An agent who says his firm is one of the few in the area to be on Zoopla says that it is working in his favour.
Michael Riley, director of online firm Capital & Coastal which operates along the south coast, said that since the launch of OnTheMarket with its ‘one other portal’ rule, there has been a 300% increase in inquiries for Capital & Coastal properties via Zoopla.
Riley, a former head of head of sales for Savills and head of operations for Romans, said OTM does not generate enough traffic to the site to take a meaningful position.
Meanwhile, he said his business is benefiting from less competition and an abundance of house hunters, as it remains one of the few agents in the area listed with Zoopla, giving it a distinct advantage over its competitors.
Riley said: “The success of a website is not just determined by stock, but traffic coming to the site to visit that stock.
“If you are a vendor, you want as many people as possible to be viewing your property to ensure you find the right buyer.
“There is a risk to vendors that they will end up not achieving the maximum value for their property, as inquiries via OTM will be fewer and vendors may end up agreeing a price too early just to secure a sale.”
Riley went on to say that Zoopla could decide to change their business model altogether and become a direct selling agent.
He said: “Obviously this would be a bold move for Zoopla, but it’s worked in the US so there’s no reason why it can’t here too.”
Lawrence Hall of Zoopla Property Group said in response: “The latest data clearly shows that since the launch of OTM in January, the average number of listings and new instructions for ZPG members has grown whilst for OTM members it has fallen, which is the clearest sign that OTM members are losing instructions and hurting their businesses.