The news from the very hotly contested British property portal scene just keeps on coming. Yesterday saw hiring news from both established market leader Rightmove and a new, well-heeled challenger Boomin. Rightmove has announced that it will be growing its account management team by a quarter to improve service for its agent customers while Boomin has hired influential supermarket industry guru Richard Pennycook as a non-executive director.
Pennycook comes to the challenger portal's board with quite the reputation; he has held board positions at Morrisons, JD Sports and the RAC among others and, as well as being the man credited by many for saving the business of The Co-operate Group, he was recently awarded an MBE for services to retail. Speaking about his company's illustrious latest addition, Boomin CEO Michael Bruce said:
"Richard’s exceptional career at the forefront of British retail makes him ideally suited to help us execute on our strategy to always pursue the best interests of estate agents, generate them maximum revenue and bolster the development of Property Playground, one of the key and unique features of the Boomin platform, which sets it apart from the other listings focused portals."
Boomin is not the only company to have added experience from a different sector to its board room this week. On Monday Adevinta Spain announced a 9-person, all-star advisory committee with professionals from several diverse industries employed to advise the portal operator on all aspects of its operations.
Over in Milton-Keynes, Rightmove's hiring drive comes in response to a seriously hot market in the UK. The portal explained that it was looking to hire account managers to help its agent customers "increase the level of help and support for agents to make sure they’re making the most of all of the tools that are included in their membership, to take advantage of the current market conditions."
Rightmove has reportedly seen a 20% increase in valuation leads over the last week as more properties come to market and an 80% year-on-year increase in buyer demand from the same week in 2019.
The British housing market is far from unique in seeing red-hot demand at the moment. In The USA low mortgage rates and an inventory shortage lead to almost 75% of offers made by Redfin agents in April facing bidding wars and housing markets as diverse as New Zealand and India have reportedly seen surges in buyer demand in recent months.