OnTheMarket hits back at ‘detractors’ claims’ and says it will still succeed

OnTheMarket has hit back at suggestions that at least four larger agency firms have deserted it to return to Zoopla.

It has also rejected claims in a Barclays report, based on interviews with 100 OTM member agents, that 9% are considering leaving, with a further 35% saying they will review their membership.

OTM chief executive Ian Springett said: “This report is based on a tiny fraction of OTM’s membership, which consists of more than 5,000 offices.

“Only 48 hours ago, William Packer from Exane BNP Paribas published a report stating OTM had demonstrated ‘resilience eight months into launch against initial market expectations of a swift demise’ and its membership base was ‘supportive’.

“The Barclays report fails to take into account the commitment and the drive among estate and letting agents for an agent-owned portal to succeed and provide agents and consumers alike with a credible alternative to the current duopoly of Rightmove and Zoopla.

“Meanwhile, the momentum and support behind OnTheMarket.com are demonstrated by its growing membership, the number of letters of intent received and the level of consumer traffic, which also continues to increase month on month.

“Increasing numbers of agents tell us that OTM is the source of an excellent quality of leads and say this is far more important that the volume of leads, many of which can turn out to be of no value.

“Many agents have also told us they have not felt any adverse impact on their businesses from removing their properties from Zoopla.”

Springett also said of the claim made by online agent eMoov – which cannot advertise on the site – that it was simply an attempt by a detractor to “try to deflect attention away from the fact that support for OTM is continuing to grow and momentum behind our proposition is growing.”

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27 Comments

  1. EHenderson

    Many agents do not have a clue what portals (or any other marketing) deliver to their business, so of course they have no idea what the impact of choosing agent mutual has done to their business.

    Springett chooses now now to cling to a piece of analysis when he has slated all of the others that have dismissed his project as nonsense and doomed to failure

    Still, of course he will say what he needs to in order to protect his rumoured £500k salary!

    All the while, Rightmove rocks on. Well done everyone.

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    1. MarkRowe

      @EHenderson

      Im fully aware of where my leads come from. OTM is performing better than zoopla for me personally.

      I wonder if you tell your clients what salary you are on, I certainly don’t because it’s none of their business, so I don’t expect you do either, perhaps I’m wrong?

      Rightmove will ‘rock on’ for some time. Once again, I ask you, do you have a better plan? If so implement it and perhaps put your anger towards Ian aside and concentrate on that… Just a suggestion, don’t get angry 😉

       

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      1. EHenderson

        Yes, ‘do nothing’ would have been a better plan.

        It’s a real shame – £15m (or whatever Springett has spent) would have funded a positive and excellent campaign to improve our image and sell the benefits of full service agency.

        Instead that money has driven up the Rightmove share price, no doubt triggered big bonuses for Rightmove’s senior management, damaged full agency’s reputation (there are plenty of agents out there using this against each other), divided the industry and fed into the online agent’s hands (look at the funding they are getting – no doubt with them using agents mutual to strengthen their story).

        I’m not angry, I’m incredulous.

         

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        1. Robert May

          Could it be you are also  a bit wrong Eileen?

          It seems to me you have the same goals as Agents Mutual but don’t agree with the execution, support are restrictions of On the market.

          I have followed you posts on here and  you effectively say the say thing every time-  “You’ve got it all wrong!”

          I do not disagree that some things are  preventing expansion of membership, I do not think all  agents without  window displays are threats to traditional agency and I do not think  central office area rep agencies will be controlled by  Agents Mutual or On the market.

          There is a subtlety to this debate that very few seem to understand or are willing to accept. I think you are angry and should be angry but that anger should be directed to explaining your objections so they can be understood. Everyone is now very clear you think it is all wrong but you haven’t put forward anything anyone can consider to secure your support for the project.

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      2. danny

        MarkRowe … do you advertise with Zoopla ?

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        1. MarkRowe

          Hi Danny, I don’t why’s that?

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          1. danny

            Above you’ve written that OTM performs better than Zoopla , but you don’t advertise with Zoopla ?

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  2. MarkRowe

    Do nothing, a better plan!? Come on, this industry is changing fast, yes I agree there at e times you have to sit and wait to see how things play out… But all too often change is talked about and never implemented.

    I think you may be a tad over dramatic about agents mutual causing the divide between agents, where have you been for the last 50 years, Agents have never been friends! If anything agents mutual has bought a few more closer together. I’m very much in love with my agent mutual friends 🙂

    Oh and the online agents are getting funding because Crowdcibe attracts investors who like to ‘take a punt’, they’ll be a couple of dominant onliners and they will take a slice of the pie, but you can’t blame OTM/agents mutual for that.

    Lots of love.

     

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  3. propertywizzard

    I closely monitor all portal traffic and I can tell you OTM is bumping along the bottom with only 15% of the volume of Zoopla, since the start of the year the leads from OTM has produced only 1 deal, the promise was to undermine rightmove which of-course  totally the opposite has happened, if indeed Springett does earn £500 k he better start putting some back into marketing because in a survey we conducted 89% of people asked didnt know about OTM, letters of intent are worth nothing, and the companies mentioned by  the eye as having left OTM denied by Springett no longer appear on the OTM website !!!!!  Mr Springett is now fire fighting

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    1. Robert May

      Can you explain to me the correlation between  traffic volume and completions please?

      All of the Agents mutual agents  have dropped one portal and taken up with another which you are effectively saying is rubbish yet those agents seem to be still selling property. Doesn’t  that suggest a disjoint in the notion that traffic is the b all and end all of property sales?

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      1. Robert May

        Come on propertywizzard, it was a reasonable request, it is also the question not one person  who brings up traffic volumes is prepared to answer.

        From personal experience none of the last 5 properties I have sold have been put on the internet so I want to find out why so people are convinced traffic volume correlates to sale volume.

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        1. danny

          Ill have a crack for you Robert… where would you spend your money, yell.com or Google adwords ? Its the same theorem. You spend your money where more people look . Its kind of the first rule of advertising. If you want to learn more I can recommend “advetising for dummies” , you can get it from Amazon.com ….or Waterstones if you want to go down the high street and go to a bookstore

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  4. mrharvey

    Does anyone else reckon it’s time to have a separate thread for OTM/Z/RM news, just so the usual suspects can eat their sour grapes elsewhere?

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  5. Nick Salmon Managing Director of EYE

    mrharvey – The Arena forums are there for just that purpose 🙂

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    1. mrharvey

      My point exactly!!

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  6. Fencesitter

    Presumably the consistency of EHenderson’s posts stems from the fact that she still holds the same opinion. That certainly seems to hold true for the pro-OTM lobby, whose posts are equally predictable, if generally somewhat less measured.

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  7. the message

    I know we are all bored of this, but I had to laugh at Ian quoting BMP Paribas as the font of knowledge, and decrying all else.

     

    As a reminder, and forgetting about the tabloid journalistic headlines posted here, the main point of the BNP note centres on:

     

    “we expect Rightmove to continue to benefit from inventory fragmentation, underpinning pricing power into the ket dec-mar selling season”

    So mr packer, who Ian picks out as a beacon of hope for OTM fans, actually says that OTM is the best thing possible for RMV…doh!!! you couldnt make it up.

     

    E Henderson sums it up about – a failed £15-£20m experiement (most of the money which will flow into the pockets of staff working for this “start up” (the only start up I have ever heard who is set up this this much cash to squander and investors who have no idea where its being spent) when it is enabling the new virtuals to raise money.

     

    And dont get suckered in to thinking that this is just a few quid via crowdcube, some very bright people have invested many millions (Neil Woodford, Charles Dunstone) into businesses because they seee the opportunity, and why do they, because OTM gives them a huge competitive advantage as of now. And us fools are helping fan the flames by allowing them to tell investors and consumers that we arent acting in their best interests.

     

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    1. GPL

      the thing is themessage?…. you don’t get the message…. maybe one day you will?

       

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  8. GPL

    EHenderson & Co….. isn’t it incredulous that so much effort/energy/comments/magical opinion goes into anti-OTM, who we are told pose NO? threat….. really?!….. NO? threat?!?…. so why bother then.

    Instead lets address what you and your comrades have done by sitting idly by whilst The Duopoly have shafted our industry!? You have sat there too frightened or too disinterested or sucking up and the best you offer now is….. stay with The Duopoly…. keep getting shafted…. watch the UK Property Industry being swallowed up by Blightmove & Co.

    Seriously!…. with your inaction, lack of foresight and imitation of an emu…. you should hang your head in shame! If you are part of our industry you are an embarrassment. I truly hope you are not a time served estate agent, if you are then you have abandoned your industry.

    The other faceless partygoers that post here who work for The Duopoly know their place in this debate…. they should not be seen or heard as they are the puppets of their masters….. sadly they can’t help themselves as they suck up to their masters!

    I laughed when a very close friend of mine who works for The Sleazopoly confirmed that they subscribe to PIE in order to keep an eye on what is being debated, particularly OnTheMarket.com…. it’s staggering to consider that BLightmove and the other one are genuinely concerned that another company with a non-profit agenda is muscling in on their gravy train!….and the deal I made with my close Sleazopoly friend when we lunch or dine?….NO Duopoly/Estate Agent talk…. why spoil a friendship!.

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    1. the message

      R dont seem that concerned with a share price 2x higher than when OTM launched.

      Once again, and I repeat verbatim, most agents who arent on OTM, and we are one, FULLY SUPPORT THE CONCEPT OF AGENTS MUTUAL, but hate the way OTM has gone about doing things, and the unsavoury relationship between the OTM management and the big high end agents who are the power behind this.

       

      I think OTM is a plaything for them, funded by you. I think they have already shown that with thei despicable deal with countrylife, their opening a head office in london, the lack of any digital expertise on the main board, nor the lack of any independents.

      More fool you for not being as brave as we are and asking the questions that should be asked. Instead of wastnig energy on us, go and sort the mess out and we will come running.

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  9. M Barnard

    It still surprises me that more Agents are not supportive of OTM. In my opinion Agents having control of their own destiny is surely a good thing.

    It’s all ‘chicken and egg’ though. OTM will only ever really challenge if it gets more stock. What’s stopping OTM getting more stock – the Agents themselves.

    Yes, some will say the ‘one other portal’ rule is stopping them from joining OTM but if the majority signed up then the ‘one other portal’ rule becomes irrelevant as OTM starts to become a real challenger.

    In two of my areas (Lincoln & Grimsby) OTM is already the second biggest by stock and has been since OTM launched. Zoopla has been left well behind.

    Buyers will follow the stock. If you walk into a shop because you know the brand but it hasn’t got any stock do you hang about just because you know the brand. Of course you don’t – you go elsewhere!

    I’m not an Agent so this is a very easy thing for me to say but Agents if you want your destiny in your own hands get behind OTM and you will create the opportunity for only one portal to be needed.

    How quick that happens is down to how quick the Agents convert.

    Seems to me that a golden opportunity exists but will it be taken?

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    1. Pomdownunder

      Barnard,  a one portal landscape is a bad thing, whether that’s OTM or someone else. Replacing one monopoly (or duopoly depending on opinion) with another is just going round in circles. A market situation where there are 3 major players who are chipping away at each other so effectively that they have to embark on a mini price war, now that’s the ideal scenario. Agents need to get behind OTM to create a more competitive landscape in the portal space, not with an end game of just replacing one monopoly for another……

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      1. AgencyInsider

        Pomdownunder. Your point about monopoly is valid when it relates to commercial enterprises driving profit for shareholders but not when applied to OTM. If in fact OnTheMarket were able to become the sole major portal it would not exploit the market in the way the big players do now – because it is owned by agents. The price of listing on the portal would be contained and there would be none of the profiteering we see from existing players. For that reason alone OTM should be supported by 100% of agents – but for it to succeed more agents really will have to look further than the ends of their noses to see the benefits and security that could be gained.

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        1. Pomdownunder

          Agencyinsider, don’t believe for one minute that just because it’s agent owned doesn’t mean it won’t be profit driven. As I’ve commented on a previous post, beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you take a look at some of the shareholders of this business, the likes of Knight Frank etc. They’re not looking to put a lid on the cost to advertise online. Yes that may be the initial go to philosophy, but I can guarantee it won’t be down the line. If OTM got to no1 and was in any shape or form a monopoly, I can guarantee it would become more aggressive with either subscription price increases, or more likely, depth products such as upgraded listings.

          I hope OTM gets the traction it needs in the market place, but really “keeping the bastards honest” is a better tactic than become the “bastard”.

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  10. MF

    So true! Best post I’ve read on this subject in a long time.

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  11. Pomdownunder

    I actually think ironically where OTM went wrong is this silly rule on only being able to use one of RM or Zoopla. Yes it may have seemed a smart notion at the outset but for one it’s meant they’ve made themselves more of a target by doing so, and prone to far more negative press releases etc. It’s also left agents perhaps more impatient in waiting for results having had to dump in most cases Zoopla, where had they just presented themselves as a 3rd option, they could have just grown far more subtly and under the radar, and not stuck a ticking clock on their backs. Use PROPERTYWIZZARD as an example above, now I can’t talk for him or her, but I will anyway lol. Had he taken OTM as a 3rd web portal he might actually be looking at that one deal he got from OTM and said, do you know what, it’s not getting me many leads, but it’s already paid for my annual subscription in one commission payment, so I’m happy to continue to support it. The fact that he has to drop another portal in order to be on OTM means he’s judging it far more under the microscope.

    The cynic in me also wonders if OTM really ever wanted to be no1, or if they just wanted a chunk of the revenue that comes with being no2. As it seems clear that they’ve strengthened RM by weakening the market no2. So either A) ooops our plan backfired, we were supposed to dent no1 and no2 or B) our secret masterplan of really just being a viable no2 is working (although some might dispute this).

    Springett is actually being very clever in his comments. Making the statement about quality over quantity is the smartest way to move the conversation away from poor volume of leads. I’d be interested to known if the OTM rep’s are having this quality over quantity conversation on appointments, and most importantly, what is OTM doing that provided quantity over quality?

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    1. Pomdownunder

      quality over quantity even…..

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