Although the momentum of the SayNoToRightmove campaign looked to have petered out by the end of 2020 in the UK, the sentiment behind the movement which seeks to bring the British portal giant’s prices down to “sustainable” levels seems to be alive and well. Two weeks ago we reported on the launch of wearethemarket, a local property portal being set up by independent agents in the West Midlands region of England, and this week another group of agents have decided that it is time to take action against unsustainable national portal prices and are launching a portal named Localmove.
Also based in the West Midlands, Localmove has been drawn up along similar lines as wearethemarket and hopes to attract local independent agencies in the Birmingham area where it claims to have around 70% of listings and is pushing towards 90%. The agencies behind the new project are encouraging other agencies around the country who may have been pursuing similar ideas to launch a franchised version of Localmove:
“Any group of agents can take a franchise and thereby own and run their own Localmove portal, which will be totally owned and independently run by its member firms, with shares for each member. It gives local agents across the UK the chance to cut down their portal costs whilst buying into the success of this model with a share in the ownership.”
Despite suggestions from industry commentators that it might be a fix to the country’s property industry, The UK does not have anything like an American-style MLS, and in many local markets collaboration between agents on anything is rare. These two new property portals which have sprung up through agent initiative in quick succession, although no serious threat to Rightmove dominance, may be worth keeping an eye on.