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Portals: Rightmove visits up 22% while 'landlords don't know OTM'

Two new reports add fuel to the continuing debate over portals.

Firstly Rightmove claims to have had its busiest-ever May, with 115m visits to the website - exceeding the total for May last year by 22 per cent. 

The portal claims this is equivalent to every adult in the UK visiting Rightmove twice during the month.  


In addition the busiest ever single day for visits to Rightmove was recorded on Tuesday May 19 - the website says this indicates home-hunters took less than two weeks after the general election to get back into their searching stride.

This is despite a 3.9 per cent month-on-month fall in new listings on the portal as a result of stagnation in some parts of the housing market, with fewer properties being placed on sale in the month since the election than in the month before it.

Meanwhile a survey of private landlords by Landlord Today, a sister publication of Estate Agent Today, shows that only 39 per cent had heard of OnTheMarket. 

Of a sample of 373 individual private landlords questioned in early June, some 369 answered the question 'Have you heard of OnTheMarket?'. 

Of these, 61 per cent had not heard of the new portal while 39 per cent had heard of it.

Of those landlords who had heard of OTM, some 88 per cent wanted their property listed on Zoopla and Rightmove. Meanwhile of those landlords who had not head of OTM, some 72 per cent still wanted their property listed on both Zoopla and Rightmove.

When looked at in terms of size of property portfolio, 100 per cent of landlords with 10 or more properties had heard of OTM. This fell to 80 per cent of those with six to 10 units.

However, no landlord with fewer than six properties had heard of OnTheMarket.

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    Will the bigwigs of the founding agents resign when they finally admit this thing has flopped and they've cost not only their company, but other smaller agents a lot of money?

  • Trevor Mealham

    The OTM agent marketing restraints have gone against it. Also to take on RM and Z would need far more than the £10m Agents Mutual were/are aiming to throw into the hole.

    The funding raise and much of OTM was very clever. Its main mistake is being nothing more than a RM/Z cone.

    For landlords (and the majority of agents) being on the top portals is important. Having to be on the 5-6th position portal isn't landlords or sellers main concern. In fact - not being there isn't a problem, when properties are listings in bigger busier places.

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    • R M
    • 15 June 2015 07:22 AM

    @HarryN the thing is it is their money to do with as they please. AM hasn't flopped, it is learning and evolving.

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    • R M
    • 15 June 2015 07:23 AM

    Morning Trevor!

  • Rob  Davies

    Well, Robert, they might not have flopped, but this story would suggest they are making a pretty poor impact. If landlords don't know who they are, that's clearly a big problem, given how much financial might they put behind their PR campaign.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Oh dear. Seems all is not well in the AM/OTM universe. What a surprise!

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Yes, HarryNoName, will be interesting to see the fallout from this. A lot of big agencies have placed a lot on the success of OTM. If it goes down the pan - as seems likely - what will happen then?

  • Algarve  Investor

    So, despite their best attempts to shove the advert down on throats - do these private landlords not watch ITV - the multi-million pound advertising campaign hasn't done the trick. In fairness, it's a pretty forgettable advert and you'd be forgiven for thinking, if you weren't really paying attention, that it was simply an advert for Z, RM or PrimeLocation.

    I've said it a few times before, it will take a few years for OTM to pierce the national consciousness in the same way as the big two. They might have dented Zoopla, but Zoopla are still a big name, a big brand, and they can probably cope with a few punches to the face and still recover - as they seem to have done. OTM should probably be judged on their success a few years from now, but it might be too late by then.

    OTM made a couple of glaring errors from the very beginning. The one other portal rule was disastrous, as was their petty refusal of online agents. The website is pretty decent, but it doesn't offer anything different to Z or RM - both of which have far more properties. So, the question is, why would the public or private landlords choose to use OTM when they could use the bigger, better version provided by Z or RM. It makes no sense.

    I've got a feeling OTM will fade away in a few years - a noble experiment that went wrong to some, a cynical operation born from self-interest and greed to others. I just feel sorry for the smaller agencies who have been taken in by OTM's sales pitch.

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    It hasn't flopped? You try telling her that it's just learning and evolving and see how long she stays! At least she's not daft enough to have a 5Y contract!

  • Kelly Evans

    All the usual experts here pronouncing the death of OTM! It's beyond belief.

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    Being objective, both Rightmove and Zoopla have seen absolutely staggering price rises in their share price. Was this the aim?

    If anyone thinks its anything other than flop then explain by what measure.

    The fact is that many agents have switched to from Z to aim and now get less listings and less sales and a lead weight around the neck for 5 years.

    Given the resources, promises and money (some of you) have put forward, you really have been led a merry dance. The big question is when to cut your losses.

    Once the staff start leaving, for something more glamorous - anything, then writing on wall.

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    Are you getting value for money? Is it helping your busines?

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    • R M
    • 15 June 2015 12:42 PM

    @Rob Davies What reason do landlords have for knowing about any portal? I bet if you asked them Who Robert May is you can expect a totally blank look, the fact that about 60% receive their rent through systems I have developed doesn't mean they should know who I am and it makes not a jot of difference that they don't. If you asked them which DAAS or SAAS system powers their agent they wouldn't have a clue.
    Sorry HarryN who is the her you are talking about.

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    • R M
    • 15 June 2015 12:45 PM

    @HarryN as a result of the one other portal rule, it is now possible to identify unauthorised data scrapping and distribution. The value of that alone is worth many times the value of controlling subscriptions.

  • Emma  Mitchell

    Some powerful statistics there from Rightmove, demonstrating they are completely unaffected by the OTM saga. Now I can't claim to know everything about these portal wars, but to not even be heard of by the majority of landlords isn't a good sign.

    Maybe OTM are finally realising that their biggest error was in their refusal to allow online agents, cutting off a prominent part of the market.

  • Karl Knipe

    Nothing gets the debate going like the portals!

  • Felicity Blair

    Everyone appears to be all fired up about the portals once again! Astonishing Rightmove figures, clearly they haven't been affected by OTM's presence.

  • Robert  McKechnie

    Yes, Karl, it is always fascinating to see the strong opinions the portal debate provokes. More than any other property related topic.

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    Had OTM call last week, asked if we were interested in joining the site, I said not just yet, when asked why not, I said that my vendors had not heard of them, the lady agreed that she had heard the same objection many times that day.
    Whilst we all moan about RM, they play an important part in our day to day working environment, the public are aware of them and Zoopla and that's the way it will stay.OTM will be a small player, at best.

  • Jamie  Humm

    Yep, Premier Blue, can't really disagree with that. I think they gave Zoopla a bit of a bloody nose to begin with, but they were getting ahead of themselves if they thought they would be taking Zoopla's place as the second biggest portal. OTM certainly haven't held back with their advertising campaign - their TV ad has been shown frequently but it's obviously not had any impact. To be fair, when you watch the advert, it's not really memorable. As someone said above, it just feels like another property portal advert.

    At least the adverts for PurpleBricks stand out a bit, even if they are incredibly annoying.

  • Tim Gorgulu

    I think those ringing the death knell for OTM are being a tad premature. I don't think their impact has been anything like they hoped, but they should be given at least another six months before we judge them as a success or failure. I'm not fan of OTM, and they've made quite a few mistakes along the way, but their product is decent. I just don't think, as AlgarveInvestor alluded to above, their product is different enough to make a difference.

    People trust RM and Zoopla, and I don't think they really care if the portals charge fees that are too high. Why would they?

  • Simon Shinerock

    Focusing on the subject of TV advertising and its effectiveness for a moment and putting aside my well publicised opposition to OTM. Conventional TV has had its day and with it the conventional TV advertising, the only similarity it now bears to its former glory is cost in terms of money and time. OTM missed the TV advertising boat just as it dipped below the horizon a fitting symbol for a business that had its day years before it was launched on the market.

  • Jonathan Rolande

    It can’t come as a surprise that more have heard of Rightmove. Remember most normal people do not live in our own portal obsessed bubble and only learn about new products after months or often years of advertising and recommendation. As OTM offers nothing new to a buyer/landlord it would never have been able to create a buzz outside our own circle. After all, how many of us would get excited if a new Autotrader or CompareTheMarket opened up? Me neither.


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