Zoopla is radically changing its strategy by exploiting the freedom it has under its new private equity ownership.
That’s the conclusion of Mike DelPrete, one of the leading property technology experts in the world.
DelPrete is the former head of strategy at the property portal Trade Me in New Zealand and now a respected international real estate consultant.
Last May US private equity firm Silver Lake acquired Zoopla for £2.2 billion; parent group ZPG delisted from the London Stock Exchange.
DelPrete says a prime example of Zoopla’s new-found freedom is its decision to remove all non-property advertising from its property listings pages.
“The benefit of being a private company is that Zoopla can be more aggressive, focus on longer-term opportunities, and be less sensitive to a stock price that focuses on short-term earnings growth. This move is an example of that strategy in action” says DelPrete.
He says this puts Zoopla in line with its arch-rival Rightmove; both have taken the longer term view the improved revenue would be less important than an enhanced user experience.
DelPrete continues by saying Zoopla - despite a flurry of acquisitions in recent years - is now pursuing a back to basics approach.
There is renewed emphasis on “a deep focus on the core product: tools for agents with a fantastic consumer experience. Cross-sell synergies and deep integration across the portfolio are taking a backseat.”
And he concludes with a warning to Rightnove and OnTheMarket: “It's going to be difficult to compete with private equity-backed portals given their fundamental advantage: they can be more aggressive...”