A new property portal owned and operated by estate agents has had a problematic launch, it has been claimed.
Australian portal Squiiz.com.au launched in October.
At launch, there were some 3,500 agencies listing on the site, with another 2,000 due to be using it shortly, according to CEO Nick Christian.
Robin Savage, an equities analyst at Canaccord Genuity who has a “buy” recommendation on Rightmove shares, said he would not be concerned “unless Agents Mutual does somehow persuade agents to support it – because that will affect Rightmove and Zoopla’s revenues”.
He argued that the newcomer is dominated by a handful of Britain’s biggest companies and would have trouble attracting the thousands of very small agencies who make up the majority of the market. “The big agents could function without property portals, so this is really asking independent agents to cut off one of their main routes to market. It is a brave person who decides to switch off something that brings them the vast majority of their [client] instructions.”
Rightmove and Zoopla declined to comment.
In most standard definitions, mutuality means “Having the same relationship, each to the other”. Mutual “members” are identical in that they know from the outset that any perceived risk and reward is shared equally between all members, irrespective of size of business or bank balance. Crucially, however, members of a mutual know that they contribute equally and fairly to the financial overheads in return for an equal and fair share of any possible benefits. A mutual relies on a sound business model and the common purpose of its membership and does not restrict the activities of its members.
David Cameron welcomes new competition from PropertyMutual in online property marketing.
- PropertyMutual - The Independent & Equitable Property portal where no members can be 'more equal than others' -
London 14th January 2014: The launch of PropertyMutual.co.uk, the UK’s first ‘mutual’ property portal has been welcomed by Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP for Witney.