OnTheMarket plc (LON:OTMP), the agent-backed company which operates the OTM property portal, has today announced that in line with the 5-year agreement announced in November 2017, the estate agency firm Arun Estates is now advertising its UK residential sales and lettings properties.
The agreement was conditional upon OTM’s admission to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Under the agreement, Arun Estates has also agreed to actively promote the OTM portal brand with digital and branch-based marketing activity.
With a network of over 100 branches across South East England, Arun Estates trades not only under the Arun name but also under the well-known and trusted local brands of Ward & Partners, Cubitt & West, Douglas Allen and Pittis.
Launched in January 2015, the company’s property portal was created by Agents’ Mutual Limited, a company limited by guarantee and founded in January 2013 by a small group of agent firms, with the objective of creating a new portal to challenge the dominance of Rightmove and Zoopla. Both groups were felt to be using their strong positions relative to their agent customers to impose significant price increases for their portal services.
The Agents’ Mutual proposition of an agent-backed portal offering a premier search service to consumers whilst charging fair prices to agents quickly found support among a very wide group of leading independent agents across the UK. These firms funded the venture by way of loan note subscriptions and committed to list with the portal once it went live.
OnTheMarket is the third biggest UK residential property portal provider in terms of traffic and has, with backing from its agent owners, developed unique sources of competitive advantage such as the “New and Exclusive” property listings.
The Board believes that its £30 million capital raise alongside its Admission to AIM and its established revenues provide the opportunity for a transformational step-change in the portal’s position and for the development of new consumer and agent products and services and the targeting of revenues from new segments of the property market and new strategic partnerships.