This morning, Friday, OnTheMarket announced to the stock exchange that it is in talks with “key” estate agents, with a view to them entering into long-term listing agreements in return for coming shareholders in the company.
It did not name the agents, but also announced that as at 5pm yesterday, it had made 81 new signings in the last week.
The news follows that of yesterday afternoon, when it was announced that butters john bee has signed up to OnTheMarket – and has removed its listings from Zoopla.
The 18-branch business was acquired by Spicerhaart last year.
The dropping of Zoopla is not necessary given that the One Other Portal rule does not apply – but brandishes a strong show of support for OnTheMarket from Spicerhaart whose CEO Paul Smith is an OTM director.
Smith said: “We see OnTheMarket’s fund raise and admission to AIM as excellent news, giving it the capital it needs to implement its growth strategy.
“I look forward to seeing OnTheMarket growing its agent customer and property-searcher consumer bases to disrupt the cosy duopoly that has existed for too long in the property portal sector.”
The firm, with branches in Shropshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and west midlands, has signed a long-term listing agreement to advertise all its UK residential sales and lettings properties at OnTheMarket.
Under the agreement, butters john bee will also actively promote the agent-backed portal brand with digital and branch-based marketing activity.
The firm was acquired by Spicerhaart last September and has been in business for over 150 years.
Managing director of bjb, James Beardmore, said: “We are delighted to be joining OnTheMarket as we have been watching its growth and are highly supportive of its agent-backed model.”
Ian Springett, chief executive officer of OnTheMarket, said: “I am extremely pleased to be welcoming the butters john bee brand and business to join OnTheMarket alongside all of Spicerhaart’s other firms.
“This comes hot on the heels of our displaying the properties of 100+ office group Arun Estates. The bjb agency has a strong heritage and an excellent track record and will substantially strengthen our position in the north west and help create further momentum for the business.”
This morning’s (Friday’s) announcement to the stock exchange quoted Springett, who said: “The more agents who join now, the more we believe all agents and property-seekers will benefit in terms of the increased property stock at OnTheMarket.com.
“We are focused on reaching out to agent firms across the country which can see the disruptive appeal of our proposition of sustainable fair pricing from an agent-backed portal.
“We aim to build rapidly on this early momentum as a key step towards becoming a full scale competitor to the market-leading portals.”