A number of estate and letting agents who advertise at OnTheMarket and have now been off Rightmove for some months have spoken to OTM about their experiences.
According to the testimonials released by OTM, some agents say they are now getting more in terms of quality leads for less money, while others suggest the lettings fee ban will force more agents to quit Rightmove.
Julia Dajani from Elizabeth Scott, a sales and lettings firm in Surrey, said: “It was a no-brainer, why pay Rightmove more and get fewer leads?
“The quality and number of leads from OTM are much better than we were getting from Rightmove. We’ve signed up for three years and removed our properties from Rightmove in February.
“As a small business, I was apprehensive about leaving but it hasn’t made any difference to us.
“Our customers are satisfied as we are still securing viewings and completing transactions – where the lead comes from is of no consequence to them.”
Marcus Parkinson, director of Lime Tree Lettings and Sales in Kettering, said: “Six months ago we decided to come away from Rightmove.
“This has so far saved us around £8,500. I wasn’t happy with the way we had been treated so we did it on principle but nothing has changed – we are still selling and letting properties.
“In June, out of our total portal leads, OTM supplied us with 56% and Zoopla gave us 44%.
“OTM is the industry’s response against rising portal fees. If an agent wants to do something about the annual increases they receive then they should support it.
“As the fee ban begins to bite, I think more agents will move away from Rightmove.”
Dylan Williams from Rees Richards, a sales-only office in Swansea, said: “We have been using OTM for nearly two years and dropped Rightmove around a year ago.
“It was clear to us early on that OTM was outperforming Rightmove in terms of sales leads by three to one, resulting in a substantial increase in revenue for us.
“We have since signed up with OTM for five years and we are in a better position now than we were while we listed with Rightmove. We have not only made a cost saving but we are getting more enquiries.
“Currently, OnTheMarket is dwarfing Zoopla by three to one.”
Sarah Hayes from Hayes Residential Lettings in Doncaster, said: “We have been off Rightmove for around six months and also used to advertise on Zoopla but have found we no longer need either. We back OTM 100% and have listed with it since 2015.
“We haven’t seen any difference since we cancelled our contract with Rightmove and we’ve saved a fortune in membership fees.
“Ten years ago, an agent had to be on Rightmove to be taken seriously but my attitude has entirely changed now.
“Many agents are thinking seriously about their next steps because of the tenancy fee ban, everyone is looking to reduce their costs.”
Junaid Ishfaq, from Rentigo in Essex, said: “We’ve signed up to OTM for five years and came off Rightmove in September last year which is long enough to know we made the right decision.
“Our business is now more efficient because the leads from OTM are of a far better quality than those we received from Rightmove.
“We are now dealing with quality tenants who actually want to move and so we are delivering a better service for our customers. We also receive more leads now too.”
Rob Sargent, CEO of The Acorn Group, which has 36 offices across south-east London and Kent, said OTM’s leads had nearly trebled over the last year.
The group still lists with Rightmove but Sargent said: “We are constantly reviewing our portal mix and assessing whether we need to be on more than one.
“If OTM’s success and momentum continues, which I have every reason to believe in, I can absolutely see it becoming the only portal we need.
“The leads supply from OTM is high in number. Overall it gives us around 70% of Rightmove’s volume across sales and lettings, but the quality from OTM is better so the conversion rate is consequently excellent.
“It’s also crucial to point out that each Rightmove lead is double the cost of one from OTM.”
OTM boss Ian Springett said: “It’s pleasing to see the tide is turning within the portals market as we see more agents not only migrating away from Rightmove but also feeling they’re not missing out.
“Until very recently, this would have been considered impossible by many agents.
“We are committed to increasing the value we provide to agents in terms of leads and brand visibility and to deliver a market-leading, genuine alternative to Rightmove and Zoopla.”