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OnTheMarket delays profitability as full-contract sign-ups slow

Portal says the tough market has reduced the number of member agents signing up to long-contract, full-fee deals and that profitability will now be in 2022.

Nigel Lewis

onthemarket

OnTheMarket (OTM) is struggling to convert as many agents from freebies to paying customers as it originally expected and has both dropped the amount it charges new joiners to entice sign-ups, and delayed when it expect to move into profit.

The portal says a perfect storm of problems is hitting the industry at the moment including lower transaction volumes, the tenant fees ban and the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Agents are consequently taking longer to sign up from their introductory freebie deals to paying full-tariff, long-term contracts for OTM’s service, on average at £297 a month, which is down from £337 in June.

Freebies

The company also says it is removing ‘freebie’ customers who decide not to sign up to be fee-paying agents.

A statement from OTM also says that “fewer [agents] are currently signing them than anticipated” and that it has introduced a lower-cost but shorter-term contract of £207 a month, which it claims is proving popular.

The portal now has 12,500 agents listing on its platform, 46% of which are on long-term contracts of three to five years, and that it has signed up a further 2,000 agents over the past six months.

But the grim political and economic environment has impacted OTM’s forecasted revenues and it now expects to move into profit a year later than planned in 2022.

Read more about OnTheMarket.

September 27, 2019

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