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OTM or Boomin? Agents won’t pay for four portals, warns industry leader

Gareth Samples says Boomin is unlikely to dislodge Rightmove or Zoopla, but could force agents to choose between it and OnTheMarket.com.

Nigel Lewis

otm boomin portals

Gareth Samples, the CEO of Martin & Co parent group TPFG, has said OnTheMarket (OTM) faces a crunch point next year if Boomin takes off and agents are forced to choose which portals to pay for.

During an interview with The Negotiator, he commented that he is doubtful many estate agents will, however small or large, be keen to pay four portals.

This means thousands of agencies, including many of his own franchisees who list with three portals will have to decide whether to choose OTM or Boomin if the Bruce brothers’ platform delivers on its promises.

OTM has a breathing space – Boomin is not due to charge for its service until at least April 2022 when founder agents come to the end of their year-long free periods.

After that, agents will pay between £150 and £400 a month per branch depending on their size and turnover.

Hard choices

Samples says he talked with OTM CEO Jason Tebb recently and put the question to him and remarked that, given Rightmove dominates and Zoopla is a very strong No.2, that leaves agents to decide between OTM and Boomin.

“I like what Boomin have done but also like what Jason has done since he arrived at OTM and ultimately we want to wish each business as much success as possible,” says Samples.

“Nevertheless, if you think about whether most agents will want to pay for four portals, then my personal opinion is that I don’t think so.

“We do a centralised deal for our franchisees with the portals and we sort of insist they go on Rightmove as a minimum while most others are on Zoopla too, but it’s entirely up to them whether they are on a third portal.”

April 28, 2021


  1. The difference between being on 3 portals or all 4 will be between £150 and £400 per month! (£275 per month ave!!) any agent having to consider for too long whether he can afford to be on all 4 has probably got bigger things to worry about in my opinion.

  2. The portal sector is evolving and I don’t think that it’s going to be as simple as just choosing which portals to ‘pay’ in the future.
    The competitive tension that will now prevail (at long last) will force Rightmove and Zoopla to innovate and to court better relationships with agents. That can only be a good thing for agents and as price pressure prevents the old attitudes of the past piling on increases at unjustifiable levels.
    But the choice of ‘which portal’ begs the question, ‘Which one provides me as the agent with VALUE’? – either in good leads, seller opportunities or ancillary revenue.
    It may be that the answer is ‘all of them’ and if the ROI on each one is genuinely positive, why wouldn’t you be on all of them?

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