Interview: Zoopla boss tells agents ‘We are the only credible alternative to Rightmove’

Zoopla is the “only credible alternative to Rightmove”, its boss has claimed.

Charlie Bryant, managing director of ZPG’s property division, stressed: “There is absolutely a renewed focus on ensuring that our portal delivers the best solutions for both agents and those looking to rent, sell or buy their home.”

He said that following the £2bn purchase of ZPG by US equity firm Silver Lake, there is a mood of “enhanced energy and focus”.

He went on: “As a private company, we have the benefit of being able to invest and take a long-term view.

“We are using this opportunity to double down on focusing on agents’ requirements and investing heavily in areas such as product, the on-site experience, marketing and sales and account management.

“Our collective aim is to become the number one property destination in the UK and the preferred choice of both agents and consumers.

“This is clearly an exciting journey which has the full support of the Zoopla team.”

There have been significant changes at ZPG in recent weeks.

Founder Alex Chesterman stepped down as CEO at the end of September, while a number of senior personnel have left, and the property and comparison site divisions of the business now each have their own bosses.

However Bryant said that Chesterman – “a great visionary” – will continue to contribute knowledge and ideas both as an investor and a member of the board.

Bryant went on: “Equally, Silver Lake, as the leading world’s growth stage technology investor, brings a huge amount of experience to the business and they are working with us actively to help us deliver a first-class service to our customers and consumers.

“Going forward, the former comparison and property businesses of ZPG will be managed largely separately, but we will continue to achieve synergies between the two wherever it is appropriate and relevant.”

Chesterman grew the company by acquisition and diversification. Will this continue?

Bryant said: “We will always look at new acquisition opportunities but our immediate focus is to deliver even greater value for our customers through our core property listings, software and data businesses.

“We have a really unique set of assets, whether it is our brand reach, consumer traffic, marketing presence, lead volume or software and data businesses, and these place us in a strong position to succeed.

He said that Zoopla has some clear differentiating advantages over both Rightmove and Zoopla, as it offers more than just a listing site.

He said: “Our software is one of the key channels in which we can deliver value to agents and we will continue to evolve and innovate in this space.

“With almost 300 employees within our product and technology teams, we are committed to leading innovation in the sector and ensuring that agents and developers feel supported and have access to a range of digital insights and tools that will help them to sell and let more homes.

“In the new year we’re excited to be launching a series of new features to help agents work smarter, including integration with our print marketing services and the ability to run essential compliance checks easily.”

He also said that PrimeLocation will continue to be developed as a specialist brand.

Asked whether Zoopla would be hiking its prices, he said: “We are committed to offering the best value for money to agents and developers.”

The Hometrack business – which serves 13 out of the top 15 mortgage lenders, and which will be powering the new Property Valuation Reports – currently releases a monthly Cities Index.

Bryant said: “It offers a sub-regional insight into property house price trends that can’t be accessed elsewhere.

“Over the next year, we will look at how we can better harness this insight for our customers.”

And what of the crabs featured in Zoopla’s last TV advertising?

“The crabs are absolutely still around. In fact they’ve been undergoing somewhat of a facelift – watch this space for our new campaign after Christmas.”

Bryant’s overall message is unequivocal: “We are all for healthy competition and delivering real value for money to agents, especially in today’s challenging market.

“Exciting times are ahead for Zoopla.

“Our drive to have the best online consumer experience, to deliver the best quality leads and insights, and to provide industry leading tools that help agents maximise efficiency, we believe, makes us the only credible alternative to Rightmove.”

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  1. Jonathan.Welford

    Zoopla still attempting to be relevant.

    1. NewsBoy

      And failing, certainly in this part of the country. We seem to have more OTM agents than Hoopla ones. I cannot remember the last time they were even mentioned in polite society.

      Not so much irrelevant as just not thought of or ever a topic for discussion.

  2. GPL

    As part of this relaunch is Zoopla going to be absolutely transparent about what it is doing with “clients” Data.
    Certainly their Reps are persistent, and looking at that photo this morning I’m expecting my Local Rep to be stuck to my Office Window this morning when I get there, looking like Garfield stuck to a Car Window!
    Merry Christmas to One & All …….This the Season to be Jolly (let’s photoshop a Santa Hat on the large photo above!), make it a bit more festive!        

    1. Local Independent

      Haven’t seen or heard from a Zoopla rep in years, do they still exist?

      1. NewsBoy

        In a word – no. They never write, never call and never e-mail.
        Just gone fishing.

    2. GPL


      I see the “edit monkey” removed my Coco Pops comment? Why so?

      I only said the Billboard sized photo nearly made me choke on my Coco Pops this morning? I can’t help it if PIE are going Big Mac with their Photo sizes? 😉

      Even Santa doesn’t get billing this Big!





      1. Ric

        Same here! I said exactly the same the photo was masooof…. my comment has gone. who an earth can be offended by that.

    3. dwell

      How many times….

      Everyone together now…

      It’s not your data.

      1. Only saying but

        …. whose data is it?

        1. dwell

          You can do this. I know you can.
          I’ll give you a hint though, it’s not agents.

          1. Only saying but

            …. you didn’t answer the question. Who does the data belong to?

            1. dwell

              That is an absolute minefield of a question to answer somewhere like here as it would change on a case by case basis.
              In this case (as in the whinging you see day in day out on here about portals stealing agent data) it would Zoopla. They would be the proprietary data holder – this would be based on the consent that users have given when signing up and subsequently browsing the website.
              In the case that a user asks for more information on an asset, data is then passed to the customer (you guys) who can then claim some ownership of this data (likely to be a stripped back version of the original row that was initally collected). This data can then be processed by yourself – under legitimate interest. This is agent data.

              1. Only saying but

                …ZPG is two services a portal and D/SAAS supplier. If you’re saying  by using ZPG for either service  the data  entered into a CRM system or listed on a portal  belongs to Zoopla you just undermined everything Bryant is saying about supporting agents.
                Perhaps Ros and Nick should clarify this very important detail of the relationship between service suppliers and their customers once and for all

                1. dwell

                  I’ll link you to the Zoopla cookie policy.  
                  You can make up your own mind here.

                  1. Only saying but

                    …since when did a cookie policy form a service contract between a supplier and a customer?

                    1. dwell

                      The cookie policy refers to the collection and distribution of data.
                      May I draw your attention to your original post on this chain.

                    2. Only saying but

                      …. your whole argument is based on a post contract cookie policy? Wow!

                    3. dwell

                      I thought it might help get your knickers out of the twist.

  3. Chatty Cathy

    At least they’re doing some marketing compared to OTM’s plan of keeping their fingers crossed, I heard that Springett put that he want’s to be the no.1 portal on his letter to Santa.

    1. GPL




      Chas & Dave are coming back on Boxing Day!


      Gawd help us.


      Even though one of thm departed OTM are still floggin’ em!


      Pearly Waistcoats ready! All together now……




  4. JonnyBanana43


    Mrs May tells us she’s going to have an amazing year in 2019.

    We don’t have to believe every press release we read.

  5. El Burro

    The only credible alternative they want to be is to try an make the same profit levels as RM for their shareholders.

    They came along claiming to be the white knight to our industry and give RM a run for their money. Then they turn around and say to shareholders their plan is to slipstream RM and do exactly what they do ie screw agents into the ground.

    If they’d lived up to that claim OTM would never got off the ground.

    You had your chance, you blew it.

  6. LordElpus56

    Zoopla – From exciting startup business to boring old corporate in record time.

    1. DigitalExpert2

      Lord, you speak the truth. What a shame.

  7. Property Pundit

    Zoopla is the “only credible alternative to Rightmove”, its boss has claimed.’
    Translation: We’re nowhere near Rightmove but so much better than that OTM thingy.
    Asked whether Zoopla would be hiking its prices, he said: “We are committed to offering the best value for money to agents and developers.”’
    Translation: Expect prices to rise

  8. KByfield04

    Surprisingly negative-only comments here. Have to say my experience with Zoopla has been radically different. Analysing our tenancies in 2018 nearly 60% of secured tenancies came from Z with RM just over 40% (we currently don’t market with OTM) but with the Z portal costing us around 40% less per month than RM and they are not currently seeking a 20% increase from us as RM are. jupix continues to deliver for us as a fabulous CRM and the innovation they are rolling out through PropertyFile is great with online booking, digital contracts, AML checks, etc. I’ve had several agents this year thank me for referring them to jupix as they love the products and services they offer. Z are a huge part of our company and our success to date but appreciate different agents have different experiences.

  9. HIT MAN

    Thought they had gone bust, not seen or heard from them in the last 6 years, are they cheaper and can they offer more leads than RM?if yes then I’m in!


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