Jangle, which announced plans to launch earlier this year with the promise of a free offering to agents, is to use revenue from display advertising to fund its operation.
The portal is hoping to appeal to agents struggling with the monthly fees charged by the existing portals, which can total £1,000-£1,500 per branch each month, by offering listings free of charge to agents without a contract.
Jeremy Rosenblatt, director and co-founder of Jangle, said: “With many market commentators talking about a housing market ‘correction’, the Bank of England’s decision to raise interest rates to 3%, and its prediction that the UK faces a ‘very challenging’ two-year recession, estate agents up and down the country will be looking at their budgets and profitability.
“To add to their woes, the past few days have also seen the news that both online agent ‘Doorsteps’ and online portal ‘Boomin’ have gone into liquidation, reducing the options open to vendors and estate agents when it comes to promoting properties online.
“Boomin’s move, earlier this year, to a fee-paying model is very telling about the attitude from agents and surveyors to pay more and more to promote properties online. There are estimates that, within the London market, the costs to estate agent businesses of promoting homes via the big portals can reach up to £3,000 per month. That’s around £36,000 per annum, and a significant amount of money coming straight off the bottom line. This begs the question of whether the current costs of marketing via property portals are sustainable for many firms?”
Jangle claims that its own market research – not shared with EYE – shows widespread dissatisfaction with the costs charged by the big portals and suggests that there is an appetite from agents and developers for what the business terms ‘Zero Portal Spend’.
He continued: “Firms such as Boomin originally set out to disrupt the market, but their liquidation suggests that tweaking the existing concept and broadly following the same business models as their bigger rivals was not enough,” commented Rosenblatt, adding, “With challenging market conditions on the horizon, many observers are asking whether the prevailing property portal concept is fit for purpose?
“We believe that it is time for a new approach that unlocks the market to the benefit of agents and their clients. To this end, we are actively engaging with colleagues within the estate agent community via our website [www.jangle.co.uk], gauging market sentiment and opinions regarding a different type of property portal, that helps them to market properties without subtracting from their bottom lines.
“From our conversations and the expressions of interest regarding our concept, there is a clear desire for Zero Portal Spend, which we will deliver.”