Some of the biggest names in estate agency have clubbed together to launch a new property portal to rival the incumbent giants, calling upon the wisdom of former Primelocation CEO Ian Springett to make it happen. The new portal, currently trading as Agents’ Mutual with a brand name TBC, “has the medium term aim of setting listing fees at the minimum level consistent with developing and maintaining itself as one of the leading portals in the UK”, and is reported to already have some of the top agents signed-up.
There’s a touch of the revolution in the portal’s tone, with equality and fraternity – if not liberty – getting top billing: “The Company will be owned 100% by the agent firms which 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 firm = one member = one vote.” It has big plans, setting out that “In only a few years, the Company is targeting operations of a similar scale to those of the current market-leader, Rightmove, which has a cost base of over £30M per annum, employs 325 staff and serves over 12,000 agent customers, several thousand developers and millions of consumer visitors.”
Six of the UK’s top estate agency dogs formed Agents’ Mutual Ltd at the end of January, and “each of the directors has invested considerable time and effort in developing the Agents’ Mutual proposition over the last two years and is well-placed to oversee its formative stages.” The six directors are:
- Trevor Abrahamson, founder of Glentree Estates
- Robert Bartlett, Chief Exec of Chesterton Humberts
- Michael Fiddes, Director of Strutt & Parker
- Noel Flint, Knight Frank’s Head of London Residential
- Michael Hodgson, owner of Douglas & Gordon
- Paul Jarman, Director of Savills
The company is registered to Chesterton Humberts’ head office in Mayfair, and Savills, Strutt & Parker, Chesterton Humberts, Knight Frank, Glentree and Douglas & Gordon have already committed to listing their combined 240 offices with the new portal.