If OnTheMarket dies – our industry dies

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    Rosalind Renshaw

    (Posted  on behalf of GPL)

    Rightmove is torturing the UK Estate Agency/Property Industry…. whatever way one views it, Rightmove is the unchallenged Dictator… however, what dumbfounds me is that we/the UK Estate Agency Industry have consistently supported their systematic destruction of our industry…. sadly, we are marching like lambs to the slaughter.

    Zoopla just didn’t have the guts to challenge and wisely have diversified whilst thinking about how they can ever be Rightmove.

    OnTheMarket has flaws, no doubt!!! ……however it is shatteringly obvious that OTM is the hand reaching out over the abyss to rescue our industry as it is about to fall into the infinite black portal hole created by Rightmove!

    Rightmove have been able to rely on our own industry’s natural ability not to collectively talk & agree how we can develop our own industry to meet the inevitable changes that we face. Instead they stand Jesus like with a glowing halo beckoning “follow us, we can lead you to safety”….. sadly, they are anything but!

    I attended the OTM Floatation Tour yesterday and I witnessed living/breathing estate agents discussing our industry with real energy & passion… each knowing exactly how we are being controlled by Rightmove and tortured financially by them, with the financial torture level increasing by 10% automatically each year! Every single agent in that venue today had views/ideas/strategy etc on how to move OTM forward.

    I gave my personal opinion of Ian Springett and The OTM/AM Board in no uncertain terms….. however, I know this….. if I don’t keep breathing I WILL DIE! ……and if OTM/AM is to succeed, floating or not…. EVERY SINGLE UK ESTATE AGENT MUST COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER AS WE ARE THE CUSTODIANS OF OUR INDUSTRY….. WE TALK TO THE PUBLIC EVERY DAY YET WE DON’T TALK TO EACH OTHER?

    Sadly, I am happy to blame Ian Springett and The Board for their failings up to this point however I also know the UK PROPERTY INDUSTRY must shoulder its responsibility for failing to SUPPORT OTM!!!

    I told Ian Springett face to face today that I felt he did not deserve the potential reward he may receive, nor should other board members be rewarded…… yet! I would personally hand them their rewards when they have delivered a real measure of success with OTM….. however, we shamefully remain the lambs awaiting slaughter with our lack of OTM Support.

    If OTM Dies? ……then our Industry Dies!

    It’s either The End? ……or a Final Chance!

    So, today….I throw the industry dice and suggest the following action….

    1) The entire UK Estate Agency Industry steps forward to support OTM with the proviso that such support is on the basis of a restructuring of The OTM Board to include an active/meaningful Regional Representation of members to ensure that OTM Members across the UK have a real voice/input to the future direction of OTM in the years to come.

    To enable that amendment to be made OTM/AM must either Act Now with a Formal Announcement pre Vote stating they will honour such an amendment or the existing OTM/AM Members VOTE NO to the the planned Floatation until such action is taken to involve members at a meaningful level…. and then, a Floatation can be resubmitted for member approval.

    2) Our industry submits an Open Letter to Rightmove   seeking transparency on member costs, clarification on their apparent comments to investors that they forsee their ARPA simply rising year on year to a future level of circa £2500 per month per advertiser/agent, justification of annual circa 10% fee rises with no added value for the agent, a refocus of property adverts for the benefit of our clients and their properties rather than being used as a lure for 3rd Party Services – we as estate agents are of course instructed to honour the best interests if our clients therefore many 3rd party advertising is diminishing the focus on on our clients properties – no doubt this Industry Open Letter should have other points detailed.

    The aforementioned is my view of the direction I think our industry needs to urgently take to ensure the USP of our industry.




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