Agent’s fury over unauthorised scraping of property details on new portal

A new property portal has launched, taking its stock from agents’ own websites without consent, and refusing to remove the property listings when requested to do so.

An angry estate agent has hit out at the practice whereby property details are ‘scraped’ without their knowledge or permission by the new website, called Propway.

Reece Maddick, of estate agency Aspire Properties in Leeds, was astonished when he discovered his firm’s property listings on Facebook Marketplace being promoted by the new website, especially as prospective buyers were being encouraged to email Propway, rather than the estate agents – clearly an attempt to capture data.

Some agents we spoke with are drawing parallels with controversial website Houser, which also previously listed properties on behalf of agents without consent.

The problem for Propway, like Houser, is that some agents really do not want their properties on it – even if the listings are free.

“We did not give Propway consent to list our properties, and we simply want them taken down,” said Reece Maddick, head of estate agency at Aspire Properties in Leeds.

A major concern for Maddick, and some of the other agents we spoke with, is that despite several requests to remove their property listings, Propway has refused to do so.

Reece Maddick

He continued: “This company just can’t take it upon itself to take agents’ listings. We work hard to win instructions. It’s a disgrace. We want our properties removed from this website.”

Aside from list agents’ properties on Facebook Marketplace, Propway also promotes them on YouTube, where attention grabbing video tours are available with Propway branding.

“Some of our vendors don’t want their properties listed on social media,” Maddick added. “Propway are taking the p***.”

Propway, which describes itself as ‘an innovative tech start-up and high energy property portal’, claims to focus on ‘marketing where the fat cat portals miss out’.

It adds, ‘We utilize the best marketing practices to show you the exact same picture the property has to offer to you. On Propway, you will find an intuitive interface that acts as a guide during your house search.’

Propway claims to work with partner agents, mainly in and around Nottingham, which is the main regional focus, along with other areas in South Yorkshire.

‘Gold Partners’ on the Propway website includes Whitegates Barnsley, Goldkey, Beecroft Estates, Leaders, Aspire Properties, NestledIn, Coppenwall, Keywest Estate Agents, Haart in Nottinham, Merryweathers Estate Agents, Linda Stringer, Spencer The Estate Agent, Happy Sales and Lettings, Jon Archer, Belvoir, Pinks Homes, HoldenCopley, Liberty Gate, Orca Estates, Innes England, SAINT Property Services, Sherwood Estate Agency, Bercote & Co, Renshaw Estates, JP Lettings, Robert Ellis Estate Agents, and Thomas James Estate Agents.

But none of the selected agents from this list that we contacted had ever heard of Propway, let alone instructed them to list their properties.

“We’ve never heard of them,” said an agent at HoldenCopley. “We want our properties removed.”

The head of marketing at Pinks Homes commented: “To my knowledge we do not list with Propway. Who are they?”

We have tried contacting Propway, but there was no answer on the landline, while the mobile phone listing on the website does not receive incoming calls.

This is one of several videos EYE discovered uploaded by Propway onto YouTube:

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19 Comments

  1. bestandfinal51

    I’m in two minds here. Whilst I understand Mr Maddick’s frustration that he was not consulted about having his listings shared on this portal. A free portal which is looking to expose and introduce buyers to your listings? I struggle to see the big issue. Is this not a positive?
     
    It would be insightful to understand what the reasoning is behind these agents not wanting their stock listed here. How about asking their clients, if they would be happy with their property being shown on an additional website. With that said, on the portals home page it does state, 
    “Agents Forced
    14 May, 2020
    Agents are being forced to rethink, not just the way they deliver their services and create their products, but how they communicate with their custom…
     
    …….now this is a contraversial comment which does annoy me also. The portal should at least be on the side of the agent at each opportunity. Oh hang on, its a portal.
    Also interesting and on another note, that Mr Maddick states that ““Some of our vendors don’t want their properties listed on social media,” And yet many agents today swear by this outlet as the way of the future and what today’s buyers and sellers seek.
     
    I would imagine that Rightmove and Zoopla are revelling at the response from agents. Even when you can use a portal which is free, they still wish to commit themselves to the far more expensive options.

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    1. smile please

      Issue is its our data. Companies like this use it so they can generate advertising income from third parties and also sell our data to others.

      I am fed up of seeing my properties on Facebook market place.

      Its basically copyright theft. You woukd not be allowed to steal somebodies music or novels and splash them all over the Internet.

      Why should this company or others be allowed to profit from my photography, video, virtual tours, data set, written word etc.

      Bad enough RM keep property details on completed stock for years on end. They are my photos and data!

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      1. bestandfinal51

        Fair comment smle please, and I do get that. I also get that it would have been nice to have been asked.  I would though draw to your point regarding RM using agents data. With RM us agents are actually paying them huge monies so that agents can use their own data which we have paid to give to them! And then with that very data, it is then shared with your competitors in order they, your competitors, can go after your listings when they fall through, price drop etc. Do we really think RM do not sell our data on? Us agents must be utterly beyond stupd. I am wondering if this type of portal is a a bit of a gift horse, where as RM and Zoopla represent the Trojan horse.

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        1. smile please

          RM as just as bad if not worse.

          It does not mean this outfit or others like it are gift horses ….. More like trojan horses.

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  2. MarkRowe

    Hello all, friendly and helpful advice….

    Do what I did years ago with Houser. Write to the [Word removed as it breached posting guidelines] (don’t delete please PIE, it’s the truth!) hosting company.
    This site are in breach of their terms for scraping data and reproducing without consent.

    PIE, perhaps you could link article from Houser where it showed the letter I sent? 
    It works, as the hosting company issue a notice to terminate the site, so they have to remove the data.

    Hope that helps peeps! As you can tell, I hate scabs who are looking for an easy ride by simply copying others data. I’m generally just not a fan of the sheer amount of people who are trying to hang on the coat tails of us agents. You know, those ‘game changers’? No one has ‘changed the game’, instead we are seeing more and more useless ***** like this pop up.

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    1. smile please

      Careful Mark you will be called a troll as you do not blindly agree with a third party trying to sell to you or leach off you 😉 

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      1. MarkRowe

        The wonderful thing about reaching that stage where you really couldn’t give a **** is that… well…. I really don’t give **** !

        Leaches are leaches. Let’s call them out for what they are 🙂

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    2. Robert_May

      https://propertyindustryeye.com/get-properties-houser-complain-hosting-company/

       

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      1. MarkRowe

        That’s the one! Thanks, Robert 😉

         

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        1. Robert_May

          Call me Rainman!

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  3. Neil Robinson

    This is history repeating itself. Years ago you’d get upstart “portals” doing the same thing – they’d scrape your listings, but they wouldn’t update them. The result was that we’d get people ringing up about properties that had been sold or let months ago and getting angry because it was still being advertised. When we said we didn’t advertise on that portal, the applicant would invariably get arsey and demand to know why we were saying that, because they’d seen us on there.

    This also raises the question how they deliver the leads to you. Most agents don’t make their email addresses public on their website because it attracts spam emails – without that info, they can’t deliver the lead.

    It’s simply a blatant data capture exercise.

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  4. MisterP76

    “Houses for sale to rent” are doing this too I believe.

     

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  5. Russell121

    We have all had them phone calls about a property from an applicant who saw it on one of these weird and wonderful websites that was actually sold and completed months previous. Very annoying, especially as it’s normally the first time you’ve ever heard of them.

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    1. AgencyInsider

      Outdated info reflects very poorly on the agent. An applicant won’t care a jot that the info is out of the control of the agent. Scraping should be outlawed.

      Report
  6. Woodentop

    If nothing else it says much about any company who scrapes data that has been hard earned by another company, misrepresents its business relationship for commercial gain and data gathering of an individuals information which is more than likely to breach GDPR.

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  7. KByfield04

    Great if agents want free advertising from anyone/anywhere but so many of us don’t. A request to delist should be immediately honoured. I’d go after them for copyright of using marketing materials if they refused to de-list- that or start sharing their tactics on social media. Very weird to refuse to remove an agents’ listings.

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    1. smile please

      I would go one step further, it should be opt in NOT opt out.

      Report
  8. KByfield04

    The guy behind this also runs Turkish property portal: ilaan dot com

    Report
  9. griffs65

    We hae having the same problem with this company rentola, doing the same

    Report
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