UK #3 property portal OnTheMarket has extended the discount of fees it has been offering to agents since the beginning of the global pandemic. In a move that may spark others into similar announcements, the challenger portal has this morning announced that the 33% discount will be continued in August and reduced to 20% for September.
As the first big portal player in the UK to make an announcement around the continuation of its discounted fees, OnTheMarket seems to have scored an easy PR win with its agent members. The agent controlled portal recently released its yearly figures and says it has enough cash reserves to survive the discount period.
On the other hand, market leader Rightmove has been accused of delaying an announcement around the continuation of its discounted fee period by advocate group SayNoToRightmove. The 75% discount currently in place for advertising agents is due to come to end on the 31st of July. The group alleges that Rightmove must have already decided behind closed doors not to extend the discount period but is delaying the announcement so as to have as many paying agents as possible on its ledger come the 30th of June when it is due to count them.
As it stands, agents will return to paying full Rightmove fees on the 1st of August and any agent wishing to leave the portal must give 30 days notice. Investors are looking closely at the ‘paying agents’ metric in Rightmove reports, and the delay of any announcement that might affect agent numbers would appear to benefit Rightmove and its all-important share price say critics.