OnTheMarket’s selective fee freeze for agents has been challenged by a new portal which asks agents: ‘Why pay at all?’
OTM revealed this week that it would not increase listing charges in 2020 for any agents currently paying full fees, while agencies which list on only one other portal would get a discount. It accompanied this with attacks on Rightmove, urging it to match OTM’s freeze.
However a new portal which says it has 5,000 agents has this morning said it’s no longer necessary for agents to “rely on the benevolence of online portals” and could instead list their properties free of charge.
“With the outcome of Brexit still up in the air and the deadline looming ever-closer, why add to the uncertainty by relying on the benevolence of online portals to 'freeze their fees' when you can list for free?” asks a spokesperson for Residential People.
“Unlike some other portals we don't pledge to freeze fees because there are no fees to pay. No cost-prohibitive barriers to entry, just free listings now and forever” he continues.
Residential People and its sister portal Commercial People launched in March and is currently live in this country and six others - the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. It is launching later this year in Australia, Ireland, China and other countries across the Middle East.
Last month it announced it had almost reached a milestone of 800,000 listings within its first six months and now it says a previous target - for one million listings by the final quarter of this year - is being far outstripped and it likely to be 1.6m by year-end.
A spokesman for Residential People told Estate Agent Today that “while other portals might roll out pricing pledges and lengthy legally binding contracts … we keep things simple.”
He says agents should not be swayed by “hollow pledges” from major portals.