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By Nat Daniels

CEO, Angels Media


Property Natter - On manoeuvres with OnTheMarket

It’s more than 100 days since global real estate tech giants CoStar Group acquired struggling property portal, OnTheMarket.
If you cast your mind back to the colder, darker days of last December, suggestions of them displacing Rightmove as kings of the property portals were met with an ‘I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it’ sort of attitude.
Understandable, of course, but CoStar were willing to put their money where their mouth is and pledged £46.5m in advertising spend for the first year with more to follow.

At the time, OTM chief executive (now, President), Jason Tebb, said: "We have built the foundations to become the number one property search site in the UK and now with CoStar’s technology, expertise and capital, this deal allows us to turbo charge our strategy and for the first time in our history, go head-to-head with the market leaders. I am truly excited by what we can achieve together. With the support of our agents, we will change the portal landscape, forever. The most exciting part of the journey is yet to come. Now is our time."

So I thought it might be fun to check in and take a look at how they’ve been doing. Well one thing is for sure, the guys at OTM have not been idle!


In January they signed a multi-year listings agreement with Leaders Romans Group

  • In February, Edward Mellor, one of the UK's largest independent property services firms in the North of England, signed a listings agreement with the portal.

  • In March, OTM reported that since the takeover, more than 1,000 new agents had joined and 57,000 listings had been added. It said monthly leads to agents were up 81% and unique monthly visitors increased 81% annually. OTM’s agent office count had also increased by 10% since the CoStar acquisition, the brand said, with more than 14,000 agents now listing on the site. It also surpassed 15,000 advertisers for the first time in its history.

  • In April, OTM signed a listing agreement with independent agency brand, Seymours, while owners CoStar snapped up virtual tour pioneers, Matterport, in a cash and stock deal estimated to be worth $1.6bn.

  • In May, rivals Zoopla, retaliated by launching an eight-week advertising campaign to capitalise on the prime house-hunting months of May and June. (They had already announced a 41% uplift to their marketing spend in 2024). But OTM hit back again this week when it said in Estate Agent Today that it had seen a “significant increase” in the number of new homes advertised on its site, bringing its stock up to 95% of Rightmove’s developer listings for the first time.

  • It's still early days for OTM…but you have to admit they’re not hanging about. And OK, Rightmove might not be looking over its shoulder…yet. But Zoopla appears to be hanging on to the Number Two slot by its fingernails as OTM gathers momentum.
    And keep an eye on that Matterport purchase. That could be their secret weapon in what my colleague, Graham Norwood, called 'Portal Wars'.

    The battle lines are drawn. Watch this space.

    Letting off steam

    John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords has blamed politicians for making some landlords feel ‘a pariah in society.’

    He blamed ‘mixed messages’ and ‘anti-landlord rhetoric’ for leading to some property owners exiting the market and fuelling Scotland’s housing crisis.

    What? Politicians targeting landlords? Never in the world….

    Meanwhile over the border…

    A few miles down the road from Holyrood, just over the border at Alnwick in Northumberland, we send our congratulations to Charlie Malling-Dunn who, just this week, has opened a new estate agency, Northumberland Properties.

    Charlie says he wants to ‘break the mould’ of traditional estate agency in the county.

    I’m not exactly sure what that will look like, but I wish him every success with his new venture.

    Until next time,

    If you have a story you’d like me to Natter about, drop me a line at press@estateagenttoday.co.uk

    Angels Media Ltd is publisher of the 'Today' trade news sites


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