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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agent accuses “unjust” OnTheMarket of charging for branch that shut

OnTheMarket is being accused by an agent of charging a monthly fee for a branch it knows to be shut.

Ian King of Humberstones Homes in the West Midlands contacted Estate Agent Today, showing us OTM’s bill itemising the closed branch.

King says: “We have closed our Bearwood office but still being charged for it due to some small print in the original listing agreement which I believe is massively corrupt.”

He adds: “[This] means I’m actually paying more for OTM than Zoopla now and not much less than Rightmove – and OTM want agents to see themselves as more friendly and fairer than Rightmove!”

King describes the affair as “unjust” and says he believes there is another agency in the same area which has a similar issue - being charged by OTM for a branch that is known to have been closed permanently.

When approached about the issue, OnTheMarket told us: “We do not comment on the specifics of our agents’ contracts.”

The challenger portal has been in the news recently for a conflict with another estate agency, the nine-branch James Pendleton firm in London.

Trade publication The Negotiator says the agency had been on one of OnTheMarket’s free membership deals, promoted in past years in a bid to boost its listings as OTM attempted to rival the major portals.

Chief executive Lee Pendleton told The Negotiator earlier this week that while it was unlikely that his firm would actually pay to list on OnTheMarket it was happy to benefit from the 100 per cent discount offered by the portal.

But a day after the comments appeared, Pendleton received an email from OnTheMarket giving his company a month’s notice after which its properties and profile will removed from its listings. He described the move as “a bit vindictive.”

Earlier this month OnTheMarket reported that 2,346 branches had converted to full-paying contracts as of September 30, paying an average of £288 per month. However, it confirmed an earlier warning to its shareholders that the take up of long-term contracts was running at a rate lower than expected.

As a result it was introducing shorter lower-cost contracts, typically at £203 per month.

In the six months to the end of July, OTM’s revenue of £8m was up 14 per cent on the same period last year: but its operating loss rose to £7.2m from £5.7m and its costs soared 23 per cent to £14.8m.

  • Simon Shinerock

    To add my two penny worth, when I enquired about the free trial I was told it had ended when it hadn’t, the reason, I have criticised OTM in the past. It’s a business culture I find very distasteful

  • Lee James  Pendleton

    It’s all about quality of leads verses cost and as a company it simply didn’t stack up. We will never be fans of aggressive sales companies and unrealistic long term contracts.

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    OTM leads far exceeds all other portals and since I got rid of RIghtmove it’s OTM that is leading the way, I also went back to Zoopla on a 6 month deal, don’t think I will be extending that unless they make a good offer. With two portals fighting for your business Only fools would stay with a portal that abuses them god help the agents that don’t keep up with the times and continue to feed the mouth that’s bites them RIghtmove will bleed your business’s dry.

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    Say "Hi" to your OTM collegues for us. :-D

     
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    Who you trying to kid about OTM leads?

  • Velgram Quaid

    HIT Man sounds like an OTM shill.

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    OTM post on Facebook, which is great. But... Quality of the leads is bad. Somewhere something doesn't work and let properties stay on the market for month or in some cases longer. A lot of cold applicants or someone who just looking around as there is nothing better to do during the day

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