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Agency claims OnTheMarket has lost 200 branches in three weeks

OnTheMarket has swatted away the latest criticism from a long-term critic, online estate agency head Russell Quirk - although it has not denied specific allegations about the numbers of agency branches and visits on the portal.

In a press release Quirk, head of eMoov, claims OnTheMarket has lost 200 estate agency branches in the past three weeks. 

He also claims that data for February produced by internet monitor Hitwise shows traffic to OnTheMarket down year-on-year and month-on-month. 

Quirk alleges that visits to OnTheMarket in February were down 38 per cent versus the month before, while both Rightmove and Zoopla were down just two per cent - which the agency describes as “a seasonal drop.” He also says OnTheMarket’s visits last month were down two per cent from its February 2016 performance “despite the huge investment that has been made in marketing over the past 12 months.”

He has called upon the portal to drop what it calls “its restrictive rules” including the one-other-portal-only rule now being tested by a Competition Appeals Tribunal case - judgement from which is expected in the next few weeks.

However, OTM has responded combatively to the statements - although without addressing the specific allegations.

A portal spokesperson says: “With curious persistence, Mr Quirk has issued yet again a 'press release' about OnTheMarket and yet again he insists [it] is set to fail. 

"He was adamant that the portal would 'fizzle out' before its first birthday but the reality is that in January 2017, OnTheMarket celebrated its second anniversary already established as a major portal with a record 11.2million visits. 

"While Mr Quirk is entitled to his opinion, the thousands of estate and letting agents who choose to list their properties at OTM are equally entitled to theirs. The overwhelming majority of our members remain strongly supportive of OnTheMarket and understand better than anyone their long-term objectives to regain control of their data and costs. 

“This has never been more important than now after Rightmove’s management last week ‘sketched-out the sustainability of growth to £2,500 ARPA longer-term’ and ZPG's acquisitions of Expert Agent and Hometrack. We remain as determined as ever to build the best portal for consumers and agents alike.”

  • Simon shinerock

    OTM's case rested on the idea it was defending independent agents from an all powerful portal duopoly as well as from the threat of online agents. All businesses need to be prepared to adapt to change, not ignore it or try to stop it. The interesting thing is the game is rapidly moving on to a 'post portal' era, it would be wise for agents interested in their future success to take note as many already are.

  • icon

    Do tend to agree that the post portal era is approaching, we are seeing fewer and fewer quality leads from them

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