OnTheMarket has told the City this morning that it has already signed up 81 new listing agreements by 5pm yesterday, completing the first week following floatation.
“There are a significant number of further listing agreements expected” as a result of meetings between the portal’s sales teams and agencies.
“This is in line with the company's strategy to grow substantially the core customer base of estate and lettings agents, whose role in the property portals market is to provide the portal operators with both revenue and property listings content” the firm says in its statement, released at 7am today.
It continues: “There is a strong pipeline of sales team appointments booked over the coming weeks with agent firms that have expressed a positive interest in the agent-backed model of OnTheMarket and in joining OnTheMarket.com.
“In addition, the management is in discussion with selected key agents with a view to them entering into long term agreements to list properties in return for becoming shareholders in the company.
“The company announced previously that it intended to increase four-fold the sales and agent customer relationship team and has already expanded the sales team by 50 per cent.”
OTM explains that the UK agency market is made up of around 18,000 branches, is highly fragmented and that directors believe that over 80 per cent of firms are made up of between one and three branches.
Concluding this morning’s statement, OTM chief executive Ian Springett said: "The level of agent interest on the ground for the OnTheMarket proposition has been extremely encouraging, not least in terms of the number of offices which have already signed a contract with OnTheMarket during our first week of recruitment and selling.
"The estate agent sector is highly local in character and early indications are that we are on track in terms of creating local momentum in the marketplace up and down the UK.
"The more agents who join now, the more we believe all agents and property-seekers will benefit in terms of the increased property stock at OnTheMarket.com. We are focused on reaching out to agent firms across the country which can see the disruptive appeal of our proposition of sustainable fair pricing from an agent-backed portal. We aim to build rapidly on this early momentum as a key step towards becoming a full scale competitor to the market-leading portals."
Yesterday afternoon the portal revealed in a separate announcement that the butters john bee agency - which has branches in Shropshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands - had signed up to OnTheMarket and had dropped listing on Zoopla and PrimeLocation.
The 18-branch business was acquired last year by Spicerhaart, whose chief executive Paul Smith is a director of OnTheMarket.
“We see OnTheMarket’s fund raise and admission to AIM as excellent news, giving it the capital it needs to implement its growth strategy. I look forward to seeing OnTheMarket growing its agent customer and property-searcher consumer bases to disrupt the cosy duopoly that has existed for too long in the property portal sector” says Smith.
In a statement yesterday afternoon from OnTheMarket, bjb managing director James Beardmore says: “We are delighted to be joining OnTheMarket as we have been watching its growth and are highly supportive of its agent-backed model.”
Ian Springett, chief executive officer of OnTheMarket, says: “This comes hot on the heels of our displaying the properties of 100+ office group Arun Estates. The bjb agency has a strong heritage and an excellent track record and will substantially strengthen our position in the north west and help create further momentum for the business.”
OTM says that under its new rules following floating on the stock market, bjb was not required to drop any other portal.