A new property listing service is in the final stages of planning before launch.
It aims to include every property listing from every agent across the UK, and will be free. Its founders have hit out at the ‘exorbitant’ fees charged by portals.
Proptyle, described as a search engine rather than a portal, is being launched by a new company, Housstech.
This has been formed in a collaboration between two firms: v360, the UK company behind Houseviz, which markets 360 degree tours, floor plans and photography to agents; and Indian tech company Proptyle.
The new search engine will not scrape or store data, but will automatically link to listings on agents’ own websites, using an intelligent bot.
The status of agents’ properties will be automatically updated.
Peter Fernandes, director of the new search engine, said that it would help estate agents to reduce their monthly advertising costs, and give control back to agents.
He said: “At the moment there are a number of different property portals which estate and letting agents use to list properties.
“The one thing they all have in common is that they are charging agents exorbitant fees to list their properties.
“There are also a number of so called ‘scraping’ sites that in our opinion are illegal as they scrape and store data. We do not do any of this. We have no conflict with agents.
“A new model for property listings is well overdue.”
He went on: “Rather than a portal – which requires agents to upload details of their properties to the site – our model is a search engine.
“The property equivalent of Google, our search engine pulls listings directly from the agents’ own websites. This means agents don’t need to register with us and it is free for them to use (exactly the same way that Google lists searches).
“It will search the website of every estate agent across the UK. This will help agents to reduce their monthly outgoing costs as they will no longer have to pay to use portals.
“Because it is a search engine rather than a portal, it uses information that is freely available in the public domain. So there are no copyright issues and the engine doesn’t infringe on any existing portal or website.
“It has been strenuously and legally checked to ensure total compliance.”
The new search engine will monetise itself by advertising optional property market services, supplied by Houseviz.
Fernandes said: “These services – e.g. interactive tours – will help estate agents to sell properties more effectively and are already being requested by vendors.
“We will be introducing other services that agents could use.”
He added that the search engine is currently in the later stages of development and is now seeking investment.
He said that Housstech is particularly keen to talk to software developers and agents who want to get involved. The eventual aim is to roll out the model to other English-speaking countries. Anyone who wants to get involved, or is interested in knowing more, can email the address below: