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Rightmove the only winner from Zoopla-OTM battle says analyst

The fact that Countrywide, LSL Property and Foxtons have remained loyal to both Rightmove and Zoopla “should mean that OnTheMarket will fail to build enough of a presence” according to the financial analyst service, The Motley Fool.

But it warns that Zoopla - which saw its number of member agents fall by 16 per cent over the first five months of OTM - may lose yet more. “The worst may yet be to come, as Zoopla could see more traffic move to Rightmove, given that Zoopla no longer has a comprehensive listing of properties for sale” says The Motley Fool.

The report is authored by Jack Tang “who has a position at Countrywide” according to The Motley Fool’s website.

Tang says online estate agents make up only five per cent of the total transactions market “and this is unlikely to change significantly in the medium term”. He adds that with transactions rising and property prices increasing, incumbent traditional estate agents will likely continue to see their revenues and earnings grow steadily. 

He also believes that Countrywide, LSL Property and Foxtons shares are undervalued, and that with Rightmove’s position greatly enhanced thanks to the actions of OnTheMarket, it may be a better investment buy than Zoopla.

  • Simon Shinerock

    I think Mr Tang fails to recognise the ingenuity of the Zoopla model in two critical areas. Firstly it is used as the preferred method of research, just as Zillow is in the USA. SeCond, zoopla's purchase of a comparison website will mean visitors will use it to manage their move more effectively. As far as OTM is concerned, now the dust has settled a bit, I think it's ckear to everyone (more or less) that it was ill conceived and does nothing for its agent members or the industry. However, that said it is a symptom of how threatened established agents feel by portals and online competition, whether that threat is real or imminent. I suspect that the 'medium term' may be shorter than Mr Tang thinks and that the High Street will fair much better in country towns and villages than in large conurbations. We are in a period of rapid and accelerating change, an environment which will require established agents to adapt and offer new and more varied services, for example a proper property investment service that goes beyond the borders of their patch, or see their businesses steadily eroded by hungrier more flexible new comers.

  • Trevor Mealham

    The CMA are still monitoring AM / OTM. As such investigation could collow into it being classified as a cartel.

    Agents best move would be greater B2B collaboration as agents hold stock that applicants and portals want. Now over 1m USA agents cobroker this way daily. It often means sellerz get the very best price via more agents bringing buyers to the table = higher fees.

    By being cheap US agents exclude themselves from the party as they have nothing to put back in to share with other agents. Here RM and Z are allowing VC funded to take advantage of the millions traditional agents have poured in.

    Work together. Were in the age of BigData, ie e ay, facebook, linkedin. All BIG sharing data models. Agency could/SHOULD evolve this way.

  • Rob  Davies

    Well, yes, Rightmove will be laughing. All they've had to do is sit back and watch OTM and Zoopla tear each other to pieces. Zoopla was hit hard to begin with, but seems to have recovered ground as OTM struggles to make any impact and has been left to deal with boardroom resignations and investigations by the CMA.

    RM, by virtue of doing nothing, have only got stronger and stronger. The very thing OTM sought to change. You couldn't make it up! Great strategy from the brilliant brains at AM.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Yep. OTM have managed to achieve precisely what they set out to avoid. As Springett keeps telling us, they'll be the second biggest portal in a few months time - despite no evidence to back this up - and then they can work out a plan to overtake the behemoth that is Rightmove. Or so OTM would have you believe.

  • Daniel Roder

    Did anyone honestly expect any different?

  • Emma  Mitchell

    So after OTM battling for months to try and topple Rightmove off of the top spot, they appear to have simply strengthened Rightmove's position in the industry, whilst also only making a minor dent in Zoopla's figures. Set to be an interesting couple of months in the world of portals.

  • Simon Shinerock

    I wish that were so Emma, I think the interest in the OTM party is mainly spent, all the members have to look forward to now is a massive post party hangover and the realisation that the cost was never worth it. The OTM fiasco has simply served to distract the establishment from what they really need to be doing which is adapting to change. My message is wake up, srop winging about portals and competitiors and start looking for ways of making your businesses better

  • Tim Gorgulu

    Hardly surprising. RM have always been the biggest portal and will continue to be so by some margin. Zoopla have always been second place, substantially behind RM but well ahead of everyone else. I think that will stay the same, although Zoopla was temporarily dented by the arrival of OTM.

    I don't think the headline is anything new - it's what many of us in the industry could've told you months ago. I just don't know what is going to happen with OTM given their apparent failure to force themselves into the nation's psyche in the same way as the big two.

  • Simon Shinerock

    OTM has signed a lot of firms into a five year black hole, it is unlikely they will admit defeat or that the membership will rise up against them. At the end if the first year those agents not committed to five years will leave OTM and probably go back to Zoopla. There will then be a lot of in fighting and soul searching. Blame will be allocated, accusations made but in the end the dust will settle and OTM will probably get bought by Rightmove as a way of saying 'thanks OTM'

  • Trevor Mealham

    Ummmm - There's always middle ground. MLS brings new tech and strategy helping agents serve B2B agent 2 agent agreements. The UK doesnt really need a third main portal.

    In fact Primelocation (ranked 388) sits higher than OTM (460)
    Even Propertywide isnt that far behind OTM
    Others such as Twitter, ebay, Faceache etc all show homes and sit way above. So is OTM now the 6-7-8-9th top UK portal?

    Maybe the game changer is in changing the way the game is played. Not by doing a 5-6-7-8th place RM or Zippy clone.

    Agents accessing listings from one another via changing data flow makes much more sense.

  • Rob  Davies

    Interesting stats, Trevor. This goes to show the problems OTM are having. If they're not even ahead of ebay, Twitter and Facebook - websites who don't even specialise in property, far from it - then that's got to be worrying for a portal that has designs on being the 2nd biggest of its kind in the UK. It's a pipe dream at the moment, total fantasy, and I can't see that changing anytime soon. Unfortunately, no supporter of OTM seems able to admit that.

  • Kelly Evans

    Stats can be made to fit any agenda. We've seen that with all the anti-OTMers on here.

    As I've said before, smacks of people running scared. Why are people so keen to point out that OTM is failing? Where is the actual evidence to support that? I thought agents deserted Zoopla for OTM, or have I missed something?

  • Kelly Evans

    @Simon - you have a crystal ball that is able to predict the future, do you? I think you might be made to look very silly.

  • Phil Hathway

    Estate Agents will persevere with Zoopla until OTM becomes as well know then will jump ship to the cheaper option (OTM) if they can continue to advertise on TV and drive people to the site. Fact 1 - you can survive with just RM. The others are tools to outsell your competitors when trying to win a listing if they only use RM. Fact 2 - Zoopla data is not credible and often causes customer confusion.

  • icon

    Fact 3 - You can survive on bread and water
    Fact 4 - With my missus, I couldn't survive on bread and water!

    @Kelly - You asked where is the evidence? Two forms....the first is the news that we read about it, and the second is that the public neither know nor care. So far I think Simon's predictions have been accurate. Looking silly is not the issue, the big question is what has this endeavour cost your business

  • Bruce Ryan

    I think it is still too early the judge the success of OTM. I know of many agents who cannot wait to drop RM in favour of OTM. Its just a matter of timing.


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