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New property portal unconcerned about OnTheMarket rule

A new regional property portal aiming to sign up 80 per cent of agencies in Yorkshire says it is unconcerned about OnTheMarket’s controversial ‘one other portal only’ rule.

Yesterday the long-running Competitions Appeals Tribunal case - brought by OnTheMarket‘s parent company Agents’ Mutual against the Connells-owned Gascoigne-Halman agency, and widely seen as a test of the ‘one other portal only’ rule - ended in London, with a decision expected in the next few weeks.

But Britain’s newest portal - Movinorth - is unconcerned by the activities of OTM, or for that matter Rightmove or Zoopla. It says the OTM rule is a matter for that portal and for individual estate agencies; some agents advertising on Movinorth are believed to be advertising on both OTM and Rightmove as well.

In an interview with Estate Agent Today the Movinorth founder, John Dixon, says he is not attempting to challenge Rightmove or Zoopla with the scale of his operation, which has a marketing budget of around £800,000. This will be spent chiefly on TV exposure, digital advertising boards and online advertising.

“What we’ve got is a very different proposition to, say, Rightmove. We’re offering agents £2,500 for 12 months unlimited advertising on our website - that’s around the price of two major advertisements in regional newspapers” says Dixon, who previously ran a media planning and buying agency with high-profile clients such as DFS and Vision Express. 

“We’ve gone through a period where the big property companies bought up the smaller ones, and then the global companies bought up the big ones. Now we’re at a tipping point, moving in a different direction, and it’s time for a regional service likes ours reflecting the property world in Yorkshire.”

Dixon says the portal will put considerable emphasis on local information - highlighting the markedly different clubs, shops, transport links and so on that exist in different villages in Yorkshire, even if they are only a few miles apart. 

“Movinorth’s USP is a unique area overview covering the 14 most important relocation criteria for every postcode and micro area, written in a consumer friendly, informative, interesting way and which is not available through any existing national portals” he says. 

His portal - which currently has around 650 listings for Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford and Harrogate - also lists Area Demographics, Schools, Restaurants, Solicitors, Transport Links, Places of Worship, Shopping, General Information, Sport, The Arts and Local Attractions.

“People need to know where they’re moving to and what the area is like - people do their research and we provide all they need to know” states Dixon.

OnTheMarket has been asked for its view on whether advertising on Movinorth in addition to a national portal contravenes its rules.

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