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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

OnTheMarket launches new 'letter of intent' for agents

OnTheMarket is launching a ‘letter of intent’ for agents to sign which represents a commitment for them to join the new portal once its overall support reaches 7,500 offices.

Estate Agent Today has seen an email sent out by an OnTheMarket representative to an agent stating there may be a way of supporting the portal without having to drop an existing commitment to Rightmove and/or Zoopla. 

The email, sent this week, by an OTM Business Development Consultant, has “New Joining Options” in the subject field and prompted speculation that it might be an end to OTM’s ‘only one other major portal rule.’

However, Ian Springett, chief executive of OnTheMarket, says: "The email quoted simply refers to a new option for agents to show their support for OnTheMarket by signing a letter of intent. This approach was used to great effect in successive pre-launch phases. The letters of intent represent a commitment to join Agents' Mutual when overall support for its OnTheMarket portal reaches 7,500 offices. The one other portal rule remains in place." 

Springett also hits back at a claim by Rightmove - in one of its own mailings to its member agents - that OnTheMarket achieved 2.0 million visits in May. 

"The Hitwise data quoted is inaccurate and during May, OnTheMarket achieved 4.1 million visits" Springett has told Estate Agent Today.

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    Can they release a letter of intent that agents will leave as soon as their contracts expire?

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    It is very clear what this is. They cannot sign up agents, so instead they'll get a load to say 'maybe' and therefore be able to claim further progress.

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    Your passion on this matter is unrivalled, Eileen! I get your point but is this any different from Z trying to get agents back that left for OTM in the first place or an agency trying to take on new instructions. It's all about growing the business, which is understandable, isn't it?

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    How does one 'launch' a letter of intent? Surely one just posts it? If OTM spent time more trying to innovate and less time trying to block access to competitors, it might stand a chance. From a user's perspective it's a facsimile of other sites out there. To capture consumers' attention you need to be different.

    Letter of intent all you like, but we'd prefer you innovated.

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    Again, get your point, Dominic. But what sort of innovation do you suggest?

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    RM and Zoopla are just advanced directories... like Yahoo was. Then Google came along and blew it out of the water. If OTM was more of a specialist search engine and less of a directory, it would be able to have a lot more powerful search and filtering. And... what about using all that data? RM only goes so far with RM Plus. There's HUGE potential for using web scraping, API and other tools to provide property professionals with automated, highly specific information.

    The possibilities are literally endless. I like what OTM has done with the interface, but it's the data that matters.

  • Simon Shinerock

    Their last letter of intent was 'non binding' as I'm sure this one will be. The inescapable truth is the proposition failed to reach critical mass, the moment of maximum interest has passed, Mr Springett would do well to remember the old trading adage ' your first loss is your best loss'

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    Right move are already lining up a 10% price hike for next year, another inflation busting increase, if you check what you were paying at the start of the recession, you will be staggered at the percentage increase, it really is time agents stopped knocking On the Market, got on board, and regained some control, otherwise we will have to continue to take it, and increase shareholders profits, I would love to own a business that made 70% profit!!

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