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New Property Search Website ? - www.OnTheMarket.com

There is a new property search website being launched at the end of this month, www.OnTheMarket.com . This new website  is squaring up against the two well established giants, Rightmove and Zoopla.

The difference with OnTheMarket.com is that it is 100% owned and run by estate agents rather than shareholders. This new website is also only allowing agents with a high street presence to advertise, cutting out listings from online only agents.

So how is this new website (David) going to manage in the arena with Rightmove and Zoopla (Goliath). They have been very smart, making a rule that if you do advertise with them, then you are only allowed to advertise on one other website. This means that if Suttons City Living chooses to advertise on, OnTheMarket then we would have to choose to drop either Zoopla or Rightmove.

The plan is to disrupt the market, and it certainly seems like it will do, OnTheMarket claims that they have already signed up 1000′s of agents. In Manchester city centre they have secured two of the biggest agents in Thornley Groves and Jordan Fishwick.

I think that the loser is going to be Zoopla, with Rightmove being the much stronger agent in this area. I have seen the new website design and I was impressed with how clean and simple it looked, very similar to Rightmove. The new site will not host adverts, this is to try and make the experience on the site as user friendly as possible. Also every agent will have an equal status on the site, no premium listings, no larger pictures, all features designed to net Rightmove and Zoopla more profit by pitting agencies up against each other.

I think that another loser initially will be the landlords and vendors who are currently advertising their properties with agents who have signed up to OnTheMarket . Their property will not be advertised on one of Zoopla or Rightmove after the launch date, losing out on potential viewings, sales and lets. Excuse me if I am wrong but I have not yet seen any advertising in our area for the new site, so initially people will not know about it.

So what are my thoughts. I really, really, really do want the new site to be successful, it looks great, it is going to be a lot cheaper for us to advertise on than Zoopla or Rightmove. But most importantly all the profits are promised to be pumped back into the site because there are no shareholders to pay, so eventually the site can grow quicker, advertise more and still remain cheaper !! The idea being that the site is run for the benefit of its customers rather than shareholders.  But do my vendors, prospective vendors, landlords, prospective landlords, tenants and buyers know about the new site ? At the moment I don’t think so.

Unfortunately at the moment I can only see the benefit being to the agency rather than the client. Putting myself into the shoes of our landlords and vendors I would want my property to be advertised on the two largest property websites, Rightmove and Zoopla.

Currently this gives Suttons City Living a massive point of difference over two of our biggest competitors. Most people now start their property search online, and we advertise in more places, including the two biggest websites. This is something that nearly all our competitors could also say, not anymore.

Discounts have been offered for those agencies who sign up early, and this was very tempting but ultimately we are working for our clients, and I do not think we would be doing this by signing up to OnTheMarket now.

Suttons City Living is going to continue to advertise on the two biggest property sites, but after the launch day of the new site, when the new site has had a chance to be marketed and tested out, we will send out a survey to our landlords and vendors. The survey will ask them if they would like us to start advertising on OnTheMarket, and to drop either Zoopla or Rightmove.

Robert Kenyon

Sales and Lettings Manager