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@OnTheMarket providing more leads than @Rightmove? So agents say…

A growing number of estate and letting agents advertising their properties at OnTheMarket.com say they are receiving more leads from the agent-backed portal than they are from Rightmove.

Terry Holmes, Director of Beresfords, a 17 branch sales and lettings agency in Essex, said: “For the best part of a year, the gap between the number of overall leads supplied by Rightmove and OnTheMarket has been narrowing all the time with the OnTheMarket trajectory going upwards and Rightmove on the slide.

“In February, our lettings email leads from OnTheMarket eclipsed those from Rightmove. This is a very good performance and we can see the gap is closing between the two portals for sales leads too. We think the overall quality of OnTheMarket leads is very good.

“Beresfords is helping accelerate this realignment in the portals market by providing our new listings to OnTheMarket before they are released to other portals. Our clients benefit from the extra profile OnTheMarket accords these listings during this initial exclusive period and the staged introduction of their property to market.

“Active property-seekers are increasingly aware that OnTheMarket is the place where many new properties first come to market. And the resulting enquiries come to us via OnTheMarket rather than Rightmove.”

David Pickering, Director at sales and lettings firm CCL Property in Moray, Scotland, said: “We have just signed a three year contract with OnTheMarket and decided to remove our properties from Rightmove. We couldn’t justify an increase of 20% in our Rightmove fees and the quality and volume of leads we receive from OnTheMarket have given us confidence to make this decision.

“The number of leads from OnTheMarket has overtaken those supplied to us by Rightmove and its leads are of better quality than those supplied by Zoopla. Many have led to completed transactions.”

Chris Anderson, Director at Anderson’s in Leicestera one office lettings firm, said: “From 4 March to 10 March, we received 59% of our email leads from OnTheMarket, 37% were from Rightmove and 4% from our own website.

“We place great value on the quality of our online property adverts and branding, but given that our investment with Rightmove is currently fivefold that of OnTheMarket it does raise questions for us about getting value from our property portals.”

“We’ll remain with OnTheMarket as long as it is generating good leads and the fee remains fair.”

Philip Norgan, Sales and Lettings Manager at Martin Kemps in Buckinghamshire, said: “Lately the quantity of leads from OnTheMarket has been outstripping Rightmove across both sales and lettings.

“We have been with OnTheMarket since the beginning as Silver Members and list with the other two major portals but OnTheMarket provides the best value for money by a country mile.

“We support the idea of an agent-backed portal 100%, we have been held to ransom for too long by Rightmove – I think that times are changing and more agents are beginning to think they don’t need it. I can see this becoming a trend and one that will continue.”

Mark Olsen of Purbeck Property, a sales and lettings firm in Wareham, said: “We found that for the last quarter of 2018, OnTheMarket supplied three times more sales leads than Rightmove. Lettings performance has also been very strong, with more leads coming from OnTheMarket than from Rightmove.

“We have recently signed a 12-month contract with OnTheMarket after its high performance.”

Ian Springett, Chief Executive Officer of OnTheMarket, said: “These statements of endorsement show that our strategy of building network effects is working: more agents displaying more properties attract more property-seekers, who generate more value to our agent shareholders and customers in the form of more leads. We have progressively ramped up our highly effective marketing campaign, which has included national TV, radio and posters, all strongly underpinned by heavy-weight digital investment. In January 2019, we delivered seven times the number of leads to our estate agent customers compared with February 2018 and we believe we are now coming to a crunch point for agents who are seriously considering their options around portal costs.

“Due to a muted housing market and the imminent up-front ban on lettings fees for tenants, there is significant pressure on agents to reduce their marketing spend or to allocate it in the most effective way. Rightmove’s latest full year results for 2018 showed another year in which Rightmove generated increases in revenue, profits and profit margin by hiking its Average Revenue per Advertiser by a further £83 to break through the £1,000 per month barrier for the first time. It also generated fewer leads for its property advertiser customers which means that for every £100 spent by Rightmove’s property advertiser customers, it generated an average of 17 leads. This is a reduction of 39% compared with 2015, when every £100 generated an average of 28 leads.

“OnTheMarket is a strategic cost reduction opportunity for thousands and thousands of agents. It also provides the potential for agents to invest in the business and share in its success as we broaden our agent investor base. Our listing fees are typically one quarter of Rightmove’s charges – it currently has a 75% profit margin – so there is scope to build a profitable business for shareholders while providing cost reductions for agents and a first-class search experience for property-hunters. Our progress to date and the encouraging support for an agent-backed portal give us confidence that we can continue to build on this early growth to develop a market-leading portal.”

Vikki Bennett

Vikki Bennett

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