The number of visits to property portal OnTheMarket’s website and mobile phone apps hit a record monthly total of 23.5 million during January, four times the number of visits a year ago.
OTM claims the significant rise in traffic has been generated by the millions it has spent on advertising over the past year including TV, billboard and online ads.
Traffic is also being generated by the increasing size of its listings, which at 600,000 properties is 80% of Zoopla’s 739,265 and 60% of Rightmove’s 1 million properties. Some 12,500 branches now list on OTM.
Its success so far has been based on inducing estate agents to sign up to the portal with introductory free subscription offers.
But crunch time has now arrived for the portal. Its enlarged sales force must now convert these ‘freebies’ into long-term, usually five-year-long, paying contracts which for some larger agent groups are being sweetened with free stock in OTM.
The portal says it has just over 36.3 million shares set aside for this purpose.
“Our strategy to grow rapidly the scale of the portal is working and these latest milestones indicate that attracting more property-seekers to view more properties, many of which are listed with us on a new and exclusive basis, is a recipe for generating more value to agents,” says CEO Ian Springett (left).
“That value is not just in the direct advertising return we provide but also in creating much needed competition in a market previously dominated by just two large portal groups.”