Is OnTheMarket a real threat to Zoopla?

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    Nick Salmon Managing Director of EYE

    OnTheMarket is aiming to be the No2 portal before it turns its sights on Rightmove. Can it succeed in knocking Zoopla off its perch?



    In simplistic terms – yes, it can.

    Whether or not it WILL is a different matter altogether – and will be discussed, debated, disputed and deliberated until either it happens or it fails.


    smile please

    As PeeBee says yes it can but will it?

    The question is also how do you quantify knocking zoopla off their perch?

    A: More Properties?

    B: More Agents?

    C: More Traffic?

    In my opinion for OTM to knock Z off the perch they need to achieve A + C



    OntheMarket is not capable of knocking any portal of its perch!

    Estate Agents are capable of knocking every portal of its perch!

    However Estate Agents must work together and I think this is clearly the issue, as an industry we all do not feel strongly enough about the situation.

    In my mind the situation is simple…. we are all actually making money and that kind of distracts us from a desire to kick out at the ones who take money off us when we feel it isn’t fair.

    I wonder if OTM or more so AM would reached 7,000 in 6 months in 2009/2010 and possible have even increased well beyond this.

    But then, would we have had the money to pay loan notes and the courage to commit to 5 years at a time we all wondered will it ever be the same again…… probably not!

    In short, Agents can topple any website FACT… where as OTM will not.



    Well put, Ric.


    the message

    agree with Ric. But can only topple both if we bring something to the party that is better than is currently there FOR CONSUMERS, not just because we want it to happen.

    Of course we would love OTM to put Z and then R out of business, charging us cost in a profitless environment, with all agents being equal. It is nirvana. But how does this structure hold together, what if there are disagreements, if some agents want to spend more on digital marketing to give them a bigger clout?

    Over time very few mutuals have been successful, virtually none in the current age. And we are the most fragmented industry ever.

    In my view it cant hold, too many vested interests, and AM is far too dominated by the high end guys who I dont trust with  a bargepole. If it does succeed superb I will join, but I just dont buy that it can

    I have no beef with those brave/foolish enough to try, and hope the money you are flushingdown the toiletwon’t hurt your business too much



    I think it’ll end up just turning into the ‘third’ brand.  I imagine over the next few years there will be lots of: ‘what was the name of that website again’, ‘I can’t quite remember but it’ll come to me in a bit’ and many years from now it will still be around but whether it competes is up to it’s members.

    It needs to be established enough to get recognized and then it will compete It’s likely a few years from now but I will be watching.  But if Agents Mutual can keep the momentum going and keep the members onside then it has a chance.

    The timescales they set themselves were loopy though, but it had to be tried. They have some long term committed members and these will keep OTM afloat while it beds in, but it needs time and committed members before it really competes.


    Although 1 thing I have to say is that all OTM supporters are ‘in it together’ the rest of the industry seems to be divided on many factors while OTM supporters are all very passionate about making OTM a success.




    Spot on themessage. The only portal that will win in the end is the one that brings something better FOR CONSUMERS. I believe the biggest issue with all the major portals is that they’re not giving buyers and sellers what they really want, which is, in part, video. There are reliable stats to support my belief too – 73% of vendors want to instruct an agent using full motion video.


    However, portals are very hesitant to overtly push video at the moment due to the quality of video in property marketing. With standards varying between hideous and excellent, how can a major portal push video if quality differs so greatly? Poor quality videos reflect badly not only on the individual agents, but the portals.


    The terms ‘property tour’ and ‘property video’ can mean anything from a few photos cobbled together with music, or voice over, that cost just a few pounds, to super expensive mini movies or CGI tours. Currently, video is a very mixed bag and Miles Shipside of Rightmove told me that he believes that video quality is not good enough to merit a ‘video’ tab, instead RM has deliberately chosen to retain the tab ‘Virtual Tour’. The starting point to portals delivering what your customers and, indirectly, you, actually want, has to begin with quality control. Portals must become discerning by moderating videos, or agents must learn to spot the differences between the good, the bad and the ugly in property marketing videos to ensure that quality video productions drive the portals towards more readily accessible videos, or perhaps a professional body could be established by property video producers assuring agents of a minimum set of standards. Based on my research, I believe the first UK property portal to fully embrace quality property videos by making them a central part of listings will dominate the market.



    smile please

    No offence LouZopia but you are WAY off the market.

    Do you not also offer video tech to agents? (maybe why you feel its important)

    Until third parties such as yourselves understand our industry you will never manage to sell to us on mass.

    The public do not want video, i can tell you that is <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>FACT</span> as we see buyers and sellers all day, everyday and i can tell you not one has ever said “You know what i we really need? A Video of the property!”

    Its a gimmick and you are trying to engineer a need for video. Like review sites.

    Granted the good videos are pretty, but do not really add much to the property. Floor plans, well written description, good photography, a proactive agent and wait for it this will blow your socks off A VIEWING! is all that is needed.

    The buyers and sellers will go to where the property is and where the agents tell them to go.

    Videos place in the market is for vendors with too much money and agents with too much self importance.




    I’m with Smile on this one Lou.

    Good photos, floor plan and description will get the viewing (It’s been pretty well tested for a good few years now with outstanding results!)

    The only difference I see video making is that you might spot the odd cracked rooftile


    the message

    think I agree with you gump, though it was only a few years ago we were saying that all the customer needed was a thumbnail photo in the local rag!! 🙂

    Think a video is helpful, but icing on the cake. They do want a streetmap, google streetview, local area information, historic price information, detail on how long a property has been on the market, details of other properties sold in the recent area. Thats what R and Z give, and what OTM has decided it wont give because they dont like the consumer having it


    When all said and done, and the emotion has gone away, that will be the reason OTM fails, you cant come late to a market with an inferior product, and by hope, passion and faith hope to succeed. You need to be better than R, and OTM is miles behind.

    Now all of you desperate for it to succeed will keep your head in the sand, and claim success if more agents join, even if Z disaapears OTM will fail, as it has to be better than R for the consumer to want to visit it, and whats the point of advertsising on a website that noone goes to!



    “They do want… local area information, historic price information, detail on how long a property has been on the market, details of other properties sold in the recent area.”

    And they can have ALL THAT, and more.  It’s called “ask the Agent” – it’s a bit archaic and nineties – but it works better than anything you can get online.

    Next you’ll be wanting a “Make an Offer” button – cut the Agent and all that human interference called negotiation out of the process entirely.

    You’re not an onlinie by any chance are you, ‘the message’?



    @themessage Can’t argue with that one, although the internet did kinda force our hands.

    The video bit I just can’t see being that important right now to sellers or buyers for that matter, we like to see and touch things. (especially empty kitchen cupboards!) Perhaps in 50/100 years or so when no one does a physical viewing anymore it will be needed, but for now it serves no purpose


    Trevor Mealham

    Portals give too much info away, too early. The old ad in the local rag with just 1-2-3 pic’s and bullet point tag lines meant the interested party had to call into the advertising agent or phone up = opportunity for the agent to sell, and opportunity to speak to potentially tomorrows seller.

    Portals give too much away, failing to capture key return intel, like – name, tel, what the applicant has and where, and. Can we help you sell yours.

    Years ago, applicants HAD to swap their info in return for property info


    Trevor Mealham

    To be honest, OTM and Z are simply RM clone II’s

    They all bring agents in one place to compete, rather than bring agents in one place to collaborate. As such budgets have a big price advantage. If agents shared alike the USA, then budgets fees are too low to be able to compete.

    Change the way data can flow and change the rules at gov level, and the game then changes.



    ‘Gump’ – you say “@themessage Can’t argue with that one…”

    Why not – I DID.  You such a pushover as to not want to question the ‘easy option’?

    What happens when a buyer makes you an offer based upon a Zoopla back-of-a-fag-packet “value” of a property which is £50k wide of the mark (not an uncommon occurrence…) – do you say the same to the person making the offer?



    Wow Peebee you’re acting like an ex girlfriend!

    I was referring to the local rag comment, message and I were discussing video, not Zoopla



    You have some very strange ex-girlfriends, ‘Gump’ – if they want to call you out on property-related matters and nothing else!

    IF you were referring to only 24 words out of the entire post from ‘the message’ then you certainly didn’t make that clear nor was it the thrust of what he was saying, which was what it appeared you were agreeing with.

    But then MY comment was hardly an invite to discuss the why’s and wherefore’s of Zoopla so picking out keywords and running with them seems to be your way.  Fair do’s.

    Just pick the relevant ones.


    the message

    PeeBee, what are your thoughts on the overseas angle? coming in a few weeks. I think it stinks, but I also thought that of the countrylife deal, and noone else seemed bothered, maybe my nose is just a bit too delicate..


    And on the subject of what the consumer wants, of course the agent can and does give all of that stuff, but the majority of people are now looking for this online. I dont think anyone now comes to view a property without having google streetmapped it, for instance. Its just life, the smartphone has chnged the way we all operate forever, embrace it. I am not an online, and think online only will never be enough for the mass market, but agents who want to ignore the influence it has will die, and a portal that tries to reduce the information a consumer has will fail.



    ‘the message’ – in response to your question, the ‘overseas angle’ is of no perceivable advantage to my company whatsoever.  Nor, however, is it a perceivable disadvantage.  I don’t particularly savour the aroma – but it has a long way to go before it makes my gag reflex kick in.  You clearly can’t be a Laaaahndon Agent from the 90’s – ‘cos your nose is far to sensitive to have been abused in the ways the white-sockers are alleged to have in their spare time (or maybe even between appointments – who knows?).

    I DO find it highly hypocritical however that in one breath there are those that are having a pop at OTM for not offering “features” that other portals have – and then here they are today popping at it once more – this time for rolling out a ‘feature’ of those websites!

    Just goes to show what a fickle species we humans are…

    Anyway – back to your post.  To say you don’t think anyone views a property without first scoping it out on StreetView is in my opinion a frankly ridiculous statement and I’m also of the opinion that you know it.

    Will the majority do that?  Maybe.  Personally, I’d be more inclined to think that the percentage is less than 50.  Beauty is that neither of us will ever know unless of course some eejit carries out a survey of either

    a) StreetView users and comes up with a figure that makes you smile and me shake my head incredulously, or

    b) people without access to technology and our above roles are reversed.

    I would suggest that there is only one thing that is a certainty in all this – and that is that IF OTM fails, it won’t be because of the Agents that have taken the decision and made the move to support it.

    Call it a retro move all you want – the one thing you’re not hearing from OTM supporters is that the portal has screwed them over in the past; is ******** them over today – and will continue to screw them over in future.

    To you… ;o)

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