OnTheMarket now has over 12,000 branches listing, the portal said this morning – and is aggressively looking to recruit more, by way of shares incentives.

The new membership figure represents an increase of over 6,500 branches since OTM listed on the AIM market this February.

OTM said that the figure includes 60 branches largely made up of smaller firms, which are now said to have entered full-listing agreements in exchange for shares in the portal – but they must commit to listing their properties for five years.

OTM said: “These firms will receive new shares in OTM alongside the listing commitments they have made.

“The shares are subject to five-year lock-in arrangements to ensure that new shareholders’ interests are closely aligned with those of all other agent investors.

“The listing agreements result from a limited pilot which has helped to refine the offers which will be made to agents currently on free trials which expire during the course of next year.

“The growth in OnTheMarket’s agency branch base to date has been almost exclusively from offering free listings under short-term introductory trial offers, with a view to converting these to full tariff contracts when the value of its offering has been demonstrated.

“The sales team is continuing to see encouragingly high levels of agent support and conversion to signed contracts when it presents the opportunity of listing on an agent-backed portal.”

The statement also quotes CEO Ian Springett as saying: We have significantly ramped up our marketing activity.

“In combination with our growing agent base and property stock, this has generated increasingly strong performance in terms of visitor traffic and the volume of high-quality leads we are providing to agents.

“Our progress to date and the clear support for an agent-backed portal give us confidence that we can continue to build on this strong start and develop a genuine alternative market-leading agent-backed portal.

“At Admission [to the stock market in February], over 2,000 agent firms owned around 70% of the company.

“The group intends to broaden agent ownership much further, using more equity incentivisation to encourage agents to join as shareholders in return for committing to long-term contracts.”

“Our model is based around flexibility and transparency”, explained James. “Our doors don’t close at 5pm like most estate agents. At James Black Homes we go further. We’re open from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week, giving you greater flexibility.”