A new name is set to make itself felt in the UK property online sector.
Placebuzz is listing agents’ properties – although it admits that some agents may be unaware.
Describing itself variously as a UK-wide property portal aggregator and a “super-fast property portal”, Placebuzz lists properties from Zoopla and OnTheMarket although not Rightmove.
Placebuzz says it does not scrape properties, with both Zoopla and OntheMarket sending through feeds on a daily basis.
Founded in 2011 and launched in 2012, privately-owned Placebuzz has operated under the radar until now.
It now says that it aggregates over 80% of the UK’s for sale and rental properties, and has 600,000 registered users.
It already provides property searchers with instant alerts and says it will be launching several new features in the coming months.
The family-run business co-founded by Andy Hatoum says its strategic vision is to have over 5m visits a month.
It has appointed a business director, Neil Tillott, who joins from start-up company and now defunct fitness site The Running Bug, and who previously had a long career with publishers Hearst UK.
EYE asked Placebuzz if all the agents whose properties appear on it know that this is the case.
We were told: “While some agents know they are on Placebuzz through our partner feeds, some don’t as Placebuzz doesn’t have a direct relationship with agents.”
We were also told that agents who wanted their properties removed, could have that done easily.
However, a spokesperson said: “It’s straightforward but not very common as this results in fewer leads via Placebuzz’s partners, which is undesirable to agents.”
We asked where Placebuzz has been since its launch seven years ago. Little has been heard of it, although in September 2017 we did find that OnTheMarket was powering the listings at Placebuzz.
Yesterday Placebuzz told us: “Placebuzz launched in 2012 but completely rebuilt the site in 2018.
“They have been focusing on improving the search functions, creating an intuitive and user-friendly customer experience and building relationships with portals.
“They currently have 600,000 registered users with over 1.5m visits per month, with a target of 5m visits per month.
“Their traffic is predominantly generated from organic search via Google and user retention through a number of features as well as property alerts, which are sent to users once a new property is uploaded within their search criteria.
“Placebuzz sends around 10m alerts per month.”
Placebuzz does not charge agents but told us that its income streams include pay per lead revenue, with leads generated from Zoopla and OnTheMarket.
There is also revenue from direct advertising campaigns with developers, insurers and removal companies, plus travel brands.
Placebuzz said it has just signed a 12-month campaign with Travelzoo, aimed at users also searching for hotels and holidays.
Placebuzz said it is raising public awareness by embarking on a major public relations and marketing push to promote the site to both the property industry and to consumers.
OnTheMarket declined to comment about its relationship with Placebuzz. We also approached Zoopla for any comment.
However, it is understood that some portals see aggregators such as Home and now Placebuzz as not being competition, but aids to promoting agents’ properties.