The FT reports that News International have backed a new internet startup called Globrix who seem to be following the Trulia model in the United States by indexing estate agents websites for content.
Zoomf already do this in the UK and a number of other aggregator sites exist pulling content together but Mr Murdochs backing of this site is clearly going to make it a serious threat to the traditional property portals like Rightmove and, of course, Propertyfinder.
Propertyfinder is 50% owned by Rupert Murdoch and Globrix would appear to be direct competition to Propertyfinder and could well undermine their charging model. It remains to be seen how estate agents in the UK will view the arrival of Globrix. Paul Smith, CEO of Spicer Haart has already put Aggregators on notice that he would sue anyone who indexed his site(s). However, when contacted last week, there was no comment from the usually opinionated boss so perhaps he has had a rethink.
Trulia was set up in 2005 in America and indexes agents’ websites to provide content for their site. Any broker who does not want their listings to be included can add a line of code to their site which like Google, will stop the site being crawled. The question is, how many UK agents will want to stop a site from listing their properties for free?
Would you be happy to have your data indexed and displayed on a property site for free?