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Zoopla’s Alex Chesterman says OTM is a ‘failed experiment’

Comments made during reply to investor's question at City briefing

Nigel Lewis

Alex Chesterman yesterday made several inciendary comments about rival OnTheMarket during a presentation and Q&A session with City investors.

Alex ChestermanChesterman was quizzed by one investor about why thousands of agents remain with OnTheMarket despite the ‘compelling ZPG proposition’ and why only 600 have returned.

The ZPG CEO then went on the attack calling OnTheMarket a ‘failed experiment’ and that it was only ‘contractual reasons’ preventing more agents returning to Zoopla.

Here is the full text of his reply.

“We don’t pay much attention to it to be honest. If you look back two years when it started we didn’t think it would play out.

“We didn’t think it was going to survive long term and would take a couple of years to play out. We’re approaching that now and I think we’re seeing the results of everything that we said.

“It’s a failed experiment of their own making as a result of this one other portal rule. There are three very specific things you can point to that mark the end of OnTheMarket as far I am concerned, which have all happened in the past two or three months.

“Our win-backs are accelerating, and for the first time since September their inventory and membership is in decline on a week by week basis. That’s not a good sign. Also, their traffic is incredibly weak given that in September they were spending three or four times [on marketing] what us and Rightmove spent to get to a level of traffic that’s one sixth, seventh or eighth of our site.

“Also, I would note that we only lost 4,000 agents, not 6,000 agents to OnTheMarket. And 600 agents who have broken their contracts to come back to us is pretty significant, and is accelerating.

“The reason the others haven’t returned to us is for contractual reasons and other reasons. But we very confident we will win back agents at an ever increasing pace. Our proposition is incredibly strong and works and that cannot be said for OnTheMarket.”

December 1, 2016

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