Date Published 02 October 2013
A new property portal is launching in the UK tomorrow. It says it will not be charging agents now or in future, and regards the charging model as outdated and broken.
Called Propertini, it is a launch from an international portal business based in California – and says it aims to shake up the UK residential market.
It says it will not charge agents because its mission is to help users, and that means getting as much inventory as possible. It says if it were to charge agents, then not all would use the site, and the user would not find the home they were looking for – and that would not be a sustainable business model.
Chief operating officer Rhys Davies said the site will make its money from advertising. He said it would be the type of advertising that added value to a property search without disturbing it – for example, a supermarket could purchase the right to say that it is 200 yards from a property, entitling it to free delivery.
Davies went on: `The unique capability to search for properties worldwide from one website is something of real value to the property-buying public.
`Coverage and accuracy are key issues for us and the forthcoming addition of new international territories will only make our proposition stronger. We think this can be a game changer for our industry. We have set a new benchmark.`
The company, which says its portals now cover 20 countries, has been quietly testing the UK proposition prior to launch and said that volunteer users were impressed.
Davies said: `Despite the proliferation of expensive, well-promoted portals internationally, we believe that the internet still has not delivered a good enough service for finding property.
`Factors such as limited coverage, simplistic search functionality, poor quality control and lack of after-search services can leave the property vendor, buyer and agent short-changed.
`To provide the most complete inventory possible, we will not charge real estate professionals for adding their listings. We value this data and believe that paying us to reproduce it is a broken, outdated model.
`We use cutting edge technologies such as geo-location and artificial intelligence to make our property search as accurate as possible and the entire system has been designed to make it a frictionless process between searching for property and arranging viewings with the agents.`