A small independent who signed up to Agents’ Mutual for five years says he is quitting OnTheMarket – despite initially having been a big supporter.
He has now put the accusation to Agents’ Mutual, saying: “You broke the contract first.”
Anthony Kerrigan, of Kerrigans in Doncaster, claims that Agents’ Mutual had said it would spend £30m a year on advertising and marketing its OnTheMarket portal.
Kerrigan claims to have been told by someone at OTM that “a portion of that money has been put in reserve to pay court and solicitor fees”.
Kerrigan, whose firm currently lists just two sales (both under offer/SSTC) and seven lettings properties on Rightmove, has been told that his Agents’ Mutual contract has no break or cancellation clause and is binding until 2020.
On Tuesday this week, Kerrigan told Agents’ Mutual that he had stripped the office of OTM advertising and was stopping uploading his properties.
Yesterday afternoon, no listings for his firm were showing on OTM.
Kerrigan says he has no problem with the actual site, and that at inception he organised two local meetings for OTM reps to attend and meet agents.
He says no one more than him wanted OTM to succeed.
His dispute began last month when he asked if OTM would have a presence at the NAEA and ARLA conferences, and raised the issue of marketing.
He said: “Kerrigans has paid over £8,000 in marketing costs. We are very frustrated to find out a good proportion of these marketing costs have been paid to lawyers, without my consent.
“When we study our feedback, from the few leads we have had, we have had two conversions only, sorry but that is rubbish and unsustainable.
“Such a shame – it is a lovely website and I’m sold on the idea of no advertising and growing fees and no control which is what we have with Rightmove. But I am paying you to market yourself and you are not.”
Asked about his inventory, Kerrigan said that his firm manages a couple of hundred properties, and would hope not to have too many to let at any one time.
A spokesperson for OTM said: “We do not comment on contractual relations with members.”