One of the agencies most active in the creation of OnTheMarket is trialling a return to listing on Zoopla after an absence of five years.
A report in the trade publication Prime Resi last evening stated: “Knight Frank trials ZPG listings after five-year hiatus ... [the] High-end agency follows KFH, Carter Jonas, Strutt & Parker and Humberts in making a return to Zoopla and Primelocation, after cutting ties over the launch of OnTheMarket in 2014.”
It is understood that Knight Frank will remain listing on Rightmove and OnTheMarket; no details of its Zoopla trial have been released, but last evening there were properties listed for sale and rent from 21 Knight Frank London offices from Aldgate to Wimbledon.
The first of the OTM founding agencies to return to Zoopla was thought to be Douglas & Gordon in February 2018, since which time many others have returned too.
Knight Frank's split with Zoopla came in 2014 - ahead of the early 2015 launch of OTM - when firms had to drop an existing portal to abide by the ‘one other portal’ rule imposed at the time by OnTheMarket.
Knight Frank and most agencies decided - apparently independently - to drop Zoopla.
An early board member of OnTheMarket was Noel Flint - at the time a partner at Knight Frank but now no longer with the agency.
He said on behalf of Knight Frank in a statement issued on December 12 2014: “Knight Frank has decided to continue utilising Rightmove in addition to OnTheMarket, the new property portal, which launches at the end of January. After consideration of the data available to us, we noted that Rightmove generates considerably more referrals to our website than its sole rival in the existing market, Zoopla.
“Feedback from our agents across the country also confirmed that Rightmove was the best choice available to us at this time and, most importantly, the best decision for our clients.
“The launch of OnTheMarket.com in the New Year is a significant step for the property market as the creation of a new portal will offer consumers more choice and challenge the existing duopoly.
“It is our belief that a property portal operated on a not-for-profit basis and existing purely to promote the properties from the best estate agencies can only benefit sellers and landlords while also offering the best entry point to the market.”
Since that time OnTheMarket has failed to dislodge Zoopla as number two portal, has floated on the London Stock Exchange instead of remaining a mutual, and has dropped its one other portal rule.
This morning OnTheMarket told Estate Agent Today that Knight Frank remained "a very strong and active backer" and that in 2018 it committed to list on OTM for five years.