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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

OnTheMarket chiefs speak out to bolster portal ahead of anniversary

The directors of Agents’ Mutual say they have “every confidence” in OnTheMarket as the portal approaches its first anniversary on January 26. 

Agents’ Mutual says there will be what it calls “a series of comments from the directors” in the build up to the anniversary - the first has come from Noel Flint of Knight Frank, who was a prominent cheerleader of the portal on Twitter in its first few months of operation.

In a statement released over the weekend he said the Rightmove-Zoopla dominance of portals had become “staid” and he reiterated his belief that OnTheMarket would grow. 

He says OTM is providing Knight Frank’s offices with high-quality leads and their volume was steadily growing. “Our clients like the portal and I don't believe we are experiencing any loss of business” he says. 

Flint - a partner and Head of London Residential at Knight Frank - is a non-executive director of Agents’ Mutual, the parent company of OTM. Other firms on the board are Chestertons, Douglas & Gordon, Glentree, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, Savills, Strutt & Parker and Spicerhaart.

“OnTheMarket has already caused a significant sea-change within the portals market in a way that no other recent market entrant has done” explains Flint. 

“[OTM chief executive] Ian Springett's team has delivered a fast and beautifully designed website for consumers where house-hunting is now a pleasure and where there are many new and exclusive properties” he continues, describing the portal as “a 'must-view' destination for serious property-seekers.” 

His statement does not include any figures but claims that OTM is providing his agency with high quality leads “and we have seen their volume steadily growing.”

His comments conclude with: ”As more agents recognise the strategic importance of regaining control of their data and costs and as they see the strategic opportunity to serve their clients and property-seekers better with their own portal, we believe that OnTheMarket will go from strength to strength.”

  • Trevor Mealham

    It's a shame it operates with cartel like restraints. Let's hope the CMA has now started looking closer to bring it in line with EU competition law or goes further if the AM/OTM partnership continues acting away from best industry and consumer interests in the market.

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    Fair play. I would have thought that the directors - like Noel Flint - would be lining up to distance themselves from the thing at this stage. Its a complete disaster as far as I can see.

    A buddy of mine showed me a contract he has been sent from OnTheMarket over the holidays. £50 per branch for two years!! He was so sick of being hounded by his increasingly desperate OTM sales rep that he thought he'd see how far he could go with them. Absolutely no chance of signing up but a complete disgrace that someone joining now can get such amazingly low terms while another friend of mine is paying them £500 per month and has been told he can't get out of his contract.

    You should have seen the reaction when I showed him the £50 contract! I wouldn't like to be that rep this week.

    Jon  Tarrey

    If what you say is true, smells very strongly of desperation. Quite sad, really, because AM/OTM's good intentions seem to have got lost along the way thanks to vested interests and big egos.

     
    Trevor Mealham

    @ Steve - I know of agents who have walked away, feeling that the restraints compromised their business and consumer best interest.

    UK agency law is very supportive of agents acting in best client and consumer interest.

    I'd not like to be an AM/OTM rep standing in court pleading with a judge that an agent HAD to stay, whilst goals and promises had failed to deliver.

     
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    A catalyst in OTM being set up was to eliminate the duopoly of Rightmove and On The Market - a good thing. However, as Knight Frank & Savills opted to go with Rightmove, others operating in the same market had no choice but to follow.

    Result? Rightmove now have a free hand on pricing with Zoopla offering rates close to OTM. Great work OTM.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Wishful thinking from Mr Flint methinks!

  • Simon Shinerock

    Noel, please tell me how OTM has helped agents gain control of their online presence and ownership of their data?
    All OTM has succeeded in doing is create a schism in the industry between the old guard and the new, as well as providing a very dubious proposition and a pretty unloved website.
    Oh yes, let's also not forget taken money from many agents not as wealthy as your own to further ambitions they don't really understand and over which they have no real control.

  • Anna  Dickson

    So despite Noel claiming that all is well with OTM and that they are providing them with 'high quality leads' it's telling that Noel failed to provide any concrete figures supporting his words in his statement. Speaks volumes, in my opinion.

  • Tom  Harrington

    It's unsurprising that the company is flailing rapidly. It should never have cut out online agents and created the rule whereby agents could only belong to either Rightmove or Zoopla. It seems to be biting them on the bum now if these above comments are correct!

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    So ironic that this is all being done by the Savills and KF duopoly!

    Why would the industry get into bed with these guys......AM in its realisation could be a truly terrible for the industry. Whoever ran AM would rule the entire UK propery market as a dictatorship and fiefdom.

    Don't let this happen

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    OTM has been setup by the prime London brands to replace PrimeLocation as a go to portal for prime property. They do not have the interests of the average UK estate agent at heart.

    They have made a push into international properties and also teamed up with country life. This strategy is 100% aligned with the business model that Savills and KF want. They want their own portal for the high end, country and international sales and this is what OTM is destined to become.

    I really pity the other UK estate agents who are paying £500 per month to fund Savills and KF's corporate goals.

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    In terms of views, yes they are a long way from Zoopla, but are about neck and neck with PrimeLocation according to my analysis from looking at search volume on Google which I reckon is a fairly good proxy for website views.

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    None of the decisions to move into international markets or team with country life were put to a member vote. This is not a mutual. The UK needs a true mutual portal that is run by members for members.

    Property Mutual may be that portal but they need support and investment from all the UK estate agents.

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