OnTheMarket has come out fighting five days after its stock market flotation, telling its new City backers that the company is to target independent agents and has already signed up 81, with more in the pipeline.
“The estate agent sector is highly local in character and early indications are that we are on track in terms of creating local momentum in the marketplace up and down the UK,” says Ian Springett, CEO of OTM.
“The core proposition of the business remains the creation of an agent-backed, full-scale property portal to disrupt what is otherwise a duopoly of Rightmove and Zoopla by offering a premier search experience to consumers whilst charging sustainably fair prices to agents.”
But the portal also says it is targeting larger estate agency groups and has already to signed up its first a to five-year deal since launching on the AIM stock market.
This is the 18-branch agency Butters John Bee which, as well as signing up to OTM, has withdrawn its listings from ZPG’s portals.
The agency, which has branches across Shropshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands, was bought by the SpicerHaart group in September last year.
Butters John Bee is essentially now aligning itself with the rest of SpicerHaart, which has a track record of support for OTM and doesn’t list on ZPG portals.
“We are delighted to be joining OnTheMarket as we have been watching its growth and are highly supportive of its agent-backed model,” says James Beardmore, Managing Director of Butters John Bee (pictured, left).
“Becoming part of Spicerhaart Group has been a very exciting time for us as it means we will be able to offer additional services to our customers and more career development opportunities, training and rewards to our 200 staff.”
Paul Smith, CEO of Spicerhaart (pictured, right) commenting on the latest developments, says: “We see OnTheMarket’s fund raise and admission to AIM as excellent news, giving it the capital it needs to implement its growth strategy.
“I look forward to seeing OnTheMarket growing its agent customer and property-searcher consumer bases to disrupt the cosy duopoly that has existed for too long in the property portal sector.”