As Agents’ Mutual’s new property portal claims its millionth visitor, boss Ian Springett has piped up about the marketing war that’s being waged between incumbent No.2 portal Zoopla and the newbie.
“The PR battle in the run-up to launch was difficult as it was possible for our rivals (especially commentators and/or media associated with Zoopla) to make unsubstantiated assertions about your company,” said an OTM update to members, going on to flag up that erroneous claims have included that the portal “would fail to attract agents/funding; it was anti-competitive; it would not be a credible portal; it would not launch on time; etc., etc.” All of which is patent guff, the management assured members.
Zoopla, meanwhile, reported it’s biggest ever traffic total in January – 50.5 million visitors to the site – despite losing an estimated 11% of its member agents to OnTheMarket. Zoopla’s boss Alex Chesterman has also claimed that some OTM agents are returning to him after being disappointed in the new portal’s service.
A claim addressed by Springett in his latest member update: “A small proportion of members did not get the service they rightly expect, and if yours was one of these firms then please accept my apologies and my commitment to make things right.
“Feedback from members, (unbiased) commentators and the public about your new portal has been universally positive.
“The clean and clear presentation of search options, search results and your property details differentiates OnTheMarket.com from its rivals…
“… We are now delivering continuous improvements, both small and large, to ensure OnTheMarket.com becomes the favourite portal for our member agents and the property-seeking public. One of the benefits of the state-of-the-art platform we have built is that we can react rapidly when change is needed.”
Rightmove’s escaped pretty much unsullied by all this. ZPG’s been hit far harder by runaway agents – OTM thinks that 90% of its members have chose Rightmove rather than Zoopla as their “one other portal” – and the top portal position seems secure, although Springett has said he plans to “become a credible alternative to the No.1 portal”.