Property portal, TheHouseShop.com, are celebrating their 1 year anniversary this Friday having launched exactly a year ago on 18th March 2015. The consumer friendly portal has made significant progress over the past 12 months and now has big plans for further expansion in 2016.
TheHouseShop launched with a bang back in March last year as they took on the challenge of providing the UK’s first “inclusive” property portal to work with both estate agents and individual homeowners. Estate agents can list all of their properties on TheHouseShop.com, free of charge, while DIY sellers and private landlords can market their homes on the portal themselves for a small fee.
In the first 12 months, TheHouseShop focused on building up their stock (both private and agency listings), growing traffic levels and developing the additional services they offer to private sellers and landlords.
The portal quickly found that they had become popular with smaller estate agents who struggled to afford the monthly costs of the big agent-only portals like RightMove and Zoopla, and they are now hoping to grow this audience even further. The main issue they came across in acquiring new agents to list on the portal was convincing them that it really was free! As co-founder Nick Marr explains:
“We speak to agents everyday who are looking for low cost marketing options to top up the exposure for their clients’ properties, and the one question we consistently receive is “What’s the catch?!”. Put simply, there is no catch. Our model does not involve charging agents any kind of subscription cost to market their properties and we will be maintaining TheHouseShop.com as a free listing platform for all estate agents.
“We want our thousands of visitors to be offered the biggest possible range of sales and rental listings and that is why it is so important for us to work closely with estate agents as well as individual homeowners.”
TheHouseShop.com has also seen steady growth in traffic over the past 12 months, with significant gains in the first part of this year – breaking the 1 million page views per month target with ease. Like many online property platforms, TheHouseShop have found that traffic to rental listings is dramatically outperforming traffic to sales listings, demonstrating the current strength of the rental market and reinforcing the portals focus on the rental side of the business.
TheHouseShop team itself is also expanding, with new hires in multiple departments across the business.
CEO Sebastien Goldenberg summarises the portals first year in business and outlines his hopes for the next 12 months:
“We’ve achieved some real milestones over the past year and a few points that I’m particularly proud of have been our interviews with the 2016 London Mayoral candidates on the future of accessible housing in the capital, our work with Paralympian Hannah Cockroft promoting her housing struggles, and our takeover of specialist website the Accessible Property Register. On top of this we are now working with some of the biggest and best house builders in the UK to help them promote both their new homes and their accessible properties which has seen our stock diversify even further.”
“The next 12 months will see us capitalise on the work we have already undertaken to scale up all our current operations, as well as expanding our team and improving the services we provide to our users.”