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Platform slammed for using portal data to cut out estate agents

Chimnie was launched recently by a former Google exec and say it's a digital space for homeowners that cuts out agents and portals.

Nigel Lewis

chimnie logo

Agents have slammed a recently-launched property platform launched by a former Google executive who hopes to cut out both estate agents and portals like Rightmove from the home moving process.

jonathan francis estate agentsChimnie, which is the brainchild of Jonathan Francis, launched a year ago but has only recently come to the attention of agents after it began posting on Facebook about its model.

The platform which is free for vendors to use, claims it is the UK’s largest ‘social network for finding homes… directly connecting homeowners and people planning their next home’.

Its platform has created a virtual ‘inbox’ for some 25 million properties in the UK through which vendors and buyers can communicate directly both when a property is ready to be marketed, and beforehand when people are preparing to put their homes on the market, and designed to give homeowners more ‘freedom’.

But its plans, and claims, haven’t gone down well with some estate agents. A recent post on Facebook attracted 22,500 views and 65 comments, a large proportion of which were agents picking holes in its claims.

Mark Farrell, who runs Tiverton estate agency Diamond, said: “When a seller is thinking of selling the first thing they do is call the professional high street agent to put a value on their home.

“So this is another platform that thinks it’s trying to cut the high street agent again.

“Without the high street agent who does the real job of putting values on properties there is no platforms or social media valuations. Let’s keep that in mind.”

The site pulls in historical data from websites such as Rightmove to create a price, photos and data profile for, so far, some five million properties in the UK.

Numerous sources

A Chimnie spokesperson says: “Our platform serves data from numerous sources, both licensed and open-sourced, and the breadth of information that users can get from our machine-learning enabled data compilation is part of the value we bring.

“We have a number of estate agents currently using our platform. We do not exclude estate agents from using our platform. Good estate agents will always use the tools available to them, and we hope to enable the good ones to be better.”


But proptech expert Andrew Stanton (pictured), who says he has been watching Chimnie’s progress, says its use of historical data and in particular house prices, is upsetting agents.

In answer to these points, Chimnie says it is ‘digital space for all UK homes’ and that many homeowners, once they have taken ownership of their property’s profile no Chimnie, then update the data themselves.

June 27, 2022

One comment

  1. “cut out estate agents and portals”…yet pulls in (old) information from these ‘no longer required’ services in order to do its job! Brilliant! lol

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