Leading Estate Agents from across South West Wales are putting their collective weight behind Agents’ Mutual, a new online property portal set to compete with Zoopla and Rightmove.
So far 115 agents (effectively 85% of all agents) including Astleys, Carter Phillips, Clee Tomkinson Francis, Dawsons, John Francis and Fresh, from across the region have committed to join OTM and will be moving away from either Rightmove or Zoopla.
Therefore the new portal will immediately become the carrier showing the most properties in this area. This is a major change and a significant development for those interested in buying or selling property.
Agents’ Mutual is set to launch its UK-wide website with the domain name ‘OnTheMarket.com’ in January 2015 with around 4,000 agencies already recruited.
Unlike its competitors, Agents’ Mutual will be 100% agent owned and there is a consensus among agents that ‘OnTheMarket.com’ will be give their client base more choice.
“This is a chance to support and play an active part to developing what is expected to be, the country’s ‘most complete’ property portal, which doesn’t happen very often and Dawsons along with the majority of Swansea agents have signed up to make sure the public get the best property portal,” said Dawsons Senior Partner Christopher Hope.
“The clear advantage of this portal over others, will be the genuine opportunity for clients to see the largest available choice of homes at the click of a button.”
Nigel Jones, Director at Astleys, is confident ‘OnTheMarket.com’ will present more than adequate competition for Zoopla and Rightmove.
“It will be a website designed by agents for buyers and sellers. There will be no subliminal adverts or distractions just properties. This will give a better user experience to clients and customers. It is also the only property portal to be endorsed by the National Association of Estate Agents,” said Nigel.
“The impact of these portals have revolutionised the way buyers and sellers search for properties but this duopoly exercise too much influence and the market needs a further portal offering a different and clearer message.”
Matthew Wiggall, Director at Fresh, said: “The introduction of ‘OnTheMarket.com’ is hugely exciting and a welcome change for property agents. We at Fresh have been a supporter from an early stage and firmly believe it will quickly become the public’s first choice to search for properties after its launch in January 2015″.
James Phillips, Director at Carter Phillips, and Neil Jones, Business Development Manager at Clee Tompkinson Francis, agree Agents’ Mutual will provide legitimate competition for the other property portals.
“It is great we as agents have come together to create this portal in competition to Rightmove and Zoopla and the plan is that it will become a one-stop-shop for our customers. We need this in the marketplace,” said James.
Neil added:“Agents’ Mutual will provide a property-search service to agents, their clients and the property-seeking public which is not driven by the narrow requirement of maximising returns to shareholders.
“All the profits will be put back to improve the portal or keeping advertising fees as low as possible. That is the key.”
That is a view backed up by Paul Beaton, Director at Astleys. “The site will be run by agents and we feel that will work better for agents not onlyin this part of Wales, but across the country. It gives us more control on the marketing of the site.”
Former CEO of Primelocation, Ian Springett, has been appointed Chief Executive ahead of the portal’s launch.
“We’re delighted that over 100 quality estate and letting agencies across south-west Wales have signed up with us. Their collective support is a resounding vote of confidence and a major boost to our market strength in Wales,” said Ian.
“We’ll be hitting the ground running in South West Wales as soon as we launch in January 2015 and I’m confident that such a strong strategic message of commitment will also serve as yet another tipping point for many other independent firms to join us to create a winning portal that serves all agents across the UK.”