A new property portal with a difference launches today, planning to turn the whole charging model on its head.
Instead of agents paying it to list, it will charge nothing. It will also pay agents for the listing if an arising transaction is monetised by cross-sales such as conveyancing.
OneDome will, as from 6am this morning, be operating its portal of the same name across the south-east of England before rolling it out nationally.
International expansion is also on the cards.
OneDome founder and CEO Babek Ismayil said: “We recognise that estate agents’ data is valuable. OneDome is the only portal that actually pays agents. When we make money, they make money.
“Over the past few years estate agents have become reliant on property portals that charge an ever-increasing amount for listing properties.
“However, as these portals would not exist without the content that agents supply them, why should agents have to pay?”
The new portal will offer listings guaranteed to be free for 100 years, and will also share revenue from the money OneDome makes by selling services to home movers.
Initially these are conveyancing and mortgages but others will be added, including utilities.
Ismayil told EYE: “Listing on property portals is one of the largest lead-generation costs for agents and it is increasing every year.
“We are building the first search engine that not only doesn’t charge agents but pays them for their listing if we can monetise it.”
The new portal aims to be a platform which provides a genuine end-to-end process for consumers – everything from the property search through to conveyancers and mortgage brokers.
OneDome, a proptech company whose services include the ability to arrange viewings online, is inviting agents to provide a live feed to its portal, in the same way that they do to other listing sites.
Ismayil said that this is OneDome’s preferred option, and that so far the approach is being positively received.
However, the portal also has the ability to collate listings by indexing all agents’ websites, meaning that agents do not have to do anything to have their clients’ properties displayed.
If agents do not want their listings indexed, OneDome will remove them at the agent’s request.
There will be no scraping of other portals, including Rightmove and Zoopla.
How will the public be made aware of the new portal? Ismayil said that there will be an active marketing campaign with TV advertising a “part of the plan”.
The portal has been under beta testing in the south-east and goes properly live in that region today. It will then roll out region by region over the next 16 months to have a fully national presence.
The portal will also offer a different search experience from, say, Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.
Home hunters will be able to search for property using free text as they do with search engines such as Google.
For example, they could be looking for “a two-bedroom flat in Southampton near a good primary school for £400,000”. Artificial Intelligence based search will find and display the properties that match the criteria.