The estate agent who last week sent an open letter to OnTheMarket, saying it had lost her both business and money, says she has been “overwhelmed” by support.
Lisa Arcari, who operates the single-office My Place in Cornwall agency in Wadebridge, says in the week since writing the open letter that she has been contacted by 20 other OTM member-agents from as far afield as London, Birmingham, Oxfordshire and Kent.
She says they all support the comments she had made in her letter, addressed to the board of OnTheMarket.
“One agent said I’d stolen his thunder because he was considering the same thing - going public with a complaint - while another said he’d had a brush-off from OnTheMarket when he complained about a lack of leads. We’ve all had the same experience” she has told Estate Agent Today.
“The agents all receive letters saying OnTheMarket is getting 5.4 million visitors a month but none of them seems to be seeing that translated into real business for them. During the summer my office should have been flying, but it wasn’t” she says.
Arcari says that on one occasion when complaining to OnTheMarket about a lack of enquiries she had allegedly been advised to ask those clients already on her existing database to visit the portal. “What on earth was that supposed to achieve?” she asks.
Arcari also says that “within a day” of reverting back to using Rightmove and Zoopla she could see an increase in enquiries.
In her original letter Arcari said that she had been taken in by OTM’s sales pitch.
She also accused the portal of not responding to complaints, and explained how she could not see the benefit to members like her of OTM’s proposed international sales service. “Over the past few months, my membership of your organisation has lost me money and lost me business” she wrote.
OnTheMarket has been asked to comment on Arcari’s latest comments but the portal earlier responded to her open letter with a statement saying it was sorry “this individual agent” was dissatisfied but said it did not comment on contractual relations with its members.
“Since launching less than nine months ago OnTheMarket has established itself as a serious player in the property portals market” said the OTM statement.
However, Arcari says it’s now time for other agents to stand up and be counted.
“We’re all in the same boat and problems, especially for small agents, are mounting. There are literally dozens out there with the same view. It’s time for them to say so” says Arcari.