Fury over Property Live closure at Surrey NAEA meeting

Sparks flew yesterday in usually sedate Surrey as the county’s NAEA members expressed their anger at this week’s announcement of the closure of Property Live. Attending the quarterly meeting of over 60 Surrey NAEA and ARLA members in Guildford was NAEA MD and President Mark Haywood who acted as ‘messenger’, relaying the Board’s decision to close the association’s Members Only portal at the end of January 2013 due to poor performance.

Launched 4 years ago and rumoured to have cost Members in excess of £2 million, Property Live was the long-awaited portal dedicated to NAEA members. Well supported across the country and intended to be a real alternative to major portal players, there was widespread disappointment and dismay in Surrey upon hearing about the closure with one member at the meeting exclaiming, “Property Live was the best Member benefit we’ve had for years or maybe even ever!”

The Board’s decision to cease operations at Property Live from the end of the month was taken after much discussion with low volume of lead generation cited as the reason although concerns over the management and availability of sufficient marketing budgets were also voiced at the meeting by Surrey NAEA members.

Surrey NAEA Chairman, James Wyatt, comments, 

“With over 90% of property buyers starting their search online and the likes of Jessops and HMV going into administration because of the seemingly insatiable growth of online consumerism, it seems madness that the NAEA Board has decided to close the main online presence of the NAEA!

“Our Members here in Surrey bought into and supported the Property Live model for 4 years with some even cutting ties with the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla, where does that leave them now? As the ones who funded this ambitious project, the Board has a duty to provide a full and detailed explanation about the decision to its Members.”

With the NAEA retaining the Property Live URL pending further discussions according to Mark Haywood, questions have already been raised as to the future of the portal?

Sentiment was clear in Surrey with Members holding a long heated debate and concluding that a viable commercial future was possible for Property Live but that it needed to be discussed with the Board as a matter of urgency.

James Wyatt concludes,

“Within minutes of hearing the news about Property Live’s intended closure I received a number of emails from interested parties keen to take the now defunct site on. It will be very interesting to see what steps the Board takes next.”

So with this latest news of yet another property portal going to the wall, it seems that there’s nothing, even the 14,000 strong members of the NAEA and ARLA, can do to stop the might of the Rightmove and Zoopla – even if it is much to the displeasure of NAEA Members.

For more information please contact Surrey NAEA Chairman James Wyatt at Barton Wyatt on 01344 843 000 or email jw@bartonwyatt.co.uk