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London agent calls for OnTheMarket change of course

A London agent wants a change of emphasis at OnTheMarket, claiming the new portal damages estate agents’ reputations, is low profile compared to Rightmove and Zoopla, and is highly unlikely to achieve its goal to be number two portal by January.

Lee James Pendleton, founder director of south west London agency James Pendleton, issued a statement yesterday afternoon saying that he had three concerns about the direction of the new portal.

“Firstly, we cannot see that OTM is going to make the progress it needs to justify  fees without massive investment into marketing and customer awareness. Second, we are unclear of the business motivations of their management team and founding members. .... Lastly, and most importantly, we have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in the main portals over the years and leaving one of them, when they do a great job for us, is a crazy business proposition” he says.

His statement, which has been sent to local media and property journalists, is also going to be displayed on his firm’s website and will be used in marketing.

It goes on to say OTM is “doing damage to the reputation of agents” because vendors are complaining that those agents on OTM are “starving their property of enquiries when the London market is more difficult than it has been for years.”

He adds: “Every award and event we go to, either Rightmove or Zoopla are supporting our industry, and there is no question that the process of marketing properties has become faster over the past few years with their emergence. Yes, there are some challenges coming our way in the form of new types of competition, but it is our responsibility as business owners to adapt our businesses to survive this new threat. Kicking our suppliers is not a rational, or reasonable response.”

Pendleton’s final point is that he believes the only solid result of OTM’s launch so far has been the expansion and strengthening of Rightmove. “We have a great working relationship with Rightmove, but we don’t want any of our providers to have a dominant position” he says. 

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    Can someone plase answer one simple question for me? Did Pendleton take advantage of the recent share sale by Zoopla (at a discount) and therefore has a vested interest in that particular portal?

    Genuine quesiton.

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    Assume you didn't Graham, and from your comment on the other article it seems that you considered an investment in OTM as a more sensible proposition.

    Has anyone identified OTM as a ponzi scheme yet?

    You've made a dumb investment and now you realise that your only chance of getting all or some of your money back is if you are able to persuade those dumb enough around you to pile in too!! That is why you are telling people you get more from OTM than 'you ever got from Zoopla' when you know it is a complete lie.

    If the other article today is to be believed, and they are about to drop the 'one other' rule, I think you can kiss goodbye to your investment Graham.

    At the very least, and assuming Pendleton did take them up on their offer, I'll be going to him for investment advice long before I come knocking on your door ;-)

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    Eileen,

    Your professionalism is commendable; in any debate, the one that has to resort to a slanging match and throwing offensive comments has, by definition, run out of arguments to make. You have proven yourself to fall into that category.

    You are obviously a corporate (if not, then I apoligise for that assumption), but I work in a large area where every other agent who is not a corporate is, almost without exception, with OTM and doing very well from it.

    By your reckoning, you have just stated that over 25 agents are "Dumb" - When I started in this industry over 30 years ago, Conells used to have a teaining course where Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" was mandatory reading.

    I suggest you add that to your library.

  • Lee  Pendleton

    thanks for the advice Eileen and as you know we are all free to have our opinions. Always happy to talk if you wish too.

    no we didnt take shares in Zoopla.

    Lee

  • Lee  Pendleton

    Dear Graham,

    Read and enjoyed, thank you also for your comments.

    warm regards

  • Sceptical As Always

    OTM - seemed like a good idea at the time. I bet RM shareholders think it's fantastic!

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