The ex-Savills and ex-Romans agent who heads the estate agency Capital & Coastal, Michael Riley has stepped into the row between portals by insisting that he has seen a 300 per cent boost in enquiries coming from Zoopla.
Michael Riley - a former head of Head of Sales for Savills and Head of Operations for Romans in the Thames Valley - says OnTheMarket’s one-other-major-portal rule has led to the 300 increase.
“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 enquiries via OTM will be fewer and vendors may end up agreeing a price too early just to secure a sale” he says.
Following the launch of OTM, some 90 per cent of agents joining the new portal have ditched Zoopla and kept Rightmove, although some are believed to be privately testing leads on all three sites - contrary to OTM’s rule.
Riley says that despite the investment in OTM, it will never generate enough traffic to the site. In a press release he says his business “is benefitting from lesser competition” and as it remains one of the few South Coast agents listed with Zoopla it has an advantage over its competitors.
Riley claims OnTheMarket’s visits per day are only three per cent that of Zoopla’s. “It is difficult to see how they will turn that around quickly enough to avoid agents switching back” he says.
Riley believes it is possible Zoopla may change its business model and become a direct selling agent - “it worked in the US so [there’s] no reason why it can’t here too.”