Estate Agent Today has seen a copy of an email sent by an OnTheMarket representative to an agent stating there may be a way of supporting it “without having to drop a portal.”
The email, sent this week by an OTM Business Development Consultant, has “New Joining Options” in the subject field.
The body of the email opens by saying that in its first five months the site has recorded some 15m visitors and is delivering “solid” sales and lettings leads. It goes on to say that the rep will, in the coming weeks, be visiting agents who “are not ready to join right now.”
Then the email says: “I now have a way that will enable you to stand with the thousands of independent agents that have already joined, support the growth of OnTheMarket, but without having to drop a portal or make any financial commitment at present.”
An OnTheMarket spokeswoman has told Estate Agent Today that the portal is “absolutely not about to drop the 'RM or Z' rule” and a statement from OTM today explains the email as part of a new 'letter of intent' campaign.
The portal has fairly rigidly adhered to its much-publicised rule of agents joining it advertising only on one other major portal; it is known to have made explicit exceptions in two cases, for a student accommodation portal and a Scottish lettings portal, both major outlets in their specific markets.
Meanwhile Rightmove is circulating some of its member agents with the latest data on visitors to property portals, produced by independent internet monitoring service Hitwise.
The data refers to May, the latest available information.
It shows Rightmove secured 1.1 billion visits during that month - its third successive month with over a billion, each apparently higher than the previous month.
During the same period Zoopla recorded 258m visits while its sister-site Primelocation secured 38m visits.
OnTheMarket recorded 2m visits.
Rightmove’s total for the month makes it the eighth most visited site by UK users according to Hitwise, behind only Facebook, Google, eBay, YouTube, Amazon, Google Maps and MSN - and actually just ahead of the BBC’s homepage.
Still with portals, a press release from Zoopla claims it has delivered record levels of appraisal leads to its members over the first half of 2015, despite a loss of agents to OnTheMarket.
Zoopla says that since January, prospective vendors and landlords have sent over 135,000 enquiries to member agents requesting appraisals, up 40 per cent on the same period last year.