Not bad for a company that is only 18 months old. As for paid for data services ….. they are what precisely? I ask because they claim to have self funded the business and I can’t see their fee  charges being substantial, which leads to advertising revenue is the goal and cross selling.
         

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        1. Ostrich17

          10,000 EA branches is a big number – pretty much every independent on the high street.
          I’ll take a large pinch of salt with that !
           

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          1. Woodentop

            Yes impressive if they all actually list.  
             
            The proof of the pudding is there ability to drive the public to the agents properties. I’m not seeing any substance to being able to afford the marketing they will need to generate with the public, hence my observation. So many have tried and failed and with big budgets.
             
            We shall have to wait and see where they sit in comparison to the big three in a years time who hold the monopoly.

            Report
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