Four estate agency firms named as quitting OnTheMarket

Four estate agents have left OnTheMarket.

They are named by eMoov – which as an online agent cannot itself belong to the portal – as Stirling Ackroyd, Statons, Alex Neil and Cheffins.

The online agent says that it has been tracking all the major property portals and says: “This reveals some interesting developments over last few months.

“After the initial rush to join earlier in the year, their growth appears to be stagnating with little or no increase in membership numbers over the last couple of months.

“The reality appears to be setting in for its members as a number of notable names have quit OTM to return to Zoopla, including multi-office agencies like Stirling Ackroyd, Statons, Alex Neil and Cheffins amongst others.”

eMoov claimed it has received a number of requests this year from sellers wanting to list their property because eMoov markets on both Zoopla and Rightmove. It said last week it took on a property in London SE1 at £385,000. It had been listed at OTM, but eMoov said the vendor wanted to switch in order to have it listed on Zoopla.

A Zoopla spokesperson said this morning: “We do not comment on individual members.”

In a further development this morning, a Barclays report apparently based on interviews with 100 OTM member agents said that 9% are considering leaving, with a further 35% saying they will review their membership. However, over half (56%) said they are committed long term to OTM. Only  a third of OTM agents (34%)  reportedly say they would definitely return to Zoopla should they quit OTM, with the rest being unsure, saying it is unlikely, or giving a firm no. The Barclays report is also said to be based on interviews with 50 non-OTM agents.



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  1. Ric

    I had someone instruct me last week because I advertise on RM & OTM; They had previously been on RM & Z with another agent but failed to sell – How odd! Oh well, that’s balanced that one out.


    1. Disillusioned

      I think you might be papering over the cracks there Ric, With the target Springett has set himself for January, the last thing he needs at this stage is a hole in his bucket.

      1. PeeBee

        “It said last week it took on a property in London SE1 at £385,000. It had been listed at OTM, but eMoov said the vendor wanted to switch in order to have it listed on Zoopla.”

        Funny, this one.  Firstly, the property has only been on the market (pun intended) since mid-August with the original Agent, then it seems that it was listed and de-listed on RM by emoov after only one day – but is still on Zoopla.

        Oh – Mr Quirk – in order to make a good impression on prospective BUYERS (I know that technically you don’t cos you’ve more than likely had your money already – but it’s how WE do it…), try getting your photographers to take pictures from above ankle-height.  No-one wants to be looking at a luxury bathroom from  the seat, or at the cr@p under the bed…

      2. Paul House

        “With the target Springett has set himself for January, the last thing he needs at this stage is a hole in his bucket.”…If it’s a hole in his bucket it’s not been made recently. Not sure about Cheffins, but none of these agents have left in the last six months as far as I know. In fact I don’t think Alex Neil have even advertised on OTM.

      3. Ric

        Never paper over cracks, I draw more cracks to make it look shabby chic or whatever they call that distressed look nowwa days. ****** awful look if you ask me.

        Anyway – I am amazed any serious members have quit after such a short time. Shows the kind of agent they are. If they have lost market share directly because of this I am amazed.

        the example given by eMoov is the agent using OTM actually won the business and then failed to sell it…. For me, training required on the vendor contact method they used, or perhaps did they over promise at the valuation and under deliver when instructed.

        Strong message out there though…. the owner initially instructed an agent NOT using Z, so for me, either eMoov are making up an example, which may well have swapped from a OTM agent to Z agent BUT it was not the actual reason lets be fair, they could have all three and be with eMoov as well as the other agent and if they were so hell bent on Z, you struggle to change that mind set. More to that example if you ask me.

        OTM is not the problem, to be fair it is pretty impressive to be where it is today from a cold start…… AM is the issue….. our industry have more talkers than doers, we are making a bit too much money at the minute so we are possibly okay paying the bills at present.

        Good old property crash, clear out the budget agents, have vendors realise sticking it on the web is not enough and see how you like paying the 10% increases to RM then when you are paying out more than you are cashing in!

  2. the message

    surely this all known anyway. No big deal to either side rally (I am being balanced you see, not blinkered).

    I am not sure if PIE has picked up on the barclays note out today – be interesting if, as the independent business they are, they give it the prominence they gave the one yesterday. 12% of agents said lost an instruction by not being on Z, His note is positive to them, negative to OTM.

    I for one dont care again, it is one guys opinion, but in the spirit of debate do we have this played out today as well?



  3. bencade

    In fairness, since I had an OTM rep come to see us prior to its launch, we’ve had no approach since. We are one of 15 agents in town, 4 are OTM agents, the rest RM and Z.

    I fully understand the benefit of being an OTM agent, but I’m one of 12 franchisees so we’d all need to agree to go together. But I can’t say OTM are exactly trying to sway us.

  4. smile please

    Think it says more about the agents than the portals.

  5. Romain

    This market has a strong network effect, like for Facebook, Google, etc.

    Potential buyers look at RM because they basically list all the properties, and agents list on RM because all potential buyers look at RM…

    Hence obviously why they can charge what they charge.

    Then, people also look at Z.

    I think that attempting to change that is a risky venture and would require a long view and very deep pockets. And I don’t think that OTM is in a position to demand that members drop either RM and Z: Why drop a large platform to join a ‘nobody’?. They should focus on making it cheap and easy for agents to sign up and list because their no.1 priority is to grow membership.

    If or when they reach a critical mass then they can consider adding restrictions.

    In any case, I don’t think that a property sells or does not sell just because it is on one platform and not the other.

    1. Robert May

      That isn’t quite correct Romain, Rightmove are now in a very precarious position locally to me, the area is dominated by Agents Mutual  those not on Rightmove don’t like Rightmove’s fee structure.  With no corporate presence in the area and a  laughable spattering of online listings  there is no fear of loss reason why Agents need to list with Rightmove at all. When Rightmove is reduced to a want rather than a need Agents have the aces and jokers.

      Trevor can call me a cartel if he likes but I am the one suggesting a demonstration of agent power, encouraging agents to assess their advertising needs.  Nick has suggested portal advertising is cheap compared with print advertising, it might be,  but to make that comparison ignores the print and distribution costs of print advertising.

      Because 1 advertising media has higher cost it does not justify the  Digital version hiking its costs to the same level.  Boasting profit levels in excess of  80% is an insult. Possibly not so sore a subject now, but back when the market was tough 80%+ really stuck in agents’ throats and wallets. Agents take a while to forgive  abuse, but don’t forget it.

      Here in North Devon Vincent Boni is name few have forgotten those who have forgotten his name have not forgotten what he tried to do.

      1. danny

        Define “Dominated by Agents Mutual” … How many eyeballs, how many users ? By dominate do you mean has a lot of property that noone looks at ?

      2. EHenderson


        this is project has strengthened Rightmove – there is no other way of looking at it. Making faux-sage comments when you actually mean ‘be an illegal cartel’ is naive and you are increasingly sounding slightly deranged.

        Agents Mutual has destroyed value and reduced competition. The big losers will be small, independent agents.

  6. the message

    Robert – Rightmove is indeed incredibly precarious – at its £3.6bn valuation, double that since the launch of OTM. Shareholders and staff are truly petrified at the thought of what comes next, as OTM and Z slug it out in the worst stalemate since WW1.


    Indeed, I hear the next round of bonuses will enable most staff to add extensions to their houses, probably entitled the Springett wing, in honour of the man who made this all possible.

    When AM formed, the plan was to try and hurt both Z and RM, That was quickly forgotten in the desperate haste to get enough members to allow launch, and from then on R has just got stronger and stronger.

    It also gets about 20x more visitors every day that OTM… trouble, really? get the rose tinted glasses off and face facts – the single biggest fan of OTM will be the R CEO!!!

    1. Robert May

      I am not discussing their performance hence why I typed an entire paragraph that you chose to ignore or not read in order to have a snipe at Ian Springett OTM and Agents Mutual.

      Right now Rightmove’s position is as secure as their notice period, that is precarious. Because of OTM they are a want and not a need.


  7. Clarkuk

    It looks like OTM may have succeded in Knocking Z down but only because the agencies that left for OTM see no value in Zoopla anymore. of course reports like this come out every week and they will all say something different. but this seems to be saying that OTM isn’t working, Zoopla only worked for some and is unlikely to get it’s previous membership numbers back, and RM is the place to be.

    Soon there may only be ONE major portal and 2 minor portals. hmmmmm….

    1. HarryN

      Quite, and then the agents involved in OTM will have the Rightmove monopoly back that they so obviously miss.

      I predict that Rightmove will present a very friendly face for 12-24 months and then I wonder where that will lead!

      The sooner those – supposedly – leading agents involved in this realise where this is heading, the better.

      1. BrandNew

        If that is the case then the CMA will actually have something to look at…..

        74 profits, charge what you like, no rate card……

        They could probably look at in now in reality.

        1. BrandNew

          That is of course 74% profits.

          1. EHenderson

            Why would they bother when agents have created the situation themselves??

  8. JAM01

    The market is definitely tightening and leads across the board are down. Those that leave hoping that another portal will produce more leads are deluded. Agencies that rely on portals as the mainstay for lead generation are poor. A tightening market will significantly affect the online agents as real agency will be required to market and sell. If I were an online agency now I would get myself out of the circle of concern and focus on the forthcoming reduced levels of activity within their own organisation.

    1. Ric

      Stop it! I thought we were meant to disagree on everything 🙂


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