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Graham Awards


OnTheMarket fails on visitor-numbers and consumer-loyalty says eMoov

Challenger portal OnTheMarket is “not attracting a meaningful audience or engaging with its users” and so is likely to fail according to eMoov chief executive Russell Quirk. 

The online estate agency chief says portals are media businesses to which agents will pay money only if there is a consistent high volume audience to which properties are given exposure and then generate leads. 

“Without an engaged audience there is no value in the agent being there” says Quirk in an opinion-piece contribution to the Industry Views section of Estate Agent Today.


He then sets out six measures that he claims indicate OTM may be failing:

“Whilst OTM touts its growth to 5m visits per month as being impressive, during the same period Rightmove has grown its already huge audience by 20m visits per month. Far from taking market share from the market leader, OTM has simply served to strengthen [it];

“Zoopla Property Group’s audience has been unaffected by OTM despite having lost 20 per cent of its inventory. Its users remain engaged and loyal;

“Based on its own recently released audience figures, OTM has grown at the rate of 200,000 visits per month for the last three months. At that rate of growth, far from overtaking Zoopla this year as stated it would take 19 years to catch Zoopla (in 2034) - assuming Zoopla didn’t grow at all;

“On a cost per eyeball or cost per lead basis, OTM is somewhere between 10 times and 30 times more expensive than the other major portals. Agents get more leads from PrimeLocation than they do from OTM;

“OTM’s repeat usage (based on its own stats) is two visits per user per month versus over four visits per user per month for each of Rightmove and Zoopla;

“OTM’s Bounce Rate (the percentages of visitors who immediately leave the site from page they landed on) is 33.7 percent versus less-than-25 per cent for each of Rightmove and ZPG.”

Quirk insists that it was clear from the outset that OTM “didn’t embrace the digital age” in terms of its strategy to exclude online agents and its insistence that members give up one of their most effective digital marketing channels through the only-one-other-portal rule.

He says it is interesting to speculate how OTM’s general estate agency members must feel about recent investments being made with their money “into pet projects for the founders” including international listings and marketing deals with the likes of CountryLife.

Quirk’s full article is here.

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Russell is bob on with this article.

    As much as I'd like to see OTM succeed to weaken the duopoly pricing strangle hold, it looks like death by a thousand (defections) cuts.

    Very damaging for the independents concerned who have lost money and instructions.

  • Terence Dicks

    Would be rather nice to see a true and unbiased FACTUAL statement on this matter. I find it difficult to accept anything from a party with a vested interest as truth.

  • Simon Shinerock

    Here is a factual statement Terence, OTM has not made a statement about their agency numbers for months and in desperation they have now resorted to the non binding letter of intent ploy. I feel their misguided attempt to uninvent the Internet using Hubris and arrogance as their operating system is set to collapse

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    I'm no expert on the numbers above Terence, but which of them isn't factual?

    The reality here is that the only numbers being released by agent mutual are top line traffic numbers which take no account for the thousands of agents who look at it every day.

    [This is an interesting point of course. They have 5,500 offices as members. If 2 people in each office look at their customers listings just 5 times per day, that means that (5,500 offices X 2 people X 5 looks X 24 days/month) 1.3 million of their 5 million visits comes from their agent members! That is despite them spending many, many millions of their member's cash on marketing.]

    They are not releasing any other facts, which everyone knows they would do if they were doing even a remotely good job.

    Its dreadful really - and I wonder how long until their every-day agent members start getting VERY angry about it.

  • Trevor Mealham

    How much have AM/OTM spent up to now. To upgear eyeballs and footfall could take many times more. Equally they are using restraints (ie one other portal rule) which may be the big fly in the ointment.

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    OTM is fast becoming my favourite portal. But that could have something to do with me not being one of their customers! A lot of people got their wings clipped joining this protest vote and so far the only people it's benefitting are myself and Agents Mutual.

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    yes doomed to fail sadly and I feel sorry for those who have financially committed.
    The Alexa traffic ranking for OTM is 426 - contrast and compare to Right Move sitting at number 21 and Zoopla at 69.
    No contest and nothing for RM and Zoopla to worry about, in fact just reinforces their positions.
    I wonder how many articles have been written about this and how many comments made, it goes on and on , but not for much longer I feel?

  • jeremy clarke

    Has anyone asked the public? Does the public really care? It seems to me that this has become a battle of agents and portals; if one (any of) the portals disappeared tomorrow would the public (a) care, (b) notice (c) stop buying/renting houses? I suspect that the answer to all questions is no, they would just carry on regardless. We retain just 1 website and that suffices; if agents are doing their job correctly enquiries from 1 listing just need converting to another or more suitable property - after all in the days of newspapers did we always advertise every property every week?


    Oh dear Jeremy, listening to people like you is like watching the pendulum of a grandfather clock swinging slowly away.

    At the moment you will moan about there being too many portals. If OTM get's its way we'll be back to a market with only one serious player. At that point you'll be moaning that Rightmove is behaving monopolistically.

    Why can't so many of my industry see beyond this month. Its beyond stupidity really.

    We need a well balanced and well served market, with two - or three - decent competitors. That way, if one of them starts misbehaving we can kick them into touch and survive for a while while they change their behaviour. The problem at the moment is that RM are being strengthened and we are heading back to when there was RM FindaProperty, PropertyFinder and Primelocation. A load of minnows battling it out while RM gets fatter.

    Personally I do not feel that OTM can provide serious competition. All they do is hold Zoopla while RM get stronger. Beyond stupid really...

  • Trevor Mealham


    JC says: Does the public really care? It seems to me that this has become a battle of agents and portals - agree

    SH says: Personally I do not feel that OTM can provide serious competition. All they do is hold Zoopla while RM get stronger. Beyond stupid really. - Agree

  • Jonathan Rolande

    It’s clear that the jury is still out. The true test is how long agents will be able to hold their nerve. Who’ll blink first?

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    We asked agents what they thought of OTM and you can see the results here http://www.easymatch.co.uk/otm-survey/

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    Squandered a fortune and delivered nothing.

    The jury has in fact gone home. So glad I'm not an agent paying for this because it would feel still like paying for last years holiday.


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