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Estate Agents Co Operative To Counter Zoopla And Rightmove...

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Sky News 1/2/14

'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 soon.

They claim Rightmove and Zoopla keep putting their prices up and reaping huge profits against those made by small estate agents.

Some have allegedly seen website agency card rates rise 50% in two years, without seeing significant returns.

Douglas & Gordon executive director Ed Mead told Sky News: "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.

"Actually using the existing duopoly’s sites is not good, and all of data they use as their own research is ours."

Zoopla currently operates its own site and powers other domains using property searches, such as national and regional newspapers.

Mr Mead said the new co-operative will benefit from its on-the-ground knowledge.

"We wish to control it, which is not unreasonable, and use it to produce coherent and consistent data," he said.

Zoopla has seen impressive growth in the last five years amid an acquisition plan to buy competitors and Rightmove remains its key competitor.

Both companies declined to comment about the potential start-up rival.

The new co-operative intends to remain as a bulwark to the pair, with a structure designed to prevent a buyout.

Mr Mead added: "The cost element is important and it will never be sold, one agent one vote regardless of size, what could be more democratic."''

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Begging for a short.

Rightmove Plc £25.32

Bottomed at £1.60 in 2009.

For a bubble tastic stock though,Next's recent moves have been exponential.

Next Plc £62.50

Been waiting for the turn on that one for four years:-)

Didn't know Next were still going.. I think the last time I looked for a shirt in their was 2005!

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I just can't see the current estate agent model surviving for much longer, High Street rent and rates, Audi A6s and hair gel don't pay for themselves. ;)

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That's how rightmove started, innit?

If the agents were to create another player and put in the huge-scale investment to grab the mindshare of rightmove or zoopla, they'd just have another of the same. The agents can't stop the listings, because that's what their clients are paying for, and their clients will rightly insist on being advertised in the places where people look. RM is #1 for web searches; zoopla may be a distant second there, but is #1 in partner programmes with a range of other media.

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