OnTheMarket could become ‘quickly dominant’ says Gold member agent

An Agents’ Mutual gold investor says that confidence in the venture is building and he sees no reason why OnTheMarket should not become quickly dominant.

On Saturday morning, Agents’ Mutual announced that it has reached the 4,000 recruitment milestone – see our full story below.

Rob Sargent, group chief executive of London and Kent agents Acorn which has 21 offices and 300 staff, said: “It will be important for agents to remain united and to move as one.”

The agent’s magazine is showing the current main portals’ logos plus OnTheMarket’s. From January, at least one of those logos will disappear.

But Sargent says he has genuinely made no decision as to whether he will pull from Zoopla or Rightmove – or both.

He said: “The jury is genuinely still out. Like many agents, we are going to play this right up to the wire.

“But I am not convinced that a property needs to be exposed over and over again on different portals – and our own research among customers tells us that they are not nearly as attuned to the portals as is often thought.

“It is nowhere near as important to them as getting a good, proactive agent who will look after their interests in the first place.”

Sargent said that any clients contracted before January and who are still with Acorn after the launch of OnTheMarket would be able to quit their agreements immediately and without penalty if they object to their property coming off either Rightmove or Zoopla.

He said: “That is the fair thing to do, and we will be straightforward with our clients.”

His view is that OnTheMarket is only launching because the whole Rightmove/Zoopla situation has “got out of hand”.

He said: “We, the agents, populate the portals with their content, and then effectively they come back to hit us with our own stock.”

On top of that, year on year, he said, the two major portals put up their prices, but he queried whether either need to make the profit margins they do.

He said: “Acorn is a business with a lot of suppliers, and our relationship with them is excellent. You could not say that of the relationship Rightmove and Zoopla have with their suppliers – the agents.”

Sargent added he was concerned by evidence that Rightmove and Zoopla are approaching agents’ customers directly.

He said  this is something “we are already looking at in data protection terms”.

He had heard of one property – not with his own agency – said to have come off Zoopla but still showing on Rightmove. He said Zoopla was rumoured to have approached the vendor directly.

He added that he was not altogether surprised, saying that historically both portals have gone over the heads of agents to deal with developers directly.

Sargent said that as a known Gold backer of Agents Mutual, he is taking calls on an almost daily basis from smaller independents asking about it, and demonstrating interest.

He added: “What I particularly like about Agents’ Mutual is its inclusivity. It is not about being upmarket and London-centric, as I felt the original Primelocation was.

“It is for every type of agent, of every size, operating in every market and in every location.”

 

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120 Comments

  1. Eric Walker

    Competition is clearly great news for all those subscribing to portals to alternatives offer bargaining power. Well done to AM for hitting 4000 members. My two questions are how many of these have signed binding agreements rather than letters of intent?; and how many will actually walk away from one of the duopoly and cease advertising on all other portals but their chosen one? It will be a very interesting start to 2015.

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    1. RealAgent

      Oh I think plenty will walk away from one of the two duopoly Eric, because to be fair I genuinely don't believe you would lose anything by sticking with just the one that is dominant in your area, the real question mark is how many that just advertise on one currently, will invest in the extra cost that joining OTM would be. My hope is those that can look at little further ahead will, but its a big ask nonetheless.

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      1. wilko

        Yes , totally agree Real Agent. Eric, your questions have been "done to death" over the past months. Why on earth wouldn't people "walk away from the duopoly" For starters It's a legal, contractual requirement to withdraw from 1 of the portals ,apart from the fact that it is one of the major reasons most people have signed up believing that disruption is the only way to make big impression at launch. And don't reply "there are those that think they will have the edge with 3 portals" because that is cloud cuckoo land – it won't happen.

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        1. Eric Walker

          Actually, it's a requirement to walk away from ALL but one portal – not to withdraw from just one. I am not debating that but am simply interested to see how many will follow it through. The agreement is only legally binding is the agent proceeds to advertise on AM. Anyway, I am allowed to be interested.

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          1. Paul H

            I do not believe that anyone signing up to onthemarket would not follow through on the one other portal rule. I have now issued notice to Zoopla with my last day on that particular site being at the end of October. In my view the one other portal rule is the key to onthemarket's success.

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  2. jmeapps01

    Hahahahahahaha ooooh hahahahaha oh i do love funny stories

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    1. Ric

      You tell half of them!

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  3. dave_d

    Lets be honest, no one is going to drop Rightmove, that leaves people the option of having either Zoopla or OTM. Why haven't OTM released prices for the Bronze membership yet? On their website under FAQ they state;

    "BRONZE membership will open shortly before the portal launches. We will not be announcing the prices which will apply until then and, of course, they will not be fixed for longer than one year at a time."

    Looking at the silver pricing structure, it's not that much cheaper than Zoopla.. So for Bronze members is it going to be more expensive? What happens after 1 year when OTM realises it needs more cash, are they going to be putting prices up on Bronze members because we've not been "loyal" enough during the build up to launch?

    I'm by no means against OTM but it seems like OTM are aiming to sink Zoopla whilst offering life rafts only to those who show support for their cause…

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    1. PeeBee

      dave_d – the local AM rep has been telling fence-sitters that there will be NO 'fixed price' for Bronze, as it is basically a month-on-month Contract. I would say that the words "..will not be fixed for longer than…" are the golden egg for AM here – wouldn't you?

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    2. Trevor Gillham

      RM is the one you should be dropping, if enough properties are on AM and RM have lost a big chunk then vendors will look at all 3 sites. I would not fancy the adwords budget though for AM it's going to be big.

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      1. wilko

        Rm will be dropped once Zoopla have been seen off. One at a time is the only sensible business move. Most OTM members are thinking along these lines medium to long term. For what it's worth I visualise OTM growing in strength (once the fencesitters see it actually working and join). At worst in the medium term, RM would have to really watch their subs prices as it will be "easier" for OTM members to drop them.(Remember they gave me a significant discount on my fees next year for my offices when I aid I would dump them for otm…which lead to me dumping Z instead) At best, maybe in the longer run, OTM will be strong enough to stand on its own , marketing Proffessional agents properties.

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        1. Trevor Gillham

          So, I guess there is now reason to do a deal with the devil, you tell RM that you want a massive discount and you will drop Z immediately? Would that work?
          Personally when I ran my online agency i loved Z, I think everyone knows my feelings towards RM.

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          1. wilko

            Rightmove offered me adiscount for one year (2015) that was too good to turn down. Therefore Zoopla have had to go. If Rm try and increase 2016, than I might go back to Zoopla as my alternative to OTM….If otm is delivering great things by then, well-I might just have them only……You see I'm benefiting from OTM already, even before the launch!!!

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          2. PortalPerson

            One more wilko comment from atop his soapbox which is pretty close the the rear end of OTM.

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        2. PortalPerson

          More conjecture buy someone who knows nothing about business.

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          1. PortalPerson

            If this website actually put this in the correct place, this and the previous post about conjecture would be sat right underneath wilku's last post

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  4. Paul

    I am sure we will start to see more and more PR coming from AM/OTM over the coming weeks, as they start to ramp up final recruitment drive and gear up with marketing etc. Having achieved the 4000 this weekend, they are now setting out to hit the 5000. They have stuck to their strategy and are going about their business nicely. As I've mentioned previously, I don't think we should get too hooked up on the whole portal thing. Vendors and landlords employ us to sell and let their homes at the best price, whilst offering sound advice and a great service. They don't employ you because of who you list with. Agents that believe they do or believe they won't be able win an instruction, if they are only on OTM and one other, need to look at what they are delivering to their clients at valuation stage? If that's all you need, then you would have never of lost an instruction! With regards to walking away, many already have and I don't think agents will have an issue ditching one. RM will be that portal in some instance, however the general view is Zoopla will be hit hardest. I see a lot of people talk of the fact they don't agree with the one other rule. The point is OTM doesn't want to be just another portal, it wants to be the number 2 portal first and then number 1. They have a strategy and this is a vital part of that strategy, to make OTM a success. If you have questions, are not sure on certain points or have concerns, then make contact with them, they will provide you with the answers. The equation is simple, if you want to be in control of your own destiny, then this is your opportunity. We are the cash cow that keeps on giving and RM/ZP will keep coming up with new ways to keep this cow mooing, have no fear of that my friends….

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  5. Rivero

    " he sees no reason why OnTheMarket should not become quickly dominant." Well this really takes the Grand Delusion to a whole new level! It is this kind of rhetoric from a major investor in OTM that really robs it of it's credibility. Every time I feel I am softening my position towards the AM proposition I come across this kind of deluded nonsense which then turns me right off. Do the Gold members really think OTM will dominate? Do they really think 'on the fence' agents will read this hogwash and scramble to sign up? From what I've read on here next to no-one is dropping Rightmove! “It is for every type of agent, of every size, operating in every market and in every location.” We also know this is untrue don't we? Just ask 'bridget' who posted on this point over the weekend. If anything has come close to making my mind up this piece has, so for know I'm going to continue to 'sit on the fence' here on Planet Earth.

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    1. Paul

      Rivero, if the industry wakes up and smells the coffee, and on mass drops one portal, (likely to be Zoopla), that's going to have a major impact. As I mentioned OTM have gone about their business and built the momentum, not bad for a campaign that hasn't fully kicked in yet, so imagine where we will be when the machine is fully in flow and all the "on the fence" agents decide that this train is worth boarding. Then there will be no reason to be on RM (perceived or otherwise), which will quickly make OTM dominant! So I'm not too sure what your point is? If we make OTM successful (and that's the key, we can), then it will become dominant, that's not in question. The only thing not going to make it dominate is if we don't support it, simple, so not sure why you would be anti it. I've said before, I don't need OTM to succeed to keep my business going, I WANT it to succeed, unlike some other people / businesses that need OTM to fail to keep theirs going. Don't forget Rivero, these gold members (and silver etc) that you slate, put their money where their mouths were and have made decision to support OTM, but they were not always gold members were they? Do you have a vested interest somewhere else that's pushing you in this direction, you seem to be an articulate person with some strong views (not a criticism), so it make me wonder? The one thing you will get from AM/OTM supporters is the real motives for their support……….

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      1. Paul H

        "Do you have a vested interest somewhere else that's pushing you in this direction, you seem to be an articulate person with some strong views (not a criticism), so it make me wonder?"…Judging by a comment on another trade website today, someone has come to the same conclusion.

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        1. Rivero

          To answer that question (as I have before), I am an independent agent with NO vested interest one way or another. I am just trying to add balance to this heavily pro-AM leaning website (btw I don't have a problem with that). Having checked out the other website I am not called Simon and I don't even know who that poster is referring to as Simon. I am constantly surprised that just because I question some of the bold claims and ask questions most of you lot presume I must be a Zoopla rep or something. Others might say 'why would you not support it?' I DO support the principle but not the planned practical delivery of that principle…unless they tweak their model somehow.

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          1. Paul

            Thanks for clearing that up Rivero. Its hard not to be called a pro AM leaning website, when the majority on here are pro AM, but the stories get put up and people can respond from both sides of the camp. I rarely take notice of a lot of post that clearly come from reps / or people with a vested interest. If it's a genuine agent raising questions and debating, then I'm happy to offer my opinion. Some people do actually want to be convinced (as I see you have commented yourself) However, I was intrigued to push you further as you have an interesting way of supporting AM.

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          2. Rivero

            As stated above " I DO support the principle but not the planned practical delivery of that principle" 2 different things.

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      2. Rivero

        Hi Paul. I'm not 'anti it' in principle. I have two issues really 1) The business model is flawed in my opinion by design. How will it dominate whilst it will not carry properties from corporate agents or the ever increasing number of online, hybrid agents etc? I have many other concerns about the model which I've mentioned previously so won't go into again. I don't really buy in to the 'if you believe in the ideology just support it' message as others do. I also don't like the way that anyone who questions the proposition tends to be castigated or held up as disloyal (disloyal to what?). I also keep reading statements like "put their money where their mouths were" which I presume is designed to make those on the fence feel in some way lacking conviction or '****'. Why should we invest in something blindly if we still have misgivings? If it makes you feel more masculine to "put your money where your mouths are" then good on you. This leads to my second issue..2) I would expect invested, pro AMers to support the cause and publicly talk about the 'realistic' benefits of joining, but the bloated claims of dominance etc make me feel uneasy, as it suggests to me that a good deal of the momentum is based on misleading or false claims…and this then concerns me in relation to the longevity of agents support if those claims are not met. So that is my point, which I've made many times before but I felt it polite to answer your question.

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        1. wilko

          "Why should we invest in something blindly if we still have misgivings?"…….because otherwise this, and ANY other business wouldn't get off the ground. No one has invested "blindly", the proposition is very clear if you read the articles and the contracts. If we were all like you then 4000 wouldn't have signed up already and we would all spend time nit picking over what was best for the industry. I appreciate you are a "sayer" rather than a "doer" at this stage. But your credibility is waning somewhat with the continued, often unfounded, stance against OTM. Nothing you say will change our minds, so why not lay off and give us a fighting chance of success. You can join later if you wish…up to you.

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          1. Rivero

            "No one has invested "blindly"" – so you're impressed with the website's design and functionality are you?

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          2. interestedobserver

            The proposition is clear but the product isn't. I'm really looking forward to the market view of OTM's look/feel/functionality when it's unveiled. So far I see the launch of AM consolidating RM's position as a clear #1. I do believe the importance of which portals sellers expect agents to advertise on is overstated – a comprehensive marketing story delivered by a professional should convince – however, comparatively low levels of content and a site that doesn't at least match Z & RM user experience will be an issue. Especially when the need to get traction in the eyes of members, sellers and fence sitters from day 1 is so important. Interesting times ahead. As a general observation, I think local press will gain more value during the forthcoming digital merry go round.

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        2. Paul

          Rivero, I think there has been more than enough sensible reasons put forward to joining by all those invested. I have no issue with people putting up reasonable argument and I'm not asking anyone to blindly put money in, but maybe there should be some respect from your side for those that have. There may well be an increasing build up of on-liners, but not enough to make a difference next year or to make a difference to the impact of going with AM and going up against RM. Traditional agents will (if they so desire) trade on the fact they are on RM and OTM, until such time that they drop RM. With Zoopla a shadow of it's former self, the benefits of telling people that you are on Zoopla would have lost its gravitas. Your continual desire to undermine AM is what worries me and led to my question about your motives, are you just an agent not too sure which way to go or someone else, who aligns themselves with the online sector? Because in my opinion, using the rise of hybrids and on liners as part of your argument, when currently they are a miniscule part of the market, strikes me as odd? So as you haven't actually answered that particular question, I politely ask again…….

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          1. Rivero

            Please see above

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    2. wilko

      Rivero."major investor"!!! Each office has paid the SAME (depending on the deal) so inferring that, as a major investor he/she stands to make a bundle out OTM working is not a fair assumption, and certainly not a negative. Ok some agencies will have more than one branch so have put more money in. But remember their are no cash dividends….it is a mutual organisation. You are wondering whether or not to join and I said to you the other day, wait and see what happens in the new year. If you like the site after the launch look at joining. You agreed that was probably what you would do. In the meantime I don't see why your first out of the traps (again) moaning about an OTM member who believes in its future….if he didn't then he wouldn't (like 4000 others) have joined the mutual in the first place. How about sitting back on this one until after the launch? Like we agreed before….no one is going be able to tell you it will work to your standard (and when they try to…like in this article) you jump up and down even more, itching to try and prove them wrong. For someone who says they want Otm to succeed, you go about it in a funny way…….just wait and see, you owe it to the 4,000 of us that are trying to make this a success so that us,and other pro agents like you, can get the benefit in years to come.

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      1. Rivero

        By 'major investor' I meant someone who will be investing to the tune of 21 offices every month and someone whose voice is therefore significant. Also, why are you allowed to populate these comments sections with your opinions, when you have already presumably signed-up and yet I'm supposed to shut up and go away…how very insulting. I don't believe I was 'first out of the traps'…must try harder.

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        1. Paul

          Rivero, I don't want you to shut up and go away, debate is good and helps the other side make good rational replies. However, if you are going to debate and make statements on here, you need to be prepared to be questioned and that goes both ways, I know.

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          1. Rivero

            Paul, I was referring to this "How about sitting back on this one until after the launch?", in the context I took that to mean how about shutting up and going away…maybe I misunderstood.

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      2. PortalPerson

        Another bias comment from the man on his soapbox, a typical OTM fanboy

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        1. wilko

          From my understanding Rivero is not a fanboy of otm on his soapbox….he constantly questions it!

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          1. PeeBee

            Erm… although he hasn't bounced back, I would have to speculate that PPs above comment was actually fired in YOUR direction, wilko!

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          2. wilko

            Cheers for that Pee Bee…..was getting a bit worried about Portal there for a moment….Is a fanboy one of those boys who would fan an important person in the days of the old Raj? Only I thought that was a punkawhalla?

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  6. cmRENTandSALES

    Come on, let's see who's dropping who (anonymously if you prefer)… If you're going to list with OTM (we're not) and you're with RM & Z at the moment, who are you dropping in January?…

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  7. JAM01

    Rob Sargent states “It is for every type of agent, of every size, operating in every market and in every location.” No it is not. Ask 'Bridget', who posted on another post on here last week. A full service agent who does not have an expensive High Street shop but works from home or a serviced office. She provides full 'traditional' services – she cannot join Agents Mutual. Let's not kid anyone what is going on here – it is to break the duopoly of the two main portals. Fine, I get that. It is also protectionism for those with a High Street office and not based just upon services delivered. So sorry Mr Sargent, it is NOT, "[…] for every type of agent, of every size, operating in every market and in every location" if the quote is accurate.

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    1. Paul

      It's about taking control, breaking up the duopoly, by taking the number 2 position and then pushing on from there to become the dominate portal. That's always been the case, right from the start. As for protecting the high street agents, check out reasons 2 and 3 to join AM on their website. 2.Each firm has an equal interest and voting right, irrespective of firm size
      3.Open only to full-service, office-based estate and lettings agents. That's been clear from the start, you only had to go onto the website to clarify. I don't know Bridget's (the now very famous!) personal situation, but I guess she hasn't meet the 'agent' criteria, if she has indeed applied? But as I mentioned, this isn't a secret,. Their needs to be a line drawn somewhere or the lines will become blurred, remember this is an agents portal, not a private or on-liner's portal and that is where someone like Bridget may have an issue, as she sits in a world frequented by the on-line agents.

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      1. Rivero

        So you agree the statement “It is for every type of agent, of every size, operating in every market and in every location.” is misleading and inaccurate then?

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        1. Ric

          Rivero – Why are you bothered about Bridget? (sorry Bridget) it's just I don't get what makes you "soften" and then "harden" due to the above company putting their spin on it………. If you were to look at your own Agency (assuming you are an Agent) could OTM be beneficial to YOU?

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          1. Rivero

            I'm not particularly bothered about bridget (sorry bridget!), what bothers me is the false and misleading statements from major players at AM. Sell the proposition, fine, but sell it honestly.

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          2. Ric

            Thanks Rivero…….. So as you must face "false and misleading" statements everyday in your life when up against other agents doing their best to undermine you…..why have you not give up on Agency?………I mean, I have people talk twaddle day in and day out like "Me not being on Z means I will not sell their house" yet I sell more than any other agent locally and I am not on Z………….I don't for this reason think bu99er it, I better get on Z…………..I just think……If I know I am right and my business is performing, then get on with it……..(I should be doing this now in fairness, however OTM does need the support from people like you to make it work)………so come on……YOU just YOU and YOUR BUSINESS, is OTM potentially a good thing for both?

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          3. Ric

            Hi Rivero, if your comment of……….."Well then this takes me back to other concerns. I am a 'traditional' agent but to preclude instructions from other models is a mistake in my opinion" was in reply to my question………………………….then again, who cares? or more so WHY CARE? Do you only go for an equal share of property instructions because it would not be fair for you to win them all………USE OTM to your advantage and have a new tool in the box which you will have more control over than your Z tool!………………….It unfortunately makes you sound like a Z or RM rep to be defending the business interests of people who surely it does not matter to you whether they are on OTM or not!……………What groups have any interest in saying don't subscribe to OTM? for me I see at present there only being RM/Z/OnlineOnly's/Corporates who would like OTM to fail………. not going on OTM because "it's not fair on them" makes me want to know where you are working from and opening an office…..sorry I don't mean that in a nasty way but I wish everyone around me was so considerate!

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          4. Rivero

            Ric I think you misunderstand me. I have an issue with the exclusion of models other than 'high street' because I believe restricting the source of stock coming to the site will be detrimental to the long term success of the site, in the same (although to a lesser degree) way as corporate stock not being on there will be an issue. Consequently, for me it is a question of viability not fairness.

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        2. Paul

          No, because obviously someone working from their bedroom or on an industrial estate, for the purposes of AM, isn't an agent.

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          1. Rivero

            Well then this takes me back to other concerns. I am a 'traditional' agent but to preclude instructions from other models is a mistake in my opinion.

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        3. Ric

          Hats off Rivero (without hopefully sounding too patronising) it would be easy for you to feel quite the target on this site! and your comment of the week thoroughly deserved (even though it replaced mine! ggrrhhh)…………….. Still think you would be a great advocate for the cause, especially if traffic is the deep seated concern you have and I agree in a way that allowing the "onlineonly" models would actually strengthen the chances of OTM becoming a Number 1 portal.

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          1. Rivero

            Thanks Ric, estate agency makes us all thick skinned I believe.

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          2. Ric

            Pleasure……. now get over to the bright side! the force is strong……………

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          3. Rivero

            Well…how could I resist a Star Wars reference…you've found my weakness! 😉

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          4. Ric

            haha, excellent……… Rivero is on board…. NEXT……..! PeeBee where are you……….

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  8. jmeapps01

    Oh dear. Manipulation on the site. PIE only take positive comments from AM supporters as they have removed my last comment (which wasn't rude or abusive).
    I note the well placed Zoopla story just under the AM story!!! Naughty naughty!

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  9. PortalPerson

    You should ALL wait 6 months before dropping either. OTM will take at MINIMUM this amount of time to build sufficient enough traffic to supply you with leads.

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    1. wilko

      Another completely impractical post from someone who knows a bit about tech, but nothing about how the industry works, day to day.

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      1. PortalPerson

        Wilko, to be honest words cannot describe how stupid you sound with that comment. I have forgotten more about how the internet, marketing and driving traffic to websites than you will EVER know. It's a SIMPLE fact that ANY new website needs time to gain traction and traffic. Just having stock on a site means nothing if there is no traffic. How on earth can't you see this such simple metric is beyond me.

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        1. PortalPerson

          That should say "how the internet works".

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          1. wilko

            Where have I said I couldn't understand your post?
            It just has no relevance to day to day agency.You state that your advice would be to stay with RM and Zoopla until otm gets more traffic. I'm staying with Rm and also going on otm, and I don't think Zoopla has millions of users that don't look on Rightmove, doubled with the fact we have a great market where we can sell most properties without the sites….so why should I take your impractical advice? I could understand your advice if we were coming off both the major sites, but we aren't!

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          2. PortalPerson

            That's what my post said, how thick are you?. Simple fact, if you're an OTM fanboy like you appear to be then it's best to wait 6 months before throwing all your eggs in one basket. In future don't even bother replying to me unless you have something intelligent to say.

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          3. wilko

            You said I shouldn't reply unless I have something intelligent to say!!!! so here goes….YOU SAID "You should ALL wait 6 months before dropping either. OTM will take at MINIMUM this amount of time to build sufficient enough traffic to supply you with leads" In case you didn't understand the OTM proposal – it relies on members dropping a major portal. How on earth can 4000 signed up offices say "hang on a minute ….that portal person has advised us not to drop either for 6 months " Really….you continue to amaze me with your complete and utter lack of knowledge of the property industry and the way it works.

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  10. MF

    We haven't listed on RM for several years now. Completely agree with this article. A good proactive agent is what most people want, not a promise to list their property in certain places.

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  11. Cardiff Agent

    It would appear that most potential members of OTM are deciding to drop Zoopla. This would leave Rightmove in a stronger position to compete with OTM, because not only would they display the same properties, but even more, such as those of the corporate firms and Internet only Agents. What OTM needs, is for the public to have to go onto it, to find properties that they can't see elsewhere.

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    1. Ric

      That's why invisible quarter will be (well should be) launched at the same time……..all AM members to click "invisible" on RM on the day of OTM launch alongside the promo of OTM and the public will see a "less than full RM and Z" Z because they've been dropped and RM because they are simply invisible properties not showing…………. House hunters will not know the agents are using their invisible option……and keep this up for a month or two and this would cause further disruption………it will show RM it is the property that maintains the traffic to its website. #invisibleday #otm2015 lets get it trending…….

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  12. GPL

    Well, my Rightmove Rep has now started sending me links to Anti Agents Mutual comments on other websites?….. what concerns me is the fee that I pay every month for their services doesn't include this "NEW" Service?…. so is this New Service on trial or am I secretly being charged for it!?

    It's strange that Rightmove particularly talk about the benefit of competition and yet the competitive emergence of Agents Mutual seems to have prompted Rightmove into focusing so much energy into stifling it? Can I put it this simply, £6000, £8000, £10,000 and more per annum per branch to advertise your clients properties on Rightmove or Zoopla?……. madness!….. my time is taken up doing the best for my clients as that is what they are paying me to do and they have every right to expect me to deliver on their behalf.

    What I don't need is an fat, greedy, overblown monster sucking money from my business/my clients for providing an online shop window! I hope that Agents Mutual provides that UK Shop Window at an affordable cost that means I can get on with working on behalf of my clients and not feeling that an Online Vampire is sucking the financial blood out of me/my clients!

    Anywhere here is my reply this morning to my Rightmove Rep…

    Morning S?, Why would you and your colleagues be concerned about Agents Mutual? lol Surely Rightmove are dominant enough to ignore competition or is that the real problem….. competition?

    I note nothing mentioned about the Countrywide Group negotiating a “discounted” 5 Year fee deal with Rightmove….. nothing about the steady fall of both the Rightmove & Zoopla Share Price?….. nothing about the make up of Agents Mutual in that it is actually 1 member, 1 vote, regardless of how many branches….. so a different make up from websites of times past?

    In reality AM is simply an online shop window for UK Estate Agents to be able to promote their clients properties without feeding the Rightmove & Zoopla shareholder profit driven business model. AM members will be able to remove the Rightmove & Zoopla profit driven costs which are ultimately met by the consumer/our clients….. in reality the real story is the one that Rightmove and Zoopla have gradually pushed up the agent/consumer costs whilst appearing to be operating in both parties interests when in fact they are working in their own best interests?….. and that is the underlying problem, Rightmove by far have kept coming back to milk their herd and eventually you can milk a herd dry!

    The essential point to note is most agents accept that all business are in business to make a profit, however when the business cost/poor service (in my case Rightmove) gets out of control and there is a genuine alternative it makes clear business sense to consider/select a better option. The Agents Mutual member/branch numbers speak for themselves….. we are not joining AM to make a profit from the business model, we are simply trying to use a service that will meet our/the consumers requirements without paying an excessive cost for it.

    Summing up, the arrival of Agents Mutual will mean real estate agents will still compete with each other ensuring the consumer benefits from competition whilst still receiving a quality of service that befits what is most often their most valuable (in money terms) possession, their home! Rightmove & Zoopla’s profits have to be paid by someone and currently it is estate agents and their clients who meet these excessive costs. Agents Mutual provides the same online shop window at a cost which excludes shareholder profit which is an unnecessary cost for an “online shop window”.

    Regards,

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  13. Paul H

    Rivero said…."As stated above " I DO support the principle but not the planned practical delivery of that principle" 2 different things."

    If that's the case why are you not supporting onthemarket so as to encourage as many people to sign up pre launch as possible then sign up as a bronze member after launch and not be restricted to the one other portal rule? You will of course have to pay bronze rate but then you get the best of both worlds right?! You also mention that your against the restriction to online agents, well as a bronze member it won't affect you if your getting great exposure and perhaps have an instruction winner up your sleeve, as it will be for many others.

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    1. wilko

      "If that's the case why are you not supporting onthemarket so as to encourage as many people to sign up pre launch" Or even just saying I hope it works and, if it does I'll sign up later…..Calling someone who has just said that otm "COULD" become quickly dominating "deluded" is unfair, and unfounded ….Why not say, "I hope he's right" even if you do have reservations?. Why not say that "I hope that does happen" instead of "aliens will invade earth" before most agents sign up? You see the tone and language you use with your opinions is extremely negative(to say the least) towards what 4000 offices believe will help pro agencies(including you) in the future. Nothing anyone says on any forum will stop otm existing so why not just wait and see if it works to your standards. If it doesn't you've lost nothing, if it does you might sign up. But by calling people deluded for having a view that they think it COULD work well is not the view of someone who claims to want to see otm do well. You can keep saying your views, but as long as you use this kind of rhetoric it is hard for anyone to actually think you are a strong independent who would like to see it work, rather than someone who has a vested interest in seeing it fail.

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      1. Rivero

        I'm not trying to persuade anyone to do anything. It makes no real odds to me what any of you do (unless you're in my patch of course), I just like to highlight some of the inaccuracies and question the propaganda…I'm trying to stimulate debate and add balance, which I believe I am doing.

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        1. wilko

          Calling someone deluded for believing that it "could" work well does absolutely none of the above you have stated.

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          1. Rivero

            I think there's a distinction between 'could work well' and 'see no reason why OTM should not dominate'…yet more spin from the AM contingent

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          2. wilko

            The headline clearly states "COULD" become quickly dominant? Quickly dominant means they would be doing well – Right? So why call him deluded for thinking it could work well? I'm not spinning, have absolutely no reason to spin …..just trying to understand why you think this guy is deluded for thinking that. No one, as far as I can remember, has called you deluded for any of your views. It's a very strong term to use, and if I'm being honest, that is why I keep replying to this thread, as I think you were out of line to immediately berate him in such strong terms. Oh and while I'm at it, well done for comment of the week(it was a great analogy). Ros sent me an I pad when I got comment of the week…..wonder what prize she'll send you?

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          3. Rivero

            I'm sorry if you felt it was out of line and I'm not here to offend or upset anyone, but I'm afraid I do believe (imo) that it is deluded to think there are no reasons why OTM should not quickly dominate…clearly there are many reasons why it's unlikely to 'dominate'. I will try to tone down my rhetoric, it is true that I have never been called 'deluded', however I was called a liar on my first day on here. I fear I am a little defensive as a result but should not take that out on others I agree. Having said that I stick by all my previous comments.

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        2. Paul

          But is it balanced Rivero? You claim to be surprised when accused of being a rep etc, yet the language you use to get your point across is some of the most extreme on here. Using online as reason (even if it just one of them) not to join AM is nonsensical, as online is not an issue at this precise moment. Being an independent agent, doesn't stop you having outside interests or other motives…………..

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          1. Rivero

            …no it doesn't, but I don't…apart from playing the piano but I don't think that influences me one way or the other.

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          2. Paul H

            Rivero said…."I will try to tone down my rhetoric, it is true that I have never been called 'deluded', however I was called a liar on my first day on here."…Ok Rivero, I will offer my sincerest apologies (and I mean that) for calling you a liar. The fact that I believe the figures that you quoted to be wide of the mark does not mean that I should have called you a liar over it.

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          3. Rivero

            Thank you Paul H, apology accepted.

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  14. Robert Sargent

    I have read with interest the debate following Rosalind Renshaw’s publication of my interview with her last week. I would just like to put in context my personal position and that of our whole business. For thirty years now Acorn has aligned itself with service providers to our business that we genuinely feel has our best interests at heart but most importantly the health of the industry that Estate Agents, the length and breadth of the Country, derive their livelihoods from. Though a Gold Member, I am far from AMs patsy. My intention is to ensure the AM Board serve the rank and file of UK independent Estate Agents. It was not so long ago we were a single office start up, and that journey and the business principles associated with it are still fresh in my mind.

    It's simple; the success of AM lies in all its members regardless of size. For those worried about funding, please remember the current membership supply a recurring income that is clearly set to grow. For those worried about the sincerity of the AM offering, please don't just stand back, engage directly with the AM Team, or for that matter, pick a local member agent and chat through their rational for joining. Then, if you feel uncomfortable about making the jump you have made your decision from an informed basis. My own experience of AM has been very straight forward and Ian Springett and his team’s ethos and business plan is certainly more clearly aligned with our ideals than that of the current duopoly.

    I am interested in a healthy Estate Agency Industry that will allow ambitious Estate Agents to start up and compete freely in an open market place. We should all control and advise on our clients marketing and not allow it to start to control us. Quality Estate Agency delivered well is about a lot more than just a posting on a portal.

    I hope my thoughts help some of our fellow agents and this is one area of business where we all need to set aside our competitive nature and look carefully at who should benefit from our daily hard work and OUR clients instructions.

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    1. phoenix

      "Quality Estate Agency delivered well is about a lot more than just a posting on a portal"
      Never a truer sentence. This is a will be the difference in our changing industry and the commitment and ability of those willing to offer excellent service will be the difference between those that succeed or fail.
      Web based only agents, OTM etc is just noise in the market place and is nothing that should be taking up too much of anyone's time. Be part of OTM or don't but respect those equally based on the decisions they chose to make, for the good of their own business.
      My view is pretty much the same a s Rob Sargent's. Our business is not rocket science and in reality is about as black and white as it gets. The difference, as with any decent company, is the ability to deliver.

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    2. CP

      The only two posters who really talk without AM tinted specs are Riviero (who echoes what I have been saying since I first heard of AM) and PortalPerson … Small holes sink big ships, but big holes sink them quicker … and the BIG HOLE in the AM proposition is that it has been motivated solely by a hatred of RM and to a lesser extent Z + the potential self serving benefits to AM supporters … BUT … there is absolutely NO demand from Joe Public for another portal …. NO benefits to Joe Public from a portal with only 20%-30% of available stock … and NO benefit to Joe Public from the cost savings to AM members …. I have been in marketing for 30 years and I have witnessed the repeated failures of businesses, services, products, 'great ideas' etc., that were motivated by anything but professional market research identifying demand from Joe Public … And everything to do with the blinkered and almost evangelical belief of the originator …. Joe Public doesn't want OTM, doesn't need OTM, isn't AT ALL interested in the politics behind RM, Z and OTM …. BUT …. RM is almost as synonyomous to 'property site' as Hoover used to be to vacuum cleaners – and Z isn't far behind and gaining all the time, in my experience …. For OTM to break Joe Public's RM and Z habit will take ££££MIllions in advertising PLUS a BIG, BIG, BIG USER BENEFIT – which OTM absolutely do not have – especially as RM will continue to totally dominate in THE big benefit which is HOUSES FOR SALE … And before anyone talks about Dyson and Hoover – Dyson designed a better vacuum cleaner that looked cool and sucked up more dirt – something that Joe Public actually wanted … Joe Public doesn't want OTM and that is why it will fail.

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      1. PortalPerson

        CP. I'm not against the idea of AM/OTM, I simply see it for what it is which is another portal which yet again puts the responsibility of business away from the Agency and into the hands of a third party which at some point will shoot them in the foot. Agents will still be feeding the beast but it will be a different beast. The fact that agent owners consider themselves savvy business owners but don't see this is in my opinion very very naive. Agents seem to let their hatred of the practices of the other two portals (RM&Z) fuel their passion for OTM and for some reason seem to hail it as the new messiah. From what I've seen from a completely neutral standpoint is that so far they have a really terrible logo, No website, No consumer (home hunter) marketing in place, ZERO brand awareness; to name a few mistakes. Ordinarily this would be fine if you're entering the market with no competition but they have a MASSIVE uphill battle to take large chunks of traffic from RM&Z which have a huge foothold in the market and are Household names. I implore whet they're trying to do but a business is not grown on the enthusiasm of a few agent members that really have NO choice but to rally behind them. There is a very very real scenario where OTM fails in the first 12 months due to lack of take up by the consumer, in my vast experience in the subject area I urge agencies to heed caution and don't make any rash decisions and certainly wait a few months before picking your horse to back because it could well mean a slump in sales which in turn could mean the end of business ; certainly for some smaller independents who need constant sales. Agents should ask themselves this question. "IF OTM are so good and will dominate why on earth would they allow you to advertise with their competitors" …. The answer is simple, because with all the good will in the world, they CANNOT predict how the consumers will take the site or even if they will ever hear of or visit it.

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    3. Rivero

      Hi Robert, perhaps I could ask a couple of questions…1) Do you not see RM's existing support, marketing budget, user base, brand awareness and (if this site is representative in any way) the lack of agents due to 'drop' it as reasons why OTM 'should not become quickly dominant'? 2) You stated “It is for every type of agent, of every size, operating in every market and in every location.” So you do not recognise a company offering every aspect of a 'traditional' agent's service but without a high street office as a 'type of agent'?

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      1. Robert Sargent

        Hi Rivero. Sorry for the delay in coming back to you. In response to your first question, it's all about proving out that portals have little or nothing to offer without our stock. I am confident the ground swell of support for AM will demonstrate this theory in 2015. On your second point, I personally would be a little uncertain dealing with an agent that was not operating from some form of premises where the public could regularly and openly touchdown. I am not sure in the future what measure will be used to define companies operating in our sector, nevertheless, our experience is the public still demand the traditional model of wanting to work with an office on, or close to, their local High Street.

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        1. Rivero

          Thank you…but just to clarify, is that No and No to my questions then?

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  15. jmeapps01

    Get a grip fellas. Its the same old people making the comments on this site day after day, week after week. The rest of the estate agency world don't really care and certainly the public don't. If this was viral it may matter but it doesn't. If I were you guys, the less than dozen of you that there are that keep this blog going, I would get back to selling some houses and not worry too much about it!
    I must say I do quite enjoy taking a look at the blog occasionally as it's always good for a laugh and its always the same old names.

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    1. GPL

      Well, it's good that we keep you entertained. As the tick tock of the clock goes by and Agents Mutual grows 🙂
      I can't help but think Rightmove are NOT laughing otherwise why would their Reps be engaged in an Anti Agents Mutual campaign… if they are not bothered by Agents Mutual, why bother?

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      1. Paul H

        Like I said previously I had a 15 minute phone call with a Rightmove rep about two months ago and 13 minutes of that call was spent trying to dissuade me from Agents Mutual. I could tell that he had a script in front of him. The duopoly are bricking it, afraid to high heaven of what the portal landscape could look like in January.

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    2. Ric

      less of the old dude!

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    3. Paul

      I think you underestimate who actually does monitor this site. Zoopla reps obviously care, because they are pointing people in the direction of the dark side to read anti AM posts. Good to hear that you enjoy taking a look, but if you are able to track who is posting on here so well, you best get back to selling houses as it sounds like you are doing too much lurking…… 😉

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      1. CP

        Paul H – what did you expect the RM rep to say "Go and join AM with our best wishes" ?? Any professional business would do exactly what RM and Z would do in a similar situation ie., get their reps together, discuss the overwhelming benefits of what they offer and structure a format to deliver that message … Trying to make out that RM and Z are 'bricking it' when in fact they are simply responding professionally is yet another example of AM self brainwashing.

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        1. GPL

          emotional wording "bricking" …Yes… brainwashing? No.
          RM & Z "responding professionally"….. No?
          "responding"…. Yes.
          What cannot be disputed is that OTM has sparked the appetite for change as RM & Z have visited the "Trough" too often and taken too much….
          Fact….Yes!

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        2. Paul

          But why are they having to do that CP? Surely their clients already know about the overwhelming benefits that they offer? Surely their on going interaction with their paying clients, would ensure that such a possible attack on their business would not take place, thus making the meetings they are now having redundant?! Are you suggesting that the 4000 is the result of brainwashing? If it's all nonsense and holds no water, why do it at all, why direct people to negative comments on other sites? The public actually don't need any of the portals CP, but if we are going to have one, lets have one we are in control of?………

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          1. CP

            Paul – you say "The public actually don't need any of the portals CP" … are you serious?? That is one of the most ridiculous comments I've ever read on here. … The reason why the public want/need the portals is because is bit saves them time. Time saved walking/driving to the High Street, time saved walking around EA after EA looking in shop windows, time saved trawling around EA after EA's individual websites etc., etc., etc …. Tell me PLEASE – why don't the public need portals?? I can't wait for your reply.

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          2. Paul

            If you were a proper agent that understood agency, you would get it. I never actually got what you did for a living apart from having 30 years in marketing? Do you have an agency? When you talk about brainwashing, the public and agents who live in fear of what might happen if they were not on RM, have been brainwashed for years. However if you talk to your client (vendors / landlords), you would be surprised at the amount that are actually not bothered and don't see that as a driver for instructing you. I'm not pinning my hopes of winning business on the back of how many portals I'm on, it's going to be based on what I can do for my client and the fact they trust me, like me and that I get what they want and what they are about, as well as delivering on all of my promises. That's why you can win business off 0.75% and 1% agents who are on all the portals. Portals don't sell houses, people do (that's a bit Goldie Lookin Chain!). 99% of the time the people that are coming to us via portals already know we are there. Do all the right things on the marketing front and build your reputation. You will be surprised where it gets you. If all you needed was RM and Zoopla, then why bother with your own website CP? No one goes there right? If all there is to selling a house is to stick it on one of the portals, then don't bother with a board either. If a portal called RM is the way to run a business, then ditch the office too, but hold on, people are tying that now, but guess what they need CP, they need RM and Zoopla to survive because without them, they really are nothing. They use RM as the conduit to get to the public, the same public that goes there because the traditional agents properties are there. They get exposure off the back of what we do. I’m all for competition, so let’s crack on with OTM and let everyone duke it out. Of course you want to give the public, including buyers and tenants the easiest and best possible experience, but does it need to be via RM and Zoopla? Our website gets plenty of hits and would get even more if RM, Zoopla and OTM didn't exist. Tenants, buyers, vendors and landlords all seem to be able to find me NOW, without the need to go to RM etc. I will say again the public don’t need the portals, they will find you anyway and they will already know you, as you operate in a localised market. But the horse has bolted and if you can’t get the industry to join together and operate one portal for agents and owned by agents, what chance of saying ditch them all! With regards to tech, making the interaction between us the agent and the public is a must, so we will have all the necessary tech bits available to us, but what is important is what lies behind the flash websites, the PR etc, because none of it is any good, if you can’t back it up with a human being that understands people, the business we are in and why they are calling you in the first place. Direct Line don't subscribe to being on the portal where everyone else is and it seems to work for them? Oh and as you are so keen for me to answer your questions, why don't you answer the one about RM I asked in the post you decided to cherry pick something from?

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  16. GPL

    On "Negotiating" Discounted Rightmove Fees? If any member has negotiated a discounted renewal rate I'm sure it would be worthwhile for all current Rightmove Users to see what discounts they are offering. I accept that there will be a period of straddling the fence for some and that will involve Rightmove however as Rightmove have now decided that they are going to try and critically wound Zoopla due to the arrival of OTM (hence the discounted rates from Rightmove that are surfacing….. from a company that said they would never "discount" their fees!) it would be to every Rightmove Users benefit to see what deals they are currently doing. My basic fee per branch is £500 without any add-ons… so, what fee can I expect them to tempt me with if they have chosen to try and kill off Zoopla. The Rightmove Reps are busy at a Seminar for the next few days, hubbling, bubbling, boiling & troubling…. and it can't just be about Halloween!…. so, now that we can finally see the devil is actually considering that his belly has got too fat…. what's the lowest branch fee that any Rightmove Member has negotiated… and what strings/contracted period are Rmove trying to include?… I assume they want to weather the storm for a year and hope that Zoopla will have suffered enough to fall out if the Top 2 Chart? It goes to show that without OTM moving forward Rightbloated would continue to empty the trough!

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  17. PeeBee

    Tomorrow's lead headline, perhaps…? "Bernard Matthews announce turkey to be the dominant centrepiece for every table this Christmas."

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    1. wilko

      Pee Bee, bringing Bernard Mathews into the portal debate is well out of order!!!! You know that one of the underlying criteria for joining OTM(in addition to the fact you have to have an office) is that you have to be a vegetarian. Only you could stoop this low!

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      1. PeeBee

        Well… on the field of conflict the rules are there are no rules, wilko – you know that as well as anyone, you old soldier! ;o)

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    2. Ric

      PeeBee "fowl" play will not be tolerated on PIE although will be in PIE.

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      1. wilko

        Anyway…..I thought Bernard Mathews didn't do whole turkeys…I thought he just used all the useless bits, chopped them and shaped them into a joint and added a bit of turkey flavour to make people think they were real…..bit like what Zoopla will be like in a year or so….made up of the left behind online agents,some private listings (you know, take a poor snap with your nokia and upload direct for £50) chopped and shaped into a portal shape and claiming to have the same service as real High St agents.

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        1. Paul H

          " (you know, take a poor snap with your nokia and upload direct for £50)"…Funny you should say that if you want a laugh go and see easy Chris Chris's website, type in London in the search bar and look at the third picture on the top property at Chiswick Mall, official partners of Zoopla remember!!!

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          1. Paul H

            I meant Easy Chris's website of course!

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        2. Robert May

          You really ought to re-think your stereotyping of Online Agents Wilko. This one really is very good indeed and is well respected for her intelligent and progressive attitude.
          http://www.tuprop.co.uk/properties.php

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        3. PeeBee

          "Anyway…..I thought Bernard Mathews didn't do whole turkeys…" Well, wilko, I'm afraid that's where you have to bow to my superior knowledge of all things food-related! As to your likening the Z of 2015 with a processed turkey joint – be careful – you may have to eat your own words in that respect, mon ami! ;o)

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  18. Paul H

    "I think there's a distinction between 'could work well' and 'see no reason why OTM should not dominate'…yet more spin from the AM contingent."…But havn't you said that you want AM to work?! You are therefore the AM contingent are you not?

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    1. Rivero

      That's just pedantry…you know exactly what I mean

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      1. Paul H

        Hold on Rivero you have already said…"I DO support the principle but not the planned practical delivery of that principle" as well as your comment at the bottom of the page that has made comment of the week (well done), so I guess you do want it to work and are happy to turn up to the party once it's a success, if so then why your big concern about sign up numbers NOW when you want to sign up afterwards anyway?

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        1. CP

          How many AM agents have an 'opinion' or 'guessed' or 'think' that dropping Zoopla has had/will have no effect on their instructions/average sale time …. compared to those agents who have actually MEASURED the actual/potential effect? Over the past 6 months 38% of my buyer enquiries have come from Z, 54% of those buyers say they rarely use any other portal and 67% of my valuations say they would 'strongly disagree' with not being advertised on Z. I've measured Z – have you?

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          1. Ric

            Well at least I know you don't work close to me then CP……… Yes I've measure it! Z…….. I have 4 offices, none advertise on Z, We opened up 2 offices in the last 4 years. One in 2010 and among 7 other agents all on Z, we were market leader within 9 months and remain so today. The last office opened last year and also with 4 competitors (3 of which on Z) and again 8 months market leader and today twice the stock of nearest competitor, plus most sold (more importantly)………..Strong Indeps around me too, as well as the usual CW offices which we have seen open/close/rebrand and re open……..still NO effect whatsoever on business……………..thing is, you can only measure this by doing this…….ie drop em and find out……! CP – Do you really think you have buyers who will not look on RM too?

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        2. Rivero

          As I keep saying my issue is with aspects of the business model and the disingenuity of some of the pro-AM rhetoric…plain and simple. I am not concerned about sign up numbers so much as misinformation surrounding sign up numbers.

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          1. CP

            Ric – how can you say not being on Z has NO effect on your business? If you aren't on – you can't measure it. How many vals do you never get because you aren't on Z? You don't – and cannot – measure that if the seller never contacts you in the first place. Not being on Z definitely will affect you – it's only the degree of the effect that you can't measure and don't know.

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          2. Ric

            CP – bit of self promo here again but sorry you asked!!……………………Read back through my posts…….. I said I went on Z for a 3 month trial when the reps were offering me "a deal I could not say no too" and the promise of "results", I kept saying "no" (for a laugh mainly) until it was so cheap it was crazy not to test the theory……………. (I've looked back and I was actually on Z for 9 months!! It really left no mark on my memory! and if the Z rep involved with my account is reading this, he could figure out which Ric I am very easily with my attitude and should vouch for my arrogance over Z and would be a liar to say anything other than my business and brand is so strong locally that I just don't need them (Z))…………….anyway whilst on Z there was no direct increase in valuations or viewings, other than crazy requests of "I'm looking within a 10 mile radius of xx" which for us is simply no good, I want people to call me who are looking where we cover and no-where else, I'm not after any old lead just quality ones!! ………………………We all accept no matter what………. we will all get some valuations and instructions unique to ourselves no matter where we advertise…………… Even corps will have a committed few clients who have had good dealings with them and that is enough to remain loyal and good for them, and good in general:…. I've always said to my BM's don't force out rubbish competitors or their managers, give em a few houses and keep them in a job!……………..The corps around me and a VERY good fellow AM gold member agent would confirm it simply does not effect my business plan and it is not small numbers we are talking for the size of our company………now you could argue, I should PAY for Z and get a few extras leads (possible leads but not guaranteed)……but then there you go this is what they want you to think and think in great numbers!!…..this is exactly how RM got stronger over the years and how the position of Z has got some agents to think Z is vital to their success………..the longer you stay on the train the harder it is to jump off with the way RM & Z work………….Look at any other media you DO NOT advertise on and MUST you go on it to ensure you're not missing out on 1 or 2 clients here or there?…………MY OPINION: if you are a market leader with a strong brand and proven track record (24 years plus for us) then you will be one of the chosen agents to value someone's house anyway (recommendations, reputation and local board presence etc will look after this)……then my staff (and myself) will get to show how we do not need Z on the valuation (albeit Z never becomes a part of my conversation and I still list most houses I go to) ………….If you are on Z, look at your entire stock and check out the info it produces with "estimated values" and "information of hits and reductions" are these GOOD for your clients AND promoting phone calls on a greater scale than say RM for now? or is it possible that the information could work against your clients?……………..I can't imagine I am unique to the industry but for instance, my 4 offices have twice the stock of the corps in the same villages!!……………….reading this back I cringe a touch as I have to defend my opinion with a touch of boasting, but then I believe and know my company only needs to be on one national portal, not two……..the fact I am supporting OTM is to be able to drop RM when OTM is a strong No.2…………………but to conclude: Why are you not going on OTM by the same token……if you think not being on a website will mean you are effected……..you WILL BE effected by OTM sometime soon! certainly by me if you have an office in one of my villages…..I promise this!

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  19. GPL

    And here is one of the "stand out" lines from Rightmove's Annual Report released in February this year, noted under "Strategy"….. " Our growth potential comes from the value embedded in our market leading audience and the opportunity afforded from the ongoing structural shift of property advertising spend from offline to online, furthering our ability to derive more value from our customers. There is also the potential for further opportunity afforded from a cyclical recovery in the UK housing market. Yes! the bit about " furthering our ability to derive more value from our customers. " Read that again…. " furthering our ability to derive more value from our customers. " It's that "milking the herd of estate agents" line that would make any sane estate agent seriously consider getting on board Agents Mutual precisely because they don't have a strategy which involves milking us financially for the financial benefit of shareholders, directors, investors etc etc? Sure all these features have to be designed, implemented and paid for however do we need to line the pockets of the Rmove/Zoopla Puppet Masters when we are actually doing the estate agency work. It surely is a monumentally expensive shop window that we have all been paying for so why not seek to have a portal which serves us and our clients without the cream being licked voraciously off the top by the Top Cats at the Rmove/Zoopla table!?
    Read Rmove's Annual Report and get an understanding of where we and the consumer fit in….
    I don't need Agents Mutual to dominate just to beat Rmove and Zoopla I just need it to perform its Online Shop Window Job at a cost that is reflective of what it actually does!
    Here's the link http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/11878126.html
    I envisage the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters having swallowed all the estate agents when I think of Rmove and Zoopla…..all consuming!
    Time to get real, Time to get on board with Agents Mutual.

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  20. harry hood

    Saw this on EAT asked but not answered:

    So if one agent defaults, quits AM because its not providing leads and he needs to get back onto the main portals, will AM sue?

    Once that contract is signed we're on the hook for 5Y of costs and 5Y restricted advertising.

    If I was an agent on AM (I wont be though) then I would sure as eggs sue anyone who left.

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    1. Ric

      ***** ****…….am I seriously reading some of these comments!……I HAVE to assume it is only the independents who are NOT market leaders in their area's who are against OTM……. I simply cannot believe any decent company on here would credit their success down to RM or Z……or genuinely believe their company is so weak that Z is so important to them. Flabbergasted! genuinely amazed, perhaps this is why when I open an office I find it very easy to gain the market share, with agents who just harp on about the internet and forget its their brand they called you out because of not Z or RM? (if it was you are doing something wrong)………if for some reason I am right and those against OTM are not market leaders then ask yourself why? how can I be number 1…….forget the bl88dy property portals for a minute and look at YOUR business first…..if people only value you because you say you are on Z, then you have a problem with the rise of the "onlineonly" model.

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      1. PeeBee

        Now then, Ric… "I HAVE to assume it is only the independents who are NOT market leaders in their area's who are against OTM……. I simply cannot believe any decent company on here would credit their success down to RM or Z……or genuinely believe their company is so weak that Z is so important to them." But… let me be straight with you here as an 'old chum'… aren't you simply replacing "RM" or "Z" with "OTM"? If BOTH are so insignificant (and I'm an advocate of 'turn off bl00dy t'internet', don't forget…), then why is OTM seen as 'significant' – it is simply just same old same old with a different name that the public will need to learn…?

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        1. Paul H

          "it is simply just same old same old with a different name that the public will need to learn…?"…PeeBee if you don't mind I'm going to get this phrase printed and put on a picture frame, I knew you could be converted !!

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          1. PeeBee

            Paul H – whether or not I market property OTM is one thing: whether or not I become 'converted' is another thing entirely, mon ami… ;o)

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        2. Ric

          Really PeeBee, (and less of the old, I'm not 40 yet ;-0) …………..do I need to tell you why replacing RM and Z with OTM is significant……….to me?…………………. If this was just join OTM the "new website for property" I would be laughing, as I did with needaproperty and Z to some extent as a 3rd or even 2nd portal is simply not required………that I get (and like you would flip the off switch altogether if I had the chance)………………..but do I want to replace my RM contract and relationship with the OTM GOLD contract and this be potentially the only national property portal invoice I have to pay each month! **** yes………there is a SIGNIFICANT BENEFIT in me paying OTM as No.1 – I will get return off my investment with OTM……………..On a side note the RM rep yesterday in my heated debate likened RM to SkyTV in her defence of my pending fee increase with RM……………she asked if I had SKY and when I said yes, she said there you go……you pay for movies (products), HD (products), they increase their bills and you pay……………… so when I explained YES BUT every 11 months I call SKY and threaten to leave and they knock 10% to 15% off my bill and usually do something else extra as well to keep me as a valued customer………..I could hear a GULP………as I went on to explain I can watch SKY, Movies, HD through TalkTalk, Virgin and even FreeView now…….I have a choice of TV providers and they know this! …………..where as RM know as per an above comment they have a simple business plan keep agents in the cage and keep rising the fee's……..well….other than Z as a choice who want to be RM and will be at the same fee level at some point soon, as they have the same "answer to the shareholders" issue……..anyway …waffle over……did you mean Significant to me or Joe Public?

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          1. PeeBee

            OOOHHHH!… Ric – that's TWICE you've reacted to being labelled "old" in less than 2 days! Do yerself a favour – embrace the change, matey – it's much less painful than fighting nature… ;o)

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          2. Ric

            I am "Thirty Ten" next year!

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