Today a new property portal launches after much debate in the industry. I’ve only worked in the property industry for 7 months now so it has been fascinating to be involved during this time. Property Tech is red hot at the moment as a market, one of the main reasons I joined leading online estate agent eMoov.
OnTheMarket.com is a property portal launched by a number of estate agents to take on the mighty Rightmove and Zoopla. These online juggernauts have been increasing their role of importance for all property purchases in the UK. Because of the consolidation of marketing spend, it has looked that they have increased costs over and over again to Estate Agents, and now this is their way of fighting back.
There has been plenty of debate across the industry, something I don’t want to recycle now. I just wanted to give a quick review of their advertising. Here is their TV advert…
Here is the TV Advert transcript.
“Where ever your perfect property may be, if you’re in the market you’ll find it at onthemarket.com.
Onthemarket.com is the new simple way to search hundreds of thousands of properties, to buy or rent, from agents who are experts in their local area.
More and more leading agents are moving all their properties from other sites to onthemarket.com and are advertising them exclusively with us first.
So to see properties you won’t find anywhere else, make sure you search onthemarket.com and set up a property alert today.”
Look, my view of the portal is biased. For one, I work for an online estate agent which is banned from using the service. However I am new to the industry and my role within it is still as a marketeer.
The branding and name for the portal I actually think are a good direction. The colour is best of British, and gives them a different direction than the green of RIghtmove and obviously the Purple Machine Zoopla.
Earlier last year there was talk of holding stock back from Rightmove and Zoopla, and this was always going to be in the creative execution of the advert. “property you can not find anywhere else” is a fantastic line and this was something we considered when creating the Carfuffle campaign for Motors.co.uk. When in focus groups for this campaign the consumers flagged cars were not like houses, so its easy to see why this is a tactic for OTM.
Other lines in the advert “the new simple way to search hundreds of thousands of properties”. Well, you can not be the smart way to find a home as Zoopla own this. Simple is good, just not as good as being smart.
“More and more leading agents are moving all their properties from other sites”. Lets get one thing straight here, this is only happening because it’s the commercial agreement for listing properties OnTheMarket. No estate agent in their right mind would take stock off Zoopla or Rightmove and place them OTM without the one other portal rule which Agents Mutual inforced.
The creative is nice, it shows the website name atleast 3 times and within the first 8 seconds. It shows happy people looking for property on a laptop and phone. It ticks alot of boxes without being memorable. They have gone for functional, and they have to really with their limited marketing spend. It’s a good advert but the fact is when users head over to OTM to take a look around, they will ultimately feel disappointed. This is because of the lack of availability of property.
People do not want to view a handful of property. For example I searched upto £400k in Aylesbury within a 5 mile radius. This I feel is a standard everyman search. The results across the protals were:
- OnTheMarketCom – 9 properties
- Zoopla – 446 properties
- Rightmove – 456 properties
9 properties simple isn’t enough.
We spent years at Motors.co.uk building inventory against Autotrader. Years of perfecting our SEO rankings, build brand awareness, testing perfomance campaigns, developing a content strategy until all our ducks were in a row and our parents backed us to push forward with a major brand campaign.
Going back to my motors days, its not just about search either. The most important metric is attribution. I don’t see anything good or unique about OTM, plus why I would contact them over Rightmove. Yes they have the 72 hour preview, but will this be sticky enough to engage consumers? The property alerts will help get one up on Rightmove, but if you listen to your local estate agent they talk about exclusive mailing lists already so unsure what benefit the OTM alerts have.
We wait and see….
PS. The myth about local agents being experts is rubbish. This is what estate agents have been playing at for years and it’s just not as true as it once was. What does local mean? They know how much you purchase your house for…. this is what you know. They know how much property has increase in the time you have owned your property. Zoopla and many other sources have this. School Catchments? You know and so does your local authorities website. Google and the internet has made us all experts