We all know that the online property portals, dominated by a handful of websites, are by far the most popular home search method, which is why an increasing number of agents are spending significantly more money on maintaining an online presence that goes beyond simply listing properties on their own website.
Rightmove remains the most visited UK property portal, Zoopla, part of ZPG, has consolidated its position as the second largest property website in the country, while OnTheMarket continues to challenge what they previously described as the ‘duopoly’ of the two big property portals.
While the three main portals continue to leverage their dominance in the industry to grow market share, there are other property websites, including soon-to-launch Boomin, which has already attracted big hitters like Foxtons and Hunters, that are hoping to regain control of the homebuyer audience.
Boomin, backed by the founders of Purplebricks, plans to launch in the coming weeks, hoping to make inroads in what many agents see as a crowded space. But a number of agents remain unconvinced, with some expressing opposition to those behind the platform , while others have requested more information before making a decision.
To help persuade more agents to sign up to its portal, Boomin has shared with many firms a Q&A (‘Top 10’) providing answers to what it claims are the most commonly asked questions, a copy of which has been presented to Property Industry Eye.
So here it is, ‘Your Questions Answered’ (by Boomin’s marketing department):
01 Who owns the data?
(Boomin:) You always own and control your data. Most of the data will originate from Boomin and be sent to you at the request of and with the permission of the customer. Any data we receive will never be shared or sold and will only be processed in accordance with agreements and permissions.
02 How does the diary work, what happens if we need to change for a specific vendor or negotiator?
The diary is fully configurable by company, branch, property or customer. You decide what you want to happen, where you want viewings and valuations to go and you can even choose the percentage of valuations or viewings you would like to automatically allocate to particular members of the team. It has been built to be highly flexible.
03 How do I become a Platinum agent?
The benefits that come with being a Platinum Agent are not about what you pay. It is all about the level of integration you have with Boomin. Those with a full CRM integration, that can therefore offer a much richer, deeper experience for them and their customers are eligible to be Platinum. Those that send us a normal portal feed would be Gold.
04 Are you integrating with all CRM platforms?
All agents should have the opportunity to enjoy the full power of Boomin and therefore our aim is to work with all CRM platforms as well as providing an easy integration pathway for those with their own bespoke systems. We also know that about 10% of agents manually load to portals and we have a solution for them as well.
05 How are agents selected for Matchmaker?
We do not charge for the benefits of Matchmaker, it is all about opening up the market and getting more people moving with the help of professional estate agents. Our algorithm is about fairly profiling Platinum Agents, being featured exclusively to sellers at positions 1, 2 and 3 and collectively by clicking across to position 4. The choice of Platinum Agents will be weighted towards those most local to the seller and those who have the greatest amount of similar stock to the sellers property. We aim to achieve the fairest and most relevant results for sellers and agents.
06 How will secret property & sneak peek work and do they have to be displayed/appear in every instance?
Our features are about giving visitors to Boomin the deeper insights into the market and the activity in the market they get when they engage with a great agent, and not just give them a list of classified adverts of properties for sale or to let. When they are making a decision whether to move or not at least they are making that decision based on a wider understanding of the activity in the market.
When a valuation is booked a secret property advert is created. Only enough information to get people interested is displayed. We do not show the full address and you can also choose to make the advert invisible if needs be. We build momentum prior to the valuation taking place and book the interested registered buyers for viewings as soon as you are instructed. Once you are instructed and give us the green light the secret property advert turns into a sneak peak advert unlocking the ability for viewings to be booked and momentum to build whilst you get the full advert ready.
07 How does the revenue share in Property Playground work?
If a seller, buyer, landlord or tenant is registered for the first time on Boomin by you, you get 100% of the revenue share until there is what we call an “Event”.
An “Event” is an exchange of contracts or a move in. If you are the same agent who registered for the first time and caused the Event then you continue to get 100% of the revenue share. If another agent caused the Event then you still get 20% but the other agent thereafter gets 80%.
The revenue shared is 33% in year 1 and 50% in year 2.
08 How are customers assigned to me from a revenue perspective in Property Playground and priorities?
If you are the first to secure the registration on Boomin of a customer or they sell or let with you and are registered on Boomin then they are assigned to your business. We can work with you on a campaign to introduce Boomin to your customers and provide a unique link so if the customer chooses to click on the link and agree to be registered for the first time then you will be assigned the customer for the purposes of the revenue share.
09 What will the rates be post the end of the free period?
Whilst we haven’t finalised this yet, we are likely to follow a method of payment on a monthly basis, per branch and maximum number of properties. We have tried to find alternative ways but cannot find anything that is a clear, fair, transparent and acceptable to all. There is a difference though.
We will charge a lower base fee and an in-month performance fee. As we earn you revenue and hit certain thresholds we will get an incremental increase in the base fee that month up to a maximum amount. At the end of each month it resets and starts again the following month.
We will announce the base fee and performance increments at least three months before you are required to start paying. There is no obligation on you whatsoever.
10 Will you ever deal directly with vendors and purchasers and cut out agents?
No never. We are contracting not to do this to give peace of mind.