The most recent addition to the UK’s crowded portal market is hoping to attract millennial and Gen Z homebuyers by ‘reinventing YouTube with the help of some heavy-hitting online influencers.
Boomin is a new property portal from the brothers who brought you Purplebricks: Michael and Kenny Bruce. They have arrived on the market with…well, a boom, using very deep pockets to fund a major TV advertising campaign in an attempt to challenge the UK’s portal leaders, Rightmove and Zoopla.
Now, in the next phase of their marketing assault, Boomin has discovered YouTube, saying it is going to ‘reinvent the YouTube channel for property’. Quite what that sentence is supposed to mean, it’s hard to tell.
What we do know is that Boomin has launched its new YouTube channel with the help of a high-profile YouTube influencer called WillNE, who already boasts over 4 million subscribers and over 1 billion views. The 25-year-old Londoner has found fame making videos based on internet culture and practical jokes…neither of these things are famed for their honesty or transparency, so quite why a portal would want to team up with him remains to be seen.
It’s all part of what the company calls an attempt to “establish Boomin as the first UK property portal to leverage the channel with rich, engaging, unique content, that will grow an audience within the platform and enable Boomin to entertain, inform and engage consumers of all ages”.
The company adds that this is “just the beginning of our ambitions to update the way property portals create audiences and engage with property searchers across the UK. Our YouTube channel combines the best of Boomin – great properties from leading agents and inspiring interiors and ideas – all in one place. And with high quality content that people want to watch; without a Phil, Kirsty or Kevin in sight.”
Is Boomin any different from the rest?
For home buyers, sellers, and renters, Boomin offers little that isn’t already available from the tried and tested Rightmove and Zoopla. In fact, the choice of properties will, for a while at least, be less generous on Boomin.
They have entered the busy market in an attempt to provide a better, fairer way for estate agents to market their properties and generate leads, but for the buying public, this makes little difference.
They haven’t, for example, changed the basic functionality that we know well from the other portals. This means you’ll know exactly how to engage with the site when searching for properties, but it also means it’s failed to improve on the common flaws found on portals.
First and foremost of these is the way searches deliver results. It is still the case that results are filtered by price, proximity to location, or newness to the market, rather than those which are most appropriate for your precise requirements. Nor has it worked out how to present properties in locations you may not have thought of but would suit your needs perfectly. A portal will, one day, figure out how to achieve these things and that will be a genuine gamechanger for homebuyers.
It is, however, worth keeping an eye on Boomin’s success. They have a lot of money to play with and a lot of industry swagger. They could, therefore, become an influential force in UK homebuying very soon. If they can leverage their mighty resources to build a stock of property that dwarfs the other portals, Boomin could become a vital stop for anyone looking to buy or rent a home.
But for now, you’re best off sticking to the portals you know.