“There is no doubt that, in time, the current geographical patch - which we restricted so that a launch date could be set - will grow” explains Cleary.
The portal is to launch in the Midlands at first, and claims to already have around 75 per cent of the area’s sales stock. Cleary says it is concentrating initially on this region but “expects this to widen as both consumers and agents appreciate the benefits of the platform.”
He adds: “Our low membership fee for agents is already at a level where our operation costs are covered, leaving us with a healthy advertising budget for launch and ongoing activity. We also intend to plough revenue back into continual improvements to the portal, enabling us to deliver an excellent, locally focused, nationwide property platform in the future.”
Estate Agent Today has asked for details of the charges being levied by the portal: Wearethemarket says there are two options for joining.
The first is Equity, of £250 to £2,000 according to the agent’s choice, and then £150 per sales or lettings office.
The second is Non-equity or standard membership of £100 per calendar month for a minimum of six months, but with no lock-in period.
The website itself tells visitors: “We bring our properties to this portal first so, as a member of our community, you get first chance to buy or rent in your desired area before they are advertised on the national sites. We make your house search quick and easy whilst showcasing the best bits of the local area. Most questions you’d normally ask your agent during a viewing are answered at your fingertips here.
“From north Cotswolds to Nuneaton, Evesham to Southam, our independent sales and lettings agent offices are the go-to place for all property hunters in our area. You really need look no further to find your ideal property in your perfect location.”
You can see the website here and interested agents can get in touch by emailing Mike Cleary at Mike@wearethemarket.co.uk
Meanwhile the Say No To Rightmove campaign itself - which effectively admitted it was unable to guarantee that the number one portal would reduce its fees as requested - has now become an advocate of OnTheMarket.
SNTR's website gives agents three pieces of advice which it claims will use OTM to “bring about an end to spiralling portal costs.”
Firstly, it urges independent agents to join OTM on a shareholder contract.
It says: “Over 40 per cent of all independent agents are shareholders in OnTheMarket and between them own about 65 per cent of the portal which amounts to 6,000-plus offices up and down the country. If another 2,000-plus agents signed a shareholder contract with OnTheMarket, that would significantly increase marketing budgets and help the portal build increased awareness.”
Secondly it urges independents to support OTM’s ‘new and exclusive’ proposition.
SNTR says: “If ALL shareholder agents supported the portal by listing their properties at OnTheMarket 24 hours or more ahead of other portals, serious home-movers would soon realise OnTheMarket is the portal they should visit FIRST. This is the most sensible way of encouraging home-movers to OnTheMarket and gives the vendors and landlords an enhanced advert at no additional cost.”
And thirdly, SayNoToRightmove urges independent agents to list on the new and exclusive OTM feature for longer than the current 24 hours.
“We should increase it to 48 hours and then 72 hours or more. Every step we take will reduce our reliance on other portals who treat us unfairly. Many agents are already building inverse marketing solutions prioritising their own websites, using Artificial Intelligence or social media and then, as a third stage, dropping their listings onto traditional portals.”
SNTR admits these steps “are not the quick overnight switch of properties away from Rightmove that many agents would like to see” but claims it will shift consumers away to OTM from Rightmove.