Ed Mead, Executive Director at Douglas & Gordon and a Non-Executive Director of Agents’ Mutual, comments on what OnTheMarket.com has delivered in just one year:
The portals which have divided and conquered, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, and even those that failed to succeed, have merely been interested in making money.
The biggest latent value for the incumbent duopoly – Rightmove and Zoopla – is data which we are paying them to collect from us – how daft is that?
Imagine if all agents could reach all buyers via one website, run for consumers, which had an excellent property search facility and no third party advertising at all. Well, you don’t have to imagine it, the opportunity is here in the form of OnTheMarket.com and if all agents joined the public would be perfectly served and jobs, best practice and service would be maintained.
For Douglas & Gordon, the slack of what was expected to be a short-term lessening of lead numbers while OnTheMarket.com established itself, has been taken up by an increase from Rightmove and overall numbers aren’t far off what they were before OnTheMarket.com launched. We have been extremely pleased with the quality of leads provided by OnTheMarket.com and expect a bigger percentage from the portal as it continues to grow. We have every reason to believe it will – to the point where it competes head-on with Rightmove.
Clearly an alternative cannot be built in just a year but what has been delivered in such a short time is brilliant. It’s a quick and easy to use website which is automatically optimized for viewing on any device so the property always looks its best. The membership base is growing all the time and it has achieved an impressive set of traffic figures. No other property website has achieved so much so quickly.
As for protecting our data and using it in the best way possible, imagine if Amazon Prime directly contacted the manufacturers of the products their advertisers sell – and they could – surely the shops that use Amazon’s online service would feel threatened at the very least. Many of their sellers complain bitterly about the fees Amazon charge – does this sound familiar? But unlike disparate shop sellers that Amazon can divide and conquer, estate agents are beginning finally to talk to each other since the arrival of OnTheMarket.com. Together we can offer an alternative that serves the property buying public with just that – property – at a cost that means the survival of those agents keen to continue to offer what the internet can’t – namely a personal service.