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.