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Agency backs Zoopla in continuing spat with OTM

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.”

  • Rob  Davies

    Ooh, Savills won't be happy. One of their former employees - Head of Sales, no less - coming out in favour of one of the portals they are trying to bring down.

  • Rookie Landlord

    When will it end? I bet RM are loving this. Sitting back, with their legs up, puffing on a cigar and watching the children squabble away. Couldn't have gone much better for them.

  • icon
    • R M
    • 19 May 2015 11:08 AM

    I have to say Mr Riley is very fortunate I am not his competition, irrespective of being on any portal I would have a field day with any agent who effectively says he is running his business wholly reliant on the vagaries of internet applicants.
    Given the target client audience at that end of the market to turn to prospective and existing clients and admit that all hope of selling their home rests with the choice of portal and the marketing strategy of staff not under his direct control is at the very least embarrassing.
    I have to say quite what Mr Riley' qualification are in the basic of Agency are not known to me but what has been printed here says a lot about his understanding of the basics of the business; Without a known , assessable applicant data base it is not possible to value property. I am positive Mr Riley was not trying to convince us he is a little rusty on the foundation of best advice to clients but that is what he just did.
    If I were him I would be a bit more guarded what he puts his name to. In taking sides in a personal feud and acting as a supportive voice he leant his reputation and respect to people who are not taking best care of it.
    An agent who needs or uses assistance from the internet to value property is a weak agent, an agent who relies on the internet for applicants is a passive intermediary.

  • Daniel Roder

    "although some are believed to be privately testing leads on all three sites - contrary to OTM’s rule."

    This was inevitable. The one other portal rule was never going to be adhered to, was it?


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