Monday 26th January sees the launch of OnTheMarket.com; a new online property portal that is run by Agent’s Mutual; with a membership of over 2000 national estate agents. Whilst this may appear to be simply another property website, in reality it is something a lot more intriguing. Predictions are that OntheMarket will have a big impact from day one.
This is a major attempt by the traditional estate agent to regain control of the housing market, to limit the number of online estate agents and launch their own online portal.
Without doubt,advertising your property online has become a huge part of selling a house these days: if Sarah Beeny is to be believed you don’t need a shop based estate agent at all, you just put your property online and see the the customers flock in. As a company with years of experience in the market, Hatchards knows that this is only one small part of the puzzle.Good, expert knowledge from a local estate agent, along with an awareness of up to the minute market conditions in your area, plus years of negotiating skills are an equally fundamental part of getting the best price for yor property. However, there is no denying that some of the control has been taken away from the estate agents by their non-expert online competitors.
2014 also saw a large rise in the number of online estate agents (read Robbie’s blog) like Emoov, purplebricks, easyproperty and tepilo, offering cheap ways to sell your house. Whilst they offer limited estate agency knowledge, they have, until now, been offering the same exposure via online marketing through Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation, as the traditional estate agents. Bearing in mind that Rightmove is the eighth most viewed website in the UK, with Zoopla not far behind at 35th, this has evened the playing field considerably for online estate agents.
But all this is about to change.
As OnTheMarket is backed by some of the largest estate agents in the country, it has been decided that online estate agents cannot market a property on the portal. More importantly, any firm wishing to market their properties on OnTheMarket are allowed to advertise online on only ONE other property portal. With Rightmove being the market leader by some distance, this means that both Zoopla & Primelocation will, on the 26th January, lose a huge percentage of their inventory, potentially ruining the business. This may create a two-tiered system whereby two websites manage 80% of the traditional estate agents and another two focus on the online agents, creating an online “War of the Houses”.
Only time will tell who the winners and losers will be, but this is certainly a big coup for the major estate agents As always, in such a confusing market, there is never a better time to employ an experienced property finder like Hatchards Homefinders: we can negate this whole issue by finding out about properties before they even make it to the internet. Call or email us for a no obligation chat about your next house move in Hampshire.