OnTheMarket Plc says over 1,000 additional agent branches have been signed up to its recently AIM-floated portal just five weeks after its shares first began trading, taking its branch total to over 6,500.
The portal’s salesforce have a new offering to tempt agents to list with them – Agent Recruitment Shares – which “selected” sales and lettings agents are being offered, in effect locking them in to OnTheMarket for an undisclosed period or, as the portal puts it to “align their interests as shareholders with the success of the company”.
“We believe that as we expand our sales team, we shall continue to sign up more and more new estate and lettings businesses up and down the country,” says OnTheMarket CEO Ian Springett.
This new form of equity participation in OnTheMarket is running alongside the longer-term deals earlier listers on its portal were offered.
Those not being offered the equity scheme, or who don’t want to get involved, are being given free or discounted listings deals for an introductory period and who, OnTheMarket hopes, can be converted at a later date.
This latter model is the one its competitor Zoopla employed when it launched to persuade agents to list on its platform.
OnTheMarket says it is not deviating from its original plan to disrupt Rightmove and Zoopla’s dominance of the property search market by charging agents “fair prices”.
City investors have blown both hot and cold about OnTheMarket’s performance since is launched in early February.
After debuting at £1.48p a share, it rose to £1.68p but in recent weeks has dropped back down to its starting price again and giving it an AIM market capitalisation of £84.75m
“We have already started to ramp up our marketing activity in line with the increase in our property stock and we are continuing to expand our sales, IT and marketing teams to support our new growth strategy,” say Ian.
“Our disruptive strategy to become a full-scale competitor to the market-leading portals with sustainable fair-pricing for agents has been overwhelmingly supported so far, giving us the ideal platform to build rapidly upon this early progress.”