EXCLUSIVE: Entrepreneur plans agent-owned portal to tackle likes of Rightmove

Find Properties will encourage agents to differentiate themselves by improving their own web presence which will also improve standards and competition.

Proptech entrepreneur Kae Travis is aiming to make another splash into the estate agency market with the launch of Find Properties – a portal that will be developed and controlled by estate agents.

Six years ago Travis tried – and failed – to launch a vendors’ self-service ‘pay as you go’ decreasing sales package for just £24.99 per month reducing to £9.99.

Punters taking up the offer with Manchester-based MoveSelf had property listed with Zoopla and Primelocation with vendors required to complete their own listings. But the strategy ultimately proved unsuccessful due to the model being “reliant on people being savvy and being able to do it themselves”.

ENTICE PROSPECTS

Travis’s latest bid at agency stardom sees Find Properties as a minimum viable product (MVP) property portal with the aim to entice prospects to visit estate agent websites directly for more detailed information.

He reckons having less features on Find Properties will encourage agents to differentiate themselves by improving their own web presence, which in turn will improve agency standards by stimulating competition.

And he also told The Neg that the portal will not monetise agent’s data by reselling services before prospects contact the agent. By using basic property listings, agents will have the opportunity to monetise their own data on direct point of contact.

Travis says: “Not another portal… I hear you. But the likes of Rightmove have agents over a barrel and the only way agents can combat this is to say no to Rightmove but with a tangible model.

I’m sick and tired of seeing agents perpetually complaining. Nothing will change without action.”

Kae Travis, Find Properties
Kae Travis, Find Properties

“Previous attempts to set up agent owned portals have seen portals demutualise, privately owned portals sold to marketing companies, failed shareholder owned portals and more recently a portal attempt that scrapes estate agent data without their permission.”

“So, I can understand why agents would be sceptical of any new portal offering.

“Especially since the proposer of this portal offering is the founder of a former property sales platform which attempted to put more control into the hands of the homeowner.

“But Find Properties is different to previous attempts.

“Shareholders will not majority-own it. Agents will collectively be able to shape the development of the portal and manage the cost of subscription fees. And importantly, agents will regain control of their own data.

“Quite honestly, I’m sick and tired of seeing agents perpetually complaining about ever-increasing portal fees yet doing absolutely nothing about it. Nothing will change without action. And by ‘action’ I don’t merely refer to a disgruntled tweet.”

OPTIONS

Travis says agents do have options.

He adds: “The way I see it, agents can either suck it up and keep paying inflated subscription fees. But stop complaining.

“Back another shareholder-driven, privately-owned portal and ultimately end up in the same position the industry is in now – only with a worse consumer experience because there will then be four property portals for consumers to search.

“Or they can work together to create their own portal to aggregate their own data and control their own subscription fees.

“This is my attempt to help an industry that is being held over a barrel, and to use my experience in technology to kickstart something that will produce a tangible outcome.”


4 Comments

  1. Sorry for the delay on this response – took a while to get my account approved!

    A couple of points being missed in these comments.

    1. Find Properties isn’t a privately funded company backed by shareholders (no point in covering the same ground again is there?). The intention is for agents to co-own it and mutually fund it between themselves (over 20k agents in the UK). Agents seem to forget that without THEIR data, Rightmove/OTM have zero value. And if agents aggregated their properties elsewhere (i.e. on their own shared platform) it would put them in a VERY strong position (ideally to migrate completely, or at least to renegotiate their fees).

    2. The name ‘Find Properties’ can be changed – the proof of concept needed a domain though. The intention is for friendly URLs such as:

    https://findproperties.co.uk/for-sale-near/manchester

    Interested agents should express their interest using this link: https://findproperties.co.uk/join-us

  2. I’d be interested to learn their strategy for changing buyer/tenant behaviour.

    That’s the main problem that OTM, Boomin etc failed to address.

    Joe Public simply doesn’t have a problem with Rightmove and it’s going to take a very long time and very deep pockets to change that…

What's your opinion?

Back to top button