NEWSFLASH: Acorn Group become paying members of Homesearch

Homesearch has announced that the 36 branches of the Acorn Group have joined them as fully subscribed and paying Network Agents.

The Acorn Group CEO, Rob Sargent, is the organiser  of the ‘Say No to Rightmove’ campaign which says it has support from over 1,750 estate agency brands in over 3,300 offices.

Its members will no doubt be interested in Sargent’s decision to subscribe his company to the challenger portal platform.

Sargent said:

“We’re impressed with what the team at Homesearch have done and are continuing to build.

“It isn’t just a portal, that’s obvious; there’s a lot more for an agent to gain than just another place to list your instructions.

“We know it will take time for them to build up public traction, but I think they’ve anticipated what UK agents need to not only market their clients’ homes but also at the same time assist their member agents in stimulating new business.”

Homesearch CEO Giles Ellwood added,

“We are thrilled and grateful to Rob and the whole Acorn team for believing so strongly in what we’re aiming to achieve.

“Everything we are doing is about justifying and repaying Acorn and so many other agents’ faith in our long term vision.

 Homesearch will officially launch to the public on 15th July.

 

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45 Comments

  1. Property Pundit

    While sticking with Rightmove.

    Report
    1. Robert Sargent

      Dear Property Pundit
      Consider an environment in which any agent might consider working with RM in the long term? They become innovative, reasonable, agent focused and cost effective in how they levy their tariffs and deal with annual reviews. That’s what our campaign set out to achieve. In the absence of change, the industry as a whole will do what’s best for them. I am pleased to confirm agents are still registering at SNTRM but we must continue to grow our numbers.
       

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      1. Seller0169

        I’m assuming Rob’s getting some kind of kick back like he did with OTM???

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        1. Robert Sargent

          Hi Seller0169
          For clarity, I do not receive a kick back from OTM or Homesearch. My company uses their services because we believe in their model and it is well publicised that The Acorn Group are shareholders in OTM.
          Kind regards
           
          Rob Sargent

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      2. PeeBee

        “They become innovative, reasonable, agent focused and cost effective in how they levy their tariffs and deal with annual reviews.”

        Erm…

        Their Head of Innovation has jumped ship – so there’s the first one gone from the list already!

        And I think we all know how those other metrics are going to pan out…

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        1. Robert Sargent

          Hi PeeBee,
          Maybe my earlier comment wasn’t clear. I wasn’t suggesting that RM had become any of those things, quite the opposite. I was imagining an environment in which they were innovative and reasonable, which remains to be seen.
          Kind regards
           
          Rob

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          1. PeeBee

            No – your comment was perfectly clear.  Your imagined environment is unfortunately just that – in your (and others’) imagination and will never become a reality.
             
            So why endure the actual reality?  Why just hope for miracles.
             
            Time to make your own miracles happen.
             
            Kind regards
             
            PeeBee

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            1. Trisha H

              PeeBee,

              Why are you even on here if you have nothing positive to say I suggest you JOG ON and get back to your Rightmove desk and try to keep hold of the clients that are leaving like rats on a sinking ship sorry STINKING ship.

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        2. Trisha H

          PeeBee,
          Wish you would jump ship with him I am bored reading your negative posts I have a great idea if you are not behind HomeSearch why are you even here comenting in this forum you are so obviousley a Rightmove employee trying to put knives into compitition.  JOG ON PeeWee sorry PeeBee

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          1. Retiredandrelaxed

            “PeeBee, ………. you are so obviousley a Rightmove employee”
             
            PeeBee – you’ve been rumbled!

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            1. PeeBee

              Yeah… well and truly caught with my Rightmove pants round my Rightmove ankles!

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              1. Retiredandrelaxed

                There’s an image I don’t want to have stuck in my head for the rest of the day!

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                1. PeeBee

                  But it is stuck there nevertheless! ;o)

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          2. PeeBee

            Trisha H Why do you think I am “so obviousley” a Rightmove employee?  If you had read my original post (assuming you can read, that is…) you would have noted that I not only pointed out that their “Head of Innovation” (a prima facie misdescription if there ever was one..) has left the building – but also that there is a zero percent of bu99er all chance of them becoming reasonable, Agent-focused or cost-effective, all of which Rob Sargent had down on his wish-list.   
             
            And in my second post (which you clearly dislike equally if not more than the first) I make the suggestion that rather than wait for the impossible dream to never materialise, Agents do something NOW.  That “something” could well be to subscribe to Homesearch – I certainly didn’t tell anyone not to in my posts.  That is for the individual Agent to decide.  
             
            But in any event, my guess is that Mr Shipside wouldn’t see what I have posted as displaying a particularly loyal face to customers, and my days as a Rightmove employee would be somewhat numbered.  So it’s just as well that I’m not – isn’t it?  
             
            In fact, the very same Mr Shipside would have canned me years ago for what I’ve posted on these pages – and of EAT before EYE was launched – but obviously you’ve taken an instant dislike to me rather than building it up slowly over the last decade or so like everyone else.  You certainly come across as having a hair-trigger somewhere between your ears (assuming that’s where you keep your brain, that is…).  
             
            As for me “jogging on” – that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, sweetums.  And certainly not just because you want me to, in any event.  Been here since Day #1… I’ll be here tomorrow… and the next day… and then all next week just to grind your gears (assuming you still have gears to grind, that is…).  
             
            So you’d better get used to it.  
             
            Or… you could always jog on, of course – you choose.  
             
            Nighty night – and thanks for the entertainment.  I love it when someone gets it completely, embarrassingly wrong – and I’m not referring to your atrocious spelling and grammar.

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            1. Retiredandrelaxed

              I wonder if she has an alter ego named Michelle?

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              1. PeeBee

                Nah – Michelle is fuelled by gin.  This sweetheart had clearly been copiously necking lambrini.

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  2. Commentator91

    The industry needs to get behind Homesearch and support these guys with our listings. When the listings are there the public will follow…..

    …..”Build it and they will come!”

    List for free if you like, however, I would say that it is definitely also worth looking at the paid service too, then make your decision.

    Either way, just get your properties on there!

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    1. Barett_A

      ‘Build it and they will come’

      Homeseach strategy is the same as Field of Dreams? A film where a man made a baseball pitch in his garden for ghosts?  That’s the plan?

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      1. The Outsider

        On nice one!

        Spoil a film I was going to watch this weekend, Barett_A!  Idiot.

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        1. Barett_A

          I’m sorry, I’m sorry!  I assumed, like the whole ‘this new portal will get traction purely based on listings’ story – everyone would have seen it several times before. 

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          1. The Outsider

            Apology accepted. 
            I’m going to watch Waynes World 2 this weekend instead.

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            1. Property Pundit

              No Way!

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              1. ARC

                Way

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  3. smile please

    Well at least Sargent is doing something other than “List with Zoopla & Otm”

     

    Good news for the HS as well some good money coming in to help with development.

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  4. Woodentop

    Everyone to their own but just hold your braces a minute. What was the biggest concern for agents jumping ship from RM to go to OTM? Concerns over estate agents customer base willing to accept the change be it seller/buyer or landlord/tenant and could it survive.

     

    ‘Homesearch’ have not shown me any evidence that they can drive the public to their web site or the funds to market the overheads to do so. Unless they can drive the consumer to use them and drop RM, Z or OTM who have the monopoly, they will fail.

     

    Yes I know its free and they promise not to ever charge, but if you look at the small print you don’t get much for free and they do start to charge for the new extras you may be interested in, if they have any real value to you as an agent or customer.

     

    As an agent I see no point in using a web portal that will not drive customers to me. Many web portals have failed on these grounds and remember Fish4Homes they were providing similar services that my customers may be interested in, but never took up. All I see is the company has issued shares to the directors that has only been trading for 18 months and the cynical side of me can’t help but think “Bruce”, who is working for who?

     

     

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  5. Slinky

    Still no answer to any of the questions for Giles and Sam

    1) Who owns the leads that come through the portal , the estate agent that the enquiry is for or Homesearch ?

    2) Will you confirm that you will never sell mortgage leads , financial , conveyancing etc and also not sell leads of people who are looking to get onto the market but havent yet listed that have enquired about a property of mine on the portal ?

    Cant find any info on this . IMO this has been rushed because everyone hates Rightmove, but Rightmove keeps my data safe,not enough due dilligence by 10K agents here. If your not paying for the product , you are the product

    Would love an answer

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    1. propertyguru11

      I agree.  Is it really a canvassing process on our expense?
      Please announce publicly that you will not use leads / sell to competitors

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    2. Giles E

      Hi Slinky,

      1) 100% The estate agent.

      If you search for a Thai restaurant on google, find one, call it, order, eat it.. do they sell your lead to the pizza place near by? I give you my word, that our intentions are more genuine that you give us credit for.

       

      2) Id like a bit of clarification on this, please can you explain what you mean by ‘sell mortgage leads , financial , conveyancing etc’

      The only thing we plan to do is present decent options for consumers, where the agent has stated that they do not offer them, themselves. i.e. not in competition with an agents in-house solution. We appreciate this is an important up-sell in the agency business model. We will respect that.

       

      As for part two of this question – no way. how would that help Agents?

      Are you suggesting that someone who enquires about a listing of yours, we assume they are selling something else and rush to sell them to your competitor? Our job is to get you the enquiry. It’s for you to then make the most of it.. GDPR put a stop to this kind of pass the consumer data around game.

       

      Having gone through the 18 month process and £75k costs and audit of ISO27001, the highest form of Data Integrity and security with AddIntel last year while it was the parent company incubating Homesearch, we are now in the middle of the same ISO27001 process for HS as a stand alone entity. I would be very interested to know if RM, Z or OTM adhere to such strict standards… I couldn’t see anything on their sites. We also have a full time Data Protection Officer as well as ICO membership.

       

      Abusing Agents or consumer data is a short term play that we do not sign up to.

       

      Lastly, “if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”

      Maybe this was true a while ago.We make our money selling our Pro services, all of these are clear to see.

       

      Having worked 100 days and nights with 70 great people to bring a service that so many hundreds of fantastic Agents have asked for, contributed to, advised on and sculpted. A product and a business in which we have put transparency in and around everything we do, especially for the Agents, you might think that sounds exhausting, especially while under the pressure of a pandemic, working remotely, but it hasn’t been. Its been a pleasure and exciting to build a product that so many people seem happy about.

       

      It is however exhausting trying to defend this to the few that haven’t engaged in a demonstration or discussion about what it does and how it does it. If it makes you feel better, feel free to have an opinion of us that we will continue to try our best to prove to you that is untrue. We should be spending our time helping those who have engaged and are looking forward to what we are building.

      We are always here if you need us.

       

      Giles

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      1. Property Pundit

        2% of agents will make more noise than the remaining 98% combined together. It’s always the way sadly.

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        1. Slinky

          Thanks for reply Giles . Im really glad to hear that your working hard to potnetially display the stock that ive worked hard to aquire to the users that I work hard to get to my website and to walk through my shop door. You asked for more clarity on point two . You said
          Id like a bit of clarification on this, please can you explain what you mean by ‘sell mortgage leads , financial , conveyancing etc’
          The only thing we plan to do is present decent options for consumers, where the agent has stated that they do not offer them, themselves. i.e. not in competition with an agents in-house solution. We appreciate this is an important up-sell in the agency business model. We will respect that.
          Its a farily straightforward questions . What will you sell ? I can give you a ticklist of things that are currently on my balance sheet

          1) Mortgages

          2) Conveyancing

          3) Removals

          4) Surveyors

          5) Gas and electric and phone changes , moving day stuff

          If you just give me a indication of which you will sell that would be great. If you can let me know how you plan to know which if these services c11,000 estate agents are selling and which adverts will be sent to which users Id be interested to hear you plan. Have you told the 11,000 agents that you will be selling the services they offer at sign up ? Couldnt find it in your sign up blumf or FAQ’s . Am I the first to ask.

          As an example someone is drawn to your portal by one of my properties and I have quoted him for a mortgage. He then goes through and enquires on 6 properties in the surrounds, one of those agents has indicated,somehow, to you that they don’t want to quote for a mortgage. In this scenario how do you avoid quoting against the other 5 agents competing for that one mortgage referral.

          Genuinely interested to hear your thoughts

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          1. Slinky

            Also …just one more thing 
            1) 100% The estate agent.
            If you search for a Thai restaurant on google, find one, call it, order, eat it.. do they sell your lead to the pizza place near by? I give you my word, that our intentions are more genuine that you give us credit for.
            Your not searching on google and finding the thai restaueant, your find uber eats , just eat etc etc . Youve just described their business model . They wil recycle that lead to their competitors who pay to acces that data 

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          2. Giles E

            “Thanks for reply Giles . Im really glad to hear that your working hard to potnetially display the stock that ive worked hard to aquire to the users that I work hard to get to my website and to walk through my shop door”

            Slinky, you pose some great questions, but I really think you are missing the key point about Homesearch. We simply do not think agents should be charged to display stock they have worked hard to acquire.. (I’ve said these very words you just aimed at me sarcastically, so many times on almost all of our webinars, its on video so many times) I AGREE WITH YOU

            The reason Homesearch is free to list and get leads is because that’s not the product.. nor is trying to monetise your data about your listings. That’s yours.

            The product is there to help you find a home (that is not on the market at all) for your buyers that you cant place in one of your existing instructions, hopefully winning you a new instruction and a sale. Its also to help your current sellers find a place to move if they haven’t already found one, or don’t want to instruct until they have found somewhere to move to.

            That’s what the Pro tools do.

            We are not in the mortgage game, or conveyancing, removals, gas, or epc or floorplan or anything other than tools to help you win new instructions and help progress your existing stock.

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            1. Slinky

              Hi Giles,

               

              Can you just answer this bit…thanks
              1) Mortgages
              2) Conveyancing
              3) Removals
              4) Surveyors
              5) Gas and electric and phone changes , moving day stuff
              6)None of the above , I pledge here and now never to cross sell to an agencies stock

               

              Hoping for 6 … may even join

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    3. Trisha H

      Slinky,
      How about this for an answer JOG ON and leave your negative posts somewhere else, you clearly a Rightmove employee I can smell you a mile away

      Report
      1. PeeBee

        Just how many Rightmove employees do you think are posting on this article thread, ‘Trisha_H’?
         
        Do you have a secret yearning for a Rightmove employee?  Some kind of guilty pleasure thing going on here?
         
        Have you talked to anyone about this problem?
         
        If not – don’t try.  Some things are best kept secret.

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      2. Slinky

        Unfortunately for Giles Trisha  , this gig has already Transferred wealth to Ian Springet from estate agent data … “fool me once” etc . I have asked a perfectly straightforward question . Still expecting an answer . Good luck with your role at home search

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        1. PeeBee

          “Good luck with your role at home search”

          Insert ‘We are laughing’ GIF here…

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  6. propertyguru11

    So… did you really say “no”?

    Seems like you keep asking people to leave Rightmove but don’t actually do it yourself. Other may claim hypocrisy…

    Report
    1. AgencyInsider

      Do your homework. He has not actually asked people to leave RM.

      Report
  7. Robert Sargent

    If you are commenting on this thread, would it not be a good idea to clarify exactly who you are and the businesses you work for or represent. This will give much greater interest to the readers and allow them to validate more clearly your comments and advice.
    Sincerely,
    Rob Sargent

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    1. ARC

      That’s not how the internet works Rob, anonymous trolling is king!

      Report
      1. Property Pundit

        No it’s not! 

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  8. GPL

     

    I had a Homesearch Demo from Alex Astin a week ago.

    More plus than minus. As always, the real decision is “pay to fully play” or “take the free offering”.

     

    I’m slightly battle weary with “supporting/embracing” when the provider’s ultimate aim (in general terms) is probably to sell up/cash in?

     

    The estate agency pavement is littered with examples of “the next thing” which we support and then we are bid farewell after the innovator cashes-in their chips – but…. I would do the same?

     

    With Rightmove you know they will **** all over you so you knowingly pay for their poisoned chalice

     

    I liked what I saw of Homesearch – however I have no crystal ball and I’m still nursing 5 years of burns caused by my support of OTM. Champagne Springett is bobbing about somewhere no doubt, like Fred Goodwin

     

    HAPPYHomesearch – a free tagline!

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    1. smile please

      Bonus of Homesearch is they give you a guaranteed 5 year price but you can leave anytime with a months notice, if it does not work just walk away.

       

      Bet a few OTM agents wish they could do that.

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      1. Woodentop

        At least with OTM they put the effort in to try and drive customers to your advert.

         

        The launch has to be said is not inspiring and the numbers do not add up for being viable?

         

        What is the advantage to the agent if they cannot drive customers to them. If you are going to cross sell, will this be damaging to my business? Are you just building  a platform with no profitable return for me? I and other agents have been asking these question for a long time and still goes unanswered with clarrity.

         

        How can Homesearch do it in any sizeable return to compete with the big three property portals used by the public today and the marketing you are promising that will effectively switch the public. Hence the cynic in me (seems seconded by GPL) ……. “Directors shares and “Bruce”, who is working for who?”

        Report
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