OnTheMarket has released a series of testimonials from its customers that provide a very interesting insight into how estate agents view the online real estate industry. The angle OnTheMarket places on these testimonials includes the claim by its customers that OnTheMarket provides "an extremely high standard" of leads for their businesses. The other insights they highlight include:
Mike Marsh from Raine & Co stated "It was our industry which built Rightmove and Zoopla into the powerful giants which they are today with their enormous profits and stock market valuations. We know that as traditional high street agents who are proud of Britain’s estate agent industry and the service it offers, it is time to put an end to this ludicrous situation."
What is interesting about these comments is their inward focus and the protection of the status quo.
The reality is that the world is changing. Uber has disrupted the taxi industry by turning everyone into a potential driver, AirBnB the hotel industry by turning everyone into a potential hotelier, and Expedia (and co) the travel industry by turning everyone into their own travel agent. The same is happening in the real estate industry and companies such as Zoopla, Rightmove, EasyProperty and Purple Bricks are the way of the future and, no matter what the industry tries to do, are here to stay.
it is time to embrace, learn and change.
The testimonials can be read in full below.
The Home Partnership, a mixture of sales and lettings
Two offices, one in Brentwood and one in Chelmsford
Before the launch of OnTheMarket, we had only ever listed our properties on Rightmove but we supported the concept of OnTheMarket and so joined ahead of its launch back in January. We were tired of the upselling by the other portals and decided that OnTheMarket’s approach - without all the bells and whistles of additional products - was a much fairer system for agents and a cleaner search service for consumers. OnTheMarket does not allow an agent with deep pockets to gain advantage over another by buying greater prominence in the search results.
Furthermore, we were disillusioned with the way the other major portals had facilitated the rise of online-only agents whilst positioning their properties identically within the presentation of the overall search results. It is the traditional high street agents which have kept the portals in good business over many years. In our opinion, charging up front for selling a property before a sale completes (as some online-only agents do) is not a model which we believe always works in the best interests of the consumer. Naturally, we believe that having a professional onside to provide end-to-end management of such a serious process is of huge benefit to all parties and that this is why traditional high street estate agency is overwhelmingly the most popular choice for vendors, landlords, buyers and tenants.
At The Home Partnership, we launch most of our new-to-market properties at OnTheMarket 48 hours ahead of advertising them on Rightmove. Recently, we listed a property exclusively at OnTheMarket and within the first 24 hours, 15 viewings were lined-up via the portal which was just over half the total number of viewings held across the entire weekend. We have been more than impressed with the power of the portal in attracting serious buyers.
We feel that the quality of leads provided by OnTheMarket is good and its new and exclusive properties are probably one of the biggest reasons for this. Feedback tells us that buyers and tenants are becoming more aware of these exclusive listings and that they appreciate how easy to use the website is.
I admit that we had reservations about joining OnTheMarket because we had never listed on a second portal before. However, our fears were soon put to bed when the leads started coming in and when we saw the weight and quality of the promised national advertising campaign.
Raine & Co
Hertfordshire and Mayfair
Nine offices, a mixture of sales and lettings
We decided to join OnTheMarket.com as soon as we reviewed the strategy and costs. We didn’t take much persuading! We were fed-up with Rightmove and Zoopla because of their ever-increasing fees. Whenever we have met representatives from the other major portals, we have felt that they are more focused on increasing the portal’s income than on providing a high level of service to us, their estate and letting agent customers. It was our industry which built Rightmove and Zoopla into the powerful giants which they are today with their enormous profits and stock market valuations. We know that as traditional high street agents who are proud of Britain’s estate agent industry and the service it offers, it is time to put an end to this ludicrous situation. As agents who provide the precious property content, it is absolutely in our power to do so with our own alternative portal.
We were very pleased to learn that the executives behind OnTheMarket.com had already launched a property portal which was an overwhelming success in the form of PrimeLocation. This gave us reassurance and confidence in the leadership of Agents’ Mutual and they have not disappointed us. When it came to which portal to drop, we debated it because it was a difficult decision. Being so close to London, we were concerned about dropping Zoopla but we chose to retain Rightmove on the basis of the superior volume and quality of the leads it was generating for us. The leads supplied to us by OnTheMarket.com are of an extremely high standard. We hear frequently from our customers how user-friendly OnTheMarket.com is and how cleanly it displays the properties on the market. In my own opinion, it is only a matter of time before the property stock on the portal increases and OnTheMarket.com will be able to compete head-on with Rightmove.
Director, Frost Property, Purley
One Sales office
I decided to join OnTheMarket.com from the beginning because I felt strongly about supporting the only agent-owned portal. I also felt this venture was the only way to regain control from Rightmove and Zoopla and I still believe this now.
In our case, we found that the quality of leads from Zoopla was not of a high enough standard to warrant the fee. On top of the ever-increasing fees imposed by both portals, I thought their additional products were unnecessary because in my opinion, they do not work in the best interests of our buyers. I believe OnTheMarket.com has opened the opportunity for us (estate and letting agents) to regain control of our industry and I am keen to support this.
It’s been almost a year since we decided to remove our properties from Zoopla and this decision has not affected our business. I have no regrets leaving Zoopla and other agents should know that even as an independent agent, it has not cost me instructions.
From the beginning, OnTheMarket.com was different because the portal listened to its members. I like that the website is clear and simple to use for consumers and from an agent's perspective, I support the fact the portal is not about shareholders. As an independent, one office agent, this is vitally important to me.
At the moment, Rightmove still provides the majority of our leads. However, the leads we receive from OnTheMarket.com are of very good quality. Of course I hope the level of leads from OnTheMarket.com continues to grow but the portal is still in its infancy and I think agents need to understand that there is a longer term objective when they sign-up to OnTheMarket.com. I understand there is still work to do but OnTheMarket.com has made good progress so far.
I would highly recommend all agents in my area to join OnTheMarket.com in order to invest in the longer term gain. Agents should realise there will not be another chance to join an agent- owned portal, this is it! We must support this new venture, otherwise Zoopla and Rightmove will continue to dominate.