Emoov and its founder Russell Quirk have launched an extraordinary broadside against OnTheMarket.com during which Quirk suggests it is showing “signs of terminal decline” and calls for it to drop its two-portal rule.
eMoov says it has looked at data from web monitoring service Hitwise that reveals how traffic to OnTheMarket.com declined during February both year-on-year and month-on-month.
Visits to the website in February were down 38% versus January, although it’s part of a seasonal trend; ZPG and Rightmove’s traffic figures were also down, by 2% each. Web traffic tends to surge during January after the festive break and then drop back down again in February.
eMoov also says OnTheMarket is “haemorrhaging” branches in recent weeks and that, based on its own research among the portal’s listings, they declined by “almost 200” over the past three weeks and “looks set to fall below levels seen this time last year”,” it says.
“This data highlights that two years on and despite tens of millions of pounds of investment, OnTheMarket’s audience remains a small fraction of the main portals and appears to be declining as users are clearly not engaged with the brand or proposition,” says Russell Quirk (pictured, left)
OnTheMarket says it is not the first time that Russell Quirk has predicted that its business is about to fail, and points out that in July 2015, six months after its launch, he said it would “fizzle out” before its first birthday.
“But the reality is that in January 2017, OnTheMarket celebrated its second anniversary already established as a major portal with a record 11.2 million visits,” a spokesman told The Negotiator.
“While Mr Quirk is entitled to his opinion, the thousands of estate and letting agents who choose to list their properties at OnTheMarket.com are equally entitled to theirs. The overwhelming majority of our members remain strongly supportive of OnTheMarket.com and understand better than anyone their long-term objectives to regain control of their data and costs.
“This has never been more important than now after Rightmove’s management last week sketched-out the sustainability of growth to £2,500 ARPA longer-term’ and ZPG’s acquisitions of Expert Agent and Hometrack.
“We remain as determined as ever to build the best portal for consumers and agents alike.”