Zoopla

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    Products & Services

    OnTheMarket openly questions Zoopla’s inventory claims

    The war between OnTheMarket (OTM) and Zoopla continues this week, with Agents’ Mutual now querying the listings inventory detailed in Zoopla’s recent half-year trading statement. In its trading statement earlier this month, Zoopla Property Group stated that its listings inventory had increased by seven per cent from 828,000 on 1 April to 882,000 on 31 July. But whilst Zoopla’s UK sales and lettings search pages claimed property numbers totalling 878,288, OTM questions this rise by stating that searches conducted on the Zoopla website on 12 August returned only 675,540 properties in England, Scotland and Wales. “It is interesting to note that Zoopla has since reduced the claimed property numbers on its UK sales and lettings search pages so that the total now comes to 692,058 [as at 22 August]”, the statement from OTM noted. The figure of 692,058 for UK sales and lettings properties includes Shared Accommodation, which are provided by EasyRoomMate, and listings which are Sold Subject to Contract or Let, according to OTM. OTM suggested that Zoopla may have also been including its overseas property listings within the UK residential property figures. The statement added, “Zoopla’s Overseas Sales page now shows a figure for properties for sale which,…

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    Marketing

    Zoopla returns to growth

    Zoopla ended last week as the one of the highest risers on the FTSE 350, as it returned to growth, the portal announced last week. According to its latest trading update, the property website has attracted a net rise of 213 branches in the four months to 31st July. The news triggered a ratings upgrade for Zoopla from ‘sell’ to ‘buy’, with Broker Panmure Gordon suggesting that shares in the portal look undervalued. Zooplalost a significant number of agency subscribers due largely to the launch of OnTheMarket (OTM) earlier this year and its restrictive ‘only one other’ portal rule. However, the group said that it had won back 100 agents in recent months – many from OTM – with market churn also nearing historic levels, according to Zoopla. The group also announced that the volume of people visiting its website remained flat at 45.6 million, which is significantly below Righmove, but towers above OTM’s 5.2 million visitors. Panmure Gordon analyst Jonathan Helliwell told the press that “near-term, OTM’s growth appears to have stalled.” He added, “Zoopla’s inventory and traffic are holding up pretty well, and the housing market looks to be picking up. We think the stock could continue to…

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    Housing Market

    Annual property price growth set to hit 10%

    With demand from buyers continuing to heavily outweigh the supply of homes coming on to the market, residential property prices in Britain’s 20 biggest cities is expected to be increasing by 10 per cent by the end of this year, according to a new report. The latest research by property analysts Hometrack revealed that annual home price inflation is currently running at 8.4 per cent but it estimates that this rate of growth will rise in the coming months, fuelled by high demand and low supply, as well as a strengthening domestic economy, which is fuelling optimism in the market. The report also found that the average price of a residential property rose by 4.3 per cent in the last quarter to reach £226,200, with quarter-on-quarter gains led by Oxford, up 8 per cent, followed by London (6.6 per cent) and Glasgow (6.4 per cent). In contrast, Aberdeen was found to be the weakest performer with no real movement in home prices during the first half of 2015. “Rising demand for property against a backdrop of low supply continues push city level house prices higher,” said Richard Donnell, Director of Research at Hometrack (left). “It looks increasingly likely that city…

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    Products & Services

    Portal brand awareness report puts Zoopla on top

    Despite a sharp rise in the number of number of estate agents which have cancelled their subscriptions to Zoopla over the past year or so, with many of those agents opting to join rival site OnTheMarket.com (OTM), Zoopla has still seen a significant increase in website traffic, thanks largely to a high level of consumer brand awareness, new research shows. A study, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Zoopla Property Group, claims that more people have heard of Zoopla than any of the other UK property portals, including Rightmove. “This research reinforces how the Zoopla brand remains front of mind with consumers when thinking of property search and research,” said Lawrence Hall (left) of ZPG. But despite achieving a high level of national consumer brand awareness than any other UK property portal, Zoopla has seen the volume of estate agents listing their properties for sale and to let on their website drop by around a quarter over the past 12 months, largely due to the launch of OTM earlier this year. OTM, solely owned by the agents that list on the website, with more than 5,000 estate agency offices now signed up, has had a dramatic early impact on…

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    Products & Services

    Zoopla delivers record number of appraisals to agents

    Zoopla Property Group’s (ZPG) appraisal tool, which allows homeowners to directly contact prospective local agents to arrange a valuation of their property, delivered record levels of appraisal referrals to ZPG members in the first half of 2015, according to ZPG. ZPG reports that since January, prospective vendors and landlords have already sent in excess of 135,000 enquiries to ZPG member agents requesting appraisals, up 40 per cent on the corresponding period in 2014, and potentially worth in the region of £100 million in fees, based on Zoopla’s calculations, from resulting instructions so far this year. Given that the vast majority of property searches now start online, it is perhaps unsurprising that more prospective vendors are using the ZPG appraisal tool to contact local agents about selling their home. “Home movers are increasingly using our websites to identify and select local agents for valuation purposes,” said Jon Notley (left), Commercial Director at ZPG. Mr Notley says that these figures demonstrate his firm’s ongoing commitment to aiding its members in their efforts to winning new valuable business. He added, “Any agent not on our platform and therefore not visible in our unique appraisal tool will be losing out on these valuable leads…

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    Products & Services

    Zoopla-OTM battle will “strengthen Rightmove’s dominance”

    With membership now at more than 5,000 offices and with a significant number of member offices uploading their properties to the website ahead of any other portal, OnTheMarket.com (OTM) has already established itself as one of the UK’s leading property portals, but it is Rightmove that is expected to benefit the most from the launch of OTM, it has been claimed. An article on the popular investment website, The Motley Fool UK says that dominance by one company is commonplace in the internet industry, highlighting that the likes of Google, Facebook and eBay dominate their respective sectors. “Size matters, because of network effects and economies of scale,” it said. But although Rightmove is the biggest online property portal by traffic, it points to the fact that the website “still faces stiff competition from Zoopla.” “Innovations ranging from calculating the distance to the nearest railway station and archived listings have helped Zoopla to stay in a strong second place position,” it added. Only last week, Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) launched its Real-Time Listings Service, allowing its members to send updates to property listings on ZPG websites within minutes of being updated on the agent or developer’s system or website. The service…

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  • Latest property news
    Marketing

    Online marketing strategy vital for estate agency success

    A new survey of over 4,000 homeowners by Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) reveals that 94.2 percent expect their agent to automatically maximise the marketing exposure of their property, which includes listing the property on the major property websites.

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    Products & Services

    Zoopla hires tech heavyweight to tackle OTM

    Zoopla is clearly hoping to hire its way to victory in the battle with OnTheMarket, if its more recent addition to the website’s senior team is anything to go by. ZPG today announced that Vin Murria, one of the UK’s leading tech entrepreneurs and winner of the Cisco Technology Woman of the Year gong in 2012, is to join the group as a non-executive director. Murria has an impressive CV of starting or heading up companies that go on to be sold for £100m or more including, most recently, Advanced Software Group plc, an AIM-listed healthcare and business management software solutions company she founded in 2008. Her appointment is designed to help Zoopla, which has been looking increasingly beleaguered recently in the face of OTM competition, to gain the initiative. As well as mounting an aggressive campaign to rubbish OTM, Zoopla has been buying up companies recently to build a property-related portfolio including in April this year, Uswitch.com for £160m. Murria’s expertise in this type of ‘acquire to grow’ way of doing business is clearly a skillset that DPG chairman Alex Chesterman, who built Zoopla largely by snapping up struggling portals such as FindaProperty, Propertyfinder and ThinkProperty, admires. And although…

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    Regulation & Law

    Zoopla share prices dip after Ofgem probe

    Shares in The Zoopla Property Group (ZPG), which recently acquired energy provider comparison site uSwitch, dropped by 15.9p to 258.7p at the tail end of last week, following an Ofgem investigation into whether two or more companies providing a supporting service for the energy industry breached competition law. Following shareholder and FCA approval, ZPG last week completed its acquisition of uSwitch, the comparison website and lead generation engine for energy and communications switching. But while ZPG said that the deal was designed to reaffirmthe company’s mission to be the most useful resource for consumers and most effective marketing partner for professionals operating within the property industry, the acquisition may actually prove to have been badly timed. The concern for ZPG is that uSwitch, along with MoneySupermarket, has been asked by Ofgem to provide information in relation to an investigation over whether companies supporting the energy industry have broken any rules. Despite the pending investigation, the enlarged ZPG group is now working on developing products which will directly benefit ZPG members by allowing them to source the best gas, electricity, broadband, TV and phone deals in the market and earn fees whilst saving money for their clients. The aim is that…

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    Products & Services

    Zoopla loses nearly a quarter of its agents

    Despite a significant increase in web traffic, a growing number of estate agents are cancelling their subscriptions to Zoopla to join rival site OnTheMarket.com (OTM). Shares in Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) dropped last week, after the firm reported that the number of estate agents listing their properties for sale and to let on the Zoopla website had dropped by 23 per cent over the past 12 months, largely due to the recent launch of OnTheMarket.com (OTM) which continues to have an adverse impact on its business. OTM, solely owned by the agents that list on the website, with more than 5,000 estate agency offices now signed up, has had a dramatic early impact on the market with its ‘one other portal’ rule requiring their member agents to stop advertising on either Rightmove or Zoopla, with the vast majority of agents opting to drop Zoopla. Ian Springett (left), Chief Executive of OTM, said, “Since our launch four months ago OnTheMarket.com has already taken almost one quarter of the estate and letting agent members from Zoopla Property Group. Less than 10 per cent of OnTheMarket.com’s member firms are using Zoopla as their other portal.” “In addition, OnTheMarket.com has already overtaken Zoopla in…

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