It’s raised £6 million in funding and is setting its sights firmly on the Rightmove/Zoopla duopoly which has resulted in yearly inflation-busting listing price rises which are squeezing agent profit margins.
This market is a graveyard of well-meaning failures, the most notable is arguably the NAEA-backed Property Live which was beset by technical as well as funding issues.
Will Agents Mutual be any different? It will need more money for start. £6 million doesn’t go very far when it comes to high-profile national advertising.
United, united, we’ll never be defeated!
To win in this market Agents Mutual must provide a better user experience than Rightmove or Zoopla. The obvious way to do this is for agents involved in the project to de-list from Rightmove to impact Rightmove’s choice of properties. However, doing this is unlikely to be commercially viable as it would give local competitors a huge advantage and compromise the potential of the agents involved to secure vendor instructions. At best, it would provide a huge incentive for those not in the “union” to cheat and break the cartel.
The best way to manage this tension is to provide more or better listings to Agents Mutual than to Rightmove or Zoopla. As a professional investor I would switch if I knew I could only get floorplans on Agents Mutual or if there were a better selection of photographs on the agent-backed portal.
“Agents Mutual – Get the full picture” would work as a marketing proposition. Six million pounds won’t go very far without a unique proposition. Without it, you might as well burn the money.
I wish Ian Springett and his team the best of luck.
The above article is a reprint and it was written by Ashley Rigg for Global Edge and it can be read in its original form here.