Portal Wars: UK Property Portal Market Just Gets More Competitive Over Easter

April 5, 2021
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With agents seemingly willing to pay portal listings packages which are among the most expensive anywhere in the world it's hardly surprising that the competition to get agent and house hunter attention in the country has always been hot. In recent weeks it seems to have ramped up even further with new deals signed, new competitors launched and record numbers posted...

 

OnTheMarket - Signs deal with Reach Media

British #3 portal OnTheMarket has announced a deal with one of the countries largest media groups. Reach Media owns several national newspapers including The Mirror and The Express as well as over 100 local titles. The deal will see OnTheMarket's agent customers offered a bespoke social media service through Reach with dedicated Account Managers to carry out campaigns for agents through Reach's titles as well as a Newsletter powered by Reach (and presumably targetted at its extensive database).

A statement from the majority-agent-owned portal read: “The partnership with Reach will enhance OnTheMarket’s digital presence and footprint with the aim of increasing leads for agents. The strategy will engage consumers across the entire Reach digital inventory, including contextual advertising, sponsored newsletters and digital content on a national, regional and local level.”

Apart from helping agents to manage increasingly important social media marketing activities, the deal is expected to generate a great deal of user data for the marketing department at OTM to analyse with Reach Digital Director Terry Hornsby saying "OnTheMarket will benefit by receiving a far richer picture of its target audience’s behaviours and a much deeper connection with them, helping to deliver its long-term business goals."

 

Boomin - Launched to mixed reaction

The British property marketing industry just got even more competitive with the launch over the Easter weekend of the much-heralded portal Boomin which is the brainchild of the brothers behind Purple Bricks. After delaying what was expected to be a 2020 launch, the portal has now gone live for users and features listings from around 5,000 'founder' agencies across the country.

Although, for now, the portal has significantly fewer listings than the big-name portals it hopes to challenge, at least some of the Bruce Brothers' Purple millions are being invested in a national TV marketing campaign that aims to make the brand a household name in record time.

Initial feedback on the portal in the UK estate agency press titles is, as expected, mixed with one commenter in Estate Agent Today asking the question "Who needs a fourth portal?!". Boomin's PR and marketing efforts will have to be impressive in scale and duration for the brand to make a dent in Rightmove's dominance.

 

Rightmove - Record traffic

Speaking of Rightmove, the market leader reported record visitor numbers at the end of March with a staggering 9.1 million visits in a single day. The spring market rush is being fuelled by good news on the vaccine front in the UK as well as an easing of lockdown restrictions and an extension of the stamp duty exemption period. The record traffic was converting to sold properties according to a Rightmove blog post which pointed out that the 23rd of March saw levels of sales being agreed not seen since a decade ago.

With Rightmove posting all-time record traffic levels for the second time already this year and Zoopla crowing about impressive agent sign-up numbers, it seems that both Boomin and OnTheMarket really do have their work cut out for them in the increasingly competitive British portal wars.

April 5, 2021
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.

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