The broad disgruntlement of some OnTheMarket estate agent members over claims of poor quality and low quantity of leads, and the general low profile of the portal itself, are beginning to be overshadowed by specific dissent looking at fees.
Much of the debate appears to be centred on an Agents' Mutual Information Memorandum which was added to the contracts of early Gold members.
It is alleged by some agents that this memorandum gives written assurances that through investing in loan notes and committing to the portal for five years, member agents would in return pay lower fees than those who joined after the portal’s January 2015 launch.
Some dissenting agents claim that substantial numbers of agents have more recently joined for as little as £50 a month (in some cases, that is a 10th or less of the fees paid by some early-joining agents).
A scan of what appears to be a £50 monthly contract for OnTheMarket has been widely distributed by some disgruntled agents, and has been sent to OnTheMarket members and the trade press.
Some member agents have now contacted OnTheMarket, Agents’ Mutual and/or Eversheds - the law firm representing Agents’ Mutual - stating that the levying of such low fees constitutes a material breach of contract.
As a consequence, some agents claim, their subscriptions and pre-launch loan notes should be refunded.