In the first of a series of comments from the Directors representing estate agency firms on the Board, Noel Flint (left), Partner, Head of London Residential at Knight Frank, said he believed OnTheMarket.com had already created a significant change within the portals market in a way no other recent market entrant had done.
He said, “The reality is that the portal is working and we have every confidence that it will continue to grow. As more agents recognise the strategic importance of regaining control of their data and costs and as they see the strategic opportunity to serve their clients and property-seekers better with their own portal, we believe that OnTheMarket.com will go from strength to strength.
“In our view, as a mutual, the venture is uniquely placed to achieve a huge step forward for traditional estate agency. OnTheMarket.com is injecting some much needed competition into what had become a rather staid arena, dominated by two giants whose main focus was the creation of enormous profit margins.”
Mr Flint said that OnTheMarket.com was providing Knight Frank’s offices with high-quality leads and their volume was steadily growing.
“We chose to retain Rightmove rather than Zoopla/PrimeLocation as our ‘other portal’, a decision which was later echoed by most of the members and which has left Zoopla and PrimeLocation with much lower property stock, not least at the high end where Knight Frank operates,” he said.
“Our clients like the portal and I don’t believe we are experiencing any loss of business since removing our properties from Zoopla and PrimeLocation to join OnTheMarket.com,” he added.
The Board member firms of Agents’ Mutual are Chestertons, Douglas & Gordon, Glentree, Knight Frank, KFH, Savills, Strutt & Parker and Spicerhaart – all big names, but every estate or letting agent firm which lists properties with it becomes a member of the company and has an equal interest in it. One firm = one member = one vote, irrespective of the number of offices a firm has.