Reinvention of the wheel?

This week the world was agog with…… the launch of a new property portal. I know, you can hardly contain your excitement and this dazzling piece of news only escaped your attention because you were negotiating Greece’s debt obligation to the Eurozone/watching Celebrity Big Brother/regrouting the downstairs loo. Admittedly, the launch of  www.OnTheMarket.com has possibly only energised/intrigued/bemused the property industry poobahs and us mere mortals further down the food chain, whilst leaving the general public blissfully ignorant. The seismic change in the world of property portals (and yes, I did write that with a straight face), is the big (read ‘only’) two portals of Rightmove (the leviathan) and Zoopla (would like to be Rightmove, but isn’t) being challenged by the aforementioned young pretender. As per the arrival of any new contender with their eye on the throne this has caused varying amounts of interest, concern, ennui and “bring it on” utterances, dependent upon who sits where in the housing portal hierarchy. What has caused much chatter is OnTheMarket stating that an agent can be with them and/or one of the other two, but not both. Also, online agents are not permitted to join, so that tells them, those pesky miscreants giving estate agents a bad name…

No agents relish the fees that Rightmove ( forget Zoopla, it is a definite second, in this case the first-and only-loser), bleeds from us, but like car insurance you have to have it to exist. Just as those-disguising their wares behind meerkats with dodgy foreign accents appreciate whilst counting the contents of their ever expanding piggy bank- the big boys at Rightmove know that they have us by the short and curlies.

Forget the claim of the new kid on the block that it was launched to “break the duopoly” of Right move and Zoopla. No, it was a calculated move to try and break the monopoly of Rightmove by forcing them to reduce their fees as agents leave the portal in their droves to join the Zoopla/OnTheMarket charabanc. Mmm. 11 out of 10 for a ballsy move boys. Having checked yesterday, 6 agents in the Cwmbran and Newport area are now with OnTheMarket; with a grand total of 6 having left Zoopla and a whopping 0 having left Rightmove. Unlucky Zoopla; as we used to say in the Army, ‘Close, but no cigar’.