A new service called Place On The Market has denied that it is trading off the coat tails of OnTheMarket.
It has also strongly denied using some well-known agents’ logos on its site without their permission.
Place On The Market, which aims to introduce estate agents to potential sellers, was launched last month, shortly after OnTheMarket.
Although it gives few details on its site, it has been launched by agency software firm Eurolink and is being publicised by mailshots from Property Talk Live.
Details relating to the domain name were confirmed last month but Eurolink boss Nigel Poole, who is also a director Talk Live Media which publishes Property Talk Live, told Eye that he had actually registered the POTM domain name 11 years ago.
He said: “POTM is definitely not a competitor to OTM. It is a completely different business model and not trading on the name of OTM in any way. The POTM domain name was registered in 2004 (yes 2004!) and we have been developing the concept, offering and website over the last three years.
“POTM is a result of our ‘stealth development’ programme where we encourage our teams to explore methods, technology and ideas to enhance our core products and services.”
Poole said of POTM that it is a new way for home owners to choose the right agent to market their home, giving agents wider access to property instructions.
He said: “It is not an ‘auction for instructions’ site, it is an ‘introduction’ site.
“POTM offers home owners the ability to provide details about their home and upload photos. The basic information we ask for is compatible with the ‘Rightmove format’.
“Estate agents can review and make proposals to market these homes, and when a match is made and initial terms agreed, the USP is that the estate agent can download the property information and photo(s) into their own systems or website.
“So once a marketing proposal is agreed, the ‘ownership’ of the instruction is taken by the estate agent and the property can be available for viewings in just a few minutes.
“Once ‘owning’ the instruction, the estate agent gets access to the home owner’s contact details and can then make personal contact to make arrangements to visit the home owner to take further details, take further photographs, discuss viewing arrangements, etc.
“For estate agents the service is free. For home owners the cost is £1.”
He said that so far, 71 agents have signed up.
Although POTM has a database of over 6,000 agents who can be contacted when a home is submitted, agents who want to make a marketing proposal must be signed up.
On the POTM site, the logos of Chestertons, Belvoir, Connells, Hunters, Century 21 and Northwood are shown.
A spokesperson for Chestertons emphatically denied that the firm had given permission for its name and logo to be used, but Poole said that the 71 agents signed up included representatives from the firms whose logos are used.
He said: “We have had contact with one firm whose logo appeared on our website and we agreed to remove this immediately as the individual had not had permission from his firm to use our service.”
Asked how POTM will make money, when it is free to agents and charges sellers just £1, he said the site will offer advertising and selective marketing.
He added: “POTM has been designed to operate at relatively low cost and our marketing of the site at this stage is by ‘guerrilla marketing’ and ‘growth hacking’ activity.”
A link to Eurolink’s latest venture is here
And for those who want to get to grips with growth hacking, here is an explanation on wikipedia.
* OnTheMarket has cropped up in other names, notably ConThe Market which had a lively time on Twitter before being pulled.
There is also Onthemarketdirect.com which has been launched by the iProperty Company, which so far appears to be a comparison tool of online agents.