Who Are Boomin and Why Did They Go Bust?
If you are looking to sell your house online, you have more than likely become familiar with many of the property portal giants out there. With Rightmove and Zoopla holding a monopoly on the world of online estate agents, it can be easy to miss the other players in the game. Boomin was an online estate agency launched in April 2021 by the co-founders of the online estate agency PurpleBricks. With a host of unique features aimed at both buyers and sellers, Boomin was set to challenge some of the biggest competitors in the UK before they went bust in 2022.
But who were Boomin? What made them different from other property portals? And why did they go bust?
In this blog post we are going to look at Boomin, how they compare to their competitors, and what set them apart.
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Who are Boomin?
Launched in April 2021 at the height of a property boom, by Michael and Kenny Bruce, the founders of Purplebricks, Boomin was a 'next-generation property site' designed to 'shake up' the property industry. The site offered unique features that users were not able to access when using competitor sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, such as the ability to view properties which were not on the open market yet. However, the property portal went into liquidation in October 2022 when it was announced that Boomin had been unable to secure the new funding it required.
Who was the owner of Boomin?
The founders of Boomin were Michael and Kenny Bruce, who also founded PurpleBricks. PurpleBricks was an online estate agency founded in 2012 by Michael Bruce, Kenny Bruce, and David Shepherd. The idea was to cut down on the cost of the traditional high street estate agent and instead replace it with a streamlined online version. PurpleBricks ran into financial difficulty before being sold to their competitor Strike for £1. As it currently stands PurpleBricks is now operating as two private companies.
The two brothers then ventured on to create Boomin, a new type of property website designed to change the landscape. This was launched in April 2021 until they called in the liquidators to handle its insolvency after being unable to secure the necessary funding.
Why did Boomin go bust?
Whilst the official reason behind Boomin's liquidation is unknown, sources have said that the sites demise was based upon the UK housing market slowdown and the sudden dearth of funding for early-stage companies.
Mr Bruce said in a statement to Sky News that “timing had not been our friend." He went on to say "Our move to a fee-paying, revenue-generating model from April 2022 coincided with the start of the economic slowdown and the drying up of funding.
"In line with most tech company scale-ups we overhauled our business model to reflect the new market conditions, sharpening our focus on our key differentiated products and improving efficiencies to bring forward the point where we reach breakeven and generate positive cashflow."
Did Boomin get taken over
Property portal newcomer Boomin has not been taken over. The company was unable to secure new funding and as a result, went into liquidation in October 2022. Uncertainty in the housing market has been blamed for the portal's demise, and Mr Bruce was said to have invested a significant amount of his own money into the portal before it's liquidation.
How does Boomin work?
If you were looking to purchase property on Boomin, you would find many features that you would if went to any of Boomin's competitors. If you were looking to find a property you would be able to create an account and save properties you wished to explore further. When browsing, you would simply type it into the search function, which you could filter down using location, number of rooms, price, etc. However, unlike its competitors where you could search for specific postcodes and streets, Boomin housing options would be more localised.
What made Boomin different from other property site?
Whilst Boomin estate agents had plenty of features that we have come to expect from your typical property website, it also brought some interesting features that had not been previously seen. Below we take a look at some of the unique options that Boomin property brought with it:
When you were searching on Boomin, the newest listings would be pushed to the top of the search results. This means instead of seeing the usual 'featured properties' or 'spotlight properties' you would see the 'Platinum featured - new to market' section. This feature would scroll sideways and show you the newest properties in the area that you are searching. Below this feature would be the rest of the search results, which you would then be able to filter as you wish.
Another feature that Boomin offers is sneak previews of properties before they go onto other portals. Once a Boomin estate agent was instructed by a seller, they could offer a 'sneak peak' to buyers on Boomin, a full 24 hours before the full details would be posted on other portals.
Boomin Chainmaker Properties
Arguably the most talked about feature on Boomin was the 'Chainmaker Properties' option. This is a feature that when selected in the results section would show properties that were Sold STC. This feature was interesting because if a user liked the property, they could register their interest and if the sale fell through they could be contacted about it.
At the time this feature did come under fire for potentially encouraging gazumping, but Boomin countered that they were clear that they could be contacted if the chain fell apart, not that they should make offers in the meantime. However, on the other hand, an estate agent is legally bound to pass on any and all offers right up until contracts are exchanged. So in theory, if a user registered interest in a property and followed up with an offer, the estate agent would have to pass on that offer.
This is a feature that would show you properties that have not yet gone to market. These listings included information about Boomin properties that had yet to be listed but would include vague details such as the street, number of bedrooms and a few important features. The exact address was not given. If you were thinking about selling your property with Boomin and got a valuation done, your property would be added to the secret properties list.
This feature could be viewed as a little hit or miss. Whilst it had the potential to alert potential buyers of a property potentially coming to market, some users may just be curious about how much their house is worth and have had no intention of selling.
Buyer and seller matchmaker
Boomin also offered a feature that aimed to connect buyers and sellers who are not yet on the market. If you were using the MatchMaker seller, you would be a homeowner who was interested in selling. You would use the tool to gauge interest in your property by creating an advert for your home. Then if any buyers liked it, they could reach out for more information through your Boomin estate agent.
If you were using Matchmaker Buyer, you would be someone looking to purchase. You would create an advert describing the area, property type, amenities, and other relevant information that you were looking for. If a potential seller sees this and matches the description, they would be able to ask their estate agent to reach out.
How to sell on Boomin?
If you wanted to get your property valued by Boomin, the process was fairly simple. You would simply enter your email address and give basic information about your property, such as how many bedrooms your property has, where it is located etc. If you wish to add more information such as how many bathrooms you have, what your garden is like you are able to.
In order to get your Boomin house price valuation you will then choose three boomin estate agents to provide a Boomin valuation. From there you would be reached out to by the estate agents you selected who would provide you with a valuation and talk through the next steps with you.
However, it is worth noting if you went through this process, your property would be featured in the 'secret properties' section. This was the case regardless of your intention to sell or not. Whilst your address would not be given away, your house may have still been identifiable.
What companies are similar to Boomin?
Thankfully, there are plenty of other companies that do a similar job to Boomin available on the market. Whilst they may not have an exact type-for-type match on features, they all play a similar role on the open market. Below we take a look at some of Boomin's competitors and where they fit into the property market:
First on our list is the original property portal, Rightmove. Set up in 2000, Rightmove calls itself the UK's number one property website for those who are looking to sell or rent.
Rightmove covers all bases when it comes to property, whether you are looking to sell, rent, or buy, Rightmove has it all. They get a high consistent number of weekly visitors, so properties posted there have a good chance of being looked at by a lot of users.
They provide users with a rudimentary property search feature which allows users to search for postcodes, areas, or town names that they wish to explore further. Rightmove also have plenty of tools that allow users to draw searches on different areas around the country, looking for schools, travel links and more. They also have a feature that allows users to enter their budget and the amenities they are looking for to see recommended properties.
However, Rightmove is expensive to list on so many smaller estate agents may not post on there. Furthermore, you must be an estate agent to post on the site, so those looking to sell their home without the help of an agent will have to look elsewhere.
Rightmove also does not offer an automated valuation tool, unlike the majority of other property portals available. If you do wish to
Often mentioned in the same breath as Rightmove is Zoopla. Established in 2008, Zoopla is one of the UK's biggest property portals which claims to have over a million properties for users to look through.
Zooplas' parent company own an umbrella of other well-known brands such as Uswitch, Money.co.uk, and Confused.com.
Their main selling point is users' ability to get a home valuation through them. They offer a wide range of property options, such as new homes for sale, commercial properties for sale, overseas properties for sale and different rental options.
Much like Rightmove, they allow users to search for areas and postcodes they are interested in and supply plenty of filters to help narrow down the search.
However, Zoopla does not receive as much traffic as Rightmove and does not have as many listings available. As well as this their online valuation tool has been met with criticism for both over and under-valuing properties, so it is one to be used with caution.
The next property portal we will be looking at is OnTheMaerket. A bit of a newcomer to the game, OnTheMarket was launched in 2015, and designed to be a competitor for Rightmove and Zoopla. According to their website, they are so far succeeding and are the 3rd biggest property platform.
Originally formed by sales and letting agents as an alternative to Zoopla and Rightmove, OnTheMarket is now 60% agent-owned.
When a property is launched on the site, it comes with full-service estate agents or letting agents. They offer two types of valuations, either an instant online valuation or a 'more accurate' estate agent valuation.
Furthermore, OnTheMarket offers a wide range of properties with dedicated sections for the different types users may be searching for, such as retirement homes, student accommodation, estates, land, and more. They also offer buyers information on properties 24 hours before it is available on Rightmove and Zoopla as well as a host of other search tools.
However, they are less well known than their direct competition and so generate less traffic. As a result, many home sellers may not think to list their property on the site, and home buyers may not know to check.
Last on the list is Prime Location, a site that is an extension of Zoopla. A little more niche, Prime Location is a smaller property portal that specialises in properties targeted at those on the upper tier of the property ladder. According to PrimeLocation, they attract 5 million monthly visitors and advertise for over 16,000 estate agents.
They offer a fairly simple search tool however as they are primarily aimed at those who are on the higher end of the property ladder, they are not the most inclusive site and therefore are not for everyone looking to buy or sell a property.
How does The Property Buying Company compare to Boomin?
Boomin provided users with a slightly different route to selling their homes thanks to its wide range of unique features, however, when users put their properties on the open market with Boomin, they were not guaranteed a sale. Sellers could be left waiting months to sell their property without any luck, whereas when you sell with The Property Buying Company you are guaranteed a sale in a time frame that suits you. This means whether you are looking to sell in as little as 7 days or as far in advance as 4 months we can tailor our service to suit you.
Unlike Boomin, we are not an online estate agent. We are a cash buyer, which means that we have the funds readily available to purchase a property without the need for a loan or a mortgage. So as soon as you are ready to sell, we are ready to buy.
Furthermore, when you get a free, no-obligation valuation from us, we do not post information about your property on our website.
On top of this, Boomin had varying reviews when it came to their TrustPilot. With a 3.9 overall, 28% of their reviews were 3 stars or less, with 1-star reviews taking up 20% of the reviews left for them. 72% of their reviews were 4 stars or more, giving them a great overall. Here at The Property Buying Company, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service, 93% of our reviews are 4 stars or above, and we have an average rating of 4.7 and an overall mark of excellent.
We have over 50 years combined experience and will buy any house, in any location, and in any condition, helping to take all the stress out of house sales.
Want to sell your house fast and for free without the fuss? Then simply give us a call or alternatively, you can fill out one of our free online forms to receive a no-obligation CASH offer, which we could have with you in as little as 7 days...