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Written by rosalind renshaw

Agents’ Mutual has finished the year on a high, having hit double its Gold member target.

It has also revealed that the launch date of the new, as yet un-named portal, will now not be late 2014 but January 2015 – answering those who had queried how it would enforce the ‘only one other portal’ advertising rule for agents who would still be on annual contracts with Rightmove and Zoopla.

It means that this time next year, agents committed to Agents’ Mutual will have had to decide between the two existing giants.

This morning it is set to announce that, due to a surge in applications prior to last Friday’s deadline, it has now received commitments for Gold membership from firms with more than 2,000 offices between them.

Its initial target to achieve financial viability was 1,000 offices.

The surge in support at Gold level has come from small and medium-sized firms across the country, including a large group of agents in south and west Wales.

The initial Gold membership offer has now closed and Agents’ Mutual is moving to contracts, funding and implementation of its plans in January.

It will consider a further Gold membership offer once the first funding is complete and will also begin offering contracts for Silver membership.  Further announcements will be made in the New Year.

Chief executive Ian Springett said: “The project has gathered strong momentum and Agents’ Mutual plans to build it still further from the start of 2014.

“With the funding in place to create a well-resourced organisation and a clear programme to deliver the new portal in January 2015, we believe it can attract the further support it needs to make a major impact in the market on behalf of independent agents everywhere.”

Comments

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    There's no competition Trevor, William Hill is offering 2/1 that you'll be the next big thing! Happy New Year.

    • 02 January 2014 11:47 AM
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    Being a bit busy with simultaneous exchanges and completions on 23rd December (I wonder if something to do with so many solicitors being forcibly closed down by the Law Society on the 29th) I knew nothing of dear Ros's departure from EAT until this morning!

    The business will surely miss her topical and always up- to-date insight into what's going on! If we had had to rely on NAEA, RICS, TPO etc. for news on legislation over the last few years most of us would have been practicing from Clink by now. Thank you Ros for a job extremely well done and for an act that will be very hard for anyone else to follow - even Henry Pryor perhaps!

    My guess is a pantomime will ensue in early 2014, oh yes it will!

    Big T

    • 01 January 2014 12:32 PM
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    Had Zoopla on the phone last week telling me how my fees are to increase by 13% hence I've agreed to gold membership with AM.

    Merry Christmas

    • 23 December 2013 22:56 PM
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    I agree - as editor of this site, Ros is extremely well placed to make an announcement. Whilst I agree with Henry's sentiment, to promulgate it on a public forum was somewhat of a misjudgment. Very unlike Henry.

    • 23 December 2013 18:35 PM
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    if Ros wanted this announced she would have done so and should have been allowed to release the news, if desired, in her own words.
    Those that knew of her departure have not said anything and I can't help but wonder what possessed Mr 'Prior' (?) to tell the world.

    • 23 December 2013 15:42 PM
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    either AM will fail or will boost the success of the defacto go to alternative. If everyone goes with AM and RM then RM with be laughing if everyone goes with AM and Z then Z will be laughing.

    The policy will be their own demise in strengthening one rather than dividing then and reducing their stranglehold.

    • 23 December 2013 13:32 PM
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    I sincerely believe that had there been no restriction on listing on other portals, their take up would have been bigger and with the success that would follow with increased revenue, agents would feel more empowered to drive hard bargains with RM & Z and perhaps even de-list by choice.

    And how would those voting with their feet feel when they walk away from RM and RM reduce their prices? Or perhaps double their advertising. One think is for sure, if AM start to succeed, RM & Z won't do nothing and they have immense resources.

    Nevertheless, competition can only be a good thing and agents need options. I strongly feel that those agents brave enough to join AM will ironically be helping those agents who do not.

    • 23 December 2013 13:16 PM
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    If AM fails, then RM & Z will have a field day and prices will rocket.

    2000 offices (not agents) making a protest vote and representing just 10% of the market

    The real winners will be Countrywide, Connells and LSL who will stay with the proven market leaders with the benefit of having huge bargaining power.

    If AM succeeds then RM & Z will cut prices and as a consequence, AM may actually end up slitting its own throat.

    And I still ask, why would a buyer shop from 10% of available properties when they can shop from 96%?

    Fascinating stuff.

    • 23 December 2013 12:26 PM
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    @Scott

    I really cant see RM doing a price cut, too many greedy investors wanting year on year increased returns!

    • 23 December 2013 12:07 PM
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    @ Trevor - "Hi James, gosh that is harsh, I can't see how that can be monitored with sites being scraped for properties"

    I agree.

    I can also see that clause having quite a financial impact on many of the data-feed companies who make a living by charging the individual independent portals they feed listings to.

    which could mean that more companies will charge more for their data-feeds in an attempt to cover their losses.

    That said, I predict some decent price cuts for advertising with RM or Z coming over the next year to tempt you all away.

    On the other hand for those who decide to support AM, the saying out of the frying pan into the fire springs to mind.

    • 23 December 2013 12:00 PM
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    FOR ONCE... I am in total agreement with Henry Pryor!

    It seems bizarre, however, that Mr Pryor is the one to break the news to the property world (unless I have missed the obvious elsewhere...) - I thought that was the purpose of the site!

    Ros - I'm gonna miss our email chats!

    Best of everything

    PB

    • 23 December 2013 11:45 AM
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    Hi James, gosh that is harsh, I can't see how that can be monitored with sites being scraped for properties.

    • 23 December 2013 10:38 AM
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    Dear Ros,

    I'm very sorry to learn of your retirement as editor of EAT. It will be a huge loss for the site.

    Thank you so much for all you have done over the years to keep us both informed and entertained. The agency world of sales and lettings is largely made up of individuals and small firms most of whom keep up to date with the latest news, legislation and gossip from this website. It is an invaluable service produced and generated by you and the energy that you give to it

    Good luck in whatever you are going on to do, thanks for all you have done for our industry and may I wish you and Andrew a happy Christmas and off you my best wishes to you both for 2014 and beyond.

    • 23 December 2013 10:27 AM
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    Hi Trevor

    The restriction is to one other portal, whether that is Rightmove, Zoopla, NeedaProperty, Radar, etc, etc,

    Have a great Christmas everyone!

    • 23 December 2013 10:14 AM
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    To confirm, do they only have to choose between RM and Z or are the AM agents not allowed to advertise anywhere else? Happy Xmas everyone as well.

    • 23 December 2013 09:22 AM
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    if this site is still printing this same story then who'll be here to read it?

    • 23 December 2013 08:52 AM
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    I wonder if we will get the same reports early next year with the headline "cheques fail to materialise " as agents who have "signed up " suddenly have to actualy pay some money, will be interesting to see what happens

    • 23 December 2013 08:41 AM
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