OnTheMarket is an estate agent-backed company that operates a synonymous property portal. It is the third-largest UK residential property portal provider in terms of traffic.
Final FY19 results to end January show OnTheMarket laying the groundwork and building a meaningful business challenger to the two main incumbent UK property portals. The drive to convert participating agents to paying contracts is now under way, with almost 1,000 branches signed to date, at an average revenue per advertiser (ARPA) of £337 (Rightmove’s latest published ARPA is £1,005). Over half of these signings are for three- to five-years. Most of the balance are on shorter contracts, with the option to extend. It is this programme’s success that will determine the speed of the group’s transition into profit.
Historically, the UK online property market was dominated by two portal providers, Rightmove and ZPG, the former being the clear market leader. While they generate high traffic, prices charged to participating agencies have risen, with no respite in sight prior to OTM’s arrival. The new ban on letting fees for tenants will put further pressure on agents’ marketing budgets. A difficult property market may be useful, with OTM’s ‘new and exclusive’ listing option driving traffic from people with high purchase intent. Agency branches transacting less business will inevitably be more focused on cost and value.