Could this be the death bed for Online Agents?

There are now so many different online and hybrid estate agents that it is a real challenge to keep track.

Can small developers and lettings agents use some of the cheaper online agents to complement their marketing?

Potentially removing the need to promote themselves directly on the major portals?

Your local high-street estate agents pay thousands and thousands every year in advertising fees to the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla for the ability to post their properties onto their websites.

Meet OpenRent.co.uk, they allow people to post to all of the major portals and other websites for only £29 inc VAT per property.

Estate Agents and Lettings Agents typically only place a handful of new properties onto the portals each week per branch (Rightmove and Zoopla fees are charged on a branch by branch basis).

Instead of paying thousands on long term contracts to the big portals, they may soon be able to tear up their agreements and simply stick their properties onto OpenRent and OpenSale* for small one off fees. This means in a quiet month agents wont be stung by high fees, and even when its busy they will still be saving a fortune.

Why does this mean the death bed for Online Agents?

If Estate Agents and Lettings Agents were to cotton on to this and actually make a move, it wouldn’t take long for the major portals to realise what they have done and ban online only agents from posting on their portals.

Of course if agents did jump ship, and the big portals didn’t make a change, then it wouldn’t be long until OpenRent and the like become portals themselves.

I wonder how RightMove would react if Zoopla was to offer agents the chance to advertise on Zoopla and Rightmove for only an extra £20 per property! If OpenRent can do it why can’t you Zoopla, or why can’t you OnTheMarket?

*OpenSale does not currently exist however we predict it wont be long for someone to drop prices as cheap as OpenRent for the sale market.

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