If you've ever searched for a home to rent or buy in the UK, you've probably come across the iconic URLs property.co.uk and realestate.co.uk. Now, these URLs are up for purchase which will attract a strong interest from online real estate agents and portals, alike. Ownership of the domains also includes exclusivity for property.uk and realestate.uk.
Both domains, which have been in the same ownership since 2006, could be used for a range of different applications, from an online estate agency or property portal to a consumer-facing service or new market disruptor.
The domains are being sold by Ryan Norrish, who says that property.co.uk is the ultimate name in the UK property market. Norrish is an entrepreneur with a background in digital property marketing after having worked in the Australian property sector for a property portal and as a real estate agent.
"This an opportunity for an established property business to rebrand, or snap up the ultimate name in the industry. Alternatively, it’s the ideal name for a new player wanting to establish authority," he says.
"Until now, property.co.uk has been unavailable to the UK market and we're excited to see who comes forward and what the new owner decides to do with this extremely valuable domain. If somebody wants to lease the name with an option to buy, that’s a possibility too."
Norrish confirms that there has been significant interest in the domains over many years and that since officially putting them up for sale, there are already multiple online estate agents and several other industry players formally interested in the opportunity.
Norrish says that the available domains are being sold now as the UK market sits on the crest of a wave of digitalization and revolution. He says the gradual rise of PropTech, growing influence of blockchain and increased market share of online estate agents combine to present the perfect landscape for someone to take on the property.co.uk and realestate.co.uk domains and capitalize on the changes.
"The property market has arguably been slower than most industries to see major tech disruption, but now things are changing in a very big way, and there are some massive opportunities," Norrish continues.
"The property industry is simultaneously at the crest of multiple waves, and amongst all of these revolutionary changes, yet-to-be-born businesses will emerge into giants of the UK property landscape.”
He cites the market share growth of online estate agencies in recent years, which now sits at around 7%, according to the latest data from TwentyCi.
On top of this, there is the phenomenal rise of Purplebricks, which claims over 70% market share of the online market and is valued at more than £500 million after debuting on the stock market in 2015. Meanwhile, another online estate agency, Yopa, has received huge investment totaling around £75 million - a large proportion of which has come from traditional property firms LSL Property Services and Savills.
"Blockchain technology is predicted to completely replace the existing system used for recording property ownership and transactions, while also revolutionizing the way we borrow money and pay for property as well," Norrish explains.
"That's not to mention that liquidity is coming to the property market. For example, the largest portal in the US, Zillow, now buys properties instantly for cash and resells them as part of its 'Instant Offers' initiative.
"And, in many parts of the world, you can now buy a share in a bricks-and-mortar home for less than £100 and then sell it whenever you like, just as you could sell a share in a publicly listed company," he says.
"All of these changes are why there is no limit to the opportunities available to the new owner of property.co.uk and the success they could experience over the coming years."
"This is an opportunity unlikely to ever come around again, and it should be given careful and strategic consideration by potential purchasers."
Norrish is selling the domains directly, rather than through a broker. He is currently inviting expressions of interest. "We will soon set a deadline for buyers to submit offers, and reward the highest bidder. However, we’ll also look at offers as and when they’re presented," he adds.
For more information or to express your interest in purchasing the domains, please fill out the contact form on www.property.co.uk and you will be contacted in due course.
Edited by V. Haviland
Join us in Madrid from the 13th to the 16th of November for the Property Portal Watch Conference.