Only half of the branches signed up to Zoopla have taken advantage of one or other of the discount offers made by the portal.
Last month, Zoopla presented two options to agents with 30 branches or fewer. Option 1 was nine months free, returning to normal fees thereafter, as part of an 18-month contract following the free period. This was open to agents committing to quit Rightmove.
Option 2 was five months for free, returning to normal fees thereafter as part of an 18-month contract following the free period.
Now, in an interview in the Daily Telegraph, Zoopla chief executive Charlie Bryant says around half of branches signed up to the portal have opted for one or other offer. This means “an extraordinary adjustment to our revenue this year … The idea of profit forecasts has been largely shelved.”
However, Zoopla says that at the time of the Telegraph interview it had directly contacted only 70 per cent of its agents about the offer, with the rest to be contacted in the coming weeks.
Bryant also gives an insight into the revenue raising capacity of Zoopla which, because it is no longer listed on the London Stock Exchange does not have to produce regular reports revealing its financial performance.
He tells the Telegraph that income to the Zoopla and PrimeLocation portals make up 60 per cent of Zoopla’s overall revenue.
Another 20 per cent comes from estate agent subscriptions to its licensed software and a further 20 per cent comes via its data division which includes Hometrack and Calcasa, operating automated valuation models and services - in particular, Hometrack’s valuation and risk services are provided to 17 of the UK’s 20 largest mortgage lenders.
Yesterday we reported, exclusively, that Zoopla was predicting that agents would still be suffering reduced revenues as a result of the pandemic right up to the end of the third quarter of the year, which finishes at the end of September.
However, Bryant says there are some silver linings for the industry.
“Number one: people have kept their properties on the market” he says, referred to the fact that as of the end of last week the number of homes for sale and listed on Zoopla was only one per cent lower today than on March 7. “Having that stock will be really, really important to enable a bounce back once the market reopens. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s a green shoot, but it’s a seed in the ground” he adds.
The second silver living was that although Bryant claims browsing activity has plunged around 45 per cent plunged across all portals, it has now bottomed out. “We have in fact seen a slight single digit increase week on week … and in the lettings space we have seen a 16 per cent week on week increase in lettings browsing levels” he tells the Telegraph.