As the editor of a free site, I'm often asked how we pay the bills.
I thought a good way to answer this was by publishing an email exchange that I had with one of our readers recently.
You'll find it printed below in full (I've blacked out his email address upon request).
I've just found your site and, being in the process of selling my house, I have to say that it looks pretty impressive! A lot of the advice that I've read is very good.
However, I have to ask the question "Why?", i.e. what's your motivation for running a site that basically gives away loads of good information? How do you make money from the site? Commission from leads?
Please pardon my apparent cynicism but, in my experience, the vast majority of things that have seemed too good to be true have been exactly that, so if I'm wrong about this site then that'd make me very happy!
Mr S Ottley
Hi Mr Ottley - In answer to your 1st question, we run this site because we've seen 1st hand just how poor a service many home movers receive from many estate agents, solicitors etc...
The Government is clearly not doing enough to protect consumers and coming from the House Building Industry, we feel we have the knowledge and inclination to help make a difference.
In answer to your 2nd question, we make money and maintain this site by earning revenue from carefully selected affiliate links.
We operate on a basis that the quality of our information must come first - the making of any revenue comes second.
If we feel it's worth recommending a certain service provider, we'll look to see if they have an affiliate program. If they have one, we'll use it. If they don't have one, we'll still make the recommendation.
It just so happens that 90% of companies operating on the Internet run some kind of affiliate program. It's actually very easy to make recommendations that one believes in, without compromising impartiality and still earn a little revenue.
This approach does cut down on the amount of money we can make from the site but we feel it's better like this. We are however in the process of adding Google Adsense in order to supplement revenue.
I hope that answers your questions? I'd be grateful for your thoughts on this matter.
Gavin Brazg (Editor)
Thanks for the quick reply! What you say makes sense. I was just a bit surprised to find a site that gives a lot of useful information and freebie publications with seemingly no "catch". Yes, I know it's cynical of me but, as I've said, it's rare to find something that's genuinely useful and that's free.
I've no problem with referrals schemes - I believe that if you provide information or services, and what you're providing is genuinely useful to people, then you should expect some form of remuneration: a win-win situation.
I think I've become a little jaded by my past experiences of the property industry - I've been promised the earth and usually end up with a second rate service at premium prices - so it's unusual for me to find someone with some ethics.
So, thanks for providing what I consider to be the single most useful resource that I've found for steering me through the maze of private property sales, and please excuse my initial reservations!
PS - I'm guessing that you're not particularly high up on estate agents Christmas card lists!