A letting agent has indicated that his firm is benefiting from staying on property site Zoopla, while others locally have chosen to move away.
Michael Riley, director of Capital and Coastal, said that the launch of OnTheMarket, which comes with a ‘one other portal’ rule, had been highly beneficial to his company. Riley claims that the launch had secured a 300% increase in inquiries for Capital and Coastal homes via Zoopla as a result.
Mr Riley believes that OnTheMarket does not generate adequate enough traffic to its site to move it into a meaningful position. However, he suggests that his own business is benefiting hugely from less competition, with a huge demand of house hunters accessing Capital and Coastal properties through Zoopla. Being one of a handful of South Coast agents still registered with Zoopla is giving the company a big advantage over rivals.
Riley stated that the, ‘success of a website is not just determined by stock but traffic coming to the site to visit that stock. If you are a vendor, you want as many people as possible to be viewing your property to ensure you find the right buyer.’ He continued by warning that there is a, ‘risk to vendors that they will end up not achieving the maximum value for their property, as inquiries via OTM will be fewer and vendors may end up agreeing a price too early just to secure a sale.’
Agent rewarded for staying on Zoopla
In the future, Riley said that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Zoopla changing their business model altogether, to become a direct selling agent. He said that, ‘obviously this would be a bold move for Zoopla, but its worked in the US so there’s no reason why it can’t here too.’
Lawrence Hall of Zoopla Property Group agreed with Riley’s belief that the launch of OnTheMarket has been hurtful for their members. Hall said that the data, ‘clearly shows that since the launch of OTM in January, the average number of listings and new instructions for ZPG members has grow whilst for OTM members it has fallen, which is the clearest sign that OTM members are losing instructions and hurting their businesses.’