Date Published 04 March 2013
A new prototype property portal is gearing up for launch this spring, with agents being given the opportunity to take a stake in it and to shape its direction.
The portal is codenamed Zalea – not necessarily its final name – and is being developed by sister firms Capture Property Marketing and LiteHaus Systems.
The latter is a specialist IT and marketing firm, while Capture Property Marketing (CPM) provides estate agency marketing materials such as photography, floor plans and videos.
Darren Hussey, managing director of CPM, said: `Increasingly, CPM has been delivering all of its services over the web and we have been consistently improving our online media systems.
`We have realised that we now have both the technology and expertise to make part of our new web suite a fully-formed property portal.
`We have also been watching with great interest the industry reactions to the PropertyLive situation, against the backdrop of unease with the commercial models of some of the well-known property portals.`
Hussey, who stressed that his firm is not among those in talks with NFoPP over possibly taking over PropertyLive, said that he is keen to offer a stakeholder solution to agents.
He also said that because CPM continue to service the estate agency sector, it is specifically interested in offering an agent-friendly portal that the industry itself can help shape – to make it, he says, as fit for purpose as possible.
He said: `We have some great ideas for new features and technologies, and we want to share them. Collaboration will be key, but not just in terms of the functionality, but also in terms of the comprehensive marketing required.`
For a period this spring, Zalea will be prototyped in its current development form and offered to any agent as part of an industry wide collaboration.
Hussey noted: `If there is insufficient interest from estate agents, then we will revert to our original plan and launch Zalea anyway, as part of the new CPM suite.`
He added: `In any event, the total cost of utilising Zalea – and its associated tools – will be substantially less than present pricing models.`