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Some agents listing with OnTheMarket for free ahead of formal sign-up

Some agents are being offered the opportunity to list with OnTheMarket for free now if they sign a Letter of Intent to later formally sign up with the portal.

OTM announced in July that it was using letters of intent as a recruiting tool to draw in agents who may, when portal membership reached 7,500, sign up on a formal basis.

Now OTM appears to be taking that further. 


Ian Springett, chief executive of OnTheMarket, has told Estate Agent Today that “many” of the agents who have signed letters of intent “are currently listing with only one of the two other major portals and are therefore eligible to list with OnTheMarket now, whilst we build to that figure of 7,500 supporting offices.”

These agents appear, in some cases at least, to be able to list free of charge for the moment.

"Such agents in selected areas have been offered the opportunity to list immediately with OnTheMarket for a period when they sign a letter of intent. These agents will have the opportunity to convert to their choice of standard tariff at the end of that initial period” explains Springett.

"There are many estate and letting agents who have a 'wait and see' approach to joining OnTheMarket. It is equally a reality that the more agents who join and the sooner they do so, the more powerful OnTheMarket will be in continuing to disrupt the duopoly and in providing an alternative search service for consumers and agents alike" he says.

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    That's fine but a buddy of mine told me yesterday that his Rightmove rep has shown him an agreement with an agent which included a free of charge period which lasted 13 months! Given it covered all of their 3 offices and there was no commitment after the free period it looks like they had driven a very hard bargain with their OTM rep!

    Given that included in that conversation was a fully signed up OTM agent paying more than £400 per month and getting almost nothing in return, it was all very amusing!!


    Hi Steve, there is a small independent agent where i operate that has also signed this agreement. 13months for free then a 30day cancellation period after that. Maybe not so much good negotiations by the agents but rather poor negotiations by OTM.

  • Simon Shinerock

    There comes a point in a game of chess where it doesn't matter how clever you are, unless your opponent makes a stupid error, you have lost. Fundamentally, the OTM website has failed and will fail to engage consumers. OTM could pay me money and I wouldn't agree to sign their contract because of the one other portal rule. I'm sure many of the agents they currently have want to leave and honestly, with the challenges we all face in 2016 I'm glad a good portion of my competition have shot themselves in the foot. Carry on lads, go down with the ship you know it makes sense.

    Trevor Mealham

    Simon - Ive heard that in part of the UK that an agent has been offered a variant where they can choose which properties go on which one portal - ouch.

    That won't be liked by many softwares that upfeed ALL or nothing to agents portals.

  • Andrew Goldthorpe

    I cannot understand why all the other paying members are not up in arms about another example of mate's rates in OTM. Was a vote put to the membership by this 'mutual' or was it a case of the management pleasing themselves and communicating their decision from on high?

    Trevor Mealham

    Very good point Andrew.

    Are members really being given a vote to offer other agents mates rates or free, when they themselves keep paying subscriptions.

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    Let me get this straight, those who have invested in this from the start, given over £3000 per office of their child's inheritance and suffered through a year of abysmal results are now having their neighbouring branches list for free? Was this a membership decision ... Anyone use the fsmous one member ,one vote ?

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    It just goes to show how desperate Springett is, and he will be too proud and spineless to step down in the face of this last tactic to pretend he has 7500 willing victims being led to slaughter, well said Tom

  • Russell Quirk

    Slippery. Slope.

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    I wonder how all the gold members feel about this? some paying in excess of £400 per office???

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    The fact that they're now giving it away for free only says one thing, it's not working.
    Wait for the Springett smoke and mirrors 'well I never said we'd be the no. 2 by Christmas'..........

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    2 weeks to go to overtake ZOOPLA

    come on guys, you know you can do it!


    Youuuu cannn dooo itttttt

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    I have tried to be positive about OTM and not jump on board bashing them as the message they sent out with the concept was truly fantastic, i had reservation if they could achieve it but wished them the best and retained council with the view to join if things were as laid out.

    However almost a year on they have circa 5800 agents on board and now if this is to believed giving away membership to a select few. Hardly big numbers and hardly a mutual.

    To me it seems as if the ship is sinking, OTM will be around for the next few years due to the die hard supporters but i believe it really is now a dead duck.

  • all Agents

    Smile Please, do elaborate! Which platforms are you using?


    Sorry, which platforms in respect to what?

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    Titantic 2.0

  • Gary Rosenthal

    Letter of intent; free listings...it's the only way OTM will ever reach their target of being No.2 if ever. We are an independent one office outfit who used to be on both RM and Z, but with stock levels in London at an all time low we had to make some cost savings on the portal front. Having sought responses from both our client and applicant listings we decided to drop RM effectively freeing ourselves up for the cheaper OTM. Their sales team have been on the case trying to enlist us but frankly even though we are now a single portal firm we still passionately hate the 'only one other' dictact that is their mantra. Independents are just that and don't like to be dictated to. The advent of OTM and their policy has actually split the marketplace with many buyers and sellers unaware that if they rely on searching one portal only they will only get to see a portion of what is out there. In my view OTM have actually done more harm than good.

  • Move In Move Out

    This sounds like a great opportunity for high street agents to compete with the online only agents.

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    Still not one client, vendor or purchaser has ever mentioned OTM to me,

    Terence Dicks

    I even asked one of my purchasers if they had heard of OTM. The reply was, "On the what??".

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    what a load of N U M P T I E S

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    A complete and utter LAUGHING STOCK

    This is so embarrassing for our industry. Sooner they go the better.

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    OTM is our best opportunity to signal to the main sites that we are fed up with exhorbitant rates & endless upsells. Mainly Rightmove. Don't knock it so much else failure could become a self fulfilling prophesy.

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    Many of you 'knockers' of OTM do not even display your membership so what do you expect. If you are not a member then get on with your own business and leave others to theirs. 

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    OTM is a great concept - I'm pretty sure you will all agree.

    In reality it is failing, they set up a portal with NO financial stability.
    There was NO initial pot of money that was in the bank to be drawn on when needed. Even the online agents know that to compete with the big boys you have to have deep pockets that's why they end up crowdfunding.
    The not-for-profit portal thought it could compete year-on-year (with 2 companies who's profits are getting bigger) with no excess cash available from anywhere, in a market that is on the downturn, with a restrictive policy, where they at the end of the year would wipe their face clean (financially) with 7,500 branches headed by a guy who believe his hopes and dreams pay our bills.
    OTM have made too many mistakes this year and until their business decisions are based on facts and not a wing and a prayer I will never join.
    BUT the concept of OTM was a great one. What this shows is that to be an entrant into this market you need 7,500 members paying x per month to SURVIVE.
    Maybe if someone brought a cheap portal to market; let everyone sign up for year 1 for a nice cheap fee so they could afford ALL 3 - bear with me. Making it clear that once the first 12 months membership was up to stay with OTM they had to drop one other portal, add in a price rise. NUMBER 2 property portal overnight.

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    I also signed an agreement giving me 15 months at £50 a month with the first 3 months Free, however, I have already informed OTM that I no longer wish to continue with them.
    OTM now say that it's a minimum 12 month contract with no get out clause, even though we have not entered the 12 month term yet and even though I had continually told them I didn't want the appointment with then to start. their rep wouldn't take no for an answer and just booked the appointment anyway. Anyone have any suggestions how to get rid of them?


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