The chief executive of Countrywide has lavished praise on Rightmove and Zoopla for being consumer-friendly and offering agents good value marketing.
Alison Platt says “portals are fantastic news for agents” and is highly respectful of Rightmove and Zoopla for being “utterly driven by customers” in their content, layout and technical sophistication for users on mobile devices as well as home computers.
Countrywide is the largest customer of both portals. “Our marketing spend is much smaller than it would have to be thanks to these portals, and we get far more bangs for our buck than we would without them” says Platt.
Platt - whose organisation this week sold almost half of its minority shareholding in Zoopla - says Countrywide’s investment links with Zoopla have played no part in its decision not to join OnTheMarket when it launched in January 2015 nor in the past 13 months.
“We love portals and it’s a case of ‘never say never’ in terms of what we’ll do to maximise our service for customers. So we didn’t ignore OnTheMarket because of our connections with Zoopla” she says.
“But we know there’s a connection between the number of eyeballs on a portal and the demand and price you get for a property, so there’s been no choice other than for us to be on Rightmove and Zoopla, which are totally focussed on customers” says Platt.
Earlier this week Countrywide confirmed that it was leading a consortium involving Zoopla, along with agency group Connells, in putting investment into the Fixflo lettings software proptech company.
Yesterday Zoopla announced that it was investing a total of £1m in proptech firms Tussle (an online mortgage adviser), Lindsay (a peer-to-peer online lender) and PropertyDetective (a neighbourhood information provider to online outlets) in addition to its Fixflo involvement.