British #3 property portal OnTheMarket is reportedly set to release a new set of products designed to maximise leads for its agent customers. Very similar in scope to some of those developed by recently launched rival portal Boomin, the new set of tools is designed to "support best-practice agency principles by solving ‘real-world problems’ for our agent customers and provide functionality that I would have found valuable as an agent myself" according to OnTheMarket CEO and ex-estate agent Jason Tebb.
The three new tools, which are set to go live at the start of July, are all consumer-facing and are all very much aimed at the 'serious people' that Tebb referred to as his company's target market in a candid April interview.
Ask The Agent - OnTheMarket's new pre-market tool will let serious buyers flag their interest in properties that have not yet been listed as for sale on the portal and which are only at the stage of being valued.
Reserve Buyers - This tool does what its name suggests. It allows motivated buyers to register an interest in a property that is already under offer so that if the deal with the original buyer falls through, OnTheMarket's agent customers will have a convenient alternative buyer to contact and potentially step in.
Viewing Time Requests - A functionality becoming increasingly common on portals around the world, the tool lets potential buyers request a time to view a property.
All three new OnTheMarket tools have similarities with challenger portal Boomin's set of products which until now had been considered something of a USP in the British portal industry and have been widely touted in Boomin's PR. OnTheMarket's development of its new suite of products won't come as a surprise to viewers of Tebb's interview in which the CEO said that some challengers have "some quite cool features" before going on to confirm that these cool features seen elsewhere were "already in our roadmap".
Having had some of the ideas behind its innovative and distinguishing set of products copied by a rival, the ball is very much in Boomin's court now. The new challenger backed by the brothers behind Purple Bricks now faces an uphill battle to convince enough agents of its value proposition to achieve sufficient market coverage for its consumer marketing to be effective.