No overall portals winner, says Martin & Co boss, after measuring leads

The boss of one of Britain’s largest property firms has warned that OnTheMarket’s ‘one other portal’ rule could be depriving agents of a significant source of extra leads.

That is because there is almost negligible duplication of leads from both Rightmove and Zoopla.

And out of all three of the main portals, there is no overall ‘winner’ – with portals performing differently, in different areas.

The summary is from Ian Wilson, following a month-long study of nearly 200 offices offering a mix of sales and lettings and which between them list on all three portals.

Wilson is chief executive of the Property Franchise Group – the new trading name adopted by Martin & Co after its purchase last year of Xperience.

With 274 offices on Rightmove, 118 on Zoopla and 96 on OnTheMarket, Wilson’s business looks to be in a unique position to see how – and geographically where – each of the portals performs.

In some towns – for example, Cirencester where the Property Franchise Group has both a CJ Hole office and a Martin & Co office – it is possible to make a meaningful comparison across all three portals. In Cirencester, both offices are on Rightmove, with CJ Hole also on OTM, and Martin & Co on Zoopla.

Across the entire Property Franchise Group network, franchisees can make their own decisions about portals, other than an insistence that sales offices (170 out of 190 offices) use Rightmove.

Wilson said: “When we bought Xperience they had already agreed that all four of its brands would drop Zoopla and join OTM. Hence as a group we are an interesting experiment in that in 45 locations we have both Martin & Co and an Xperience office trading.

“So we are almost uniquely placed to make comparisons as all other corporates or groups would have had to make a policy decision which would be binding on all of their offices. We can compare OnTheMarket with Rightmove and with Zoopla in at least some places.”

The October survey also showed costs per lead from each portal – although Wilson underlined his firm’s bulk buying power, achieving discounts.

He went on: “Portal costs are a hot topic for independent estate agents but of course if they were part of a franchise group then they would benefit from group purchasing power.

“They would also get access to our head office expertise as it’s not obvious which portal is ‘best’ for any particular location.

“Every two years our digital team carry out this portal review exercise. We compare the number of leads generated by each portal with the cost of advertising on the portal to give us a cost per lead.

“The portals will tell you that it costs them around £2 to generate a lead so if you are receiving leads at a cost lower than this, then you are getting a bargain.”

The actual value to the businesses of each lead is as yet unknown.

Wilson said: “We can’t factor in the quality of the leads in the raw data, although we are working on a more sophisticated system which looks at how many leads convert into further action, which is a good measure of quality.

“Also, if you don’t have much stock then you will not get a lot of leads, so you can’t entirely blame the portals.

“However, it is clear that there is no overall winner which is best in every location.

“In many places Rightmove generates leads at an attractive cost per lead, but so does Zoopla.

“When we have tested whether there is much cross-over with leads from Zoopla duplicated on Rightmove, we were astonished to find that cross-over was only around 5% of leads.

“Portal users appear to be quite ‘tribal’ with a strong preference to do most of their searching on one or the other of the big two.

“The implication of this is that if you are not advertising on Rightmove and Zoopla then in many locations you are depressing your lead flow.

“The poorest value portal currently is OTM with much higher cost per lead pretty much across the board, but this might be expected when the portal is in growth mode.

“However, OTM’s ‘one other portal’ rule may be depriving agents of a significant source of extra leads.”

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101 Comments

  1. danny

    Cue cries of “it’s not about leads… It’s early days … I got nothing from Zoopla… I get more from OTM” at 274 branches this is a fairly robust survey at over 1% of the estate agency market …

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  2. HarryN

    Facts trump rhetoric.

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  3. inthefield

    Im still bamboozled by the short sightedness of a lot of high street agents that still sit on the fence in joining OTM or not. It truly isn’t about leads at this stage its about gaining back control and preventing RM and Zoopla bending us over all year long. I still firmly believe that OTM will work but there has to be more tub thumping from high street agents to their local competitors that this is the way to go.

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    1. Steve From Leicester

      Quote: “It truly isn’t about leads at this stage its about gaining back control”.

      I run a business. If I don’t get any leads I won’t have a business for very long, and therefore won’t have anything to “gain control of”.

       

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      1. fluter

        So you solely rely on the portals for your leads? oh dear…………..

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        1. I want to believe

          Has evolution really brought us to a place where the obvious is obscured by ridiculous. We have what is probably a one off oportunity to challenge Rightmove’s monopoly and ever increasing charges and all I am hearing is ‘OTM hasn’t gone from a standing start to number 1 overnight so I an going to keep perpetuating the problem by slagging off OTM and paying RM whatever they ask’

          Here’s an idea, why don’t all the slaggers chuck a few quid at OTM, oh I don’t know, say, 20% of what they are paying RM and see what happens – maybe then they will actually have a choice and if they manage to use the one brain cell they have to decide to keep pumping RM full of money then it will actuall have been a choice but aaahhhh how nice would it be to have that choice.

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      2. harry hood

        Giving control to Springett and a small committee of AM is exactly reducin any control you have by reducing your options.

        Yes they say they are giving you control, but can’t you see this is exactly what they are taking away from the market?

        If they become a monopoly you will be jumping whenever the CEO of Savills and KF tell you too.

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  4. danny

    Agreed Steve, just for the record, marketing at every stage in every other business across the world is about generating revenue and audience . IMO OTM isnt about “taking control” ,its about giving control to those who founded it. Those sucked in along the way (certain Martin and Co branches for example who recieve a very poor ROI) will lose market share and marketing pot

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    1. fluter

      Totally disagree Danny. We were the top selling and letting agent in our area at the end of 2014 when on RM & Z. By the end of 2015, having undergone a complete re-brand along the way, we are still the leading agent, the only difference is we are now on RM and OTM. As my previous comment said, its less about which portal you’re on and more about the service you provide and the recommendations that follow which provides the new stock and as we all know, serious buyers follow the stock not the portal.

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      1. danny

        Disagreeing makes the world interesting Fluter . COuple of questions

        1) If you where the leading agent in 2014 ,why the 2015 rebrand ?

        2) If serious buyers follow stock why is OTM’s audience 2% of Rightmoves and 5% of Zooplas after a full year of having c 1/4 of the UK stock

        3) If serious buyers follow the stock give me one reason that a potential seller in your area would bother with OTM at all and not just go to Rightmove.

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        1. danny

          Also missed from from the above that Martin and Co found the exact opposite

          “Portal users appear to be quite ‘tribal’ with a strong preference to do most of their searching on one or the other of the big two.

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        2. fluter

          To answer your questions Danny

          1) A change of identity and image was required as a result of severing ties with another company.

          2) Around 20% of our portal leads come from OTM. I can only base my opinions on my own experiences rather than figures that may or may not be accurate. Try speaking to agents in West Wales where there agents all got together (some 100+ offices) and decided to all drop RM in favour of OTM and Z. I’m sure their experiences are completely different because very little stock in that area is on RM.

          3) To be honest, the issue of which portals we use rarely comes up in discussions with sellers, why should it. We are far more than a conduit to a portal and that is why we are successful. Also, it is the buyers that go to portals and refer you back to my answer above.

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  5. the message

    Stop the clocks, turn off the phone, stop the dogs from barking!!!

    PIE with a balanced article, including data, which is potentially negative towards OTM!!!

    I don’t know what to say, am shocked stunned and saddened at this shocking article. What does this bloke know, a sample of only 200 national agents, telling us facts supported by data. It is a disgrace and I am sure Robert, Woodentop, GPL and peeBee will rip this article to shreds in a nanosecond.

    We don’t need this nonsense, instead can we please have another article like yesterdays, from a fat cat high end agent revelling in the damage done to primelocation, paid for by Barry in Bognor regis.

     

     

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    1. Robert May

      Possibly a bit hard for you to take in but I  and portal neutral in respect of OTM and have  more than anyone else copped grief  for my comments on the subject.

      Because I  applaud Ian Springett for putting together an affinity  group comprising 27% of the industry and building a business turning over about £29 million  within 3 years of starting the project it doesn’t mean I think everything there is wonderful.

      The fact I tackle some of the posts and posters I don’t agree with doesn’t mean I am an OTM sycophant.

       

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      1. harry hood

        How can you praise broken promises based on false prospectus?

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        1. Robert May

          I can praise the achievement of securing near on £150 million business (spread over 5 years) and a market share of competing agent that trounces all that has been achieved by corporate agency in over 30 years of trying.

          In the same breath I can also be critical of the  G3 portal (Rightmove clone) which I consider more of a hindrance to progress than the OOP

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    2. Woodentop

      It confirms exactly the point I have been making for years. Customers go to where the agent directs them. If the majority in a town are only publishing on one web site … where do the public go? ….. to that portal. So if RM have no presence but Z have, then that is why Z get the hits. It is not because of the TV ads, that is nothing more than brand awareness and why is this correct, well they didn’t go to RM did they!

       

      If agents want customers to go to OTM, they need to stop the duploy. The public will follow, they have no loyalty to any web portal, they are looking for convenience and this has been demonstrated by those that left Z for RM. RM went up, while Z went down as RM was made stronger as in general “all agents listing on site” so it basically became a one-stop shop, so why would the public use any other web portal.

       

      Hopefully those fence sisters will realise it is they that are keeping RM number 1, when it could be OTM with no anti-estate agents business providing an inferior service, hiked up portal fee’s and you do have a say on how things are run (our area asked for a change and we got it).

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      1. the message

        good old woodentop – dont let statistics or data get in the way of your story. the fact this CEO is saying exactly the opposite to you shouldn’t stop you at all

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        1. Woodentop

          Read again, he is saying customers go to where they market the strongest!

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  6. Shaun77

    Surely, this is good news! The fact that there ” is almost negligible duplication of leads from both Rightmove and Zoopla” is exactly what we want to hear and is fantastic news for OTM.

    It very simply means that buyers (or in most cases, just browsers) will simply choose one portal to satisfy their property search requirements. This is absolutely logical, as why would you spend hours scrolling through duplicated listings on both portals. This means that your genuine buyers, once they’ve worked out which portal offers the most choice, will simply focus their online search through that portal.

    Once again, it highlights that stock is king. Buyers will follow the stock, not the brand. If every property was only on OTM (something that is 100% within our power to make a reality) Rightmove and Zoopla would fade and die. Is it really that difficult to grasp? Why OTM continues to get attacked for trying to correct the mess that we’ve all made is simply beyond me.

     

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    1. danny

      Shaun , why dont you go outside and place newspaper across 98% of your window display ? This would be fantastic news for OTM if OTM was the portal that everyone was looking at. Cost…..return

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      1. Shaun77

        Perhaps I could use my local property newspaper for such a task? No, wait a minute, it no longer exists. How could that be – surely that’s where everybody goes to find out what properties are for sale and have been doing so for generations. Oh hang on, of course, people simply stopped using the local paper once they discovered they could find the properties elsewhere…..

         

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    2. Woodentop

      Shaun77 …. you got it, Happy New Year.

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  7. Beano

    I do not like being treated in business the way I am treated by the likes of Rightmove. In any other situation they would have lost my business years ago. I loathe the fact that my principles have to be put on the backburner, (I hope the backburner; not locked away forever).

    Thus I am a firm believer in what OTM are trying to achieve, and I originally signed a letter of intent.

    So why now am I a member of both Z and R where before I was a member of only Rightmove?

    Z came to me with an offer that I found hard to refuse, an offer lower than that of OTM. I felt I may find a way of ditching R if Z’s performance allowed me to, but truth is you get comfortable when each are (as above survey showed) throwing a similair level of leads and not from the same source….

    I really hope that OTM finds a way of breaking what seems to be a stalemate situation. I want to be able to drop RM; and will happily do so to meet my ‘intentions’ to OTM. But….

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    1. Woodentop

      Beano, don’t take offence as it certainly is not intended but you are typical of why RM are chuckling in the back ground. OTM have got to get over to all those fence sitters what’s going on and it would seem they are failing to get the message over to some. There is a school of thought on this, they are restricted by CPR’s. Not one person has lost business for being on a web portal, the fear is not being on the right one.

       

      OTM can be the right one, if you support it. Remember any web portal is nothing more than a 24/7 newspaper advert.

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  8. Richard Rawlings

    Ah – as predicted in my letter to Ian Springett on 2nd November last year, based on my statistician partner at Agent Centric, Dr.Bradley Payne’s analysis. (See http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/onthemarket-blamed-in-latest-open-letter-for-drop-in-sales-and-instructions/). We were torn to shreds by many, but feel totally vindicated that our academic analysis has now been borne out by concrete evidence, not that we have any agenda in this matter.

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  9. Eric Walker

    Ian is absolutely right. I understand the ‘one other portal rule’ but sincerely believe it’s hampering OTM and it’s objective of breaking the duopoly hasn’t worked. In fact, as Ian says, prior to OTM consumers tended to favour either RM or Z because they effectively returned the same results. Now that they don’t, one could argue that more are being driven to a portal they may not have visited previously as there is disparity in listings.

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    1. Robert May

      The one other portal rule is the one thing  that is keeping people talking  about OTM. The one other portal  rule is to AM what her antics are to Miley Cyrus.

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    2. Woodentop

      Most agents can’t afford and have the time to be on more than two fee paying portals?

       

      As for the one other portal rule, actually it is two! You can have your won. It also made sound business sense. OTM got its name noticed and foot into a market that was a established two horse race for ESTATE AGENTS and nothing to do with the public as far as the other portal rule is concerned. The customer is the agent with the portal, often neglected by all those that are anti OTM.

       

      It is for the agent to decide who they market via. It is for the public to decide which agent they want to use and which portal they may want to look at. Some have tried in vain many times to argue against, but their argument only ever seems to apply when OTM are mentioned. But their same argument applies if you are only on RM or Z as aren’t the public being disadvantaged by not being on OTM. Think about it!

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    3. observer

      if that is true, then why has Zoopla’s traffic increased more than OnTheMarket’s in 2015? In absolute terms not in relative terms before anyone gets “smart”

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  10. Traditionalist

    I agree entirely with Shaun 77: ‘Once again it highlights that stock is king. Buyers will follow the stock, not the brand. If every property was only on OTM (something that is 100% within our power to make a reality) Rightmove and Zoopla would fade and die. Is it really that difficult to grasp? Why OTM continues to get attacked for trying to correct the mess that we’ve all made is simply beyond me.’

    Why aren’t the corporates taking the lead and putting their money where there mouths are –  list only with OTM.  This would really show their commitment to the site they developed ‘for agents’.  This is a prime opportunity for agents to stand out and show the value of their offerings, as opposed to an online only version of selling their house.

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    1. Shaun77

      Because they all own shares in RM & Z….

       

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  11. RealAgent

    The term “lead” is an interesting one and is one that much of the discussion on this site hang’s it’s hat on. The reality is that a leads are only relevant based on the prevailing market conditions. At the moment for many agents, certainly in the south of the country at least, buyers leads carry less importance than valuation leads.

    Surveying all of our customers and potential customers last year, just 2% cited a portal as a reason or the method in which they contacted us for a valuation. So actually if the portals do assist in bringing in the sort of business we want now, they do so in the fact that clients expect us to be on at least one of them and so, on a valuation, we can tick that box and raise them one.

    How being on Rightmove and OTM assisted us, was that we were able to tell customers we were on the biggest portal in the country and were also on one that took out the plethera of DIY agents, dodgy call centre firms that listed property miles from them that looked ridiculously cheap and were probably not even available anyway, then presented their property alongside some of the best and exclusive property in the country. (Every client loves their house being showcased in the virtual equivalent of Harrods’ shop window)

    For us, as I am sure it is for most estate agents, it isn’t about leads, its about selling ourselves and what helps us to do that.

     

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  12. Harree

    So …

    AM is all about “giving control back to the agents”.

    Exactly WHICH agents?

    One of my biggest concerns with AM is that IF they become the leading portal how exactly will the agent data they have access to be used – and to an extent, how is it being used now?

    AM is a mutual in name only.

    Can any current AM member tell me if they voted for an overseas section or the top end magazine advertising which I understand money has been spent on?

    In fact has any member had ANY say in any AM decision that has been made to date?

    At the end of the day … we are all competitors fighting for the same instructions.

    The big decisions at AM will always be taken by the big corporate backers and it is THEY who want to take control from RM and Z for their own vested reasons. The interests of Independent local agents will barely be considered in their big picture IMO.

    Plus … they will have direct access to the exact details of every instruction (great marketing tool there), the click thru rates of every agent (great opportunity to copy the best display formats), the potential of creating premium type listings that favour themselves etc., etc.

    Trust a group of my corporate competitors to run a portal in my interests?

    On reflection … no thanks.

     

     

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    1. Woodentop

      Harree, yes to one of your questions. I refrain from making comment on the other jibberish. You clearly haven’t a clue what OTM is.

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  13. Harree

    RealAgent ..

    You say “Every client loves their house being showcased in the virtual equivalent of Harrods’ shop window”.

    An interesting analogy but one totally flawed.

    The fact is Harrods are on one of the busiest shopping streets in London and if they relocated that store to a back lane off Peckham High Street their traffic flow and business would take a big hit.

    OTM are on the equivalent of Peckham High Street compared to the Oxford Street of RM and Z.

    Being the smartest best stocked shop in the desert is no recipe for success.

    You need to get real about the facts of marketing Mr RealAgent.

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    1. RealAgent

      Harree..

      Actually I disagree. It isn’t about where Harrods is, its about what Harrods is.

      But thank you for raising a smile because you’ve cited your command and singular understanding of marketing before. Funnily enough though, my experience of people who have to say how good they are, is that they rarely are!

       

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      1. Harree

        So you think Harrods would do as much business in a back lane off Peckham High Street?

        Strange.

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        1. Harree

          Answer the question RealAgent …

          Clicking the dislike button isn’t an answer 🙂

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          1. RealAgent

            Actually I didn’t click the dislike button so I guess you are going to have to come to terms with the fact someone else disagreed with you.

            But yes I do think Harrods would do as much business elsewhere.I also believe that people pay more for items because they are in Harrods. We are charged with getting our clients the best price are we not?

            I don’t deny that probably more people go past it where it is, but passers by aren’t buyers now are they Harree!

             

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            1. Woodentop

              I was recently in Harrods and isn’t it getting to be a grubby location. So many shops boarded up.

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  14. Harree

    RealAgent..

     

    Don’t think I’ve ever said how good I am.

    But with a name like RealAgent …. 🙂  🙂  🙂

     

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    1. RealAgent

      Oh you have such a short, or is it just a selective memory Harree but whatever. I will bear in mind, as I am sure others will, that if we ever need to know the facts of marketing its good to know you are there.

      RealAgent? Yes you know, that, as opposed to being a Zoopla rep!

       

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  15. Woodentop

    Harree, you don’t have to tell us, we can see it!

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    1. Harree

      Zoopla rep??

      Is that best you can do.

      How pathetic that most agents who don’t pansy after AM are called Zoopla reps etc.

      Why don’t you try countering my opinions instead of resorting to playground name calling.

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      1. RealAgent

        You are funny. Countering what opinion? The one where you implied I needed to know as much about marketing as you do, or the one where you typed RealAgent followed by three err smiley faces?

         

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  16. Harree

    inthefield said:
    January 6, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Im still bamboozled by the short sightedness of a lot of high street agents that still sit on the fence in joining OTM or not. It truly isn’t about leads at this stage its about gaining back control and preventing RM and Zoopla bending us over all year long.

    Have you tried telling your clients that?

    Martin & Co have proved the obvious …

    RM and Z get a ton more traffic than OTM, both have loyal visitors with next to no duplication of leads, and OTM has the highest lead cost even though their fees are the lowest.

    So …

    You and other AM members are knowingly depriving your clients of maximum traffic to ‘tread water’ on lower traffic until (hopefully) OTM eventually becomes a serious player.

    Your comment, and others similar, is the type that would be dynamite in the hands of a journalist.

    A right ‘prawn sandwich’ gaffe.

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    1. Property Pundit

      Harree there was a thread yesterday about OTM on which, unusually for you, you did not comment. Here is a post by El Burrowhich I would ask you to read and digest:
      What I don’t get about the anti OTM brigade is why are they bothered?
      If OTM is as rubbish as they suggest and all their agents are just flushing their money down the pan in a Ponzi scheme (HarryN) why aren’t they just letting their competitors get on with it?
      Surely you’d love them making complete ars*’s of themselves, after all it’s money on a doomed project that they could be spending on much more effective platforms competing with you?
      It seems to me Zoopla were openly rubbishing OTM at the start, that has given way to an almost evangelical campaign to teach others the error of their ways by a band of non OTM agents. Or are they? Maybe Zoopla decided that openly rubbishing a competitor was never going to get them many votes and a different approach was needed . . . . . .
      Who else would give a monkeys?

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    2. Woodentop

      Harree, as above we can all see what you are. Give a rest, your making a fool of yourself as usual.

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      1. Harree

        Really?

        Not in my opinion.

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    3. inthefield

      You really are a ticket Harree. I am and have been the number one agent in my area for over 10 years. When i dropped Z to go to OTM I saw a very transient (1 week) round of questions from my clients…that was it. They know that I dont rely on portal advertising to sell houses, if you do then you must be an online agent?

      Its a business decision and a future proofing decision. I dont want to be on the same portal as online agents and I certainly dont want RM or Z holding their hand out every January for more and more for effectively the same thing as they were giving 10 years ago. When a better alternative comes along than OTM I would go for that as well, or instead of because I still want to be in control and I will do whatever it takes to make that happen.

       

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  17. Robert May

    Thing is Harree  despite, as you claim, depriving their vendors’ properties of maximum exposure AM agents  have managed to sell about 25,000 properties worth about £7.6 billion.  Other than the same voices on here I can’t hear anyone complaining about their performance

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    1. Harree

      According to the anti RM and Z brigade…

      Portals don’t sell properties, agents do.

      How come you say it is different for OTM?

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      1. Woodentop

        So here we are maximum exposure again …. Not being on OTM, is that not providing maximum exposure!

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        1. Harree

          OTM has 2% of RM traffic and 5% of Z’s.

          Even if 80% of visitors to RM and Z are tyre kickers and 100% of OTM’s are the serious buyers’ that AM loves to talk about …

          That still means RM has 10x more serious buyers and Z 4x more serious buyers than OTM.

          Now tell me Woodentop…

          Are you not making a fool of yourself by not understanding why OTM does not give vendors maximum exposure?

           

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          1. AgencyInsider

            Harree. Could you please explain what you see as the benefits to a vendor of ‘maximum exposure’? And yes, this is a serious question.

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          2. RealAgent

            And are you not making an even bigger fool of yourself “Mr Marketeer” by not understanding that you do clients no service by lumping their marketing into the same arena.

            None of the supermarkets have been able to offer successfully to every tier of clientelle in their market, so why can every vendor be served by agents trying to do just that?!

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          3. Woodentop

            Ignorance is bliss, I expect you would call black is white, if it suited you. What nonsense you spout. No one cares if they get millions of clicks, numpty. The guy who get 3 clicks and makes three sales is better than the those that get 10 thousand and make no sale. By your own stats 2% which resulted in 25,000 sales is pretty good. RM don’t give me the returns and Z never ever, ever, ever did. No-one is saying you will get more clicks when OTM is still growing, you are using stats to claim serious buyers …. every single estate agent in this country knows that serious buyers are a minority. You will soon be eating your words if OTM become number one and that is really the name of your game. You don ‘t want OTM to succeed when all it is, is the same as RM & Z and another web site it is for an agent to publicise his property stock.

             

            You have had rant, I certainly have, so let other get a chance to have a say.

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          4. observer

            The very existence of OTM and its ridiculous one portal rule ensures that there can be no maximum exposure. So in a sense the entirety of OTM is actually against one of the core undertakings for an estate agent to put their client’s best interests first.

             

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            1. RealAgent

              It’s a one OTHER portal rule plonker.

              Read my comments above as to why that ACTUALLY is in the clients best interest!

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              1. observer

                No need to get personal. Everyone reading this thread knows exactly what I meant.

                Also, your comments seem to be comparing Harrods to OTM. Are these the comments that explain why it is in the client’s best interests? If so, wow! Harrods is Harrods because of its location. It built a reputation based on its location, its quality of service and the beautiful building it occupies. OTM is a brand new website, which is very nice, works smoothly, is responsive etc. OTM’s success will depend on whether buyers use it. If they do, great. If they don’t, it’s just cluttering the market. Buyers just want to be able to look at one website for all properties. Whether FSBO, online agents, high street agents or anything in between. Adding a third website only complicates matters for buyers. Harrods is all about high ticket items, OTM needs to be about mass usage and at present it is struggling.

                Also it would be Mr Marketer if you are talking about somebody that does marketing as a job. A marketeer is somebody that sells products or services in a market. Just FYI.

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                1. RealAgent

                  Thank you for your FYI observer. I will perhaps take your lessons more seriously when you add a capital letter to your moniker.

                  Regarding the rest of your post I have to confess to being a bit bored now. If you really want to discuss Harrods in greater detail can I respectfully request you find the Retail Weekly forum or something.

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                  1. observer

                    Pretty sure it was you that brought up the Harrods thing.
                    I didn’t realise you were so keen to be grammatically correct. I should have pointed out your misuse of the word your when you meant you’re. Or maybe I’m not that petty. You’re not the best at debating are you?

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                    1. RealAgent

                      I did observer, as a one off comparison but it was you that decided to discuss the establishment in quite some excited detail.  You perhaps don’t get out much do you.

                      I think I do just fine at debating, I just prefer debating about how estate agency works with estate agents!

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            2. Harree

              Exactly.

               

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      2. Robert May

        It was your point I was addressing,  the claim that not being on both  RM & Z was reducing exposure.

        Not being on both hasn’t stopped them selling properties or are you saying for certain they would have sold more if they were? If that is what you are claiming where is the evidence?

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        1. observer

          This is a classic strawman argument. Nobody was discussing that. There is no way of finding out whether it had a positive or negative effect on those sales. You can only sell a home once. And that is what makes estate agency such a subjective topic and why it is almost impossible to compare like for like.
          I used to think that you knew more than you let on but the more you post the more it looks like you’re a troll winding people up.
          I think what Harree was saying is that if you went to a potential vendor with the cold hard facts:
          Portal 1: 100 million hits per month
          Portal 2: 50 million hits per month
          Portal 3: 5 million hits per month
          And you ask the vendor, which two portals would you like to be on?

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          1. Harree

            observer,

            That is EXACTLY what we have done since Day 1 of OTM.

            And a big reason, but not the only one, why amongst 80% of OTM agents we  established ourselves as the market leaders in our area for instructions in 2015.

            OTM the Harrods of the portals??

            And I am told I am making a fool of myself!!

             

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            1. RealAgent

              Now thats interesting Harree, you posting last year that you were number 1 in your area. Now it seems you established yourself as that in 2015. One of those posts was clearly untrue!

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              1. Harree

                Oh dear … you really want to think before spreading your fingers on the board.

                Definition of established;

                having existed or done something for a long time and therefore recognized and generally accepted.

                At the beginning of last year we took the No.1 spot locally for instructions.

                Since then we have pulled further and further ahead of the competition and established ourselves as the No.1.

                Both statements therefore correct.

                Touche!

                 

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                1. RealAgent

                  Sounds like a bit of the brown stuff there Harree!

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                  1. RealAgent

                    And what no mature non playground smiley faces?

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                2. Property Pundit

                  Harree, can I ask if you read my post of 1pm today? It’s unusual not to get a response from you.

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                3. Shaun77

                  Iceland sell more chickens that Waitrose but I know which I’d rather eat on Sunday.

                   

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          2. Robert May

            AS I have said previously there is no correlation between traffic and sales. It isn’t a strawman argument and Harree raised the point to which I replied.

            The whole point about employing an agent is to take their (the agent’s) best advice and not have to seek help from vendors on what they reckon.

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            1. observer

              And that is fine if the estate agent is acting in the best interests of the client. Setting up OTM was not in the best interests of clients in any way. Restricting the advertising of a property is not in their interests. It is all about protectionism and anybody that has tried to build barriers to progress since the beginning of time has found themselves washed away by the passing of the tide.

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              1. Harree

                observer,

                You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

                Your statement above is unarguable, and often made by me and others, but the likes of RealAgent and Robert May continue to deny the obvious.

                I would bet that if you got potential sellers into a room and both sides fully explained the pros and cons of OTM v RM and Z that 80%+ would say they wanted to be on RM and Z.

                Explaining just that has established us as the No.1 for instructions in an AM dominated area.

                 

                 

                 

                 

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                1. RealAgent

                  Harree you and observer are getting so tight it’s making me blush, can I request that you “get a room”

                  And you are full of U-Turns today. I also remember you saying you saying you had nothing against OTM except the one other portal rule. Perhaps that was in the “trying to establish yourself on this site as a credible agent days” though eh!?!…

                  Can’t quite bring myself to add a winky face after that last statement, sorry.

                   

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                  1. observer

                    The resort of the small of mind to resort to that kind of comment. I wish you all the luck in the world as I feel you are going to need it.

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                    1. RealAgent

                      Well observer thats the beauty of a moniker (with a capital letter of course). You can be as small minded as you like.

                      Thank you for your good wishes however, it means a lot to me, it really does.

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              2. Robert May

                If a property sells at a price a vendor is happy with without advertising has an agent failed  to do what they are being paid to do? Nope Agents are paid to sell property advertising is a function of the selling process it is not the process itself.

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                1. observer

                  Again, a strawman argument. Whether or not the vendor is happy with that price is irrelevant. They could have had an even better price if better advertised. We can never know whether they would have secured a better price. Until we invent a parallel dimension that comparison is not possible…

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                  1. Robert May

                    you’re not an Estate Agent are you? One is question the other a statement of fact.

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  18. mrharvey

    OTM Vs RM/Z brings out the same behaviour that a typical football match does to its fans.

     

    Could someone explain this battle like it was a football match? I might start understanding the premise and the reaction a little more.

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    1. RealAgent

      Well Mr Harvey you join us as Harree has just scored two own goals and someone mentioned playing at Wembley so his team mate, observer seems to have left the pitch to inspect the architecture of the stadium.

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    2. observer

      mrharvey, I’m not sure how tongue in cheek your request is but I’ll bite…

      First of all, the real reason for the behaviour and reaction? Fear.
      Fear of the unknown, fear of change and fear of competition.

      Rightmove and Zoopla Property Group (including Prime Location) have held a duopoly in the property portal business. These portals are the most cost effective way to advertise properties to the general public. 98% of property searches start online. Over the last few years due to their bargaining power against agencies both RM and ZPG have from time to time increased their prices to agents for advertising properties.

      Elsewhere, a new type of estate agent, the online agents (OEAs) ave turned up in strength with the backing of some major business people including Neil Woodford, Sir Charles Dunstone, James Caan and Stelios of Easy fame. These online agents use the portals alone to advertise property to the general public at a fixed fee that is comparably much cheaper than a traditional agent (for properties over £70k). They have been slowly building market share with 2015 a breakthrough year for many.

      In response to these two pincers of doom, a number of estate agents gathered together to form Agents Mutual which is a collective that has since launched a new portal OnTheMarket which does not allow OEAs. The idea I believe was to wrest power away from the incumbent portals by creating this new portal. As part of being on OnTheMarket, agents can advertise on only one other portal.

      The bold point above is where the plot thickens.

      OTM backers cite that they want “power” back. They believe that having this portal run by agents for agents will be a great thing.

      Since OTM’s launch though a number of odd decisions have been made that seem to be unaligned to the majority of members’ interests. Decisions such as a big advertising deal with a high end publisher and also building an overseas portal. These are great for the high end agencies such as Knight Frank and Savill’s that are at the heart of OTM but less great for the independent on the street.

      Also since launch OTM has underperformed spectacularly compared to the claims made by their own boss Ian Springett. They were supposed to be the number two portal within a year and yet at the time of writing are looking at traffic levels of max 5m per month vs 110m at RM and 50m at ZPG. Membership levels have largely stalled and it’s all a bit ho hum at the moment.

      The vitriol and anger comes from those who are OTM backers who probably quite rightly believe that if all agents were OTM it would be all powerful due to them having about 95% of all stock on their own portal (all stock for sale minus OEA listings). This dream of agents gaining back power is unfortunately just a dream as there are too many agents who realise that by using OTM against OTM members they can win instructions and grow their own businesses at the expense of OTM members. There are also many who quite rightly believe that not advertising a property on either of RM or ZPG is not in their client’s best interests.

      It’s hard to provide an analogy due to the complexity of the issue and with everyone likely to argue every single point I’ll leave it there.

      *Digs foxhole*

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      1. Property Pundit

        Observer, have you just woken up from a year long sleep? Thanks for the summary, you really shouldn’t have bothered.

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    3. Woodentop

      Its been dragged into a school yard scrap and side tracked.

       

      The argument is now over the one other portal rule. If you are not on both RM & Z then you are doing no favours to your customers. They forget there are many agents only on one, not on both of them and not members of OTM but only OTM comes in for the aggro from the anti OTM gang.

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  19. Stevie

    Well boys I have just spent too much time reading all the above and apart from turf wars the argument is lost unless OTM (if they really want major market share) should reduce their fees and before anyone wants to knock me down, their fees are, in most areas higher than Z so by fairly reducing monthly fee’s to all they should then be able to capture a larger market share,have more agents shouting about them to their clients, making the portal more famous and traffic abound. This will lesson the favour,leads etc of RM and Z thus strengthening year neigh, month on month OTM then possibly they could raise fee’s slightly as Robert says £29 mill per year, it wouldnt hurt them to smother the agents with good will and cheaper monthly rates and thus take eventual control over the portal war.

    It has also been mentioned that we do not and should not solely rely on portals alone, we don’t but in a digital,IT forward moving and growing property market we should recognise that OTM is an agents friend and the sooner we realise, accept and actually join then the sooner the great sites like RM and Z will have to lean to us for growth/life more so than look to us for whipping boy profits but as mentioned above we should desist from slatting each other and get OTM to reduce their fee’s and get us all on board.

    Happy and Prosperous new year to you all

    Steve

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  20. Stevie

    Sorry but for mr harvey as a football analogy, here goes, if you are a london boy then its Barnet verses Arsenal and Tottenham combined, if you are Manchester based then its Stockport verses Both United and City. Both results would read Home side 0 away side 15 please lets not get into the midlands cos u might get slautered on a lesser scale but in all areas the fans are more respectful of their teams and the oppositions supporters than we all are on here.

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  21. Stevie

    Slaughtered, ****** finger typing.

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  22. Imfuna

    I have skipped quite a few comments to make mine. I’m not an agent but listening to you lot it appears Rightmove and Zoopla have it all their own way. So, why don’t all the agents across the country get together and simply start their own portal that only needs to cover its costs. Rightmove and Zoopla are then washed up and agents can also keep out all of the two bob on line firms. If OTM is that portal then why the hell aren’t you all subscribing to it and dumping the others?  Show some solidarity instead of carving each other up.

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  23. PeeBee

    Gentlefolks

    Seeing as the thread has degenerated to the depths normally associated with the thorny subject of the ‘P’-word it is probably the right time for me to join in.

    After all, it can’t sink much deeper…

    Rather than jump on anyone’s back; pat someone else’s, or gnaw some poor $0d’s ankles like a demented Jack Russell – which according to some is aka ‘my usual involvement’ – I’d like to turn the clock back a bit.

    Almost four years, actually – February 2012 to be precise.  A time when heated discussion regarding Rightmove kicked off every time they posted their figures, sure as lions turn their noses up at veggieburgers.

    SO… when they announced their 23% increase of profits, Ros’s then steady ship, the RMS EAT, got hit amidships by a veritable tsunami of mainly anti-RM typistry as per the usual form.

    At the time I wasn’t a practicing Estate Agent.  I had, for want of a better phrase, a ‘helicopter view’ and was more able to see the entire ocean/pond/teacup that the storm was raging in than I can now, treading water and feeling like I’m going under for the third time with this entire sorry malarkey.

    I’m gonna reprint what I said then.  Here goes:

    IF RM cost more than its’ worth – if you got less out of it than you pay in – you and every other Agent would walk and it would shrivel and die overnight. It doesn’t.

    Time to face fact, I am afraid.

    Look – you want to make it better – make your own!

    How about someone who knows what the Hell they are doing create a RM clone. All (…or most of…) the bells and whistles – but NON PROFIT MAKING. The site must be OWNED by the Agents who advertise on it. Each a shareholder. One price paid per branch/discipline. Any profit made after operating costs is then repaid to the shareholders proportionate to their payment.

    OR – donated to charity. Get some positive publicity out of it!

    Nobody really argued with it at the time.  Laughed their c***s off at the idea of it ever getting within a million light years of actually happening – but more than a few nodded (however discreetly).

    Funny, innit – how times change.

    Oh – for the record – my next post went on:

    My point – the solution is in all of your hands. If you don’t like the monster you have fed, then it is time for you all to stop feeding the monster and create another – but THIS TIME, do it properly!

    Too many hands, I would respectfully suggest – and all of them waving against each other.

    The end.

    Unfortunately – no-one gets to live happily ever after in the current story that’s playing out.

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    1. Robert May

      Did Mrs P ever get her new Lino?

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      1. PeeBee

        Sadly, no.

        And I never got to ‘do lunch’ with The @ Chap either :o(

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        1. Robert May

          Can you imagine the how little work you’d get done if he were posting on Eye?

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  24. Imfuna

    Well said PeeBee!!!!!

    So get on with Agents and stop all the ********. All the punters will be there day one as it will be the only portal where all the agents advertise. A real one stop shop.

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  25. the message

    peeBee. I agree with all you say. Its the DO IT PROPERLY where I am aghast at how we have let the high end agents take your great idea, and turn it into something as sly and dirty as what we have ended up with. I genuinely cant believe the antipathy towards a site that in 12 months has built no new consumer features (and we need to have parity or close to parity with RM to be able to genuinely provide the consumer with an easy cross over) but has instead found the time effort energy and money to white label countrywide and build an overseas home

     

    I also cant believe we allow no standard corporate governance controls to ensure all members interests are looked after

     

    And I cant believe we pay the CEO a fortune from day 1. I am happy him and his senior team making million if this is successful….IF this is successful…..but there has NEVER been a start up, anywhere in the world paying the kind of salaries this obscenity does, regardless of success or failure, nor burning through cash the way this does, YOUR cash by the way.

    Thats the gist of it, and why this will sadly fail. Businesses dont just work becuse we want it to, they need proper principles, good governance and the proper controls. And you, and otehrs like you, have allowed a wonderful idea to be turned to S@!t by the greed of others

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    1. Traditionalist

      ‘the message’ OTM may well be heading down the S@!t track but it isn’t because of the CEO’s salary (although I agree it is excessive for what is really is, a start up).  OTM was a great idea and widely supported by agents to stop the ever increasing price rises – which may be fine for corporates to swallow as they benefit from huge discounts, but for independents their listing fees are excruciatingly high and do not offer value for money.  I am truly amazed by the ridiculous bantering that goes on daily about this.  The inescapable fact is, it is the Agents who will make a success or failure of OTM and judging by some of the comments I read, it looks as though sadly OTM will not get the support it needs by Agents.  I totally agree that OTM need to now roll up their sleeves and offer the listing service to agents for no more than £50 per month for a year – keeping the one portal rule.  Agents should shut up and put up, list with OTM and then only list with one other portal (having negotiated hard – particularly in London where Primelocation is more dominant that RM – to go with whichever portal offers the lowest listing fees. This time next year we would see very different posts from those not willing at the moment to support them.  After all, it wasn’t that long ago that RM and Z offered very low fees to new customers to start their businesses – its not rocket science, as they say.

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  26. the message

     

    white label countrylife, sorry. In my angst I always make a few mistakes – hence why I am not a successful businessman either!! 🙂

     

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  27. zoltan

    Are there any UK portals where you can pay per lead instead of pay per subscription?

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