If OTM Dies… can our industry talk & act collectively?

Property Industry Eye – Where news comes first The Arena Property Portals Forum If OTM Dies… can our industry talk & act collectively?

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    * I have copied my Comment below from another PIE THREAD

    Rightmove is torturing the UK Estate Agency/Property Industry…. whatever way one views it, Rightmove is the unchallenged Dictator… however, what dumbfounds me is that we/the UK Estate Agency Industry have consistently supported their systematic destruction of our industry…. sadly, we are marching like lambs to the slaughter.

    Zoopla just didn’t have the guts to challenge and wisely have diversified whilst thinking about how they can ever be Rightmove.

    OnTheMarket has flaws, no doubt!!! ……however it is shatteringly obvious that OTM is the hand reaching out over the abyss to rescue our industry as it is about to fall into the infinite black portal hole created by Rightmove!

    Rightmove have been able to rely on our own industry’s natural ability not to collectively talk & agree how we can develop our own industry to meet the inevitable changes that we face. Instead they stand Jesus like with a glowing halo beckoning “follow us, we can lead you to safety”….. sadly, they are anything but!

    I attended the OTM Floatation Tour yesterday and I witnessed living/breathing estate agents discussing our industry with real energy & passion… each knowing exactly how we are being controlled by Rightmove and tortured financially by them, with the financial torture level increasing by 10% automatically each year! Every single agent in that venue today had views/ideas/strategy etc on how to move OTM forward.

    I gave my personal opinion of Ian Springett and The OTM/AM Board in no uncertain terms….. however, I know this….. if I don’t keep breathing I WILL DIE! ……and if OTM/AM is to succeed, floating or not…. EVERY SINGLE UK ESTATE AGENT MUST COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER AS WE ARE THE CUSTODIANS OF OUR INDUSTRY….. WE TALK TO THE PUBLIC EVERY DAY YET WE DON’T TALK TO EACH OTHER?

    Sadly, I am happy to blame Ian Springett and The Board for their failings up to this point however I also know the UK PROPERTY INDUSTRY must shoulder its responsibility for failing to SUPPORT OTM!!!

    I told Ian Springett face to face today that I felt he did not deserve the potential reward he may receive, nor should other board members be rewarded…… yet! I would personally hand them their rewards when they have delivered a real measure of success with OTM….. however, we shamefully remain the lambs awaiting slaughter with our lack of OTM Support.

    If OTM Dies? ……then our Industry Dies!

    It’s either The End? ……or a Final Chance!

    So, today….I throw the industry dice and suggest the following action….

    1) The entire UK Estate Agency Industry steps forward to support OTM with the proviso that such support is on the basis of a restructuring of The OTM Board to include an active/meaningful Regional Representation of members to ensure that OTM Members across the UK have a real voice/input to the future direction of OTM in the years to come.

    To enable that amendment to be made OTM/AM must either Act Now with a Formal Announcement pre Vote stating they will honour such an amendment or the existing OTM/AM Members VOTE NO to the the planned Floatation until such action is taken to involve members at a meaningful level…. and then, a Floatation can be resubmitted for member approval.

    2) Our industry submits an Open Letter to Rightmove   seeking transparency on member costs, clarification on their apparent comments to investors that they forsee their ARPA simply rising year on year to a future level of circa £2500 per month per advertiser/agent, justification of annual circa 10% fee rises with no added value for the agent, a refocus of property adverts for the benefit of our clients and their properties rather than being used as a lure for 3rd Party Services – we as estate agents are of course instructed to honour the best interests if our clients therefore many 3rd party advertising is diminishing the focus on on our clients properties – no doubt this Industry Open Letter should have other points detailed.

    The aforementioned is my view of the direction I think our industry needs to urgently take to ensure the USP of our industry.




    Does the real UK Property Industry want to save itself or merely suffocate itself by its own inaction?




    I am gathering Estate Agency reaction at this crucial stage with a view to seeking ways to collectively move our industry forward. Ros and her team at PropertyIndustryEye have demonstrated by the reaction/engagement of forum members that there are real estate agents with both a passion & business intelligence to drive our industry forward highlighting the real positives of what we do differently and why the public should engage our services with a real understanding of how we are going to serve them much better than a simple Online Only service.

    If you agree that our industry needs a real focus and wish to actively support our industry, share ideas and genuinely engage in moving it forward please email me at this early stage…


    Ros & PropertyIndustryEye gives us an opportunity to air our opinions for which I and many others offer their sincere thanks… I would appreciate hearing directly from real estate agents who feel that the UK Estate Agency Industry needs a New Campaign to promote a real understanding of the real value that we provide our clients.

    Our industry is beginning to appear as if it is trying to deliver fast-food style Estate Agency? ……yet real estate agents offer much, much more than that. Technology, portals, online traffic etc are certainly part of our business however we are No 1 – a people business, serving our clients, negotiating for them, in their best interests, using sales and marketing including online marketing. The internet doesn’t make or sell cheeseburgers and it shouldn’t seemingly just make “estate agents” who are merely “Property Listers”.

    your ideas, views, opinions to Graeme (GPL)







    I am all for agents working together. We now stand on the brink of losing everything we want to succeed. OTM to my mind has done remarkably well considering the hurdles it had to overcome. Did the board achieve this? No!

    Once again someone is trying to claim credit (and much financial reward) for harnessing some of the power that exists within the independent community. We all want to be individual…masters of our own destiny…but we also recognise that we are in danger of losing that because of the control major companies have over the utilisation of the data we have.

    OTM gave agents an avenue to try and combat that…..but one of the things they never did from the start was listen….listen to what needed to be done to achieve more towards the end goal.

    It appears the board now didn’t want to listen….because they had their own agenda…..some of it clearly based on personal gain.

    To my mind, if the flotation goes ahead, the other portals will be laughing their socks off….because they will know once again the majority of independent agents have been manipulated by financiers and profit makers. It will only be a matter of time before it all fails or they can buy it all up…..then independents will be totally at their mercy.

    However, if independents vote against the float, and join forces together to make OTM the DISRUPTER PORTAL with new products, new momentum and new drive….then that becomes a significant threat to the total control others wish to have over OUR industry….a threat that will be limiting on their exploitation.

    Nothing new has been developed or tried for nearly two years now. How can you judge the effectiveness of a plan less than half way through that has been left languishing…devoid of new input, grit and determination to make it succeed.

    A new board with real ‘coal face’ agents, new ideas, hope and drive is needed to inspire the industry to join forces in the cause of the conscientious ‘independent agent’ and the industry they alone serve best.

    Vive la Independent… and in the notes of Beethoven’s 5th da,da,da,dahhhhh …_(and morse code) V is for Victory!!!!!






    If the aim is to develop a portal that is for agents then surely we have to drop any discussion of a float. As soon as you take commercial investment you become (correctly) answerable to those investors to deliver a successful business- one that is profitable- and that means escalating costs plain and simple. A business that is no longer run by & for its members.

    If this is to work we have to establish a model that enables the hiring of a top class leadership & tech team as well as a marketing budget to enable long term competition with the portals. This will enable savings but may not be the bargain basement deal many hope for- and there (I believe) lies the biggest hurdle. Let’s take a pricepoint of say £500 a month per branch. That may be enough to achieve these goals foregoing much of the standard profit- any profits being either reinvested back into the platform or rebated to agents year end. But watch how many agents will agree to that……one the platform is delivering. And that’s the issue- our industry has plenty to say but there are many who want to ‘wait and see’ and that simply won’t work.

    We also have to build a ‘next gen’ portal that understands and meets today’s consumer needs but is focused heavily on tomorrow’s. We can’t simply build ‘another portal’ at value- we have to try and build something special.

    Unifying our industry on any topic is a hurculean task and is by far the biggest challenge of this endeavour. To work it require a leadership team that an industry can get behind and that is where we stumble. Agents want agents  to lead initiatives like this (and rightly so) but which agents are willing & able to make the huge sacrifices & commitment to achieve this- and what is their reward if they do? Also if we are genuinely to talk about uniting an industry then we also have to stop talking under usernames and put our heads above the trench and stand up and be counted as named individuals.




    I know this is an old post but it is still relevant for me.

    We are a relatively new agency having bought an established business approx 6 months ago (blindly now one might say but it has always been a dream). I am searching across multiple sites like this for inspiration, guidance and such like. I have read this thread with great interest. We are struggling at the moment (both selling existing stock and getting new properties in). The marketing costs are currently crushing us as a result (we are just with rightmove). I too would like somewhere to go as an industry where we could support one another. What got me thinking when I read this was a news flash I read somewhere either on social media or on another site about a new super portal that is coming out for UK.  I would need to re-trace my searches to identify it and read properly. I dont know if it is related to on the market or one of the others? Super portal suggests it has something else – maybe its the next generation you talk about.

    We haven’t used on the market because we had to make choices based on costs.


    smile please

    Hi Sally,

    Welcome to the industry.

    I will be honest, from what you have written the issue for you is not portals. Portals will not help you sell or list stock to any great number.

    I think it is more your processes and where you spend your time on the business that needs looking at.

    Couple pointers,

    1. If you have stock that is not selling its just one of two things, either it is not presented properly or it needs a reduction.

    2. Spend 80% of your time around obtaining new instructions. This will give you more stock, more saleable stock and in turn a higher turnover.

    Maybe worth getting a consultant in to give you a couple days objective look at the business.

    If you want to find me on Twitter and DM me any questions you do not feel comfortable on here feel free.




    Hi smile please,

    thank you for responding.

    Immediately I see where our failings are. You are correct that we need to spend more time on getting new instructions. Like I said, we walked in to this ‘blindly’ wanting to run our own estate agency. We thought it would be easier than it actually is, staff don’t just magic up new listings, they need to be motivated to do so. We are learning (and failing) and learning from our failings if that makes sense.

    Right now we couldn’t afford a consultant. That is why we are looking at all options to get current stock sold – this is obviously one small part of our problem. The site I read the article on about this new portal was estate agents today and the portal is linktosale that seems to be an option for setups like ours if it does what it promises.

    We are also looking at moving into lettings, but I am guessing that is going to be a whole new can of worms. One of our staff has lots of experience in this area.





    You sound like you are a week away from closure.

    That being the case, even some miracle cure like the one you mention (but almost 1000% certainly ISN’T the one you mention, for far more reasons than you want me to go into…) won’t save your bacon.

    Assuming that is that you actually have bacon to save.

    Northwood/Belvoir are buying – best see if they are interested.


    smile please

    Yes its never as easy as people think, the good news is the harder you work, the more you learn the easier it gets. If i was you i would be looking through the historic data of the company of valuations from the past, previous movers, people who registered their details who live locally and spend your time speaking with them.

    Also step up the leaflets, even in 2018 this is still the best result we get and most cost effective.

    Do not give this new portal a second thought, every week a new one comes out promising XYZ – Truth is nobody can do it better than Rightmove, thats why they charge what they do.

    Best of luck.



    I’m not in agency per se but I deal with many estate and letting agents and have to say it’s a very mixed bag of service that you get, whatever the portal. There is no common level despite all the regulation you guys have to go through. I think the comment from Smile Please above is right, if you have the property, people will find you however you advertise but RM certainly seems to drive by far the most numbers. It should be quite easy to win property on good service, i still haven’t found and agent in my area who is up to scratch – my #1 gripe is that nobody ever reports back with feed back after viewings which drives me nuts lol!

    So much so I’m going to start trying to sell mine myself, i am already in the process of taking back my BTL’s from an agent who promotes themseves as Worthing’s Number 1 so that tells you what the rest must be like 🙂




    thanks to those of you who replied. Some of you are quite cynical, which is why I think I will go back t o my old way of thinking and not get involved in forums or seek advice. Pee Bee you are so rude! But thank you to the rest of you who took time to reply. Thanks Smile Please and Sussex Jack. How will we ever encourage agents to put their actual names to their posts if they are going to get slated and ridiculed in this way. A post on any forums (under your real name follows you everywhere). There is no hwere to go for us to ask for advise and help without being put down.



    One final thing, Smile Be commented:

    Do not give this new portal a second thought, every week a new one comes out promising XYZ – Truth is nobody can do it better than Rightmove, thats why they charge what they do.

    Is it not worrying that we have this mindset? Do you not think that if we want to change, want to reduce our prices, want to save ourselves and our clients money we should not be trying out new things? I kind of agree with KByfield04 in that we need something different and new.


    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by SallyG42.



    “Pee Bee you are so rude! “

    I prefer to call it realistic.  Your post indicates that you don’t have the funds available of a sale fee or two to invest in a potential lifeline for your business.

    You have bought an established business on the blind hope that its’ name will carry you – which it seems isn’t happening.

    “How will we ever encourage agents to put their actual names to their posts if they are going to get slated and ridiculed in this way.”

    WHY would you want to encourage this?  An Agent’s name is irrelevant – it is the content of their post that is all-important.

    The only people that would want to see the names of the posters are those that would then try to profit from that information – in your case the multitudes of consultants, ‘gurus’ and snake-oil salespeople who would convince you that they or their widget is the new Hovis.

    If that’s what you want stick your name here.

    If you genuinely want help – and are looking for the pill for your ills – ring Robert May.

    Somehow, however, I doubt he’ll be getting a call anytime soon…

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by PeeBee.

    smile please

    Hi Sally,

    I think you are hoping for a portal to sort all your problems. Sadly will never do that. This is why onliner’s still only have circa 5% of market share.

    It is still a people driven business, and all offices are only as good as the staff and process they have in place.

    You can come here and ask for advice and you will not be put down, however you need to listen to the advice. I cant speak for others but i have over 20 years experience in the property industry. I am also a progressive agent that embraces new tech. I know what does and does not work through trial and error.

    PeeBee and others also have considerable time in the industry, forgive him if he seems a little aggressive but he maybe of the opinion you are not an agent you are in fact a third party who is looking to subtly selling to the industry (this new portal). Sadly this happens a great deal but not be the case.

    As for names, does it matter? – I am not looking for any personal sales, or looking to gain businesswise. I just have an opinion i think is relevant. Does it make any difference if i am ‘Smile please’ or ‘John Smith’?

    If you have questions ask away, most are happy to offer advice. Its down to you if you agree with it or not.




    In answer to the headline question… NO… and trust me, I am an estate agent.

    SallyG25 (Good luck, no reason why you cannot end up with a brilliant business) – listings listing listings…. and just do the small things right! communicate with vendors and buyers. Make your buyers feel it was you who helped secure the house they purchased, and repeat business will eventually come back as will word of mouth. Staff…. motivate them at the front end…. Commission on listings – as to be honest the sales will come naturally most of the time, so it is the “get them on” where you want the motivation.

    Portals are vital, but only one needed (boo boo hiss hiss) Rightmove is all that is required now. OTM is dead, Zoopla are your worst enemy believe it or not.

    Big task for our industry though, is to stop the cycle of buyers thinking they found the property via Rightmove and therefore when they come to sell, being on Rightmove is all that is required. Easy task, any new instructions, get your hot buyers called first…. before it hits the web…. they will remember this especially if they get it.

    Doesn’t need to be complicated this business. All about the listings and all about the communication.

    As I stumble in to my 25th year of agency, I am actually excited about this year…. a tougher year for sales is a chance for the High Street to flex our muscles and show vendors how we can create chains, part ex deals, cost to change sales, whatever it is where the other lot will not have the database to do so.


    The date & time sponsored by PIE is;

    GPL – Nearly 6 months on from your impressive war cry, but with the topic resurrected it has sat in view on the Forum / Latest Posts for weeks, gnawing at me  day by day.

    What were the results of your findings / responses / interest shown / ideas shared for saving the industry?



    Looks like RM have stepped in to spike the OTM “new & exclusive” property listings with a change to their T&C’s.


    Now OTM members will be in breech of RM contracts if they disadvantage RM over any other portal – will agents be able to stand up to the playground bully?




    Funny, innit.

    Rightmove have, as I have always said they would, so far sat back and let Zoopla do all the ‘dirty work’ against OTM… spend all the money… take all the flak and become more hated – and then drop their own ‘dirty bomb’ right where it can do the most damage.

    And I will repeat my previous comments on the subject that when RM go on the attack, OTM won’t know what’***** them or from where.

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