EYE NEWSFLASH: Ian Springett is given notice to quit immediately by OnTheMarket

Ian Springett has been given notice to leave OnTheMarket, the portal announced this morning to the stock market.

A statement to the London Stock Exchange said:

“OnTheMarket plc, the agent-backed company which operates the OnTheMarket.com property portal, today announces that it has given notice of termination of employment to Ian Springett, Chief Executive Officer, with immediate effect.

“The Board has appointed Clive Beattie, Chief Financial Officer, as Acting Chief Executive Officer. Korn Ferry, a leading executive search consultancy, has been appointed to conduct the formal recruitment process for a permanent replacement.”

OnTheMarket also issued a trading  update this morning, saying that its revenues for the year to the end of January were slightly above the £18m guidance previously given.

As at January 31, OTM had net cash of £8.7m.

Christopher Bell, chairman of OTM, told the London stock exchange: ” On behalf of the board and all our colleagues I would like to thank Ian for his hard work and commitment over many years. He has played a major part in helping establish OnTheMarket.com as one of the UK’s leading residential property portals and we wish him every success in the future.

“Our commitment to building a strong, agent-backed, profitable and technology-enabled business remains undiminished.  However, to continue our progress toward this objective and take OTM forward through the next phase of its corporate development, the board believes now is the right time to appoint a new chief executive. 

“The board remains very confident in the prospects of OTM and its potential in capitalising upon its substantial growth opportunities.  We have built a talented team and we will continue to ensure that we provide innovative, affordable and valuable solutions to meet our customers’ changing needs.” 

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65 Comments

  1. smile please

    Sinking ship, although this change is very much welcome.

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    1. Bless You

      It should have sunk rightmove.

      Just needs good   honest leadership.

      Remember :

      They don’t allow purplebricks on the platform.

      They should ban new homes

      They have agents best interestes as a core value.

      Rightmove and zoopla should be history . So, the next person who is paid millions to sort this , should have the answer.

      Iam ready to kill rightmove. Just to survive .

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      1. Guy_Hodge

        I don’t think Rightmove is compulsory……

        You are not a tree – so move!

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        1. GPL

           

          …….and Basil Brush commented……

           

          ”Springett has Sprungit”

           

          Boom Boom 🙂

           

           

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        2. Bless You

          You might be right. But I only joined rightmove after onmarket killed zoopla.

          I have very strong values but Iam not stronger then my local market… anymore.

          New CEO needs to fix this imbalance.

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  2. ExTOgirl

    With the 4p difference between them and Purplebricks, it’s just a race to the bottom.

    Vic Darvey next?

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    1. Robert_May

       OTM has the same dilemma there is a conflict between the interests of shareholders and the needs of the agents.
       
      The valuable bit of OTM is the register of agents who have been brought together onto a single platform, so it shouldn’t matter what the shareprice is or does from an agents perspective. That is only a concerned to those who were looking forward to £5 a share from a starting point of £1.50
       
       

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      1. GPL

         
        I spoke with Ian Springett on a number of occasions, directly & in detail …… I never ever got the sense that he was interested in Our Industry. 
         
        I’m sorry to say I only saw self-interest.
         
        OTM has had an “Open-Goal” for a game changing period of time, yet it has failed to drive a stake through the heart of Rightmove!  
         
        The New CEO better have his/her wits about them and understand what drives Our Industry.
         
        There is a chance for OTM to deliver the winning blow.
         
        Maybe, just maybe …..it will deliver what WE ALL want!
         
        Here’s a free slogan OTM…..  
         
        “Goodbye Rightmove ….. HELLO OnTheMarket!”  
         

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        1. Bless You

          I never met him and thought the same thing..  interesting. 

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        2. SLF

          Maybe, just maybe you could just leave RM.

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        3. Robert_May

           A service supplier has to both like and respect the people they serve, that has to be  genuine.
          I know of too many service suppliers  who both now an in the past have taken a superior and condescending viewpoint of their relationship with agents who they regard as naive and gullible.
           
          I met face to face with Ian just the once and never got the impression he was like that so would say the self interest might have been a passionate belief in the project he was trying to deliver.
           
          Rightmove are now vulnerable to  having massive profits from a legacy system. They cannot shift  from the legacy platform andd move to the lightweight modern stuff without the question being asked Why does this cost 14x more than it should? What are we paying for?
           
          The real problem is that agents no longer need a portal to get them on the web, there is still a need for aggregation but an aggregation platform does not  need to cost over £1000 a month for agents to be better served.

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  3. Robert_May

    That saddens me. Without the detail of why, I think it is a real shame Ian hasn’t been given the chance to finish what he started.

    I have always posted my genuine thoughts about Agents Mutual and On the Market so will say that with although I am not on the team WE– he and I are beginning to get somewhere with a mutual aim. Rightmove’s  stickiness is now at best,  tacky. There is no love for them from agents ( other than the duffers who can’t live without them- the portal reliant listers) or their investors. Although the Rightmove share-price has grown and grown for the past 5 years 880million has come off their value in the past 25 days.

     

    Respect from me Mr. Springett!

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    1. The Outsider

      What a load of rubbish!  He’s had 5 years to plan, build and execute the strategy to get agents off Rightmove and on to OTM and he has failed abysmally, taking agents money with him.

       

      As for the share price drop of RM in the last 25 days… Have you been reading the news?  Since Feb 7th of this year, the OTM share price has fallen 20% compared to Rightmove’s 18%.  In addition, since OTM launched on the stock exchange on Feb 9th 2018, it’s value has reduced by c.6.5% whilst in the same period, Rightmove’s share price has increased 33.5%.  That’s about as sticky as you can get!

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      1. Robert_May

        care to put that into £’s   18%- is about  £880m  nearly £1b! Its share holders do not  control the data on which the value  is based- they have a brand and a customer base who despise them.

         

        OTM members control the data, they have an asset which isn’t going to be taken away from them.

         

        Rightmove- agents is a  coercive, abusive relationship and there’s every chance they  could end up ‘bobbited’ of  the data it relies on.

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        1. The Outsider

          It’s all relative! £ / %.  The market goes up, the market goes down.  
           
          If you want it in pounds, then a 33% increase in 2 years is about £1.5b.  Believe me, the shareholders are far better with that than they are with losing £10m on OTM!

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          1. Robert_May

            I am not sure the investors who  are £1.37b lighter on their investment in agency  disruption would agree with that.

            The membership stakeholders of OTM  is about 76% of the user base of Rightmove so it is reasonably easy to work out the bit that makes Rightmove valuable  also exists outside of Rightmove

            OTM share price might be on the floor but the data of its members is elsewhere viewed as worth £3.8b.

             

            If agents understood the power of small data has over BIG DATA and moreover if the management team had realised it the fortunes of the duopoly and OTM would be reversed.

             

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            1. Andrew Goldthorpe

              And who really controls that data, both now and in the long run, now that OTM is set on the same journey to ultimate control by external investors that RM and Zoopla followed? I called out OTM as LocationPrime 5 years ago when the founders realised the value of what they had sold with so little foresight.
              And how many of the headline grabbing numbers of “new” offices claimed by OTM are actually paying, paying more than OTM v1 members, or on trial contracts? The lack of transparency and accountability from day one has been astonishing.

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              1. Robert_May

                If the investors realise that they  now face losing the lot or falling in line with a project that done differently  could succeed, good sense should prevail.
                Realising the industry needs an aggregating platform but doesn’t need a  G£ portal is the key to whether OTM now flourishes or crashes.
                 

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    2. smile please

      Not often i disagree with you Robert, but this time i do.

       

      Ian & OTM have had plenty of chance to get this right, what is clear to me is the same way the Bruce brothers used PB as an investment vehicle the same Ian has done with OTM just with less success.

       

      He has achieved nothing other than split agents further and make a good deal of money for himself.

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      1. smile please

        Saying that, i do think whoever comes in neds to speak to you and Rummage about how you can help add a real USP to the offering.

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      2. Robert_May

        I’m not envious of the money anyone makes for themselves, if someone thinks they’re worth it and willing to pay it so be it.
         I cannot be critical of  building a membership to  within 4000 branches of Rightmove- that’s a huge achievement that deserves recognition.
         The whole reason I  documented  5 years ago that I didn’t think OTM should have been Primelocation II was to show either Ian was right or I was. 
         
        I actually don’t think they should change  such a strong boss but should change the product. Generation 3 portals (RM Zoopla and OTM etc) are going to struggle in an industry that is rapidly returning to being rooted in service; where a more intimate relationship exists between  clients, applicants and agents.
        The best bit is I now have proof that works!

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  4. GPL

     
    Lets see if this is a “Gamechanger” ……or a last Hooraaaaah!
     
    Personally …….. I think it is the correct decision and long overdue.
     
    If they get the right replacement it may be the winning stategic move of the portal arena.
     
    I’ll happily sit and interview the candidates to replace him.
     
    I hope he leaves his “share bonus package” behind. 
     

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  5. J1

    No real surprise
    Their customer service has been appalling
    Their advertising has been truly awful
    Their founder agents shafted
    Their share price woeful
    Their sales pitch and vision blinkered
    Their now  former CEO invisible

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  6. Rebel

    Yesssssssssssss! How much time & money has been wasted on irrelevant court cases, dire advertising & hopeless IT. There is a real opportunity here for someone to coil one out all over Rightmove. Which of course, is what we all really want.

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  7. Homestead38

    Looks like he decided to follow the same path as the hundreds of gold member agents that left OTM at the end of January, no doubt that bad news and more will come out following this departure.

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  8. smile please

    For all the supports getting excited by this news please take a moment to reflect why the change now and what OTM are looking to change.

    OTM / Ian took this decision as share price and income has dropped.

    Ian still hold millions of shares.

    The reason for the change is to make OTM more profitable and more investable.

    They have no interest in taking RM on that’s a by product and a marketing line to hook agents in.

     

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    1. GPL

       
      A fair view smileplease  
       
      …..however, I’m ever the optimist as I utterly detest Rightmove and its bloodsucking business model.
       
      I gave OTM V1 my support & money. It shafted me with OTM V2.
       
      I walked away from my OTM Contract Handcuffs in January this year.
       
      This is the last throw of the dice for OTM. I’ll give them a final chance.
       
      Let’s see what moves they make from here …….I’ll judge OTM V3 when I see it emerging. 
       
      With failure comes the opportunity of success. 
       
       

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      1. smile please

        In the nicest possible terms, you can be as optimistic as you like it does not change facts.
         
        OTM is now a listed company their number one aim is to create a profitable, investable company all that will come at the expense of agents. 
         
        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me ……. Dont be fooled a second time. 

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        1. GPL

           
          If I can be faulted smileplease …….it would be for having optimism that OTM can still provide a product for Our Industry.
           
          Thing is ……I have Our Industry at heart, I’ll happily beat other estate agents in business (without offering cheap fees) however I don’t feel we need to keep stabbing each other in the back?   Rightmove have created/fostered division amongst agents and thrive on maintaining that division.  
           
          I have no problem with 1 National Portal making a profit, however we don’t need 2, 3 or 4 National Portals. I supported OTM V1, got shafted by V2 …….so, Yes, it would be sooooo fecking easy to write-off V3. I walked away from OTMV2 as soon as I legally could ……..yet so many of us on here (including me!) haven’t yet walked away from Rightmove.
           
          I have no doubt that I and many others WILL walk away from Rightmove as we will be pushed over the edge with the annual financial abuse/mis-use of power from Rightmove ……..however, I still want a National/UK Portal (and I’m sure that many others do as well).
           
          What better portal than one that is backed by agents, used by agents, promoted by agents, serves agents …….that should have been OTM …….it could be OTM ……it WILL NEVER BE Rightmove …….and Zoopla are subservient to Rightmove.
           
          I will watch the next move from OTM like a hawk as this strategic decision is the crossroads for OTM …….OTM need to show they can be profitable but NOT at the expense of ESTATE & LETTING AGENTS. Rightmove will happily CRUSH EVERYTHING in their pursuit of profit, for Rightmove Estate & Lettings Agents are acceptable collateral damage.
           
          Why is OTM so reluctant to take the gloves-off and Tyson Fury Rightmove – they have a UK Agent Audience that would cheer them, applaude them, embrace them and get on board with them.
           
          There is so much talent in Our Industry yet The OTM Board seems embalmed with Cardboard Cutouts! It’s time for the real business end of Portal Wars – last portal standing springs to mind ……and I wouldn’t bet on Rightmove as all those pent-up shafted Rightmove Subscribers would walk-away in a heart beat if a Portal can prove that they can serve Our Industry and NOT just themselves.
           
           

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          1. SoggyBottom

            I hear so often on here that we don’t need Rightmove, they aren’t worth the money, a new portal should serve our interests.

             

            A successful portal will serve consumer intrests – consumer preference drives their ability to charge us money. A new portal doesn’t have to work for us, it has to work for consumers.

             

            This means that unless OTM get consumers visiting their site at or beyond the same that visit Rightmove, they Rightmove has won.  And in this, there is no comparison:

            OTM: “In May 2019, a record 25.4m visits were made to the portal” – I’ll be charitable and flat-line, so 300m a year

            Rightmove: “Over 1.6 billion visits in 2019”

            (both from respective ARs)

            So, OTM have ~1/5 the visits but ~3/4 of the branches. Unless this equation changes, and they present a better face to consumers, it matters not a jot what we sit on here and complain about.

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            1. GPL

               
              I’ll forgive your SoggyBottom (your age?) …….. Sorry, a successful Portal can serve both Agent and Consumer. To say otherwise is to pretend it’s impossible to do so? Nonsense.  
               
              The Consumer seeks a viewing platform on which to view property …….to paint it more complicated than that? ……again is nonsense.
               
              Surgery is complicated. Looking at an Online Property Ad isn’t.
               
              If Portals want to wrap their websites in film/flam then charge elsewhere for it, to charge the Agent that brings the property to their website is nonsense. On that equation…… every time I send a viewer to a clients home I should charge them per viewer …..nonsense, Nonsense, NONSENSE.
               
              Rightmove are classic Snake Oil Sales ……perpetuating the miracle of their old-fangled advertising technology as unique, it isn’t …..they aren’t …….they are good at spinning a myth, charging for it and recycling it with large lumps of Brand Advertising.
               
              Coca Cola? …….it’s fizzy water, to suggest it’s more complicated than that is …….yeah, you guessed it ……..????????      
               
               
               

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            2. Woodentop

              Over 1.6 billion visits in 2019

               

              Impressive ….. nonsense? If a company can produce that much interest how come we are not sold out and the phone is too hot to handle the volume of enquiries!!!!

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              1. Property Pundit

                Exactly, yet to people like SoggyBottom (clearly not an agent), it’s all about traffic levels. A bit like that Del Prat guy going on about ‘Millions More Buyers’.

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    2. Property Pundit

      Quick question – Why does he have millions of shares?

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      1. smile please

        Part of the floatation he gave himself a shed load of shares.

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        1. Property Pundit

          Nice!

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  9. Typhoon

    Bring on Alison Platt to finish the job off !

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  10. Mrlondon52

    So strange on Eye: people hate RM but never got behind OTM. Granted, OTM has been like a slippery eel and it always felt like it was working for its own benefits not the members.

    But questions remain:

    – What is sustainable business model?

    – How long will cash last and what is burn rate?

    – Why have the founding partners (Savills etc) been so lacking in their vocal support of OTM? I don’t get it.

    – Why was the TV advertising so dire? [Was it the ‘so bad its good’ strategy like Ferrerro Roche? Or trying to do something catchy like Autoglass or Carphone Warehouse?] Either way it made the brand look very downmarket – and homeowners aspire for more than that.

    – Is OTM able to have any USP vs ZPG & RM? I’m not aware of one.

     

     

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    1. GPL

       
      OTM’s “USP” is Our Industry
       
      ……it (OTM V3) has the opportunity to take itself and Our Industry on a New Portal Journey that delivers a stake through Rightmove’s heart.
       
      The time is now or it’s “Time to Die”.    
       
       

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  11. Steve_Smithson

    Let’s hope an Estate Agent puts themselves forward and takes on this role. Maybe then OTM would get the steer needed to attract enough agents to be a real contender.

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    1. padymagic

      doing it now

      🙂

       

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    2. smile please

      Even if they do they will not be looked at. Theuy need someone to shore up and increase share price and then lead them into profitability.
      It will be someone who has had experiance in a bluechip company, insurance, banking, possibly Tesco 😉 

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  12. GPL

     

    OTM? Are you listening……

     

    Dump the “Chas n’ Dave” Ad and the “downmarket” approach.

    Deliver a strategy/marketing that gives UK Estate/Letting Agents a real sense that you understand Our Industry and what we do for Our Clients.

    Give Our Industry a reason to support You ……other than simply lining executives pockets and being a pointless Portal No 3.

     

     

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  13. SmartOctopus30

    The most hilarious outcome – Michael Bruce is the new CEO of OTM. Middle finger to all OTM supporters!

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  14. Anthony Hesse

    As they have instructed a headhunter from outside the industry you could perhaps deduce that they are not necessarily looking for someone with an estate agency background?

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  15. Hillofwad71

    What is concerning is that Ian  has been hurried out of the  door without a natural replacement .Speaking from my pocket trying desperately to find a positive note he is no fool .

    As GPL says full of self-interest .He has a large number  of shares .Maybe  he has found a buyer and  has been seeking to ship his shares which wouldn’t sit well with his colleagues

     

    It is going to take a mighty beast to take on RM and win the respect and support of estate agents  Who might that  be?

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  16. AgencyInsider

    Whoever they put in Springett’s place needs to have a much, much higher profile and a whole lot more ‘leadership’ quality. Someone with ‘fire in the belly’ who can communicate a clear strategy with passion – real passion –  and visible commitment. In the past couple of years Springett was always far too invisible. Needs to be someone with Agency in their bloodstream – not some cold number cruncher.

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  17. Cardiff Agent

    We were one of the founding members and funders of OTM and we still believe in its potential. However, we were disappointed at their lack of response to suggestions and constructive criticism. Let us hope that that attitude will change and the portal can make strides in the future. There is ample potential, but as an ‘agent owned’ portal, they would do well to listen to their loyal membership.

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    1. smile please

      Yes but you all gave up the ability to have an agent owned portal a year ago when you all fell for the line of £5.00 a share when listed and take outside investment.

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    2. Andrew Goldthorpe

      Rightmove was an agent owned portal. It sold to external investors and in a stroke lost its ability to always work solely in the best interests of its members. Over time, investor requirements took priority as they always will and eventually Rightmove and subsequently Zoopla had no major agent shareholders.
      I am afraid OTM stopped being your portal, setting it off on the identical path to RM and ZPG, the day the membership voted to de-mutualise.

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    3. Rebel

      Bang on. We lead the horse to water several times. They are just ignorant.

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  18. Andrew Goldthorpe

    As soon as Rightmove announced its sale all those years ago, the original “contract” for mutual betterment between agent and business was broken. Despite this, the corporate propaganda juggernaut has been incredibly effective in persuading agents that the only way of marketing real estate is the 20 year old Rightmove model i.e. pay through the nose for the “privilege” of giving control of costs and data to investor led corporations. This behaviour is now so ingrained that agents are even gifting their data to unaccountable, so called “free” portals, and exit-strategised start ups, all of whom claim they will be the next Rightmove. Certainly since its de-mutualisation, OTM was locked on course to go the same way as Rightmove and Zoopla. The difference with OTM is that five years of cash burn, forgotten promises, and failure to overtake Zoopla has left not just a tainted legacy but most importantly a crystal clarity that copying the same IPO model successfully pitched to agents by Rightmove years ago and subsequently exploited by Zoopla is now old news and doomed to failure. As Mike DelPrete recently put it, trying to beat Rightmove is “at best expensive, at worst futile“. I would amend that statement to say, “trying to beat Rightmove at its own game is at best expensive and at worst futile”. 
     
     
    Whilst enormously saddened that agent members are the ones affected and disillusioned by the OTM de-mutualisation, the writing has been on the wall for some time. OTM v1 agents are now jumping ship, albeit back into the arms of the same investor led corporations they thought they were leaving five years ago. However, what Mr DelPrete missed in his recent article on UK portals and yet what Jefferies.com recently recognised, in their laser focused analysis of Rightmove and the UK portal market, is that only PropertyMutual’s hybrid mutual business model has “an incredibly disruptive blueprint that would take the agency-portal relationship all the way back to its pure-play mutual roots”- Jefferies.com (12/2019). They go on to say, “New entrants like PropertyMutual have exactly the construct needed to return the industry back to a sustainable agency-backed model. But the challenge is to drive collective action: we think the cycle could be about to do just that.” – Jefferies.com (12/2019).
     
     
    However, Jefferies most telling advice concerns Rightmove. “It is really only the agent’s fear of losing an instruction from not being on Rightmove that holds back the churn – the greatest threat to Rightmove is therefore collective action across the estate agency industry to communally break free of what has been described as “an abusive relationship”. Unless PropertyMutual rapidly can drive such groupthink, this isn’t imminently likely.” – Jefferies.com (12/2019). In other words, agents must accept that nothing will change until they are willing to collectively abandon old methodolgies and start doing things differently.
     
     
    Agents have talked about taking collective action against the corporate duopoly of Rightmove and Zoopla for years but lacked a model capable of delivering it. At the start of a new decade and in a particularly challenging market, I believe PropertyMutual’s hybrid mutual business model is the idea whose time has come. After all, highly respected Mutuals have been delivering returns to members and yet retaining independence for over a century. Agents have a safe haven in PropertyMutual, as we are structured to never be for sale. Agents need to put OTM out of its misery and fund, own and run PropertyMutual, the original legitimate and ethical mutual that will always put its agent members first, is 100% independent and accountable, and is structured to deliver #collectiveaction by agents for #collectiveimpact.
     
     
    After all, the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different result.

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    1. PeeBee

      “After all, the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different result.”

      And the definition of blagging a free advert is your entire post.

      Next time – agree a price with EYE for your promotional material and get it published as that.

      At least that way we will all know what we’re reading.

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      1. PeeBee

        Thanks for acknowledging my post in the most appropriate – and expected – way!

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  19. Champ20

    The problem is the site is so slow and to be honest it looks really amateur in terms of layout and how the properties look etc, need to spend more time developing the site

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  20. Woodentop

    At last! Now maybe someone who understands a network of independent estate agents can move in and put OTM back on course.  
     
    The idea of OTM is sound, the original implementation was sound but had a short life span and exceed its shelf life and motivation with its core members and potential new members lost. Then went off in a direction that was never in the interests of its core members or philosophy of what OTM was about.  
     
    So many agents are fearful of OTM turning into another RM. Fees for agents should be capped inline with inflation from a base line membership.
     
    What does OTM represent for its members today? Fix that and it will grow. Agents want confidence and that has been seriously lacking and continued along the line of agents own blind faith that if only it would work. It can, IT CAN.

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  21. GPL

     
    As the car crash OTM V2 was the turning point of OTM …….so, the departure of the stiffling inaction/self-interest of Ian Springett offers “an Opportunity”.
     
    I get that OTM Investors ultimately booted Ian into the long grass as they recognised the OTM Boat was floating aimlessly in its own sea of inaction/poor strategy.
     
    However, with Ian’s departure this is one final chance of kickstarting OTM and booting Rightmove into the long grass.   For Our Industry, in terms of Portal Providers ……OTM not only need to get their New Appointment right, they also need a strategical overhaul and actually involve Agents.
     
    If this is only a financial sticking plaster ……then in the words of Private Fraser? …….We’re Doomed, We’re all Doomed!”.
     
    Time for OTM to demonstrate that it is FOR OUR INDUSTRY and FOR THE LONG TERM ……or merely a financial fantasy seeking to make a small number of interested parties financial dreams come true.
     
    OTM have made the move ……what happens next?        DUMP THAT DAFT ADVERT – ……and whoever signed it off should be locked in a room and made to listen to that “Oaaaaaaaaan the Maaaaaaaarket” drone for eternity!
     
     
     
     

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  22. Robert Sargent

     
    I originally decided this morning on reading this news to resist being drawn into a war of words surrounding the departure of Ian Springett. However, as someone who has had several meetings with Ian over the years and spent time with the original Agents Mutual Board, I would just like to share what I heard and saw.
     
    Ian Springett always wanted to galvanise the rank and file of the UK Estate Agency Industry. He never wanted to demutualise, but in my view was left with no option when AM’s marketing dollars were drained as a result of protecting the very strategy on which business was predicated. Namely ‘the one other portal’ rule.
     
    I now suspect Ian’s early exit is as a result of the institutional Shareholders, who let’s face it, will be far more concerned with the return on their investment then creating a portal that offers fair value to the very agents, that in reality, allow its existence.
     
    Now more than ever, member agents of OTM need to be robust and make it clear we will not allow a ‘Rightmove 2’ style charging structure to creep in!!! Rightmove 1 is bad enough?!
     
    My view for what it’s worth, is Ian Springett tried to deliver the original ideal of Agents Mutual despite playing on a very uneven playing field, and more recently with investors as a result of the IPO that have very different objectives to those Ian and his original team aimed to deliver!
    Robert Sargent, CEO of The Acorn Group

     

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    1. Andrew Goldthorpe

      Mr Sargent, ref. your second paragraph, I refer you to The “four party” meeting – 21 January 2016 – which appears to have ended the discussion about the “corporates” joining OTM.
      https://www.catribunal.org.uk/sites/default/files/1262_Agents_Mutual_Judgment_CAT_15_050717.pdf  
      Page 75, para. 122.

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      1. Robert Sargent

        My principle reason for supporting AM/OTM is to slow down the constant hikes in price that Agents up and down the Country are facing from portals.
        Whether corporate or independent, each business has the choice of who to support. My view was OTM, even post IPO, under the leadership of Ian Springett would still respect and not bite the hand that feeds them, namely UK Estate Agents.
        All we can do now is watch this space and see which Portals return the best value to their member agents?
         

         

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    2. Robert_May

      Understandably Ian built what he had built before and which worked well and was popular with a core membership; he built Primelocation II- in my opinion the best of the G3 portals. However a good G3 portal was always going to struggle with Rightmove as the PL1 had done.

       

      Outside of it’s niche market OTM wasn’t going to  cope well with some of the areas it taken to but it was the one other portal rule and the quite inexplicable rivalry with Zoopla that stunted the progress that should have been made.

       

      I will repeat my respect  for Ian growing the membership to  75% of Rightmove without the corporate agents on board

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    3. GPL

       
      Well Robert (Sargent) …. I saw little sign of Ian being “for the Agent”. At every meeting that I attended where he was present, I listened to smooth talking with much, much more than a dash of self-interest. I didn’t flinch asking direct questions and calling him out ……and what I saw through/and heard was someone who was hoping to plot his path towards a lucrative exit.
       
      Maybe it’s because I’m Scottish, maybe because I was a Police Officer, maybe because I have an acute sense of smell …….however, I just didn’t get a true vibe that Ian was here for Our Industry. Now the Big Fella in me says, what else was he on board for but ultimately himself ……what would any of us be in it for? …….and there lies the problem? …….if it’s just Portal No 3 then Agents have had ENOUGH!
       
      Don’t get me wrong ….if Ian had delivered then I would have happily shaken his hand and carried his millions to his Swiss Bank ……however, he didn’t ……and neither did those around him. He took the Crown so he carries victory or failure on his shoulders – he’ll not be weeping into his bank account tonight.
       
      As every Agent who gets on with their business today (….and me, on a day off, working from home as it turns out …..and chipping in my tuppence worth here!) most are savvy enough to know when we are being played. To-date OTM played and at half-time are losing. Rightmove are winning however have no supporters. …….and you, no doubt successful however I guess you’re not here for Our Industry either. The difference is Robert….. I would work for the better of Our Industry for nothing because I’m fed up with those that leech off it!
       
      Thankfully I have my clients to work for and put my resources & energy into their property sales.
       
      It’s shameful that Our Industry has lost its identity, divided & conquered in a marketing sense by “digital property advertising” that one particular Portal has successfully perpetuated at our expense.
       
      Regardless Robert, you support Ian and that is your right to do so. I have nothing against him personally. I simply wanted success from OTM.    

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  23. GPL

     
    12500 Agents and creating a 3rd Portal with No impact on Portal No 1 is not Success in my book or many others ……nor it seems to those that popped Ian into a sling and fired him out of the OTM Bunker.
     
    I guess Ian didn’t take a leaf from Old Braveheart and saddle up, ride around the boardroom table shouting…..
     
    “ Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM! “
     
    That’s the problem ……they have no passion for Our Industry. They don’t get excited ……as we do about ……..winning ……..in our business. You have to understand your opponent, you have to understand your people, you have to have a strategy to compete/win or change strategy to win. A 3rd Portal is No Victory.
     
    Interesting times for OTM …….let’s see what they’ve learned from the 1st half.
     
    (It’s Glasgow…..  someone stole my horse? I’ll need to get a taxi home ……wearing a kilt, carrying a sword and with a saltire painted across my face. Another day at the office!)
     
     
     
     

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  24. GeorgeHammond78

    As a  close of day postscript to these many comments – A CEO getting the bullet with immediate effect is not usually down to just their general uselessness. I wonder if there’s more to come out?

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  25. Property Poke In The Eye

    Agents need a board voted by other agents.  A bit “Best Doctors”  who will run a property portal not for profit.

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