Agents quit Rightmove in new spurt of publicity for OnTheMarket

Two agents have quit Rightmove and taken to social media to give their reasons.

One is the 12-branch Andrew Craig agency which serves Tyneside, Wearside and County Durham handling sales, lettings, auctions, property management, conveyancing, surveying and mortgages.

In a tweet posted by OnTheMarket the agency – which has quit Zoopla as well as Rightmove – says: “I have cancelled my contracts with both Rightmove and Zoopla to fully support OnTheMarket because we think it’s the best value portal by far and because it’s agent-backed.”

And another OnTheMarket tweet quotes Simon Fisher of the three-branch Absolute Sales & Lettings agency in Torbay as saying: “We cancelled our contract with Rightmove just before their offer of a deferred payment scheme. We decided they hadn’t looked after agents and had become too far removed from what they set out to do.”

The OnTheMarket website says: “More and more agents are saying that OnTheMarket is generating a good flow of quality leads at a reasonable cost. As agents review their portal choices, many have cancelled other higher cost portal contracts and many are signing up to list with OnTheMarket.”

The most recent update on OTM’s members came from the portal in Christmas week last year, at which point it said it had “over 12,500 agent offices” – there has been no more recent update.

The latest defections come as the Say No To Rightmove campaign, set up by Robert Sargent, chief executive of the Acorn Group, has reached some 1,100 branch members.

Sargent’s company has 36 branches across London and the south east and spends close to £500,000 on fees to the portal.

The portal debate has become increasingly heated since the start of the Coronavirus lockdown with disputes over the varying offers made to agents by Rightmove, Zoopla and OTM and challenges by newer portals such as free-to-list Residential People and yet-to-launch sites called OpenBrix and Homesearch.