Search
HomeOwners Alliance logo

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest property news, tips & money saving offers

  • Looking to buy a new home? Start here

Boomin Explained

Boomin is a new kind of property portal for buying and selling houses in the UK. But how does it work? Is it any good? And how does it compare with the property portal heavyweights Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket?

Boomin

What is Boomin?

You might have seen the TV ads but what is Boomin? Boomin was launched last year by Michael and Kenny Bruce, the founders of Purplebricks, and calls itself the ‘next generation property site’. It claims it will ‘shake up’ the portal industry by offering unique features. But what are these unique features and how does the portal compare to the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket? Read on…

I am buying – what does Boomin offer?

Well, if you’re looking to buy a home and search for property on Boomin, it starts in a similar way to other portals. To find property, search by location, price, number of bedrooms etc. You can create an account and save your searches. However, there are some limitations. For example, with Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket, you can search for specific locations like Harpenden Station – rather than just Harpenden that Boomin offers. And you can view the results on a map too whereas Boomin only offers a grid and list view.

But putting that to one side, there are some interesting elements that sets Boomin apart.

Newest listings are highlighted first

When you are buying, instead of seeing ‘Featured properties’ or a ‘Spotlight Property’ at the top of your list as you would with Rightmove and co, you’ll see the “Platinum Featured – New to Market” section. This lists properties that are new to the market at the top of your screen. You can scroll sideways and it will display more properties. You’ll see the price, a photo, details like how many bedrooms and you’ll also see when it was listed. If you’re actively looking for a new home (or just window shopping), then this new to market feature will save you time.

Below this, you’ll find the rest of your search results. Just like on rival portals, you can order these by price or how recently they were listed.

Boomin ChainMaker properties

‘Chainmaker Properties’ is one of Boomin’s most talked about features. When you search for properties to buy and opt to include ‘Chainmaker properties’ on your results list, you’ll see properties that are Sold STC (Subject To Contract).

These Boomin properties will have the ChainMaker tag on the listing. But, what’s different with Boomin compared to other portals is that if you see a property you like that’s under offer, you can register your interest in it. Then if the sale falls through, the Boomin estate agent may contact you to see if you’re still interested.

There has been some criticism that this could encourage gazumping. Boomin is clear that if the current chain breaks down, the Boomin estate agent may contact you. It doesn’t suggest you could make an offer in the meantime. However, an estate agent is duty-bound to pass on all offers until contracts are exchanged. If someone registers their interest in a ChainMaker property and follows up with an offer, the agent would need to pass it on to the seller.

You’ll see properties not on the market yet

When you’re scrolling through the site, you’ll see a section called “Secret Properties”. This shows you details of properties valued by Boomin estate agents that haven’t gone on the market yet. These listings will give details including the street, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and a couple of key features. But not the exact address.

We expect it is still early days with this feature. In some locations we tested, where the market is active, there were only 5 or so secret properties in a 10 mile radius.

It’s worth being aware that when you have your house valued by Boomin (another of their features, see below), it will be automatically added as a secret property. And while the exact location of your property won’t be revealed until the property actually comes to market, when we trialed it, our house was identifiable as it’s the only type of its kind on our small cul de sac.

While in a competitive market these secret properties could be useful for buyers because it gives advance warning of properties that may come up, in reality, they may not ever come to market. Someone having their house valued through Boomin may be doing so out of curiosity rather than having a real intention to sell.

Boomin buyer & seller matchmaker feature

Boomin also offers a MatchMaker feature which aims to connect would-be buyers with homeowners who aren’t on the market yet.

With MatchMaker seller, if you’re a homeowner thinking of selling, you can make an advert about your home to gauge buyer interest before you actually put your home on the market. And if a potential buyer spots your advert and wants to find out more, they can contact you via the Boomin estate agent chosen by you.

With MatchMaker Buyer, if you’re a buyer and you know where you’d like to live, you can create an advert on Boomin to say the type of property you’re looking for. You can include details like the street you’d like to live on, the price and the number of bedrooms you’re looking for. Then, if a potential seller wants to meet a MatchMaker buyer, they’ll ask their estate agent to introduce them.

You’ll get a sneak peak of properties

After a Boomin estate agent has been instructed by a seller, the agent may offer a ‘sneak peak’ of the property on Boomin before it’s listed on other portals. It’s a bit like OnTheMarket’s Only With Us properties that are shown exclusively on the site, generally for 24 hours, but it can be longer.

We can see the benefits for Boomin to show properties exclusively. As well as, for buyers who will be able to see these properties before other buyers who aren’t using the site. But we can’t see the benefit for sellers. When you’re selling, you want as many people as possible to see your house as soon as possible.

Find and compare local estate agents with our free tool. Compare fees, success rate, speed of sale and track-record achieving asking price

I am selling: How do I get a Boomin valuation?

When Boomin launched its SmartVal online valuation tool, it claimed it would be ‘the most interactive and accurate online valuation tool on the market’. So we tried it out to see how it works in reality.

We found the process simple. You input your email address and give details about your home, including how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has and what condition your home is in. You can also add additional features like if you’ve got a downstairs loo and a landscaped garden. There is also a section where you can write an additional description too.

Then you select up to three estate agents to provide a valuation (in our case we chose three of the four estate agents in our town). Boomin says you should receive the valuations within 15 minutes. In reality, it took a little longer but not much. When we tested it, one agent got back to us within 10 minutes but the system allowed an hour for them to reply. Although this still seems like a quick turnaround. The second Boomin estate agent replied within about 20 minutes. We didn’t get a reply from the third agent so our valuation request was bounced onto another agent in a neighbouring town who did reply to us.

We received follow up phone calls from two agents shortly afterwards to offer in person valuations (which give more accurate valuations and allows the agent to meet us face to face).

As mentioned above, not long after we had our valuation, we spotted our house listed as a Secret Property with enough details for it to be identified. The following week, we had someone who had registered an interest in it.

Free Instant Valuation

Find out how much your house is worth with our online valuation tool.

Get an instant valuation

So how accurate was the Boomin valuation?

There is definitely an advantage to being able to give additional information to the Boomin estate agents, such as being able to say if the property has been extended and give details. When we tested in June 2022, the valuations covered a fairly broad range of prices. But the middle figure seemed likely to be what the house would achieve, based on the current market.

Zoopla’s ‘How much is my home worth’ calculator, which is automatically calculated didn’t let us add in details about how the property has been extended. And the valuation came in just under 5% lower. While OnTheMarket’s Instant Online Valuation Tool does ask for more details but it then calculates the valuation automatically. And this gave the highest valuation of all. But we suspect this would be reduced when an agent visited the property.

Use our free instant online home valuation tool to get a high and low estimation of what price to sell your house for.

So what’s our verdict on Boomin?

There are some interesting features and if we were buying and selling, we’d definitely be checking out Boomin.

But while Boomin is clearly growing quickly, it still has a long way to go before it compares with the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket. For example, according to data from similarweb.com, the total visits to Boomin in April 2022 were 1.1 million. This compares to 97.9 million for Rightmove, 35.1 million for Zoopla and 20.7 million for On The Market.

And, it’s not clear how many estate agents have signed up yet. However, Boomin says ‘hundreds of agency branches are joining Boomin every week.’

But when we tested the site in two different and randomly chosen locations, we did find some significant gaps. For example, when we used Boomin to search for a property in Herne Hill, South London and compared it to a Rightmove search, there were some notable exceptions from Boomin. Estate agents KFH, Winkworth, Hamptons, Savills and Knight Frank weren’t listed.

And when we searched in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, only properties from two estate agents came up. This meant the properties listed by Hamptons and Savills were missed off again. While others including Whittaker & Co and Ashtons weren’t on there either.

However, this is a small sample and it may be that elsewhere in the country most, if not all, agents are on Boomin. But you should check the coverage for your area.

In summary, while we welcome competition and new tools to help home buyers and sellers, we can’t help but worry that Boomin is yet another property portal – alongside, Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket – that home buyers and sellers will have to add to their list of sites to check.

Find an Online Estate Agent

Find and compare the best online estate agents with our easy to use comparison tool

Find online estate agents

Sites like Boomin

Twindig

With Twindig you register an account then you can find your own home and ‘claim’ it. It will give you information like an automated valuation and you can monitor it. But it has an interesting feature that allows you to find specific homes you’re interested in buying and ‘follow’ them. And you’ll get a notification when and if it comes to the market.

One Dome

While One Dome aims to be a one stop shop. Not only can you search for properties on the site but it also offers a HomeBuyer Service. This packages up the services you’ll need when buying a house like securing the right mortgage and managing the legal side. And you can use it if you’re selling to find an estate agent too.

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
 
close×

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for the latest tips and advice

close popup ×

Before   you go...

If you found this website useful, could you spare a minute to leave us a review?

Reviews.io
×