Online only letting agent founder James Davis has launched a scathing attack on UK classifieds portal Gumtree.
The site, which was established in 2000, is a significant player in the lettings sector with over 66,000 properties currently on its site, around three quarters of which are in London.
Davis (pictured), whose Upad portal currently lists 880 property with Zoopla, says in a blog for a landlord website that that although still popular, he asks whether Gumtree is “about to be left behind as spam, adverts, and unreliable tenant leads flood its user base”.
“Due to a laxer approach to posts and how they are moderated, [it] has become inundated with spammy and out-of-date ads,” he says.
He also criticises its lack of sophistication, comparing it unfavourably to Rightmove and Zoopla’s refined user experience and highlighting Gumtree’s lack of local search functionality.
The Upad CEO also thinks size matters. Davis criticises Gumtree because it “only attracts a small fraction of housing stock on the market at any one time”.
Davis also questions the quality of Gumtree’s users. “Research by Upad found that the quality of enquiries from Gumtree users was lower than enquiries made via the leading online property portals,” he says. “It took four Gumtree enquires to every Rightmove lead to successfully let a property.”
The Negotiator put Davis’s criticisms to Gumtree, whose spokesperson highlighted that Gumtree is the UK’s number one classifieds site used by one in three adults in the UK a month.
“The platform is free and easy to use, and has over 2.5 million adverts live at any one time,” the spokesperson said. “Millions of Brits use Gumtree successfully every day to find a new place to live, furnish or de-clutter their home, or find their next job or sell their car.
“We always encourage people to follow our safety advice and guides when searching for, renting or selling properties. Furthermore, we work closely with organisations like the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) to ensure our users have as safe an experience as possible.”