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OnTheMarket staff face headcount reduction as ‘uncertainty continues’

Portal's acting CEO says he faces 'regrettable' decision to consider redundancies as realities of COVID aftermath affect the business.

Nigel Lewis

Property portal OnTheMarket.com is considering a ‘small number’ of redundancies, it has been announced.

Its Acting Chief Executive, Clive Beattie, says the decision has been made as uncertainty remains within the wider economy alongside a ‘change in business practices’.

This is a likely reference to agents implementing the government’s social distancing rules and restricting face-to-face appointments with sales people. The Negotiator put this suggestion to OnTheMarket but was told that it would not comment further ‘due to the sensitivities of the announcement’.

A report by Kinsey recently revealed that almost 90 percent of sales have moved to a Zoom model during Covid, and that ‘while some scepticism remains, more than half believe this is equally or more effective than [traditional] sales models’ used before COVID-19.

“The emergence of COVID-19 has affected all of us and through these challenging times my colleagues have shown exceptional resilience,” says Beattie.

“We responded quickly through a number of considered measures including the selective use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the curtailment of discretionary marketing spend.

“Despite that, uncertainty remains and business practices have changed for the foreseeable future.

“Regrettably, we are therefore considering a small number of redundancies to ensure that we are best placed to support our agents for the long-term.”

OTM is not the first of the portals to consider a headcount reduction. Staff at Zoopla’s software division are currently going through a consultation as it restructures two of its operations at Brackley and Pocklington – where their software brands such as Alto, Vebra and Jupix are based.

August 3, 2020

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