Online agency with a local view

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Buying or selling? It just became easier: take a look at Rye Bay Property’s website. It doesn’t charge the huge fees demanded by other online agencies and even lets sellers do-it-themselves, if they choose to.

Traditionally, owners expected to see their property advertised in the local or perhaps national media and the occasional glossy magazine, sometimes referred to as “property porn”. This all changed with the internet. Since most estate agents lacked the resource it was the perfect environment for the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla and others to take on the burden of producing a modern website for a modest fee from the estate agents. So much for modest fees! Those portals are now costing agents over £700 a month. Hence Rye Bay Property – which is free to independent estate agents.

We are not intending to be in competition with other agents but rather a friendly portal to help them engage with the buying audience. Anyone can list a property on the site directly and deal with any inquiries themselves. But they can also select one of the local agents to handle the sale for them. I believe that a local portal is going to help with economic regeneration in ways a national portal cannot.

For those agents who understand the changing market place and want to go out and find buyers as opposed to just sitting around waiting for them, the new local portal represents an opportunity to potentially lower their overheads and raise their profile locally.

Nick Foreman (FoxWood Maclean), Nigel Anderson (Consider it done) and James of James Oliver Estates were the first to see the benefits and immediately listed local properties on the site. Between them they have more than 70 years of experience of the local market.

The website is linked into social media and offers some features not available on national portals, which will not allow property owners to list their homes other than through an agent. On the basis that it costs an estate agent nothing to be listed on the website and there are no fees to list properties or land it would be interesting to hear of a good reason not to participate.

Why have a dedicated Rye Bay portal?
At the moment the main property websites are charging massive fees to our local estate agents. In many cases the fees consume a significant element of the marketing budget to advertise on a national portal when the vast majority of the buyers will be from the South East. The main portals have stated that property prices in the South East are set to rise significantly while they actively now talk down London prices (see Sky News).With an improved faster rail link to London, the A21 widening and the increased capacity at Rye Harbour it makes economic sense to start shouting about the Rye Bay area on the internet.

Working as a community with a central stock of available properties the Rye Bay area will enable our estate agents to make a lot more noise about property than any individual estate agent could hope to achieve on their own.

Can I sell my home without an estate agent?
Absolutely you can. There is nothing to prevent you taking the pictures, advertising your property and taking the inquiries. We still feel a partnership with a local independent estate agent has considerable benefits, but it’s important to find one you are comfortable with, one who returns calls and is proactive – we think they are already on our site.

How will I know how much my home is worth? Every property sale in the UK is tracked via the Land Registry and there is a wide range of places where you can see the sale price of every property within 500 yards of your home, for example at Our Property. It’s up to you to consider if your property is worth more or less than your neighbours and if you are happy with the sale price you are offered.

The official visitor guide to Rye Bay and the website (published for the past three years by Rye Bay Marketing) will be promoting the website to the tens of thousands of visitors during 2015 and beyond. Our guide – we distribute more than 130,000 copies within a three-hour drive of the Rye Bay area – probably reaches more potential property buyers than any advert in a local shop window and, with over 1,000 hits a day on the website in the summer, it is a reasonable assumption that some of these might be interested in property.

Paul King is a director of Rye Bay Marketing