Trend & Thomas asks, Is OnTheMarket.com InTheMarket?

You may have heard the rumble of activity amidst the online property portals open to Estate Agents recently and we wanted to give you our summary of the situation and how it will affect our clients and marketing plans.

Last Monday saw the arrival of a new online portal called OntheMarket.com

This poZoopla logortal does a very similar job to the existing market leaders Rightmove and Zoopla with one very large difference – this portal is owned and operated by a consortium of Estate Agents. Emerging quite simply because Agents were tired of the duopoly of the big players causing mounting fees and very little in return. The fees were increasing, functionality was not improving and Agents felt duped that they were losing control of their marketing choices.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 21.35.47For this reason the concept behind OntheMarket.com was excellent. An advertising and marketing choice created by Agents, for Agents with hugely reduced fees in comparison to the existing portals & potentially providing much needed competition to the market with the hope it would reduce the stronghold of Rightmove and Zoopla.

All admirable goals and we support the concept wholeheartedly. Trend & Thomas not being shy of a little competition to the market…with 6 Estate Agents in the High Street it’s not a game for the faint-hearted! However, in order to shake things up, OnTheMarket.com had one very serious condition – in order to join, benefit from hugely reduced fees and gain shares in the burgeoning company – you had to drop one of the other main portals – Rightmove or Zoopla.

The arrival of OnTheMarket.com has been a long term process and we have been watching the development of the portal over the past 12 months along with the reactions of Rightmove and Zoopla, other Agents, the press and most importantly, the public.

OnTheMarket.com launched last Monday and we have watched the week with interest.

Our findings after week one:

  • OnTheMarket logoNot enough budget to provide TV Advertising to match the competition
  • Not enough budget to ensure market leading functionality
  • Not enough diversity of properties listed to make it the go to portal for buyers, tenants.

So after a year of research and debate Trend & Thomas would like to announce our 2015 advertising and marketing decision – we will be staying with Rightmove & Zoopla.

Despite the great shake up OnTheMarket.com can give the industry and the attractive reduction in fees, we have come to the decision that the best interests of our clients are foremost and the giants of Rightmove and Zoopla have much bigger budgets, better current functionality, more exposure to the public and more back end support to fix issues and develop future technology.

While we herald the success of OnTheMarket.com we don’t feel it will currently give our clients & their properties the best advertising and marketing exposure. For the time being it will actually reduce the number of people being exposed to their property. From our research in this first week of OnTheMarket.com there is over 80% more online activity via Rightmove alone in our local area, than there is via OnTheMarket.com

We will continue to monitor developments and report any updates and news to you, but for now we are staying with the market leaders for the sole benefit of our clients.

OnTheMarket is not currently InOurMarket – but you can help us with our research by answering our poll:

Why is an Estate Agent like a Wedding?

 

I recently read that 28% of young people now turn down their parents’ money for a wedding and use it for a deposit on their first home instead. Smart I thought and it made me aware of two realities:

1) Owning your own home takes diligent saving and tough but savvy decisions.

2) Buying a home is right up there with a wedding in our priorities.

While number 1 is a harsh reality it is not a huge leap on from our parents and grandparents day…a house is expensive and if you want one you generally have to work hard.Weddings like Estate Agents?

But number 2 got me thinking. If that dreamed of first home is as important to most people as a wedding then this is also why it is so important to instruct a trustworthy, honest, effective and exceptional agent to help you with that purchase much like you choose a special venue, glorious outfit, delicious meal and the best beverages you can afford! Would you arrange your entire wedding online without seeing the dress or suit, meeting the Vicar or Registrar, tasting the food, visiting the staff at the venue?  I don’t think so.

Wedding cake for Trend & Thomas Estate AgentsWhether you decide to spend £500 on your wedding in a pretty tent in a nearby field or you book the Grove and have fireworks at 11pm – not many would leave it all to an internet database search and zero ‘person to person’ contact.  So don’t make the same mistake when buying or selling a home.

I should know, we organised our wedding for 90 guests in 3 weeks! Dress, Suit, Venue, Registrar, String quartet,Flower girl Summer food, booze, DJ, marquee…It wasn’t shotgun honest!  But it was pretty intense and in no way could I have left that to an online service despite the obvious time pressures. People need to be met, your needs discussed, your plans understood and your best interests put first.

That is why we know an Estate Agency cannot operate as an online business and why we believe in our personally devised business model for Trend & Thomas.

We know we need a base and in our case a prominent Town Centre shop/office, we need to be available to meet with you at convenient times for you – early until late and often 7 days a week for us, we need to visit & understand the home you are selling or the home you wish to buy and we need to ensure the behind the scenes processes and procedures are carried out in the most effective and advantageous way for you.

Impossible to achieve if we’ve not met you and you are simply a series of data on a website. A bit like the Registrar mistaking your ex for your fiancé because she or he has never actually met you both, Joy Division’s ‘Love will Tear us Apart’ being played during your first dance because the DJ on a whim thought it would be funny, or the photographer capturing tipsy Aunt Gloria’s dress stuck in her knickers for his Twitter followers because he doesn’t really care about you as people.Trend & Thomas House Sold board

Selling or Buying a new home are as important as your Wedding Day so don’t leave it to an online search, use a recognised full service Estate Agent like Trend & Thomas to ensure you get the most from the experience financially, emotionally, much like a marriage made in heaven!

We can’t help you with a wedding sorry but if you are considering buying or selling a home soon, which part of the process worries you the most? Please let us know so we can make sure we cover that in our services too.