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    OTM is here to stay, says Ian Springett

    OnTheMarket.com (OTM) has hit back at claims that its portal is struggling to establish any meaningful audience levels. Just over three months since the launch of OTM, competitor portal, Zoopla, has claimed that OTM is failing to have a significant impact on the market by citing data from independent web monitoring firm Hitwise which shows that website traffic to OTM fell by 13.5 per cent in April. But Ian Springett (left), Chief Executive of OTM, has described Zoopla Property Group’s (ZPG) claims as “inaccurate and speculative.” He said, “It is a fact that less than 10 per cent of the agent members of OnTheMarket.com have chosen Zoopla as their other portal. And it is a fact that the Hitwise figure showing a reduction in traffic of 13.5 per cent in April is wrong.” OTM reports that it has attracted more than 10 million visits since launching over three months ago, and that traffic levels have remained buoyant in May to the extent that OTM has just experienced its highest ever number of weekly visits. To date, OTM says that its users have viewed an average of 9.3 pages and spent an average of 6.5 minutes per visit. What’s more, with…

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    Products & Services

    Zoopla acquires price-comparison website uSwitch

    Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) has announced that it is to buy online price comparison site uSwitch in a deal worth up to £190 million. ZPG, which also owns a number of other websites such as Prime Location and Smart New Homes, said the agreed deal, at £160 million plus a performance-based earn out of up to £30 million, believe that the deal will help it deliver a wider property service to people seeking the best deals online. uSwitch, owned by Ulysses Enterprises Limited, enables consumers to find the best deals from utilities such as electricity and phone bills. It had revenues of £62.9 million and earnings of £16.2 million last year with 50.3 million online visits. It claims to have saved customers £112 million last year on energy bills alone. ZPG said that the deal to acquire uSwitch will allow its members to benefit from increased engagement with home movers and greater insight into their property requirements along with enhanced exposure to the further differentiated ZPG audience. ZPG is also developing new products that will create revenue opportunities for its members around home services switching. Alex Chesterman (left), Founder & CEO of Zoopla Property Group said, “This is a transformational…

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    Zoopla and Rightmove provide ‘competitive advantage’ – Connells

    A detailed analysis of email leads delivered by Zoopla and Rightmove throughout 2014 show that the level of duplication between the two major portals is lower than previously thought, the Connells Group has claimed. Internal data from Connells reveals that of all consumers who sent email leads through the major portals, 93.8 per cent were unique to either Zoopla or Rightmove with only the remainder duplicated between the top two portals. What’s more, Connells claims that for the highest value market appraisal leads, 99.9 per cent were unique, with just 0.1 per cent duplication. David Plumtree (left), Group CEO Estate Agency Connells Group, said, “With the recent launch of Agents’ Mutual we were keen to confirm the value delivered to our network by the major property portals, reaffirming the low level of duplication of leads between the two main players, which has continued into 2015. “The value of being on both Zoopla and Rightmove is clear, and remains the best choice for our customers and network of agency offices in 2015.” As a shareholder in Zoopla, the Connells Group has opted not to sign up to OnTheMarket.com (OTM), which launched earlier this year. Meanwhile, Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) has confirmed…

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    Online and on the ball

    Christopher Walkey, CEO of Marketme, looks at some of the trendsetters in social media.

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    OTM growth ‘concerns’ Zoopla, says Ian Springett

    OnTheMarket (OTM) Chief Executive Ian Springett (left) insists that web traffic to the OTM website has proved “buoyant” in March, despite accusations to the contrary, thanks largely to a multi-million pound advertising campaign that has provided “outstanding results.” Responding to claims by competitor portal Zoopla that web traffic to OTM last week, based on Hitwise data, fell by 25 per cent compared to the previous week, Springett insisted that the data is “inaccurate” and that OTM “stand by every figure we have previously quoted.” “Zoopla’s concerns about the growth of OTM at their expense are apparently increasing,” he said. “On March 6th and 7th, we passed the two million mark of unique users. Contrary to Zoopla’s claims, the traffic levels have remained buoyant throughout March. The results of our multi-million pound marketing campaign are continuing to emerge and the property-seeking public are appreciating the faster, cleaner, fresher search experience which OTM offers.” Lawrence Hall of Zoopla (right) insists that over the past couple of weeks “things have gone from bad to worse for OTM” with traffic falling “notably from an already low base and very low engagement levels per visit”, but Springett remains confident OTM will become the UK’s number…

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    OnTheMarket traffic dispute goes on

    The Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) has issued yet another press release questioning the number of people who are actually visiting the recently launched OnTheMarket (OTM) property portal. OTM report that it has now attracted more than two million unique users to its website since it was launched in late January 2015, but figures from independent web audience monitoring firm comScore, as quoted by Zoopla, claims that total ‘unique visitors’ to OTM during February were 439,000, suggesting that the level of web traffic to the OTM was actually less than two million. Hitwise also claim that OTM has got off to a slower start than is claimed, with its data revealing that the recently launched portal attracted less than 38,000 daily visits in February. Lawrence Hall (left) of ZPG said, “OTM continues to make unsubstantiated and misleading claims about its traffic but its members are easily able to track their enquiries and performance and we urge them to do so. Despite recent attempts to rubbish independent data sources like Hitwise and comScore, these are widely recognised by advertisers worldwide as the most reliable indicators of audience. We believe that OTM will need to come clean to its members about its ability…

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    OTM attracts more members but traffic dispute continues

    OnTheMarket.com (OTM) announces that it has now attracted more than two million unique users to its website since launched in late January 2015, but data from Hitwise claims that OTM has got off to a much slower start, while research by Home.co.uk suggests that it still ‘has a mountain to climb’ to overtake Zoopla as the second largest website in the property portal market. Ian Springett (left), Chief Executive of OTM, insists that it “can no longer be questioned” that OTM is now a major property portal as traffic levels to the website continue to grow. He also pointed out that the portal is providing “high quality leads” for its member agents “day in, day out”, which partly explains why it now has close to 5,000 contracted offices – 90 per cent of which have chosen to leave Zoopla, according to Springett. “We are confident in becoming the number two portal within a year to replace Zoopla/PrimeLocation,” said Springett. “We have more than 4,800 contracted offices – 90 per cent of which have chosen to leave Zoopla – and are growing in size as the impact of our multi-million pound advertising campaign hits home and our reputation as a cleaner,…

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  • Features
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    On Target?

    On 26th January 2015, OnTheMarket.com, a major new UK property portal, finally launched. And the reaction is...

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    Agencies & People

    Zoopla sees mobile traffic soar

    Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) reports that its mobile traffic is up by over 40 per cent so far this year compared with the corresponding period last year as more consumers than ever use the Group’s services to search for properties while on the move. ZPG claims to have delivered a record 45,000 enquiries during the first two months of the year from prospective vendors requesting appraisals to ZPG member agents, supported in part by its appraisal tool which allows homeowners to contact local agents to arrange a valuation of their home. Lawrence Hall (left) of Zoopla Property Group said, “We’re delighted to see that the various product improvements and innovations we are making continue to result in record levels of engagement with our tool sand leads and instructions for our members, reinforcing the exceptional value that we provide.” Rightmove is another portal that has enjoyed growth in web visitors, supported by higher levels of mobile traffic. Over 100 million people visited the Rightmove site in January, a record month for the property portal, helping to boost profits. The company reported that it made an average of £684 per month from each estate agent branch that uses the service, up 13…

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    OnTheMarket could cost members ‘millions’ in legal battles, says Zoopla

    Zoopla Property Group this morning ramped up its attack on OnTheMarket with a further statement that warns OTM members that they could be infringing competition law, leaving themselves open to litigation, fines and compensation costs. Zoopla Property Group’s statement said, “According to advice from top UK law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, if the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ever concluded that Agents’ Mutual Limited’s (AM) arrangements infringe competition law, not only would AM as a corporate entity be subject to fines and possible damages, but each individual member agent would also likely be liable based on their participation in AM. “The advice, provided to Zoopla Property Group plc (ZPG), states that, if the CMA at any time found an infringement of competition law, it could impose fines on each agency of up to 10% of their total annual turnover. In the case of an independent single branch firm the fines could run into the tens of thousands of pounds or for a larger firm such as Savills plc into the tens of millions of pounds. “The advice adds that any of AM’s competitors, including competing portals and excluded online agents and property developers that have suffered losses as a result…

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