Challenger portal OpenBrix says thousands of estate agents have registered their interest in using the platform ahead of its official launch next month as it prepares to introduce a US-style Multi- Listing System or MLS into the UK.
This will enable agents to offer both internal branches or external competitors the opportunity to jointly market properties on a split-fee basis, a common practice in the US and many other parts of the world, but a concept that has not been tried here before.
OpenBrix will also enable agents to plug in their third-party suppliers into the platform, making it much easier to onboard sales and lettings instructions into their fee-paying networks.
Membership will initially cost £75 a month but will later move to a £1 per property upload model. This means agents of different sizes will pay for usage, rather than the flat fees the big portals normally charge.
And as well as former Countrywide director John Hards and several other high profile agents, OpenBrix now has the backing of David Thomas who heads up one of the agent groups looking for alternatives to the traditional portals and in particular Rightmove. Its member agents are now Beta-testing the portal.
“For me the MLS concept is a no-brainer because in a world where competing agents offer a very similar service, an agency using OpenBrix can offer a vendor the opportunity to market their property through a much wider network of potential buyers,” says Thomas, who is boss of Nottingham-based agency Liberty Gate.