The first two meetings in a roadshow which OnTheMarket has organised for local member agents take place today - another 18 are to be held later this month.
Today’s sessions kick off at noon in Stafford and at 4pm in Warrington and will be given over exclusively to the proposals by Agents’ Mutual - parent company of OnTheMarket - to demutualise, float on the stock market and turn OTM into another profit-making portal like Rightmove and Zoopla.
Meetings later this week take place in Barnsley, Grantham, Weybridge, Tunbridge Wells and Thame; the rest will be held later in August.
It is believed OTM member agents have, ahead of their meetings, received a three page letter from Agents' Mutual chief executive and director Ian Springett along with more substantial documents including a Members Scheme Document, a Loan Note Scheme Document and a new Listing Agreement; within these documents there is a tariff of fees varying depending on firm size and its location in Prime London, Other London, Prime Country or Other Country.
Agents who have seen the tariff of fees suggest they are proposed to range from £192 to £595 per month; discounts will be of zero per cent to 35 per cent depending on firm size.
The floated OnTheMarket, should it happen, will include listings from online estate agencies - referred to as "virtual offices" by OTM for fees purposes. This is despite Ian Springett three years ago describing online operators as "parasites."
At the time they were first publicised, under two weeks ago, the proposed 20 sessions were billed in an earlier letter to OTM member agents as an opportunity to review unspecified “substantial new plans which will support the further development of OnTheMarket.”
The letter continued: “Our aim is to gain members’ support for the new plans and be in a position to implement them as soon as reasonably possible.”
OTM is stressing the meetings are not open to non-member agents nor even to general staff who work for member firms; an online booking system used to confirm attendance says: “Places are limited to a maximum of 2 Principals, Partners or Directors per firm.”
Meanwhile it has emerged that media relations about the float proposals will be conducted chiefly by Temple Bar Advisory - a specialist public relations company handling corporate communications and investor relations - and not by Agents’ Mutual’s in-house PR effort.