New player in the property portal market emerges from under the radar

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.

https://www.placebuzz.com/

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21 Comments

  1. anon-mon73

    Maybe the FREE portal that is the future after RM!

    Why pay to advertise when the value is the agents’ properties and not in a website?

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    1. Ric

      It’s not free though is it? (really). If it is using other portals to grab listings it is never going to be a possible free option to replace the others… it is simply benefiting from the memberships we pay the other portals. We stop listing on the others, they have no data and will need to then charge to keep their business going. (Pick Pocket Portal)

      If they had a business plan where they had no way of getting other portals data… they would be calling us today saying, how do you fancy coming on our free portal which will topple the big 3. We would laugh and that would be that.

      Your only free (or nearly free) portals will only ever be your own website, google & Facebook.

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      1. Robert May

        how much is nearly free? ( asking for a friend)

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        1. Ric

          Nearly being my own… I kind of pay nothing… but I do pay a hosting fee! So not a membership as such…

          It is kinda of free, in a weird way!

          As is Facebook? although I pay for a broadband and 4g service, so again not free really.

          oh and google…. can-knee use it without the tinternet which I pay for…

          so… all free…. but not quite free… you know what I mean….

          Everything traces back to a cost in some way…

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    2. Greg Eke

      LINK REMOVED – PROPERTY INDUSTRY EYE TERMS & CONDITIONS #6. Users posting comments on the site may not post direct hyperlinks to other websites and especially may not do so by use of their username. Users may not use comments to promote a service or business.

      Report
  2. AgencyInsider

    So OntheMarket apparently helps power this thing but they decline to comment about their relationship with it. . That lack of clarification speaks volumes.
     
    Will be interesting to see what Zoopla has to say. 

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    1. Ric

      Agreed. OTM idiots. Diluting the property portal world even more.
      If they think a free site has legs… stop charging membership to all! I am now paying to help placebuzz work.  

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      1. Thomas Flowers

        So OTM provides property data for Facebook and Placebuzz without agents permission? What else have they got planned? If Springett can screw over original founding members who did not wish to float on the stock market perhaps OTM needs a new CEO with whom agents have more faith if they wish to become anything more than a third-place paying portal?

        Alternatively, perhaps consider paying Robert May for something totally agent-centric via rummage4 as he has shown the sector that he is trustworthy?

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  3. ArthurHouse02

    I dont understand this at all, so OTM & Zoopla allow our listings that we provide them to be shared with another portal? What is the upside to them?

    No doubt us allowing this to happen is buried in the “We do what we want with your data” section of their Ts & Cs

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    1. ArthurHouse02

      Upon requestin details the message states
      “I am happy for Placebuzz to share my details with OnTheMarket.com, so that they can contact me with other relevant properties and information”
      What a strange thing for them to do

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      1. ArthurHouse02

        As an update to this, despite making the inquiry via Placebuzz, the email turns up from OnTheMarket…..very strange indeed.

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        1. JordanBrooks88

          It’s the same with the OTM properties that appear on Facebook marketplaces next to all kinds of ****, without any mention of the agent. They come through as an OTM lead

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    2. Bagheera

      Its because Placebuzz etc are aggregators, their online traffic drives OTM`s traffic and pushes them up the google search rankings.  Both OTM and zoopla do it

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  4. Woodentop

    So where do they stand with copyright?

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  5. Trevor Gillham

    What about OTM 1 other portal rule?

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    1. Ric

      Trev they dropped it, so you can now.

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  6. J1

    Portals do my nut – they are expensive low service suppliers who think they rule the roost.

    Despise them.    All of them.

     

     

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  7. cyberduck46

    When google finds duplicates it will only show one of them. It has trouble choosing the best.  
     
    The more duplicates of your copy that you allow the lower the chance of your own copy appearing in Google.
     
    Most of you probably know that but I thought it might help some of you.  
     
    I don’t know how much bargaining power you have with these portals but if you do have then insist they include a canonical attribute in the web page header with the duplicate content. This will tell Google that your page is the one to show.  
     
    <head>
    …[other code that might be in your document’s HTML head]…
    <link href=”URL OF ORIGINAL PAGE” rel=”canonical” />
    …[other code that might be in your document’s HTML head]… </head>
     
    This is from a well respcted site on Search Engine Optimisation which I have no connection with. I’ll post a link in a reply to this. If it is in breach of PIE’s T&C’s then at least this information will remain.
     

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    1. cyberduck46

      Information on duplicate content and canonical header attributes…
       
      https://moz.com/learn/seo/duplicate-content
       
      I have no connection with these people.
       
       
       
       

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    2. cyberduck46

      Another tip “When syndicating content, make sure the syndicating website adds a link back to the original content and not a variation on the URL.”
       
       

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    3. Eagle60

      I’d argue, as a marketer, that having more websites link to your website (assuming Placebuzz does) is beneficial and actually ranks you higher for SEO.

      Using Zoopla’s API to copy properties should make Google crawlers aware that the content is not original and therefore won’t trigger duplicitous content issues.

      Report
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