Agents' Mutual represented an industry challenger movement, born from widespread agent dissatisfaction with the two existing major portal groups, Rightmove and ZPG.
Both groups were felt to be using their strong positions relative to their agent customers to impose significant price increases for their portal services.
Rightmove has referred to a monthly ARPA (Average Revenue per Advertiser) of £2,500 as a "realistic medium/long term goal" (source: Liberum analyst report, June 2016).
Zoopla has also referred to an intention to raise ARPA considerably. PropertyIndustryEye quoted a City analyst on 11 June 2014: "Mr Chesterman also stated that it was their intent to increase ARPA (Average Revenue Per Advertiser) by 50% over the next 3-4 years, although some of this will come from selling data."
Our key proposition remains the creation of an agent-backed, full-scale property portal to disrupt what is otherwise a duopoly by offering a premier search experience to property-seekers whilst charging sustainably fair prices to agents.
It is agents who provide the majority of revenue for property portals and it is also agents who provide their most valuable content.
OnTheMarket has already established itself as the UK's third largest, and agent-backed, UK residential property portal provider in terms of traffic. We are increasing our marketing budget to up to £25 million per annum for the first two years to raise the profile of the OnTheMarket.com brand and continue to build our consumer audience and agent listings.
The One Other Portal rule is no longer a requirement for agents entering new listing agreements.
Agents tell us that leads from OnTheMarket.com are high quality because we are attracting genuine property seekers to the site – see what our agents are saying.
Act now to support an agent-backed portal
To find out more about listing at OnTheMarket.com, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0808 120 2877.
Lines are open Monday to Friday: 9am – 5:30pm. A member of our sales team will be very pleased to contact you.
Liverpool Property Solutions
Sales and lettings, one office
Since last month we no longer list our sales properties with Rightmove because the sales fee (around £1,600 a month plus VAT) was too high to justify. We are still listing our lettings properties with them and list both sales and lettings with OnTheMarket.com and Zoopla.
Ninety per cent of our business is lettings but the Rightmove fee for our sales properties plus VAT was more than we would pay a negotiator including their commission.
We don't believe our business has suffered as a result of our decision. OnTheMarket's leads are good quality because they are often viewing requests.
Other agents thinking of leaving Rightmove should bite the bullet. With OnTheMarket's agent-backed strategy, it means there is a portal which is now offering a fairer fee for agents. As long as that stays the case, we're sure we'll retain OnTheMarket.
One Office, sales and lettings
Gold member of OnTheMarket
I resisted using Rightmove for many years but after succumbing for 12 months, I have already made the decision to leave because I can no longer justify the cost of £1,200 per month.
I am one of the agents who pays more to Rightmove per month than I do for my office rent which is around £800 per month.
I am no longer using Zoopla and am now using only OnTheMarket.com. The leads I receive from OnTheMarket are good quality and they tend to be from more discerning and well-informed buyers. I am fully behind the idea of an agent-backed portal because it is the agents who gain the instructions, provide the property photographs and upload data to the portals. The service and leads provided by a portal aren't enough to justify £15,000 each year which is the cost of my annual Rightmove fee.
Blenkin & Co
One Office, York
We are huge supporters of OnTheMarket's 'New & exclusive' because it often leads to a surge of enquiries in the first 24 hours of the property going live. Buyers are getting increasingly savvy and aware of the 'New & exclusive' concept, and the leads are usually high quality and, more often than not, effective.
Last week, we launched a property as 'New & exclusive' and we immediately received three phone calls - fantastic. There have been periods when we have received more leads from OnTheMarket than Rightmove.
We think it is vital that OnTheMarket encourages all estate agents to list their new instructions as 'New & exclusive'. This is the portal's trump card for ensuring consumers have an overwhelming reason to make the website their first port of call. It's a very effective USP.
Increasing numbers of estate agents are coming round to the view that they cannot be beholden to Rightmove and Zoopla forever. The signs are that we might well be reaching a tipping point. OnTheMarket is the only agent-backed portal and it’s in all our interests to make it a market leader.
As a result of listing properties exclusively with OnTheMarket for 48 hours, we see a rise in demand for viewings of those properties from prospective buyers who don’t want to miss out. In May, June, July and August, we received more enquiries from OnTheMarket than from Rightmove.
We like the layout of the ‘New & exclusive’ listings which display extra pictures because they are easily visible to buyers. The profiles also look great when we share them on social media.
As an additional way to promote the portal, we also advise buyers to set-up property alerts with OnTheMarket.com.
As agents, we support the concept of an agent-backed portal and we have been impressed with how quickly OnTheMarket has become better known among buyers in recent months.
One branch, sales and lettings
We were surprised at the number of leads generated by OnTheMarket at first.
Overall, the majority are very good quality and we receive more from OnTheMarket than from Zoopla. We find OnTheMarket gives us a similar level of enquiries as Rightmove.
We began listing in June and the portal is working for us.
Webbs Estate Agents
One branch, sales and lettings
We joined OnTheMarket about six months ago and the leads have increased over time.
Recently, we were really excited to see that in 12 hours, we had about 12 email leads from OnTheMarket for four properties, (sales and lettings) which was more than the other portals had generated.
I think the extra exposure from the TV advert has created a lot of interest in OnTheMarket and it's great to see the portal expanding so fast and providing us with such high levels of leads.
Blair Cadell Solicitors
One office, sales and lettings
Right from the word go when we joined in January 2018, we have had good quality leads coming in from OnTheMarket and there are lots more of them than we expected.
OnTheMarket provides us with around 35% of our portal leads, this is more than Zoopla. We also list on ESPC but not Rightmove.
We think the idea of an agent-backed portal is a very good one. It is about time portals focused on agents. We also very much like the layout of OnTheMarket, more than Zoopla.
Group Managing Director
Southern England and Wales
Since joining OnTheMarket in February with a 5-year partnership agreement to list all of our sales and lettings properties at OnTheMarket.com, we have been assessing the value the portal provides for our branch network.
We have been impressed by both the quality and the increasing quantity of leads. The portal has delivered value that has exceeded our expectations.
In particular, we have been impressed by the proportion of "unique" leads which OnTheMarket provides us. Our analysis shows that approximately two-thirds of the email leads are from a new, discrete audience of property-seekers rather than duplicating those from other portals. The leads tend to be of high quality from qualified and serious people actively in the market and ready to move.
One Office, Barmouth, North Wales
Sales and wealth management
We choose to list our properties at OnTheMarket.com as 'New & exclusive' for three days ahead of Rightmove.
Vendors need to have an understanding of exactly when their property will be launched on which portal. We explain to vendors that as a result of our marketing approach, their property will get priority advertising with a bigger advert at OnTheMarket.com first. The feedback we have had has been positive.
We then also use 'New & exclusive' to encourage buyers to look at OnTheMarket first for our latest properties. We believe that this helps our clients by targeting the most serious buyers in the first crucial phase of our marketing activity. It's also a great way to support the portal as it continues to grow in a fiercely competitive market.
We have been noticing a rise in the number of OnTheMarket enquiries, as public awareness continues to grow. If the portals market is to change for the better for agents, OnTheMarket needs to succeed, so agents must support it now.
One Office, sales
We consistently get more good quality leads from OnTheMarket than from any other portal and believe a key factor in this is that we launch all of our properties exclusively at OnTheMarket 72 hours before all other portals. This proves to us that consumers follow the newly marketed properties and aren't necessarily loyal to any particular portal.
The leads from OnTheMarket are of a much better quality than those provided by the other portals. The customers who come to us via OnTheMarket return our calls and want to view properties, whereas some of the leads from other portals are irrelevant and fail to deliver.
We are 100 per cent committed to an agent-backed portal. Already, OnTheMarket has added competition to the market and it's great to see it growing so fast. My business is a family run independent estate agent and we need to see much fairer value for money. It's now that estate agents need to come together and start fighting back. Prices have risen across the other portals just because they can.
We joined OnTheTheMarket as gold members and removed our properties from Zoopla on day one. We have no intention to return, despite their best efforts!
One office, sales and lettings
We joined OnTheMarket in May and can honestly say that we have been very pleasantly surprised by the number of leads it has generated for us.
At this stage, for us it feels as though OnTheMarket is a serious competitor to Zoopla, however, we believe OnTheMarket's leads are of a better quality.
We would like to see the concept of an agent-backed portal thrive to be a serious competitor to Rightmove.
34 branches, sales and lettings, London
OnTheMarket.com provides our 34 London offices with high quality leads and the volume of these leads has been increasing steadily, especially since the company's admission to AIM. We hope OnTheMarket.com will continue its impressive growth and build itself into a market-leading position.
One branch, sales and lettings
In recent months, the leads we received from OnTheMarket outpaced those provided by Rightmove. Each day, we received around four to eight leads from OnTheMarket compared with just two a day from Rightmove.
With the latest price hike of 39% presented to me by Rightmove, I worked out that each viewing request cost over £90 which was too much, so we removed our properties in May and rejoined Zoopla. When it comes to selling itself, Rightmove pushes its number of visits to the entire website but for agents, it's the number of genuine leads which are generated which is important. I was only receiving about 60 leads a month from Rightmove and believed the quality was poor. Most people only wanted more information which was already on the website. As agents, we need to analyse portal leads and remember it's not just about the number provided, it's also about the quality.
It's untrue that agents need Rightmove to survive. There is a certain fear factor at play but I've not had a single complaint from a vendor or a landlord that I don't advertise on Rightmove after I explained the lack of enquiries.
Now is the time to support a portal that is majority-owned by estate agents. Competition is needed in any industry to ensure customers get a fair deal. It is no mean feat to take on the market-leading portals and OnTheMarket has come a long way, it is providing us with an ever increasing number of quality leads and that is exactly what we want.
Michael Graham Estate Agents
Michael Graham has benefitted enormously from the coverage of many of its properties generated by the portal’s in-house PR department. They have hit exactly the right targets for us including Country Life, The Guardian, Mail Online, House Beautiful and many regional publications.
The team clearly has an eye for knowing exactly which properties will make it into national publications and beyond, and we have been very grateful for their assistance. In one recent example, OnTheMarket generated more than 30 pieces of media coverage for just one property – four of which were national publications. Exceptional! Great PR for Michael Graham and for OnTheMarket – the best possible outcome for an agent-backed portal.
As an extra, it’s always a pleasure to see our properties showcased across OnTheMarket’s social media channels. The vendors like it and we recognise its benefits.
15 offices, sales and lettings
London, Hertfordshire and Essex
We are receiving good quality leads from OnTheMarket and the number supplied to us has been buoyant. I have dealt with some excellent staff members and I highly recommend the portal’s customer service.
I thought the leads may be duplicates but that’s not the case, and I think we have gained instructions we wouldn’t have otherwise had if we hadn’t been listing at OnTheMarket.com.
I find it difficult to see why an agent would choose not to support OnTheMarket.com, it has substantial investment and the added competition into the marketplace can only be a good thing for estate agents and for consumers. For agents it will perform a check and balance on costs. Every industry performs better if there is competition!
We have the logos up in our windows and we understand that for OnTheMarket to move forward, it needs support from agents, so we see it as a team effort for the portal to succeed. The market is big enough for three portals to succeed and I believe will ensure a healthier and more balanced relationship is had in the future between all concerned.
Stokes Estate Agents, North Shropshire
We cannot speak highly enough about OnTheMarket. We joined in March and we are really impressed. Early on, our internal reports showed that our properties were being viewed more times via OnTheMarket than other portals we used. Given the performance of OnTheMarket, we cancelled our contract with a major portal. We list our properties as 'New & exclusive' at OnTheMarket and our vendors really like the presentation of the three pictures.
We also find that people who contact us through OnTheMarket are seriously interested in a property and want to set-up a viewing.
Since joining OnTheMarket we have had one of our busiest times. We have put all the stickers in the windows and customers say it's good to see us listing at OnTheMarket.com. We have heard many comments from customers who say they like how the website is clean and precise, and I think we have gained some instructions that we wouldn't have had otherwise.
Agents need OnTheMarket in the portals market - it can only be a good thing. More competition is the only way to stop sky high prices rocketing further.
Head of London Residential, Knight Frank
OnTheMarket.com has gathered in strength and has made remarkable gains in terms of agent recruitment, property stock and subsequently traffic since its launch. Despite being the UK's youngest player among the three biggest portal operators, OnTheMarket has consistently provided Knight Frank with high-quality leads and we have seen their volume steadily growing, especially in recent months.
Knight Frank's properties are advertised on Rightmove and OnTheMarket.com. We originally chose "Rightmove" as our "other competing portal" when we signed up to Agents' Mutual, and even though we now have the option to be on multiple portals, our instructions are still not listed on Zoopla/PrimeLocation.
Knight Frank has a general policy of launching new properties at OnTheMarket.com between 24 and 48 hours before advertising them on Rightmove. And there are many other agents across the country who have chosen to introduce their new-to-market instructions at OnTheMarket.com in the same way. Importantly, this is a clear demonstration of why the most active property-hunters need to search OnTheMarket.com and sign up for its instant property alerts if they are looking for a new home.
As more agents appreciate the strategic importance of an agent-backed portal as a way of regaining control of their data and costs, we believe that OnTheMarket.com will go from strength to strength. It offers a search experience which our clients and applicants like and it is attracting more and more people to the website.
Rees Richard & Partners
One branch, sales
We were sceptical about OnTheMarket when it first launched but we decided to join in May this year after its reported growth. The response during our first month in comparison to other portals has been excellent. OnTheMarket has generated leads on a number of different types of property across South and West Wales, which ultimately have led to offers. Subsequently, a number of transactions are now due to complete during June.
Sales & lettings
Central, North West London and West London
We are receiving excellent leads from OnTheMarket.com for our sales and lettings properties. We advertise on Rightmove and Zoopla, and at this point, OnTheMarket provides us with around 30% of our leads.
The buyers who contact us through OnTheMarket are often serious purchasers which is great for us.
Big Apple Estates
One office, sales and lettings
We only joined OnTheMarket in the last month but we are very happy with the leads already - to be honest, they have been absolutely amazing.
On some days, the number of OnTheMarket leads have overtaken the number supplied to us by Zoopla. We are not on Rightmove and it is a myth that agents cannot survive without it.
I am delighted that there is now a portal with an agent focus and it has been a long time coming. I believe it will still take time for OnTheMarket to reach its full potential but so far it has proved itself to me.
Two offices, one sales and lettings, one student lettings, Exeter
We have noticed a big difference in lettings leads from OnTheMarket.com in 2018, they have increased and are now comparable to those provided by Rightmove.
That means more people know about OnTheMarket.com and are using the website. It works just fine for us and we have no intention of returning to Zoopla. If OnTheMarket.com continues to gather pace, we would hope to remove our properties from Rightmove within the next 12-18 months.
One office in Leicester
We're very pleased to have enjoyed seven days of quality email leads from OnTheMarket.com.
To be all but matching Rightmove is some going! Our lead stats show OnTheMarket generated 37%, Rightmove provided 39% and our own website gave us 24%.
Stags Estate Agents
21 offices across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset
OnTheMarket continues to provide a growing number of quality leads to Stags.
In 2018 a third of our portal leads have come from OnTheMarket and the leads in March were more than double those received in January. Buyers are increasingly commenting upon the clean way that properties are offered for sale to them. To optimise quality leads, we launch our clients’ properties over a three day period using our own website and launching them at OnTheMarket.com 24 hours ahead of Rightmove to take advantage of the prominent position at the top of the search results.
Lime Tree Lettings and Sales
One office, Kettering
OnTheMarket is the industry's response against rising portal fees.
If agents want to do something about the annual increases they receive then they should support it. Currently, our Rightmove monthly fee is more expensive than our office rent by about one third - and Rightmove has a profit margin of more than 70%!
OnTheMarket is offering an alternative to the duopoly and the portal is effective at generating leads. It provides us with around 30% which is very good. It is agent-backed and I think that's the best strategy for rapid growth. If agents don't get on-board then they shouldn't complain about rising portal costs.
Two offices in Bedale and Leyburn in North Yorks
We believe OnTheMarket represents very good value for money given the number of leads it now generates for us. For the month of April, we received more email leads from OnTheMarket than from our other portal - Rightmove. This was the first month this happened and we felt it was a great achievement for the portal considering its age. Up until now, on a general monthly basis OnTheMarket has produced on average 20% of our monthly total leads. The quality of leads produced by OnTheMarket are good and are more often than not from genuine purchasers in a position to proceed.
Our consumers have often told us how much they like OnTheMarket and find it easier to use than the other portals.
The customer service from the OnTheMarket team is far better than from our retained portal and we have felt very well looked-after since joining. We have been very impressed with the marketing campaign, including the property showcase adverts in Country Life magazine, and the overall social media messaging for OnTheMarket.com. To promote the portal, we have always ensured our stickers have been in the window and encouraged our clients to set-up a property alert.
One office firm, sales and lettings
Saltash, South East Cornwall
Over the last two months the email leads supplied to us from OnTheMarket.com have overtaken the number generated by Rightmove. Around 58 per cent now come from OnTheMarket and 42 per cent are from Rightmove. Based on these figures, the portal’s performance is exceptional – much better than my expectations after such a short time since its launch. I believe it is offering my firm excellent value for money, not least because in terms of actual cost, the cost per email lead from OnTheMarket.com is significantly lower than that paid to Rightmove.
Last year the majority of our total leads (44%) were generated by our own website and by walk-ins. Rightmove gave us 32% and OnTheMarket.com provided 24%. We generally find that the leads we receive from OnTheMarket are from customers who are actively looking for a new home. Often emails from Rightmove have come to us via people who have clicked a button by mistake such as asking for a valuation.
There has been no impact whatsoever from removing our properties from Zoopla, in fact our market share has increased in the last two years and last year we were number one in the town in terms of sales agreed and lets agreed. Throughout the first quarter of this year we have remained number one.
We have had the OnTheMarket stickers in our shop window since launch and have always ensured the portal is incorporated within our advertising as well as our social media messaging.
Sales and lettings
One office in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire
Our leads have gradually increased since we first joined OnTheMarket.com as a Gold member at launch, and they have now reached a level that is in excess of the leads we previously received from Zoopla. Therefore, in my opinion the OnTheMarket.com portal represents good value for money.
We have also found that the majority of leads received from OnTheMarket.com are high quality because we believe genuine house hunters know about and use OnTheMarket.com. We currently receive 32 per cent of our leads from OnTheMarket.com and 68 per cent from Rightmove. We expect this to increase over time but it is a great achievement for a portal which is just two years old. The number of agents listing on it at this point has exceeded my expectations.
Similar to other agents, our customers have found that the OnTheMarket.com website is very easy to use and they have highlighted that they appreciate that the ‘clean’ pages are dedicated to property listings only.
One office in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside
Sales and lettings
Since launching our properties as ‘New and exclusive’ at OnTheMarket.com ahead of Rightmove, we noticed a jump in the number of leads supplied to us by the portal.
We started doing this in March 2016 and within one week we noticed an immediate spike in leads. Currently, we upload our properties to OnTheMarket.com 48 hours ahead of Rightmove.
Having our ‘New and exclusive’ properties at the top of the OnTheMarket.com search results pages and property alert emails benefits the vendor, buyer and the agent. As an agent, we can guarantee our client's property will be displayed prominently for 48 hours, and we have found that buyers are increasingly becoming aware of this. They should set up property alerts with OnTheMarket.com to ensure they get the first opportunity to view the latest instructions. The feature also gives the vendor the chance to receive an offer quickly - it is a win-win scenario.