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Bonfire of a Vanity Project - The Worst Kept Secret in the UK Property Industry


Probably the worst kept secret in the UK property industry , is the failure of a tertiary property website called onthemarket.com (OTM)to ever gain traction in visitor numbers . Zoopla prime location right move are the leading property search sites , with over 80 million combined monthly visits on average.


A group of estate agents which launched the 10 month old site property website to rival Rightmove and Zoopla, was set up by a consortium of estate agency firms from around the UK Predominately the Hoi polloi of the property industry your knight franks, savills strutt and parker ,spicer heart.


OTM portal, owned by about one in four High Street estate agents, is a regressive business model trying to stifle innovation at the expense of home sellers up and down the country," he said.

"It creates the single biggest conflict of interest we have ever seen between an agent and their client where the agent is now trying to limit exactly what the seller is paying for - maximum exposure of their property."Lawrence Hall Zoopla



Defections and Resignations

Over the summer period One hundred agents that left for OnTheMarket returned to Zoopla. 
At the Beginning of June Clive Rook, a representative of regional estate and letting agent Rook Matthews Sayer, resigned from the board of Agents’ Mutual as a Director, the parent company behind property website OnTheMarket.

More recently even their staunchest supporters, have turned on them, including several property magazine sites who receive advertising revenue from heavy promotion of the OTM banner.These supporters made up of a ensemble of a, property industry group, from a bygone era of the 50's 70's and 80's MTV "Me" generation.


A Boutique Independent Estate Agent Lisa Arcari, of My Place in Cornwall, has now found her new home and returned to Zoopla.



She wrote in an open letter "that membership of OTM cost her agency money and business"She said she had been duped by OTM’s sales pitch.The open letter went on to say “Over the past few months, my membership of your organisation has lost me money and lost me business.”



full open letter can be viewed here
Overseas portal 


Currently zoopla primelocation and rightmove all have a successful overseas property search section.

OTM will be launching its site over coming weeks . the founding members of Agents' Mutual - OTM's parent company - the agencies Knight Frank, Savills and Chestertons have substantial international divisions with portfolios aimed primarily at high net worth individuals.Knight Frank, for example, publishes PIRI - the Prime International Residential Index which it describes as "performance data for 100 of the world’s key luxury city and second-home markets ... recognised as the sector’s most comprehensive performance benchmark."

Savills' agency website lists well over 300 homes for sale in the Caribbean alone at prices up to £19m while it is marketing over 700 homes in Spain, where the firm recently celebrated 25 years of activity with a Madrid cocktail party for 200 guests.


What's interesting is that the majority of overseas property sold  in the euro-zone market /Americas is a budget sector (financial climate) you only have to see, what's being bought by expats/brits in TV programmes like place in the sun  place in the sun home or overseas , which is in stark contrast to premium property listings, from the agents mentioned above.

Overseas

OTMS overseas sales development has drawn deep breaths of incredulity from many independent estate agent members of Agents Mutual (OTM ) who do not and never will have an international arm.

The Development time of OTM website being put into overseas section, will predominantly benefit the commercial interests, of founders Knight Frank and Savills .The overseas manifesto / investment whatever you want to call it, developing and promoting overseas properties , never really will help the independent agents .

Further Reading


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