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What should OnTheMarket do now? An analyst wants to know...

Prominent agency industry analyst Anthony Codling is asking agents whether the board of OnTheMarket did the right thing by firing Ian Springett.

Codling - a prominent analyst formerly at investment bank Jefferies - has issued a 10 question survey asking agents questions including whether they believe OTM was correct in yesterday’s sacking, and whether the portal is staying true to its aims of becoming an alternative to Rightmove and Zoopla.

It goes on to ask specifically where Springett’s replacement should come from - whether it should be from within the existing team at OTM, from the wider agency sector, from another existing property portal, or from an agency industry supplier, or from outside the residential sector completely.


In addition to some general questions about Rightmove and the wider portal landscape, Codling concludes by asking: “If you could make one change to the strategy of OnTheMarket, what would it be?”

At Jefferies, Codling became a prominent industry figure for his searing analyses of Purplebricks' sales record, and then in 2018 Codling quit the bank and became chief executive of property search firm Rummage4Property.

In December 2018 he was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that Countrywide and some 30 other estate agency groups signed up to Rummage, alongside some of the UK’s largest housebuilders. He suggested that Rummage would offer a listing service for just over a tenth of the cost of Rightmove.

Specifically, he said Rummage4Property would begin by charging a flat fee of £100 a month and would link any changes to house price inflation. “The key selling point is that it is much cheaper than Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket plc” he told the paper.


However, Rummage4Property has not moved in the direction suggested by Codling, and he himself left the company towards the end of 2019. He has since been linked with an organisation called twindig.

Codling’s request for agent feedback on Springett’s departure can be seen on his Twitter feed @anthonycodling.

[This article has been amended: it previously gave an incorrect monthly fee for Rummage4Property].  

  • Michael Riley

    OTM has never been an alternative. Its a clone and clones dont tend to do very well (just ask Dolly the sheep).

    The only questions worth asking are, what problem does OTM actually solve, is that in the top three priorities on a persons todo list and does that person get fired for not solving it (thats your customer with a strong need).

    The simple fact is OTM doesn't solve a big problem for agencies and they do nothing for the consumer. RM fees are mildly annoying but remarkably good value for the vast majority of agencies, many of whom would struggle to compete without it. No one is going to get fired if that doesnt get sorted and most agencies have bigger daily issues to worry about than solving it.

    If OTM had the balls they would have had a no other portal policy, be on OTM exclusively. They didnt because they knew agencies wouldnt buy into that because their value proposition has never been strong enough.

    Not being distinctive and having a point of difference means they have and will always be in the dark shadow of Zoopla and RM. It takes a very bright light to step out of that. Which is something that OTM has never been and their appalling Chas and Dave themed adverts are yet another example of.

    I'm sorry for the team that work on it and the agencies that hoped it might shake things up, but that's the truth of it and has been since the beginning.

    Algarve  Investor

    Totally agree about the awful Chas and Dave-themed ads. They've ruined that jingle for me, which used to bring such happy memories of watching the Jolly Boys' outing to Margate. 'Daan to Margit!"

    OTM's adverts before were much more slick and professional, but barely broke through, so clearly they went for the YOPA/PB/Zoopla/RM approach of annoying people into submission. Still hasn't worked, though. Barely anyone knows who OTM is, outside of the agency world.

  • icon

    'RM fees are mildly annoying but remarkably good value for the vast majority of agencies, many of whom would struggle to compete without it' I was with you up to that statement. Bonkers.

    Mike Riley

    Value is different to price.

    If they were anything more than mildly annoying then more agencies would be doing something about it. It would be far higher up their priority list.

    The "agencies would rather turn their lights off" logic was spot on.

    I was in a multi-agencies meeting with Miles Shipside a few years after RM launch and we asked him whether RM fees would exceed £1000 pm per agency. He said he didn't ever expect that to happen. I'm not sure RM ever expect the agencies to be so stupid as to put all their listings in one place.

    IMHO RM could double their fees and agencies wouldn't pull the plug on it. The reason for that is, its good value.

    Not only that, but too many agencies have allowed their tech, alternative marketing channels and differentiation to wither, as they suckle up to the fat Rightmove sow. So, they have some very difficult choices and pivots to make to wriggle away from that constant supply and most have got far more pressing issues to deal with.

    But, time will tell. Until then its Bitty Bitty all the way:)

  • icon

    not sure where the £1200 came from rummage4 is £100 plus vat per branch per month, please amend


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