As more agents announce their support ahead of the great launch of OnTheMarket on Monday, it is clear that the decision making process has been complicated for many agents. The first decision to ‘go with’ OnTheMarket is relatively simple, but the requirement for agents to only list with one other major portal has clearly caused great debate.
Even the founding members of the portal have been reticent about their decision. Chesterton and Savills have announced their decisions to stay with Rightmove, while Strutt & Parker will stick with Zoopla, “The process for selection was a very important decision based empirical evidence. It is undeniable that, for London, Zoopla delivers more enquiries than any other portal,” said Robert Bartlett, Chief Executive of Chestertons.
Noel Flint at Knight Frank took a similar view, “Feedback from our agents across the country confirmed that Rightmove was the best choice available to us at this time, and, most importantly, the best decision for our clients.
In an online poll on the Telegraph Online, readers were asked ‘Which property website would you market your home on?’ 58.69% said Rightmove, 25.9% said Zoopla and 5.08% said OnTheMarket (10.33% said none of them).
The low showing for OnTheMarket is to be expected at this stage, the UK public has barely heard of them as yet, but,“A comprehensive marketing campaign on TV and in the press is about to launch,” said Ian Springett (left), CEO.
However, the new portal bans online agents which is causing some fury in certain areas. easyProperty CEO, Rob Ellice (right), has written an open letter to Agents’ Mutual CEO, Ian Springett, accusing him of prioritising agency profits over consumer choice, of manipulating the market, and of trying to stop estate agents from moving with the times. Mr Ellice says, “It would appear to me that your business is doing its utmost to restrict consumer choice and play hard ball to limit the exact competition that gives customers freedom of choice and value, the only possible reason for this is to put money into the pockets of your members at the expense of the consumer, which is not only self-defeating, but wrong in so many ways.”