French FSBO Portal PAPfr Wins Case Against Agents Association

November 23, 2020
Share this Post: 

Court rules that the portal did not defame the real estate agent profession or act illegally as an agent itself

In a case that is the talk of the French property industry press, the for-sale-by-owner property portal De Particulier a Particulier, known as, was found not to have defamed the real estate agent profession in the country in a case brought by the agent association FNAIM.

A commercial court in Paris dismissed the allegations brought by an incensed agents association against a portal with which it has had several run-ins. The case centred around accusations that the FSBO portal effectively acted as an agent without a licence and that its marketing campaign, which includes the slogan “What if the best estate agent was you?”, denigrated the profession. FNAIM is reportedly appealing the decision and was far from conciliatory in a statement sent to Le Figaro (a magazine which itself owns and operates a property portal of the same name) after the case's conclusion:

“It's unfair competition and they have made it a pillar of their communication, while denigrating our regulated professionals. We deplore it and will go to the end of this procedure.” [Translated from French], which calls itself an alternative to real estate agency, offers what it calls a “Coaching Immo” product through which it allows owners to advertise their property on the portal and, crucially, take prospective buyers on a virtual tour of the property for €690. This last point seems to have been the main bone of contention for the agents group which claimed that this constituted agency work for which PAP does not hold a licence, a claim which the court ultimately rejected.

This month’s ruling is only the latest in a series of feuds and litigation between FNAIM and PAP which started way back in 1992. The latest round of which appears to have been sparked by an interview with PAP President Corinne Jolly who on being asked whether she wanted agencies dead replied “At the price they are today, yes. It is too expensive.”

The strong feeling around this case clearly mirrors some of the vitriol directed by agents in the UK towards Purple Bricks and recently towards Zillow by US realtors. The interests behind the battle might be seen on some level to mirror those in the UK as well as FNAIM as an agent group owns and operates French property portal Bien’Ici which is in competition with PAP for user attention.

November 23, 2020
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the famous, free Friday newsletter!

News and analysis to help build better online marketplace businesses, in your inbox, every Friday

Related News

Alto Announces Integration with Bridge AI for Zoopla Customers

Alto, part of the recently-renamed Houseful (formerly Zoopla Property Group) has announced a new integration with Bridge AI. Bridge AI...

Read More
Yandex Bleak Houses
Rumoured Sale of Russian Giant Yandex to Consortium That Owns Rival Avito

Forbes is reporting that Russian marketplace giant Yandex is in talks for a buyout by a Russian-led consortium of investors....

Read More
Propertyheads 1 1
UK Challenger PropertyHeads Buys Out Failed Rival and Claims Fourth Spot in Portal Wars

The British challenger portal PropertyHeads is now claiming to be the UK's fourth-largest player having acquired assets from failed rival...

Read More
Shutterstock 750308431
Swiss Marketplace Group Announces Move To Fribourg

Swiss Marketplace Group (SMG) has announced that the company is gearing up to move its regional office from the small...

Read More

Editor's Pick