In another bid to take on Rightmove, OnTheMarket is introducing a new range of advertising products which will enable agents to boost the visibility of their brands and their listings on the portal and in property alerts.
From April 8 it will have:
- Spotlight property: maximum ‘stand-out’ features with a bigger listing and an enhanced multi-image design at the top of relevant search results;
- Local agents’ banners: display ads for extra branded ‘stand-out’ to boost visibility to site users within relevant search results pages;
- Property alert banners: these are described as “highly targeted display ads to reach the most motivated audience of property-seekers who are searching locally and have registered to receive regular alerts.”
And in a bid to help convert the large proportion of its relatively new members who are on free contracts, these advertising opportunities will only be available to agents on paying contracts.
Helen Whiteley, commercial director of OnTheMarket, says: “Following an agent feedback process, we are pleased to launch this range of products. However, as part of our commitment to the principle of sustainably fair pricing, we shall not be ‘bundling’ core listing fees with any additional advertising our agents may choose to take.
“Furthermore, we shall be offering these new products at a fraction of the standard prices charged by Rightmove.
“We hope that OnTheMarket members will choose to use the new set of tools and products now provided by the agent-backed portal. Transferring usage and revenue away from other portals to OnTheMarket is key to ensuring that agents can reduce their reliance on other portals, regain control of their portal costs and accelerate the successful growth.”
In a statement released this morning, OTM says the local agent and property alert banners are “limited availability” products because there is a maximum number of agents who can run campaigns in their chosen local area at any given time.
It says those agents who book a campaign now will automatically have the right of first refusal to renew or maintain their campaign at the end of the initial period. Also, agents purchasing these products will be given priority when further additional products are launched.
In recent trading statements OnTheMarket has made it clear that it’s a priority for the company to translate those free or discounted memberships enjoyed by agents who have joined in the past year, into full-rate memberships.
City investment consultancy Zeus - which advises OnTheMarket - says the portal is expecting to have 17,200 agent branches listing in three years’ time.
Projections suggest that if OTM can convert those agents who joined at a discount in the past two years into market-level fee-paying customers it will earn £388 a month on average from each agent by 2021. This would add up to £64m revenue and profit after tax of £27.4m for the challenger portal.
Likewise, recent promotional material from OnTheMarket has made it clear that it wants to rival Rightmove with the range of products and back-office features it can offer agents in a bid to woo them from the number one portal.