Estate agents using OnTheMarket have come out in defence of the new portal.
“We’ve had nothing but positive experiences thus far with OnTheMarket” explains Lloyd Williams, branch manager of Roderick Thomas agency at Clifton in Bristol.
“When OTM had the backing of Knight Frank and Savills it was a no brainer where to go. Our average detached house outside of Bristol is £1.1m from my office” he says.
“For us this switch has paid off, and in Bristol since we have opened we have had much success against our competitors in the higher end that didn’t join OTM. Only two agents in Clifton Village remained with Zoopla” he adds.
Williams says much of the negativity against OnTheMarket in the media has been as a result of experiences of the lower end of the market or those connected with Countrywide, the estate agency group with links to rival portal Zoopla.
“With much of the lower end agents now turning to online only and thus being squeezed further, they will find it hard to operate and not end up as an online agent themselves” he believes.
“For those selling at £200,000 the savings of £2,000 if using an online agent seem significant - hence the reason Zoopla is expanding with the online-only agency base” he says.
Meanwhile Keller Williams, the US-owned franchise agency that currently has around 90 agents across the UK working from three ‘market centres’ based in Leeds and London,has also spoken up for the challenger portal.
KW UK chairman Donald Morris says OTM offers highly competitive charges for member agents, is more attractive and easier to navigate and view than Rightmove and Zoopla, and is doing “an excellent job” given it has only been public for nine months.
“Given time I believe it could be as popular as Rightmove or Zoopla” he says.