ASDA has launched a cost-effective property website that aims to maximise the huge number of customers visiting its stores each week.
The UK's second-biggest grocer has introduced an online portal,homesinstore.co.uk, where customers can advertise their property on the web or in store, for both sale or rental, for £35 a week. The move has raised eyebrows because rival Tesco is in advanced talks to sell its internet estate agency business, Tesco property market (TPM), to estate agent Spicerhaart.
However, an Asda spokesman stressed its model was different because it works with local independent estate agents, as opposed to a full-blown estate agency service.
Asda has extended the online service to the South-east, Kent and Essex, after an earlier pilot in the North-east. The grocer is also using a third party to handle enquiries, whereas previously it used an in-house team. The Asda spokesman said: "We are confident this is going to work."
Tesco is close to selling its online agency business, TPM, to Spicerhaart. This spring, Tesco said: "TPM and Spicerhaart will develop a new and comprehensive online estate agency service and this will be available to our customers at Tesco.com." Previously, Tesco took down a separate property website, DIY home sales, which offered a flat fee of £199 to sell property, partly because of a number of estate agency partners said it undercut them and conflicted with their business.