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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Independent agents launch portal alternative to Rightmove

Independent agents inspired by the Say No To Rightmove campaign are to launch a rival portal next month.

Wearethemarket is a portal which so far has the support of over 50 offices in Coventry and Warwickshire, but with plans to expand its geographical reach.

“The collective strength of voice from our industry was fantastic last year but we wanted to go one step further and create a platform for local businesses to showcase the areas we live in and our clients’ properties. We don’t have to Say No To Rightmove but we do want to develop an option where some agents might ‘Say Bye to Rightmove’ and the like, if the platform proves an effective alternative” explains Mike Cleary, director at Warwickshire agency Sheldon Bosley Knight.

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“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.

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    Will only work they don't list anywhere else
    Try telling a vendor theywont list on Blightmove or Hoopla .

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    Hi Angus

    I'm inclined to agree but its not our job to tell the member agents where to advertise their properties. One thing is for sure, RM have first mover advantage and anything else that came or comes after strengthens their hold. The only solution we can so is to do it differently and you have to start somewhere. At least with this beginning, we are potentially in a position to get together and ask why we are collectively spending in excess of £1,000,000 per annum on RM alone and say 'why don't we all say Bye to RM?'. Together there is strength. wearethemarket.co.uk is the start along this road, who know what our agents will want to do in 6 or 12 months - some have already moved from 'we will support you but never come off RM' to 'shall we discuss what it would take?'. That for me tells me everything and spurs me on when others say 'can I just watch for a while...'. We are clear the best equity deal will go to those that commit pre-launch. Equity will be available thereafter but at a reduced rate. the risk takers need rewarding in life! Mike (SheldonBosleyKnight & wearethemarlet)

     
  • Murray Lee

    As 1 of the main SayNo Campaigners may I just point out that we did leave RM as promised (and so far suffered no ill effects, and personally were not part of the advocation of OTM message. I believe this was put out by one of the other main members, which they have the right to do. Just wanted to clear that up. However I am due to have a meeting with Jason Tebb on Monday to put across the opinions of the "little men" to see how we can help each other move forward. I would also mention that my local "4 horseman" who kicked off our campaign in NW London are meeting with Andy Marshal of Zoopla next week also to discuss moving forward in the current latest lockdown and the help they are giving to their members. Balanced reporting is only fair....

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    Hi Murray, we've learn a lot over the last 9 months but arrive here today with what I believe is the way forward. The other portals will always do what's best for their shareholders, I get this, but the beauty of our proposal is that we can do the same. You need a concentrated patch, trust and open communication. I really think our 'local' will become 'regional' and who knows beyond that.... My view is the hands of ZPG, OTM and RM are all tied..... they are powerless to support your business much beyond their current offering. We don't want to rule the world -we want the best shop window for our properties, to give our agents best chance to prosper and to showcase the local wonderful businesses that make the areas we sell/rent in so desirable. We're going to do this.

     
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    Well keep it positive .
    Otm blew it by negativity campaigns.
    Why will you be better.
    Why will you get a better result for your customer??
    Why will this site be better?
    What new tech will it provide?
    Most of the challengers all focus on we the agencie are paying too much.
    Where's the benefit to the poor old consumer who really does pay the bills.

  • Andrew Hall

    The challenge is to be something different for the user. Launching a portal just to reduce costs to the agents is self absorbed. In addition, with Boomin coming on stream, the waters will be much murkier and again ask ‘how does this benefit your client’? MOST buyers and sellers are fine with using RM and as such grabbing attention and engagement in a busy world is very hard. They don’t want to search multiple portals and they don’t want to miss out so RM delivers.

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    Our portal will be different for quite a few reasons - first all member staff will be 'ambassadors' and register clients on their own company portal and that of WATM. Our Boards will all have slips added to promote the name and so there will be incredible name awareness for the consumer. A focus on the areas that we operate within will be made with bespoke location pages, promoting local businesses, organisations and events, this will be overlaid with the properties available for sale/to let in the location. The links from their websites will massively help from an SEO perspective. This will forge really strong relationships with our communities and enhance the keeping business local drive, significantly improved sadly by the lockdown. In time as the portal market fragments, WATM will get a reputation for the only place to find all the best local properties.... if all local firms join. Having read Elon Musk's book, this is a tiny dream compared with some of the big stuff that he does. As the world's wealthiest man as of yesterday, I am encourage to pursue this with the excellent team of co-founders.

    I have never known a business prosper if it doesn't deliver to its clients (RM is the possible exception). At the end of the day, if all of our houses are only advertised on WATM then will no one buy in our area? Will consumers not change their habits?

    Some agents have forgotten..... WE are the market

     
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    If an agent doesn't advertise on rightmove or zoopla, I won't instruct them. Rightmove and Zoopla are the most popular property sites in the UK.

    Andrew Hall

    Show me a challenger portal that has truly succeeded 'FOR CLIENTS', not agents and I will eat my hat! The whole mentality I see in these portals is 'what's good for the agent' and hang the client. That model is doomed to fail.

     
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    At this moment in time I can't disagree.... it doesn't have to be like this forever. We believe we have found a way through the impasse.....

     
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    And that is why nobody trusts or respects agents..they are used because they exist...globally...this will change in the next few years.

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    They do in Coventry and Warwickshire Angus...... My firm is 180 years old... it's a very longcon if you are right

     
  • Andrew Hall

    Sorry but you are not the market. You are intermediaries. Merely another channel to market for vendors. I wish you well but I guess we’ll see where the pudding is.👍🏻

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    If agents had any sense, they all ditch all the RM bolt on's overnight and that would take 30% or so straight of their bottom line. We did 10 years ago and made no difference at all.

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    Before long there will more portals than Agents.. Err so isn't it better just to back portal and promote your own website.

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