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Zoopla returns to its data roots with Donnell promotion

Portal is both ramping up its advertising spend and putting analytics at the heart of the business once more.

Nigel Lewis

Zoopla has promoted Hometrack’s Director of Research Richard Donnell to be its overall analytics chief and tasked him with using data to help agents become more successful as the portal returns to the data roots that first gave it an edge over Rightmove during the late noughties.

Donnell, who is to build a new team around him, joined Hometrack in 2005 from Savills where he was a director by age 28. He has played an increasingly key role at Zoopla since Hometrack was bought by the portal for £120 million two years ago.

His promotion is part of several changes at Zoopla brought in by its Managing Director Charlie Bryant following the departure of founder Alex Chesterman and its purchase by Silver Lake last year for £2.2 billion.

Advertising spend

This has included removing non-property ads from its listings details pages, relaunching its AgentFinder tool, creating a new Property Valuations Report and ramping up advertising spend by 23% year-on-year.

“This is just the start,” says Bryant. “We are gaining traction for our agent partners and will continue to innovate and invest throughout 2019, always informed by data and market insight.

Marketing industry data reveals that Zoopla has spent the most on advertising over the past five years and that it is ahead of Rightmove for prompted brand awareness.

This means when consumers are asked which of the three portals they recognise most readily, Zoopla tops Rightmove and OnTheMarket.

“Agents want portals that are 100% focused on helping them to be successful day to day while delivering fantastic value for money,” says Bryant.

February 7, 2019

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