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Eileen Henderson
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my expertise in the industry

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Eileen Henderson

From: Eileen Henderson 30 June 2015 14:56 PM

Eileen Henderson
I am sick and tired of the meaningless threats and insinuations that come from AM supporters. Its been like this since the AM project got underway, with them using the 'imminent demise' of the main portals as their rallying cry. Well done, the emotion and rhetoric helped sign a decent number of agents, but equally it will create divisions as it becomes clear the huge promised fall materially short of success. The problem that they ignore is that once AM is shown to be a pathetic attempt to tame Rightmove (which has backfired spectacularly, and instead set Zoopla back a year or so while strengthening Rightmove's competitive position), there will be some significant consequences. Not least, any further attempt to launch in this space will be squarely rejected by anyone burned by the AM experience. I suggest that those who have drunk the Agents Mutual Kool-Aid have a really careful think about their behaviour and start to think about how AM can be adapted to give it a better chance of success. I would start with: 1. Drop the 'one other portal rule' and remove the main blocker to wider participation and the potential threat of CMA action in the future (anyone who thinks this practice is not anti-competitive needs to take a short course in competition law) 2. Get rid of the existing management team who seem intent on pursuing personal vendettas against Daily Mail Group/Primelocation/Zoopla rather than build a credible portal brand 3. Relocate the business from Central London to the Midlands, where they can employ staff and house the business much more cost effectively. I am told that they are paying a significant premium to sales, service and tech staff which is not sustainable. Best to relocate the business and start with a clean slate. 4. re-think the commercial terms which see agents expected to pay the same for almost nothing (which is what OTM delivers) as they pay for Zoopla (which delivers a decent level of response) 5. Remove the anti-competitive barriers to virtual agents and developers. The project is trying to achieve too much by trying to block developers from reaching the wider public, stop virtual agents from getting traction AND building a successful portal. In fact, the exclusion of virtuals and developers hampers the project and ultimately will contribute to its demise The sad reality is though that too much power has been put into the hands of Ian Springet and he won't leave until the things is in tatters - he has too much to lose in terms of reputation and cash (if the rumours are true that he has a £500,000 salary, that is the biggest scandal of the project). He has built an over-payed but mediocre team who are failing to deliver and due to the structure of the board (which is made up on posh and London-centric agents, all of whom speak the same language as Springet) will continue until the money has run out. I am so glad that we stuck away from this silly project and I feel genuinely sad for the small independent agents who see the world changing, don't like it, and thought that this was the panacea. As a result they are left holding 5 year contracts for a product that doesn't work and was conceived with only the interests of the larger agents in mind. Its a disgrace.

From: Eileen Henderson 17 June 2015 10:01 AM

Eileen Henderson

From: Eileen Henderson 16 June 2015 11:52 AM

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