Number three British real estate portal OnTheMarket.com has announced it will introduce three new pieces of functionality at the start of July to support its agent members and how they interact with consumers and to compete with Rightmove and Zoopla.
The functionality has been developed by OnTheMarket.com’s own in-house team and will be the first set of products launched to support its new strategy to enhance agent engagement, outlined by CEO Jason Tebb in April. The new products are:-
Ask The Agent – This lets buyers register their interest against properties that are still being valued by agents but not yet listed for sale. This creates a list of motivated buyers to be linked to the property when it goes live. This builds good quality leads for agents and is designed to win agents more instructions and give them more opportunities to make more valuations when these buyers become sellers of their own property. The product has similarities to the ‘secret properties’ feature on new British portal Boomin’.
Reserve Buyers – Motivated house hunters can register their interest in stock under offer so agents can build a list of reserve buyers ready in case a transaction falls through. Agents receive an email from a buyer who has registered their interest in a property, which allows the agent to contact them about the progress of the sale and other properties currently being valued or marketed which may suit that buyer. Again, this potentially generates more valuations.
Viewing Time Requests – This gives buyers the ability to request their preferred time and day for a viewing. This is sent directly to the agent with their appointment request and contact details. The leads highlight motivated movers so the agent can contact them directly to confirm the viewing or reschedule if the vendor or agent needs to change the time or date of the viewing, giving agents more control of the viewing booking. It helps the agent deal with the applicant via a real conversation, rather than as just an automated process.
“We’ve designed this functionality to support agents in doing what they do best, which is engage in conversations with buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords,” said OnTheMarket.com CEO Jason Tebb.
“For too long, property portals have acted as a barrier to these interactions, which once were commonplace on the high street and upon which many agents relied.
“These new tools support best-practice agency principles by solving ‘real world problems’ for our agent customers and provide functionality that I would have found valuable as an agent myself.
“During Beta-testing the feedback from the agents involved was overwhelmingly positive. This is just a taste of what’s to come; our Development and UX teams are working flat-out on a site refresh which will incorporate even more new.”