Home Front logoThis week I have some exciting news to share with you all. For years now Agents have been held at the mercy of the two property portals namely Rightmove and Zoopla who have captured the market when it comes to consumers searching for property. More than 500 estate agents have joined forces to create an online property portal to rival what they call an “anti-competitive duopoly”. The collaborative group has pledged £6m to create their own online presence to compete against the industry leaders Zoopla and Rightmove. Agents’ Mutual has been founded by some of Britain’s biggest estate agencies and is on course to launch in January 2015. The founder members are Savills, Knight Frank, Strutt & Parker, Chesterton Humberts, Douglas & Gordon and Glentree Estates, they have now been joined as members, on an equal footing, by more than 500 independent agents who are funding and committing to the new portal . Rightmove and Zoopla keep putting their prices up and reaping huge profits against those made by small estate agents. Some have seen a rise in prices of 50% in two years, without seeing significant returns. Agents’ Mutual will be a search engine purely designed for searching for property. No ads and the knowledge of thousands of agents to get the very best experience for the consumer. Zoopla currently operates its own site and powers other domains using property searches, such as national and regional newspapers. Agents want a portal that they can control, which is not unreasonable, and use it to produce coherent and consistent data. Zoopla has seen impressive growth in the last five years amid an acquisition plan to buy competitors and Rightmove remains its key competitor. The new co-operative intends to remain as a bulwark to the pair, with a structure designed to prevent a buyout. The Company will be owned 100% by the agents who list on its portal and each such agent firm will become a member of the company thereby having an equal shared interest in it. One company = one member = one vote, irrespective of company size. The cost element is important and it will never be sold. It will focus on providing the best possible service to member agents, their customers and the wider, property-seeking public.