EXCLUSIVE: Big changes at Zoopla as it moves software biz focus to Alto

Portal confirms that changes will lead to some job losses but says move is 'positive' as it will see resources concentrated on fewer platforms.

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The Negotiator understands that Zoopla is in the early stages of moving much of its property software provision onto the Alto platform and, during that process,  is set to integrate its legacy platforms including Jupix.

It is also understood that more than a dozen roles within its property software sales teams are going through a consultation process as, with just one product to sell, the team does not need to be so large.

The move makes sense but may upset some agents who have grown attached to their property software suites and may not want to transfer to the Alto platform.

“The migration of Vebra Live to Alto began last autumn and will conclude by the end of March,” says a Zoopla spokesperson.

“Our current focus is supporting Jupix and Expert Agent customers to ensure they’re getting the maximum benefit from their software. Please be assured that if any changes take place, they will be communicated with plenty of notice.”

Zoopla’s founder Alex Chesterman spent millions hoovering up several of the industry’s leading property software providers while he was building the portal, largely because it delivered instant databases of estate agents. But such a patchwork of suppliers all under one roof has increasingly become both unmanageable and costly to maintain.

This included primarily the Property Software Group platforms but also its Expert Agent platform, all of which were brought under its Advantage umbrella.

Substantial investment

A Zoopla spokesperson says: “When we launched our Vision last year, we outlined our goal to combine our unique market position and data-led intelligence to put agents firmly in control.

“This strategy involved a substantial investment into Alto as our hero software solution that delivers an enhanced customer experience.

“To date, we’ve implemented a series of new features and updates to Alto including customisable email templates, improved security features, a new API and a built-in AML tool – with more to come throughout the course of the year.

“As part of this approach, it’s been necessary to redefine the purpose of our software sales team to focus on the acquisition of new estate agent customers, and this has resulted in a small number of roles being put at risk of redundancy.”

Consultation process

“This proposal has not been made lightly and is subject to a thorough review and consultation process.

“If this proposal goes ahead, we feel it would allow us to best service our customers who use our software as well as our marketing solutions and would offer a personalised experience designed to help customers grow their business.

“We are currently in the early stages of consultation with the potentially impacted colleagues and are offering them our full support during this difficult time.”

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