Zoopla confirms it does contact sellers and landlords directly

Zoopla has confirmed that it does make direct contact with sellers and landlords.

It said this is part of its consumer awareness campaign.

The issue was raised in a post on Friday, and also in an interview Eye did with Robert Sargent, group chief executive of Acorn (see today’s separate story).

Sargent said he was very concerned after hearing that the owner of a property no longer displayed on Zoopla but still listed on Rightmove had been contacted by Zoopla.

The post on an Eye story on Friday also expressed concern.

It read: “I saw this week a letter sent to the addresses of the properties that an agent had withdrawn from them when they stopped advertising on Z.

“The letter said it was disappointed to see the property had been withdrawn from their portal and suggested that the owners were missing out on huge interest in their property as a result.

“This, added to billboards I saw today from Z saying ‘Smart is committed to getting the best price for your home, ensure your agent uses Zoopla’ – gloves are off and it’s dirty tricks time.”

We invited Zoopla to comment, and a spokesperson said: “We have a very broad consumer marketing campaign which communicates the benefits of Zoopla and the other brands that we own and power to consumers across the UK in various ways.

“Part of this campaign includes direct mailings from time to time to vendors and landlords whose properties are not on our platform to make them aware of the audience they are potentially missing out on, given the fact that two thirds of all house hunters in the UK search via our platform and around half of those use our sites exclusively every month.

“Data used in these campaigns is sourced externally and this is a natural part of our consumer awareness campaign.”

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7 Comments

  1. RealAgent

    Thank you for raising this issue with the Eye. Frankly their answer is outrageous and completely indefensible. They can dress it up as they like but writing to the sellers of data that has been provided to them by estate agents advertising on them, not applicants I would add, but actual addresses of properties that have been uploaded is completely underhand tactics. This is 10x worse than right move allowing companies to target applicants that register through their site and Zoopla need to confirm publicly that it will not happen in future.

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  2. Mark Reynolds

    I appreciate Zoopla want to increase their awareness, but where does it say in my terms of business that the landlord agrees to the third parties contacting them? Are Zoopla breaching the DPA using these methods? It's almost like they are using the data entrusted to them outside of their remit

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    1. PortalPerson

      No. Information collected on their site is bound by their own terms and conditions. Zoopla are doing their own research to find the contact information which is the same as you or I could do by visiting their website then a couple more Google's for the name/phone number.

      This is in NO way a breach of the DPA as the information was never on the website to begin with.

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      1. RealAgent

        But this isn't information collected on their site PP. This is an address that is attached to the upload from the estate agent. In my mind that is a wholly different proposition.

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  3. JAM01

    Agents who sign with Zoopla should have written into their contract that Zoopla will not make contact with a vendor based upon data provided to it from the agent. It is a breach of the DPA. What will they do when 1 Jan 15 comes around – contact the many of 1,000s of home owners when their properties are no longer listed. I see this as Zoopla warming up for what they know is coming – a mass campaign from Zoopla to vendors and landlords to try and ensure they do not lose properties come the new year. This will only assist agents in their decision – drop RM or Z? Zzzzz……

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    1. Paul

      Exactly, they are not going to lie down on this, they will come out fighting. It's funny how we have moved from the comments many months ago about how RM and Zoopla wouldn't lose a moments sleep over AM, yet over the last few weeks, we have seen them both make moves to preserve their positions. When an animal is cornered it will do anything to survive and this is only the tip of the iceberg, with Zoopla most at risk, they will be fighting hard over the next few months and into the new year…….

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  4. MF

    Whatever RM and Z do, they can't magic listings out of nowhere and without listings they will fold. Agents unite!

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