Following 18 months of development, and millions of pounds of investment, Zoopla has unveiled their vision for the future that it says will ‘revolutionise the market’ and unlock new growth opportunities for agents, with a new set of seamlessly interconnected tools that aims to improve the customer experience and boost business for its members.
There have already been a number of changes at Zoopla over the past three years since the acquisition of ZPG for £2.2bn by Silver Lake Partners, a US private equity firm specialising in technology investments, with plenty more alterations afoot, including some big plans, as unveiled by Zoopla’s CEO, Charlie Bryant, and Andy Marshall, COO, during a briefing yesterday.
The pair shared with Property Industry Eye Zoopla’s strategic direction for the year ahead, insisting that agents “are at the heart of everything we do”, as they look to deliver tangible value and unlock new growth opportunities for their agent members through the delivery of an innovative, broad set of products and services.
Key to this are efforts to improve the experience and engagement for agents, homemovers and homeowners across the lifecycle, in turn driving applicant and valuation leads to their customers’ business, with the introduction of what they described as an “integrated ecosystem of products and software” that makes Zoopla more than just a website.
“As an agent focussed business, we want to move Zoopla on from being a digital noticeboard and create a fantastic consumer experience,” said Bryant.
Powered by new data-led intelligence, which Zoopla describes as “your Zoopla-verse”, their vision for the near-term future, starting from next month, involves what is described as “a new world of potential” that includes the introduction of a set of tools designed to improve audience targeting and retargeting for agents.
‘Mission Control’, described as ‘a marketing dashboard, client pool, admin assistant, and knowledge bank’, is designed to boost an agency’s brand awareness, monitor and control every element of the homebuying and letting journey, boost agent leads, and help track sales to completion.
‘My Home’ will be a “gamechanger”, according to Zoopla. Powered by Hometrack, each address in the UK will now have a homeowner hub – “that’s 29 million unique portals providing unparalleled insights about every home in the UK,” they said.
Homeowners will be able to claim their own “My Home Profile”, subject to validation; a unique dashboard that will aggregate key information relating to the property – from home value to area stats. It will also monitor ‘marketing temperature’, notifying the owner when their home is becoming “hot property” based on buyer demand, with a view to driving market momentum and stimulating greater activity.
Homeowners will be able to update the platform with photos and renovation improvements – assembling all the essential information ahead of putting the property in the market, and more importantly for Zoopla and its agents – providing a reason to keep them engaged with the website year after year, throughout their ownership.
By increasing consumer engagement, Zoopla aims to monitor behaviour patterns to identify “warm prospects” even before many people are aware that they potentially want to move home, “and that is where the new digital prospects in technology kicks in”.
‘The Digital Prospector’ tool aims to make accurate predictions and identify ‘warm’ leads, providing agents with notifications as and when a property could be about to come available for sale or to let, giving them a chance to pitch for an instruction.
Once an agent has been instructed, the vendor’s ‘My Home’ file will be unlocked, making it easier to produce a listing using Zoopla’s ‘listings’ tool kit.
‘My Search’, the consumer search platform, provides users with a bespoke dashboard with real time alerts, search features and a ‘watch list’, allowing them to tag properties they are interested in ‘on and off market’, prioritising the ones they are most interested in, helping to provide agents with high quality applicants.
The ‘Progression Portal’, part of ‘Mission Control’ is the final element in Zoopla’s ‘ecosystem’, allowing the agent, buyers and vendor to interact with one another. The instant status updates provided will allow all parties to track progress and communicate with conveyers and solicitors, with everyone involved in the sale having access to their relevant section on the portal, helping to create a smother process through to completion – at least that is the aim.
“Launching our new vision to our agent partners, prospective customers, and the broader market, is an industry-defining moment,” said Bryant. “We want to take this opportunity to reintroduce ourselves and reset what Zoopla stands for, and what we seek to deliver for agents, homeowners, homemovers and beyond. More than a portal, we are an ecosystem, which unites the products, software and expertise from across the Zoopla business into one easily accessible interface.
He added: “Agents are at the heart of everything we do, and our vision is designed to optimise the Zoopla experience, ultimately driving commercial success for our agent partners.
“We know that homeowners are moving house less often, but our vision will drive market momentum and stimulate more activity. We will exert our influence on the market nationally and locally and drive demand directly to our customers.”
See the promotional video below: