It is reported this morning that OnTheMarket has lost one of its key early investors, the Gascoigne Halman agency which is now owned by Connells.
The Cheshire-based firm - an independent when it first bought Gold membership of OTM - was taken over by Connells in the autumn.
One report this morning says the firm suggests OTM’s poor reception by the consumer press and some clients objecting to the ‘one other portal’ rule were key factors in the return of the agency to Zoopla.
Meanwhile the latest testimonials released by OnTheMarket’s PR division have a common theme of criticising Zoopla.
James Birt of the three-office Naylor Powell agency in Gloucester says: “For quite some time we had felt that the leads produced by Zoopla were not particularly good quality in the sense that they rarely converted into instructions or viewings. Now that we are listing on both Rightmove and OnTheMarket the volume of leads has increased [and] ... are of a much better quality in that most of them are from committed ready-to-go clients or applicants.”
Ben Hudson, director of Hudson Moody in York, another three-branch agency, says: “OnTheMarket currently provides around 25 per cent of our online leads which are of far higher quality than those we received from Zoopla.”
And Nick Manson of the single-office Mansons agency in Newcastle says in the testimonial ”I decided to join Agents' Mutual as a founder Gold member from the very beginning because I felt strongly about supporting an alternative property portal to challenge the dominance of Rightmove and Zoopla.”
Meanwhile a recommendation on the investment website Motley Fool tips Zoopla as one of “three great picks for 2016” with investors told it has some years of growth likely given the continuing recovery in the housing market.