An international portal consultancy not previously known for its outspoken comments has sharply criticised OnTheMarket for its “protection of the status quo.”
PropertyPortalWatch - which acts as a monitor of property portal developments around the world, and is holding its next conference in New York later this month - took the unusual step of commenting on its website about a trio of testimonials released by OnTheMarket last week.
The testimonials came from agents with offices in the Home Counties, and one with a Mayfair office, and PropertyPortalWatch reproduces the agents’ comments in full.
However PPW’s founder and chairman Simon Baker then goes on to write that the testimonals ”all have a sense of fear and ‘circling the industry wagons’ about them.”
He adds comments which are likely to provoke fierce comment within the agency industry in the UK: “What is interesting about these comments is their inward focus and the protection of the status quo.
“The reality is that the world is changing. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry by turning everyone into a potential driver, AirBnB the hotel industry by turning everyone into a potential hotelier, and Expedia (and co) the travel industry by turning everyone into their own travel agent.
“The same is happening in the real estate industry and companies such as Zoopla, Rightmove, easyProperty and Purplebricks are the way of the future and, no matter what the industry tries to do, are here to stay. It is time to embrace, learn and change.”
OnTheMarket is releasing a series of testimonials in the run-up to the portal’s first anniversary in two weeks’ time.
These include testimonials from directors of Agents’ Mutual, the parent company of OTM.
One such testimonial came last week from Noel Flint, a partner at Knight Frank; it did not specify visitor numbers to the site, nor did it repeat earlier claims by the portal that it would be the number two by the end of its first year.
Another testimonial, from Spicerhaart chief executive Paul Smith, says OTM is led by an experienced executive team "in whom we have every faith."