New online portal to shake up lettings and home sales markets

A group of estate agents is launching a new online letting and sales portal, to challenge market leaders Rightmove and Zoopla.

OnTheMarket is due to launch in January 2015, and is backed by some of the country’s largest estate agents. Members of the group formed to deliver it, called Agents Mutual, were driven to act by the rising charges that existing websites are charging them for listings.

“OnTheMarket has the appeal to attract the full spectrum of consumers and it has the gravitas to distinguish our brand as the natural home of locally visible, full service independent estate and lettings agencies,” said Agents Mutual chief executive Ian Springett.

The group already has more than 2,900 lettings and estate agencies committed to join, with another 100 joining every week. When agents sign up, they commit to advertising all their properties for 5 years and to list them on only one other competing portal – a commitment that threatens to break the duopoly in the market that Rightmove and Zoopla appear to have. Among the big brands that are reported to be on board with the new venture include Savills, Knight Frank and a number of regional estate agency chains.

With consumers increasingly using tablets and smartphones to access the internet, it will be interesting to see how the new portal differs from its legacy competitors.

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