One of the UK’s largest independent estate agencies has re-joined Zoopla and already begun marketing its properties via the portal.
Acorn Group, which has a 40-strong branch network including Acorn, John Payne and Langford Russell offices in London and the SE, is to also list properties from its upmarket Unique agency brand and new homes team.
The announcement comes at a sensitive time – Acorn Group and its CEO Rob Sargent have been behind the SayNoToRightmove Campaign.
This has been attempting to persuade agents to quit Rightmove and put the portal under pressure to reduce its monthly fees, particularly as its Covid ‘fees discount’ period is now ending for many agents.
Both Acorn and Zoopla are tight lipped on the deal Acorn has won from Zoopla to gain its return.
But asked whether it would now be quitting Rightmove, a spokesperson said: ”
“The Acorn Group will list with effective portals that offer a fair return on investment. Robert Sargent, leader of Say No To Rightmove remains committed to achieving the same for all UK independent agents and thanks all supporters for their commitment.”
An agent involved in the SayNoToRightmove campaign, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Until now Acorn hasn’t had a fall back option but now that it’s rejoined Zoopla, it does.”
Free listings deal
For the past few months Zoopla has been offering any agency that returns five months’ free listings and a further four months offered on top if they commit to leave Rightmove.
Sargent (left) adds: “The key behind the decision to return to Zoopla revolved around a desire to build a genuine working partnership with the businesses portal suppliers, and Zoopla appear to be demonstrating a clear understanding of the challenges facing the UK estate agency industry,” says Sargent.
Commenting on The Acorn Group’s return, Zoopla’s Chief Commercial Officer Andy Marshall said: “The Acorn Group is a figurehead and thought leader for the industry that is recognised widely for its acumen and incisive approach to business.”
Zoopla says its successful attempts to tempt agents back with free listings deals have helped it grow agent numbers by 2%, ‘bucking the trend seen for portals more widely’ or, in other words, Rightmove.