A new property portal has gone live, listing thousands of agents’ sales and rental properties.
However, in a twist, this morning the listings disappeared with a message being displayed that the portal would launch in 2018. Its Twitter account bears the message: “Find your home – On-the-Market UK”. https://twitter.com/housemapuk
Savills said it had no idea that its properties were on the portal, which claims to be both free and ethical.
Yesterday evening a spokesperson for Savills, which lists with OnTheMarket, told EYE: “Savills was unaware that our properties were being used on this portal and without our permission. This is now in the hands of our lawyers.”
The Housemap site claims to have more than 500,000 listings in the UK and Ireland and says there are “options from more than just the usual suspects”.
It is free for agents to list and names also include the likes of Knight Frank and Humberts, despite their membership of OnTheMarket with its ‘one other portal’ rule.
This suggests that agents other than Savills may not know their properties are on the new site, which is understood to have gone live on Wednesday.
Search results link through to agents’ own sites.
The portal, which also provides news, blogs and other features, says it aims to be “a one-stop shop for people looking to sell their home with confidence”.
The portal also includes a trade-facing website for suppliers to the estate agency industry, called Estate Agency Suppliers. It is sponsored by Agent Media UK, which describes itself as offering marketing solutions for agents.
There are a large number of categories of suppliers, including trade publications where EYE is among those listed. Like Savills, we also had no idea that we were included.
Media Agents UK was incorporated on October 11, according to Companies House. A company called Agent Media was incorporated in 2011. They share the same director, Ian Watson, who said this morning: “I would like to clarify that my companies Estate Agency Suppliers (Media Agents Limited) or Agent Media Limited do not own or have a shareholding in Housemap.”
Again, according to Companies House, there is a company called Housemap.com, with an address in Windsor. Its director is Viviane Van Der Meeren and the company was incorporated on September 28 this year.
Last night, a spokesperson for Housemap said: “To give a quick summary, we are a prop tech company that aims to make the buying and selling process cheaper and empower the real estate agent or developer.
“A new more ethical portal, we make our revenue from Google advertising and affiliate deals and not via charging to list on our portal. Indeed our listings directly link through to the agent’s site. In more tech terms, the VIP is on the agent’s site.
“A similar company is Nestoria.co.uk, however Nestoria relists properties from fee-based property portals like Zoopla not agents. This does nothing to cut costs.”