OnTheMarket signs up over 9,000 agency branches as it nears 50% of market

OnTheMarket now has listing agreements with over 9,000 agent branches, having added 3,500-plus offices since admission to the AIM stock market on February 9.

The 63% growth in listing agreements since then suggests it now lists properties marketed by 48% of UK residential estate and lettings agency branches.

The company’s progress in adding agent offices since  February 9 is shown in the following table, supplied by OTM. Most, or all, of the additions will have been offered free or discounted listing contracts.

Date

Offices added since Admission

Offices in contract

9 February

5,500

14 March

1,000

6,500

25 April

2,000

7,500

11 May

2,500

8,000

25 May

3,000

8,500

13 June

3,500

9,000

OTM is currently running advertising campaigns featuring ‘new and exclusive’ properties, which are advertised ahead of listing on other portals.

OTM has also emphasised a growth in traffic, with visits  between  February 1 and May 31 reaching 42.2m visits, compared with 21.9m in the same period in 2017.

CEO Ian Springett said: “We are delighted at the strength of momentum and the power of agent support behind our proposition as an agent-backed challenger portal.

“We continue to exceed our own expectations of the overall number of agents signing up, achieving this latest milestone of 9,000 contracted offices just three weeks after reaching 8,500 offices.”

City analyst William Packer of Exane BNP Paribas this morning said that OTM was recruiting at an “impressive” run rate of 875 branches per month, albeit mostly on free deals.

However, he cautioned that while inventory progress is important, OTM’s critical challenge would be achieving web traffic.

He added: “OTM argue their traffic has doubled to c10m visits per month. This lags Rightmove at c130m and ZPG at c50m (although this includes 3rd party and non-portal traffic).

“OTM have a meaningful marketing war chest which we expect to be utilised from late 2018 onwards. In our view, OTM have a delicate balance to reach  between building as much inventory as possible pre-marketing launch on the one hand, but have the risk of free annualising contracts with insufficient traffic delivery on the other.”

 

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60 Comments

  1. ArthurHouse02

    But what happens when the free trials run out and you are faced with having to pay 3 portals or drop one, what are you going to do? All those keyboard warriors to bang on about dropping RM, be interesting to see if you have the courage of your convictions.

    Also a question, is anyone getting any decent leads through. We are getting the same rubbish enquiries that RM and Z provide, people that never answer the phone or reply to emails.

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    1. Aaron

      We’ve had a fair few waste of time leads too.. spend too much time chasing enquiries for them to never respond.

      Annoying but what can you do, we do also get good leads so take the rough with the smooth I guess.

      We’re also finding viewers are much harder work at the moment, a lot are cancelling, not turning up etc just the other day we had a 5:30pm who we confirmed at 4:30, he never showed, never answered the phone or replied to texts. Never heard back at all. There should be a way to blacklist people who waste our time with the portals, it might make them a little more courteous.

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      1. SJEA

        We have always found this issue, particularly with rental properties. I do not think this has anything to do with the portals – it is simply people are not courteous enough to contact us to cancel / re-arrange or are simply too embarrassed when they arrive at the property early to discover they do not like the location.

        What I have found though – particularly with RM is the request for ‘more information’ – all of this information is supplied on the advert, but generally people are too lazy to read it, or it is hidden behind a link that viewers simply do not see and this is the fault of the portals.

        I have found leads generated by Z & OTM are of a better quality, as they seem to be more about booking viewings rather than requesting information.

        With the ease today of finding properties, and then clicking a button to request a viewing, you are simply going to have a large number of browsers and not motivated movers.

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        1. LongInTheTooth75

          The viewing issue just goes with the territory. We put full pdf details with room sizes onto RM & OTM, but the buttons are minuscule. The other problem, particularly on OTM is the “Let agreed” flash is missed by most people  which wastes applicants time.

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    2. Bless You

      We will come off once trial is over. They best organise that great big Rightmove strike soon otherwise it’s over.

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  2. danny

    Seems to be doing really well since the float or bust tour where he awarded himself a load of shares . He obviously needed to raise all that money at members expense to give away the product for free …

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  3. SmartOctopus30

    Many many years ago Rightmove was also free…

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    1. Steve_Smithson

      wow – interesting. Before my time.

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    2. SJEA

      Don’t ever remember RM being free, but many other portals like FISH4 started off as free when offered by the Newspapers that started some of the early portals.
      OTM clearly need to get the stock, then people will visit the site – seems like a good business plan to me.
      And, if you are a firm out there, being offered FREE advertising – take it, you would be silly not to !
      Secondly, the leads being generated at the moment from OTM are outstripping Z & RM and are also of a higher quality! What I mean by quality is that they seem motivated in viewing a property, not simply asking for more information that as noted in a prevous comment is already in the advert.

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  4. cheapshop09

    Portal signs up people for free no surprise. End of article.

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  5. smile please

    Amazing that OTM are now willing to publish numbers as they are trying to increase share price but for the previous three years not once did they publish numbers. Leaving to people like me to do a manual count and publish.

    Also why away almost 4000 free subscriptions and not when it was owned as a mutual? – Surely if it was about growing stock levels this could have been done without the need to float.

    Car crash of a project for agents!

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  6. NewsBoy

    What really GOOD news and just at a time when the market is turning away from the factory agents and getting more difficult for everyone.

    Come on you “proper” estate agents; get out there and champion this cause. Like it or not if this works we will ALL (except the factory lot) end up paying much less, avoid the need for more than one portal and create a nice level playing field, all using a portal we can have far more control over.

    Would someone please give me a good reason not to remove Wrongmove and Hoopla from the marketplace.

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  7. Property Poke In The Eye

    More property on portal, more traffic, more leads.

    Simple formula.

    Get behind OTM, that’s the only hope to keep Z and RM in check unless agents want to be shafted by price hikes.

    At least we would have an option when the Free trial comes to an end.

     

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  8. Seller0169

    I’m sure I’ll be shouted down for asking this but until another website has all of the stock, and gives me something better than the one I already use, why would I (and the rest of the public) go and use it?

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    1. SJEA

      If it is offered to you free of charge driving referrals to you – I would ask why not ?
      Then, if it works, and you are happy with the leads, tie your firm into a contract and I think you may get shares, and then be part owner with a real interest in driving the portal forward.
      Sound business sense if you ask me !

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      1. NotAdoctor32

        And as a buyer?

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        1. NewsBoy

          As a buyer is simples. Most OTM agents market all their properties on OTM before wrongmove or hoopla. If you want to get in first you have to use OTM.

          Not a bad strategy really.

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  9. Property Paddy

    questions, questions.

    A: “OTM is currently running advertising campaigns featuring ‘new and exclusive’ properties, which are advertised ahead of listing on other portals.” WHERE?

    B: Will RM & Z stop their advertising campaigns, particularly towards the end of this year and first 1/2 of next year when the free trials stop?

    C: Why is it when I talk to vendors about on line marketing they never ask about OTM?

    D: “OTM has also emphasised a growth in traffic, with visits  between  February 1 and May 31 reaching 42.2m visits, compared with 21.9m in the same period in 2017.”  HOW MANY UNIQUE VISITORS?

    E: As I don’t use OTM and haven’t done so what back office tools do they offer and are they any better than RM or Z?

    F: Er! I forgot so just A to E then !

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    1. SJEA

      Property Paddy,
      A: Not sure – but the purpose is to email to applicants new properties BEFORE any other portal to ensure that the applicants search the OTM portal.
      B: I have seen little/no advertising from RM and little more from the others. Advertising is driven by search engines and the agents TELLING buyers and tenants where to look. WE ARE THE BEST ADVERT FOR THE PORTALS !! RM would not be the monster it is today without OUR support and look how they treat us !
      C:I am not often asked about portals – more about our fees and the service we are providing. I do now though push other areas of advertising that we do – as I know my competitors are so hung up on the portals
      D:I can only confirm that number of leads. I am not interested in a property being seen by 10,000 people in one week on RM and not one viewing enquiry. It is all about the end product ! What are they providing to my firm ! I know that I seem keen on supporting OTM — but the leads being generated by them at the moment speak for themselves. Outstripping the numbers from RM and Z !
      E:Sorry, don’t use a great deal of back end as we can generate reports internally. I am sure a free trial would answer all of your questions though !!
      F: Yes, I seem to have too much time on my hands today ! But get a free trial, I am sure you will be pleased with the results.

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  10. NotAdoctor32

    Amazing that they are doing it in exact round numbers.  Has anyone actually got any real figures?

    I’m assuming the agents in the south are pretty much all using OTM because UI would say that less than 5% in the North, certainly the North West use them.   Speak to most buyers/sellers and they don’t even know what OTM is ‘up here’.

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    1. P-Daddy

      Rightmove on their homepage have been saying for years in round numbers that they are hosting over 800,000 properties for sale. Round numbers is where its at.

      Your stock is what is giving the portals cred Notadoctor…your choice is whether you want to gift money and data one of the few businesses in the world that gets a 75% return on capital (Rightmove)…or the new US owned Zoopla who will milk you and your data…or a UK biz that will charge you, but whose interests are closer to your own. The choice is yours?! Don’t forget, the new part owners of the Purple people…a European portal, are currently piggy backing off a business that is milking Rightmove and Zoopla until they can stand alone. Those portals give all call centre and sell by owner businesses identity and readership, and that’s only possible because we are all there. In the jungle and in life, its the survival of the fittest and they are the ones with the sharpest teeth and claws….how sharp are yours?

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      1. NotAdoctor32

        2 points.
        1. I’m not an estate agent.
        2. If I was, why would I advertise on a portal that none of the buyers in my area know exists?

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  11. scruffy

    A response to Seller 0169 asking why he would use OTM: are you happy being the victim of extortion, feeding RM a c.75% profit margin, letting them abuse a monopolistic position and reducing your and your clients marketing choices ?

    With RM’s stated target of reaching c.£2,500 per branch per month, why would he not consider  another portal gaining traction so effectively and deserving agents support and welcome financial relief ?

    I currently use all 3 portals and look forward to the day when I can tell either of these portals where to go (and particularly to RM that the party at our considerable expense is over)   when genuine competition between them allows me to do so.

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  12. Rivero

    So pressure will continue to build for agents to be on all 3 then…nice work all you turkeys who voted for Christmas.

    And just look how ‘Agents Mutual’ has kept Rigtmove’s prices in check…or rather helped facilitate their biggest hikes yet!

    Agents started the Agents Mutual project well meaning but naively signing up on emotion. They subsequently shifted to a self serving commercial position. Meanwhile we’re all lumbered with the legacy.

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    1. NewsBoy

      You really have not got the point. I’m sure you will see the light, given time and the huge wrongmove price increases. It is not that long ago that hoopla had 50% of the market.

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      1. Rivero

        Yes, back then Zoopla was a healthy check and balance on Rightmove…now there is a weak number 2 and 3 and they can implement even more inflated price increases.

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  13. Eastsidestory90

    Great news.

     

    And on an even more positive note, my “extra” shares that I bought at £1.25 have gone up by roughly 25%.

    And I’m expecting them to double by the end of the year.

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    1. SJEA

      Wish I had a little more confidence at the time and bought some more ! 

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  14. Fresh0776

    Great News

    We just need to remember why OTM is here and that is to break the hold Zoopla and RM have on the market. I already pay much less to Zoopla because of the OTM presence.

    Without OTM these two other portals would be worse in terms of charges and the power stance they take with agents.

     

     

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    1. P-Daddy

      Well said see my comment above! Its a journey that you have to see through to the end and there are no quick fixes.

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  15. Paulnight12

    Reading posts and comments relating to OTM is in itself interesting because of the mixed views and cynicism by some.

    We have been with OTM since the beginning and I have watched the progress with interest which I have to say has been slow.

    Now however things are changing. The original concept of OTM being a challenger to the ridiculous duopoly situation Into which so many of us are tied is now looking like a reality.

    I cannot see for the life of me what any of us in the industry have to lose by getting behind OTM.

    We pay R/move around £1000 per month presently and we all know the future direction of their fees and it’s not down.

    The guaranteed success of OTM is far from certain, but I reckon it probably will work (there have been times when I didn’t).

    i know some of the old timers don’t like change or anything new, but I would urge everyone to get on board and give it a go. it might just work!

     

     

     

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    1. NewsBoy

      Right, right and right.  There must be a host of wrongmove and hoopla employees on this site with nothing better to do. Their businesses are after all worth about 5bn between them so you can see it is very worthwhile trying to rubbish the opposition, particlarly when it is doing so well.

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  16. gardenflat

    When will we learn?

    We are still our own worst enemies. I can guarantee that valuers where the firm is on all three portals will state on the valuation,

    “We advertise on all three portals, are the other agents that you have requested doing the same”

    Let’s focus more on our history, presence, customer service levels and stop promoting ALL portals so much, it is us that have ingrained this upon the public!

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  17. Only saying...but

    … Rightmove has only gotten stronger because of OTM’s feud with Zoopla and the affects of the OOPR which is still in force for  agents who have not signed the extension to their original contract.

     

     

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  18. htsnom79

    I think there’s some concern at Rightmove, has anybody else not received the survey from them in the last few days where they explicitly ask for rating of the three portals in terms of lead generation, tools and perceived value for money?

    Obviously I put them at the bottom of the class, if I win the Amazon vouchers or whatever it was for participating all the sweeter 🙂

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    1. NewsBoy

      No. I’ve not seen anything on this – yet.

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  19. ShutTheFrontDoor

    OnTheMarket – started off as a nice idea with a desirable vision, and had a better chance than any previous attempt of challenging the RM & Z duopoly, but it was fundamentally doomed due to its policies and poor leadership.

    Owned by agents and run by agents, it could have worked in theory, but now they have failed and have offloaded their financially sinking carcass to profit hungry shareholders, who ultimately will require it to be remodelled and made into a profit making vessel, whilst making Springett a millionaire in the process for a failed job

    Why are so many decision makers in approximately 9000 businesses/branches so naive to think that at the end of this free rainbow there is a pot of gold? There isn’t, there is a cage with 3 invoices in it waiting for you.

    The free listings is enabling a build up of users to a critical mass so that eventually there will be a perceived need to be on there because everybody else is. Many agents will then be too scared not to be on it, nothing to do with actual quality leads and sales, but because they fear losing instructions if their potential clients are told by other agents that they can market in more places.

    Then the fees will come, and they will grow.

    How much is this “war chest”? A few million? Tens of millions? Unlikely. But even at £50million it would go very quickly (often focussed on expensive London marketing and a bit of national tv) and would quickly be countered by RM and Z who can further cement their branding and have a larger ongoing marketing budget (not just a one off war chest).

    Their marketing buttons are ‘much bigger’ and ‘more powerful’.

    Their turnovers and profits are £***,000,000.00. Their worth is in the low billions. You cannot fight such power with money alone.

    I imagine there are also some agents who own shares in OTM who are being tempted by a short term rise in their share price at the expense of a longer term monthly cost.

    If OTM/AM they had done free/very cheap listings when it was mutual, and had allowed all ‘agents’ to list initially then the critical mass could have been reached very quickly with minimal costs and it could have succeeded. That time has passed.

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  20. GeorgeOrwell

    It’s hard to put into words, as a Day 1 OTM Gold Member, however let’s start with these words

    OTM – Shameful, Disgraceful, Conspiracy?

    I haven’t even got out of 1st gear yet.

    On this forum I used to rebuff the “conspiracy” theory posters who stated that OTM V1 always had the intention of failing then floating, with the obvious financial rewards that fell upon the select band of “masters” of The Good Ship Jolly OTM. My response to those theories was to rebuff them and stand by OTM.

    Today I read the spiralling Free Membership Numbers and I ask this simple question – “Why was this this magic bullet not fired the 1st time around?”. It’s very well documented on this forum that all of the “tweaks” to encourage new members of the Mutual OTM V1 were put forward by various posters including myself, yet the shattering sound of silence came from Fortress OTM.

    As if by magic, the only life raft that was hoisted high for all to see was the float or fail one. All the obvious points that were openly discussed here during OTM V1 have materialised right after the Millionaires Floatation Balloon was hoisted alof and carried by those well dressed/suited/shadowy figures who seemed completely unable to get a grip of OTM V1, yet amazingly it suddenly turns into a Membership Snowball which shows no sign of melting despite the dazzling rays reflecting from that tightly knit/controlled OTM Exclusive Millionaire Club led by our very own Springy Springett.

    So, in this world of Free Speech I can openly say this – I feel I have been absolutely conned/done over/mugged/led down the portal path by OTM V1, and please oh please, let’s not have the OTM Sales Reps & Newbie Supporters singing their OTM is Lovely Lullaby.

    Springy Springett? I’ve bought you a Golden Balaclava and a Membership to the Brinks Mat What if I Could Get Away With It Club.

    I sit here as a paying bystander to a real live caper with all the actors in play, no wonder they bow, smile and wave to their audience and when walking off stage they still can’t believe no one has found them out.

    Take a Bow Springy, you’ve pulled it off, nobody noticed, and we’ll be paying for your cigars & champagne well into your retirement.

     

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    1. Eastsidestory90

      From where im sitting you have 2 options:

      1) Acknowledge that OTM V1 did not work,
      2) Accept that not enough agents wanted to go with V1 and that far more agents will jump on board now that they are presented with huge financial benefits to do so in both the short, medium and long term.
       
      I am also an original gold member but I accept that OTM V1 did not work and I now plan to use V2 to my full advantage, in fact the profit I’ve made with my “extra” OTM shares have already covered the cost of 18 months of RM advertising.
       

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      1. GeorgeOrwell

        The 3rd Option I have is to disregard any post from anyone who mentions share price as that poster has an entirely different agenda and is unlikely to be in the same industry as me!

        Stick to performing on the stage EastSide, you may appear more believable in LaLaLand.

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      2. GeorgeOrwell

        Rereading this paragraph from Eastside
        “I am also an original gold member but I accept that OTM V1 did not work and I now plan to use V2 to my full advantage, in fact the profit I’ve made with my “extra” OTM shares have already covered the cost of 18 months of RM advertising.”
        It’s funny, if it looks like s****, smells like s**** then it usually is s****! I’ll look out that nosepeg and jot your name on it Eastside, before I read any of your future posts. 
        I detest the share price pluggers, lowest of the low. 
         
         

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  21. smile please

    I know a little elitist but you should only have an opinion on this if you OWN an estate agency.

    So much guff, written here without any thought to long term strategy.

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    1. Eastsidestory90

      Have you got into lettings yet Smile please or are you still only doing estate agency part time?

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      1. smile please

        You have the wrong person.
        Run along troll. 

        Report
        1. Eastsidestory90

          You’re the person who claimed 3 years ago to have 3 branches but not to have yet delved into lettings. Correct?
           
           

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          1. NotAdoctor32

            SP, I assume you sit quietly watching sports on TV and not offering an opinion seeing as though you aren’t a professional?  

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            1. smile please

              Your postings obvious you are not estate agent owners,

              Number of posters on here know who i am and can confirm i’m an owner, not a troll like some.

              Best of luck guys, Whatever vested interest you have in OTM is doomed to failure.

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    2. ShutTheFrontDoor

      SP, Who’s this one aimed at?

      Non agency owners have every right to provide insight.

      As it seems so many decision making agency owners made a decision which is unsurprisingly turning out to be poorly thought out (‘cos OTM isn’t exactly going to plan is it), perhaps some insight and perspectives from experts in other fields may help with an informed choice. Emperor’s new clothes…

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      1. smile please

        Its aimed at the reps of OTM, branch managers with no equity, Hybrid reps or negs without any skin in the game.
         
        OTM is a faliure, they have broken countless promises. They are only interested in driving up prices like RM and Z. If you cannot see it then more fool you.
         
        Its pointless conversing on here as there are far too many trolls or people who quite frankly are just stupid.
         
         
         

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  22. Eastsidestory90

    Imagine being an “elitist” estate agency owner and not knowing how to let a property?!

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    1. GeorgeOrwell

      Eastside?
      Buzz off, before I turn my attention to you. 

      Report
  23. Robert May

    My guess is ESS90  could be Gump who on 9th June  2015  was chatting  to SP who said he was “flirting with the idea”

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    1. Eastsidestory90

      There’s no hiding from rummage 4 Robert!!!

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  24. J1

    If anybody thinks for a moment that this won’t be running at £450 a month subscription in a couple of years time then you are sorely mistaken.

    If it gains proper traction it will not be the saviour you all want long term.

    Sorry!

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    1. htsnom79

      But to be worth that ( and I use the word ‘ worth ‘ very loosely ) to agents it’s now a player, it’s plausible RM foregoes some of that 75% profit margin to retain agents and maintain volume and their subscription costs drop, yes we could end up with the same monthly costs for RM Z OTM as we currently pay for RM Z and some will say whats the point of that?

      What we do have though is a proof of concept that can be replicated again but this time more confidence from the naysayers from day one ( muggins hear included )

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    2. NewsBoy

      Will someone please remember that the only reason wrongmove and hoopla charge so much is to make 80% profits. OTM will make a profit but much more like 15%. Just imagine the difference in costs to us agents.

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  25. Eastsidestory90

    In George Orwell and smile please we seem to have found two people who think that they know better than anyone else and simply wish to shut down debate.

    An interesting way to proceed on a forum for discussion and erm….debate.

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    1. smile please

      Well i have not been wrong yet, please feel free to point out a time.
      At least i own an estate agency, what have you acheived within the industry?

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      1. Eastsidestory90

        I started my estate agency business from scratch and built up an extremely profitable lettings portfolio within only 2 years based on hard work, honesty and wanting to do the right thing for my clients.

        I always take a long term view and have never been interested in just making a quick buck off them. For that reason I have an extremely high retention rate and my clients would never dream of going anywhere else when re letting or wishing to sell.

        I may well only employ 5 people but 4 of those have been with me for 5+ years and 2 for over 8 years. I look after my staff and they in turn look after my clients.

         

        More importantly I can honestly say that in 14 years I have never tried to take advantage of my clients or any prospective clients and I’ve walked away from money if I’ve had to and lost money by being honest.

         

        In addition, I don’t make paranoid accusations about other people which is clearly something that you can never boast about.

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  26. Property Paddy

    So the train has left the station and I am not on board, even with a free ticket, I just couldn’t get on board.

    I will agree with anyone who says RM are rinsing us with their high charges and I am sure in due course Z will go the same way.

    But not OTM ?

    because they are our friends?

    two things

    A: Don’t believe they wont charge lots if they could

    B: Technology is a wonderful thing. 10 years ago hardly anyone was building electric only cars, now Ford are saying by 2040 that’s all they will be making.

    which makes me think by 2020 or 2025 there could be some incredible new platforms for marketing and selling property which might well make RM,Z and OTM completely obsolete.

    I say this because the basic RM function looks the same as it did in 1999 (if not before, I just cant remember the year I first came across it 92? 93? nope too old to remember)

     

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