High-profile agent explains why he is backing Boomin

With more than 30 years’ experience working in the industry, Iain White has seen a number property websites come and go, but firmly believes that Boomin is here to stay.

Iain White

White, a former shareholder and MD at Romans, and more recently MD for Countrywide Thames, had his reservations about Boomin, but having been given insight into the new soon-to-launch portal, has been converted, and has now decided to back the new platform.

He said: “Having people paying 30 times more than the branch next door who have more properties languishing on the portal and have also been gifted normally paid for features for all their listings is not acceptable. Without a credible alternative the stranglehold will get stronger and the model that, as of right, pushes up the prices every year for the people who can least afford them will have a free run for the next ten years.

“What I like about Boomin is the calibre of the team behind it, I have been very critical of the Purplebricks model so it may surprise some people as to why I am so enthusiastic about Boomin.

“The facts are pretty simple for me.”

White, who is currently engaged as a non-executive director to a number of estate agency and Prop Tech companies, provides the following reasons as to why he is backing Boomin and urging other agents to do the same.

  1. Boomin is fair in its charging model and will provide a revenue stream to agents longer term.
  2. It’s credible , well backed and well organised and can bring much needed competition to the portal space which in turn will reduce costs, increase customer service and force innovation.
  3. It’s innovative and opens up the passive market which I believe will bring additional movers through old fashioned serendipity transactions which largely died with the newspapers.
  4. It takes away the barrier between agent and client and promotes deeper more personal contact, putting the skill and relationships back into the estate agency. The best agent wins not the cheapest one.
  5. I dislike Purplebricks and have been very noisy about the model and its effect on agency, however I can’t deny what it achieved in terms of brand awareness and it is now the largest lister of property in the UK. I believe the Bruce Brothers will achieve the same with Boomin and if they do they give agents agency back.
  6. I have checked double checked and checked again and grilled Michael and Kenny at length but I can’t find a single reason not to get involved and I believe their intentions are genuine. They are not taking possession of your database, controlling your customers or seeking to do anything other than support great agents.
  7. The no tie in free period creates a no lose scenario, if Boomin fail to deliver on any level you simply don’t opt to move forward onto the paid period.
  8. Doing nothing in the current portal space simply isn’t an option for estate agents.
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57 Comments

  1. JW

    A self proclaimed consultant and non-exec director. So – not running an Estate Agency. Why’s he driven to pipe up like this I wonder?

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    1. IheartRE

      Iain, You’re a bit of a plonker for trusting the Bruce brothers mate!

      Report
  2. Cyberpunk35

    The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” 

    Iain what happened to onedome? I thought they were your challenger of choice.

     

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    1. iainwhite87

      I am still a fan of OneDome it’s free to list forever and shares revenue with estate agents . Proper Competition will drive dominance and reliance down , portal prices down , customer service and customer innovation up

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  3. mloydgilson

    Ian how much is thirty pieces of silver worth today taking into account inflation?

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  4. BME

    My worry, having listened to the presentation, which was very interesting and compelling, is that I have no doubt the portal will do well. However, they are putting potential buyers and sellers so ‘almost’ in contact, that it wouldn’t take much for a very cheaply priced new agency to be formed to join and then form that link between the two. Although they claim they won’t allow this to happen, they also say they cannot stop an agent joining as long as it is ‘reasonably’ priced. What is reasonable?
    I truly believe that an entrepreneurial person, or more than one, will set up a vehicle specifically to do this. I am sure Boomin will be a big success for the owners, but will be another driver in regular estate agency fees being pushed much lower to compete with some on Boomin.

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    1. iainwhite87

      Would be keen to debate this in person , my take is the opposite and fees will rise . This isn’t the forum but would genuinejy be pleased to hear your thoughts . 

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      1. BME

        Not sure how much you are meant to say, given a disclaimer had to be signed, but it was the gathering of potential buyer and then potential seller info that worried me. There didn’t appear to be a lot between the two which a tech savvy entrepreneurial couldn’t put together in a company in a relatively cheap way. Granted you wouldn’t get all the support of a full agency for sales progression and it may well all fail at some point when buyers and sellers realise it is pretty hard to do it with not much support, such as the Purplebricks model. But I think that model shows there is plenty who will have a go to save a few bob and in the meantime push all our fees down. 

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        1. iainwhite87

          Buz me it would be good get your perspective in full 

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    2. drasperger

      Giving Potential Vendors access to Buyers………hasn’t someone tried that recently and manage to secure 5% market share?  Surely the only question is at what point do they switch the business model back and cut out the agents?

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    3. Charlie Lamdin

      BME, there have been attempts to disintermediate agents forever, even before the internet arrived, and they have all. without exception, failed. Only if you don’t understand the work agents actually do can you think there is a chance of eliminating then. You can put buyers and sellers directly in touch all you like, how do you think that will go, knowing how then behave? it wont work. The personal service and local expertise, hand holding, advice and expectation management that agents deliver in person to movers on a daily basis cannot be replaced by tech, no matter how much people may think they want that. Why else would more than 95% of selling consumers still CHOOSE to instruct a conventional agent?

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  5. ExTOgirl

    “ I believe the Bruce Brothers will achieve the same with Boomin and if they do they give agents agency back.”

    Does that even make sense?

     

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    1. AgentQ73

      Hi ExTOgirl

      I would be interested to hear how the promises that were made to you at the start of your PB journey compared with how things actually finished up ?

      Report
  6. fluter

    So, your listing fees are a few hundred quid a month and your revenues MIGHT exceed that. Are proper agents really supposed to get all excited about this or am I missing something?

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    1. IheartRE

      Yep, what a farce!

       

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  7. RichardHill61

    Someone’s doing some great PR for Boomin! And on other platforms too!

     

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    1. JW

      The fact is that this is a Boomin ad. As Mr White says in his original article “Over the next few months I will be engaging with agents on Boomin’s behalf”.

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      1. IheartRE

        Yep, Mr White is nothing more than a paid advocate.

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  8. bestandfinal51

    Would love to know why my comment re this got pulled?

    No defamation, no bad language, simply an opinion behind motives and alluding to the dangers of having a ‘mentor’ being ‘tapped’ up by suppliers and/or nailing their colours to a mast which will erode their impartiality.

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    1. iainwhite87

      I think This is a fair comment or observation where investment or incentive is not made clear to the mentee . I have a few investments (Boomin isn’t one) I have no commission arrangent with Boomin or anyone else . 

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      1. bestandfinal51

        I struggle to understand why Boomin would need  to impress you, Mr White? Why the invite to jump on a presentation, drop by and discuss it over a bite to eat or whatever scenario from which you had an opportunity to “grill” the BB’s.
        After all, you are not running an estate agency, you will not therefore be seeking to enrol to any subscriptions, monthy payments etc. So what is the benfit to Boomin to demonstrate to you and give you an opportunity to disect? Unless it is seen by those at Boomin, that with your ‘influence’ with those who seek your guidance and mentorship, you can be an additional advocate. Of course you are entitled to your opinon. After all you do also vocally champion other service providers.
         

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        1. iainwhite87

          They didn’t invite me , i requested the opportunity to have a look so I could understand it fully on behalf of my clients. 

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          1. IheartRE

            Iain, I forgive you for being “sucked in” because so many have been. Including me, once.

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      2. Dick Value

        ‘Commission’ is only one of many ways to be remunerated by a company as well you and everyone else knows.

        So, for the record, Yes or No, have you ever taken and/or currently take or receive, any form of fee or enjoy any type of beneficial financial arrangement, directly or indirectly, from any of the portals you have been most recently vocal and vociferous about?

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    2. Eyereaderturnedposter12

      bestandfinal51…

      That has been happening quite a lot on PIE recently.

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      1. RichardHill61

        Cue the defensive reply from PIE claiming impartiality!!

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  9. Russell121

    There’s no need nowadays for tech companies to actually have a working, tried and tested product when they have people queuing up to dive right in,on a wing and a prayer. 

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  10. Seller0169

    I just find this website so frustrating, in years gone by it would have interesting articles about the industry, legislation and news that were of interest to estate agents, investors, landlords and everyone in between.

    Since the previous owner has stepped away it’s turned into a joke, click bait at it’s lowest level.

    How many times can you run the same story about a new website that’s about to launch (keeps being pushed back), it’s like watching Piers Morgan back in the press ‘give em what they want’

    I can see Ian White is on watching the comments so would be interested to know how this article came about, did he wake up and think ‘I know what I need to do, contact property eye and promote this new website that’s the next best thing’ or was it more like Boomin were calling round asking for someone to string out some headlines so that they can get more exposure and conversation which the site love because they can sell more ad space.

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    1. RichardHill61

      Cue the defensive response from PIE claiming impartiality! 

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  11. AgencyInsider

    What seems to be ignored in all this PR fluff that Boomin is churnin’ out is The Consumer. Do they want another portal or is it already too much to expect them to look at Rightmove, Zoopla, and OTM? In fact we know they don’t look at them all because all the portals will confirm there is only so much ‘overlap’ between them. That’s likely to remain the case so with yet another player on the scene agents will be coughing up to be on most/all and the consumer will still have to faff about looking at multiple sites. And that’s progress? Rightmove are not entirely stupid. They are the best known, most well used portal and they have deeper pockets than even the Bruce boys. It is not credible to think they will sit on their hands and watch Boomin take their market. There’s a fight coming and it will be painful to watch.

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    1. iainwhite87

      I agree with nearly all you have said. 

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      1. Seller0169

        Iain, I think you missed my comment above, interested to know what made you reach out to property eye with this article?

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        1. JW

          And the same article (I think word for word) on Estate Agent Today website.

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        2. iainwhite87

          I posted the article on linked , journalists showed interest so I emailed them the article 

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  12. smile please

    Why did my comment get pulled?
     
    Love to know how it broke the rules.
     
    A lot of censorship going on these days. If people want to put themselves i the firing line they should expect the clued up among us to call them out on their B/S
     

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    1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

      You’re fortunate to not have had your above comment ”pulled”…
       
      I had three comments ‘pulled’ last week, all of which were querying why my initial comment was removed! (none of which were defamatory or used coarse language)…
       
      In the general sense, I struggle to think of one example throughout history, where censorship has been utilized for anything other than nefarious/dubious reasons, or to cover some form of accuracy or truthfulness (and perhaps to avoid exposing partiality)…
       
      I understand that currently ‘censorship’ has had something of fashionable revival (Twitter, Facebook, MSM etc.) in recent months, which in my view represents a very dangerous change in tack, both on a national scale and in terms of PIE’s apparent leaning towards the use of unjustified and unqualified censorship.  

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      1. JVSOZ

        Yep, PIE are biased and don’t like to be disagreed with.

        let’s see if this comment lasts.

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    2. Dick Value

      PIE is the new Twitter/Facebook. They’ll be putting labels on posts next or worse, fact-checking.

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  13. Charlie Lamdin

    Questions I would ask the Bruces:

    1. For every £100 of referral income received by Boomin that you share with agents, how much goes to the agent?

    2. What real-world problem does Boomin solve for the moving consumer? I don’t know any movers saying “I wish there was another portal to make my journey smoother, and I really want more of my data spread around.”

    3. Are you planning to float Boomin and if so will you share any proceeds with agents?

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    1. iainwhite87

      1.Founder member Agents will receive 40% in year 1 and 50% in year 2 . You will receive less if you are not a Founder Agent.

      You will be paid the above percentage on every penny of revenue earned through their priorities offering and property playground. In property Playground the revenue share covers product, service and advertising revenue generated.

      2.  I would suggest you go on a presentation and ask Michael and Kenny direct. Once you understand the offering you will see clearly that it has major benefits for everyone including agents and gives a very different experience.

      3. There are no plans to float BoomIn anytime soon . 20% of the equity of the company is being divided with agents whatever their size.

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  14. That70sGuy

    Go on the companies LinkedIn. It’s just old Purplebricks staff trying to make a few quid after jumping off that sinking ship.

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  15. hodge

    Now I know estate agents are thicker at least some of them.

    Just look at Rightmoves share price over the last umpteen years and for a non asset rich business thats remarkable.

    It has lifted its prices on the marketing of “we will get you more leads”.

    Forget the Bruce brothers and think of  the competition to Rightmove, and think of what you will need to do, to reduce your overheads when the stamp duty holiday ends and all of the compressed sales that have jumped in as a result finish. Add onto that the redundancies that grow by the day in all sectors and you can see a housing market that has some tough times coming up.

    It doesn’t matter if the Bruce brothers get rich, its wether you can get rich with them. Win Win.

    It could be a Brucie bonus

     

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    1. IheartRE

      Seriously? The Bruce Brothers will sink their dough into this and hopefully, it will fail.
      Then the equalisation of their meddling, devious and unscrupulous ways will be redeemed.
      If you knew what they get up to behind closed doors, you would vomit.  

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      1. KW

        Would love to hear so we know who we are really dealing with!

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    2. KW

      Its a principle thing … 

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  16. HIT MAN

    Why are we even discussing this Pointless proposition who on earth needs another portal, consumers have enough now. Mr White keeps changing his mind every time a new name comes on the scene. What do OneDome and Homesearch think of his change of allegiance.

    “It’s Easier to Fool someone than to convince them that they have been fooled”.

    Michael Bruse Said “we recognise our history will set us back” Commisery!

     

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    1. KW

      Exactly my thinking. I would much rather he showed a bit of backbone and backed the underdogs he banged on about previously rather than this pair. What’s that saying something like “madness is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome” well going down this path with people who went all out to anialate us a few years back is absolute madness. 

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      1. iainwhite87

        i very much remain an advocate and fan of OneDome , i have never been an advocate of Homesearch but i do beleive competiton will bring the changes agents want the service they expect and the innovation both agents and end users will benfit from. 

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        1. KW

          Sorry but you haven’t done yourself any favours with this. Don’t you get it? It wouldn’t matter how good their portal is, it is about doing the right thing. This runs deeper than merely being another competitor. Speak to people who were badly affected by them and their ventures – including the public who were very mislead.

          How thick do you think we all are? First they start their charity which we were ALL on to straight away. A back handed way to try and gain trust of vulnerable agents who needed help, then hook them in. It is these sorts of tactics that tell me a Leopard doesn’t change it’s spots. The “REAL industry influencers” who are brave enough to call them out for what they are will be the ones who gain the industry respect. All you ” #MeTos ” are just an embarrassment as we can see right through it.

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  17. KW

    I don’t know about the rest of you guys and gals but I am getting a tad tired of all these “self proclaimed” industry experts, leaders, influencers telling us what we need to do, how bad we are at doing it, who we should back and so on.

    I think the Bruces have mastered the art of snake charming, successfully luring all these “very important industry thought leaders” out of their baskets and into the boomin snake pit. There is no consistency with these “experts” they constantly jump on every new band-wagon, probably in the hope they will also get rich on the back of it. This however smacks of more and I for one have lost so much respect for a couple of them who I held in high regard. You have to wonder what the real reason was for Gary Barker leaving. Also, looking at the post above, there is so little we don’t know in terms of how they treated their previous employees.

    I am all for challengers to Rightmove and the others but would rather put my support into OpenBrix and many others.

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    1. smile please

      Bary Garker ….. Okay how about this, you are in charge of a prop tech CRM firm and jump ship to another……. Maybe, just maybe the previous employer reminded them of the contract they signed and what the consequences of breaking them are …. Maybe Who knows….. Just speculation of course…. is it?

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    2. Dick Value

      This ‘self-proclaimed’ industry expert couldn’t make it on to the list of 35 most influential people in agency, why listen to him here?

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  18. IheartRE

    Iain,

    Maybe you’re the emperor with no clothes!?

    Advocating the Bruce Brothers is a very nice gesture mate. Buy why would you? You’re either trapped in a spell or being paid.

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  19. Woodentop

    The biggest question being missed in all this controversy … Does the public need Boomin?

     

    After all that is the end user.

     

    I have not heard anything positive that the end user needs yet another web portal, as they will NEVER EVER replace the status quo. Anyone who thinks RM, Z or OTM, OneDome etc will disappear is deluded. There  are much bigger players, in and outside of the industry that control what happens and Boomin is a small fish in a very big pond.

     

    I have not heard anything positive about Boomin that I REALLY need to switch to them. Yes they offer a free listing (using my data to grow) fort 12 months, even offering commission on cross selling my clients (if I ever manage to achieve the small print to get it every month) which I HAVE to disclose to my customers. Now they have disclosed their fee after 12 months, they are not competitive with Z or OTM. AND that is all they are offering that I need to sell or rent a property?

     

    Is their a risk my end user (my customers) will get hacked off with the going on at Boomin and reflect on my business and standing in the local community I will be abandoning for  a national commercial enterprise?

     

    I don’t need Boomin to survive, actually they are creating more work for me and risk of Hassel and lets not forget the RISKS. What they say today, is NO GUARANTEE for the future. Would I trust anyone in business who went out of their way to create COMMISSARY and damage our industry? You are having a laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Dick Value

      Great post. Straightforward answer to your question – NO!
      Well-funded they may be, they haven’t got enough cash to dislodge Rightmove. Or support. Period.

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  20. NeighSlayer

    Plenty of comments here about opinions of mere posters being pulled and censored.

    I had the same issue with speaking out about PB and now again with Boomin.  Does PIE not respect the fact that all that Boomin and their advocates say is just an opinion too?

    PIE can’t possibly be reading the minds of those steering the Boomin ship and so we have to ask why they are protecting the opinions of those in the article over those posting against it?  Future advertising revenue perhaps?

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    1. Dick Value

      Under new management = greater censorship.

      Report
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