Zoopla and Rightmove: Room for One More?

If you follow the property press you can’t fail to have noticed that any day now, there’ll be a new kid on the block in the multi million pound world of the Property Portal.

From humble beginnings when the potential of the internet was first spotted as a way of showing property to buyers, the portals, through a series of mergers and buyouts Zoopla and Rightmove have got themselves into a happy position of a duopoly (a monopoly, but there are two of them – we had to look it up!).

It meant that sellers would expect to be on both sites, which forced agents to advertise there at ever increasing cost. To give you an idea (but we’re not allowed to be precise), we pay portals each month, enough to buy a new car. That’s 12 new cars a year! A fact that is a bit depressing if we allow it to be! In their defence though, the portals give us great exposure and invest millions into technology and advertising, which is why they are so successful.

But many agents still weren’t happy. They didn’t like the control the Portals had over their business and regular price hikes didn’t help either.

So a few of the big boys got together to create OnTheMarket (OTM), a rival to the big two. It launches at the end of January and many agents have dropped one big portal to join them (it is a requirement of OTM to only use one other portal).

Property Portal Duopoly

So what do we at GetAnOffer think? Well we dislike a duopoly (now we know what it is) as much as anyone and portal costs have become ridiculous.

However we are not jumping ship.

We have been in estate agency for decades and have seen just how long it takes a new site to become known, trusted and used. Millions have an app already installed on their phone or tablet, so why change it? There’s no financial advantage for the buyer or seller, the differences in the sites is unlikely to be major.

What’s more, Zoopla power other property sites such as The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Evening Standard etc etc and these have millions of loyal followers too.

It’s not to say OTM won’t break the mould but we believe that it will take months, if not years to do so. In the meantime we want our properties to receive the best possible coverage here and now.

So we’re sticking with Zoopla and Rightmove, confident that they will continue to dominate the market for a long time to come.

OnTheMarket launches 26th January 2015.


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