The battle between portals is hotting up again with Zoopla repeating its offer of free listings until January for agents committing long-term.
The portal also says it’s seen a two per cent year-on-year growth in agent members despite the lockdown.
Zoopla’s combined agent branch numbers and new homes sites currently stand at 16,545, with 84 per cent of agents now in long term contracts compared to 23 per cent at the start of the year.
This growth follows what the portal calls “an overwhelming response from customers” to Zoopla’s offer at the start of the pandemic, waiving fees to agents for between five and nine months.
In new figures released this morning, sales agreed on Zoopla are reported to be up 76 per cent on the five year average while leads delivered to agents are up 38 per cent since before the pandemic.
Demand was up 34 per cent in July compared to 12 months prior, while listings are up 27 per cent since the start of March.
Time to sell has reduced by almost two weeks, averaging just 27 days in the period since lockdown, compared to 39 days over the same period in 2019; meanwhile time to rent is averaging 18 days with rents themselves increasing 1.1 per cent year on year.
The figures accompany Zoopla’s reiteration of its invitation to agents to continue enjoying free portal usage until January, in exchange for committing to a 12 month contract.
This was part of the original nine month payment plan announced in March. “Extended access at no cost is available to those agents keen to make Zoopla their primary portal” says a statement from the portal this morning.
“Delivering tangible value and exceptional service to our agent and developer partners has always been our priority, and this is clearly resonating. Our growth in customer numbers is outperforming the broader market considerably, despite the 50 day market closure, and we hope this is testament to us doing the right thing by our customers. This increase is in marked contrast to one competitor which recently reported declines in agency branches of 3.5 per cent” explains Andy Marshall, chief commercial officer at Zoopla.
“Our £30m investment in the agent and house builder communities back in March, which afforded five to nine months of free portal usage at a time when agents most needed our support, has strengthened our relationships and opened more doors to us than we could have anticipated. Now that the market is rebounding with a genuine underlying strength, free portal usage has helped agents to rebuild their business pipelines, without any costs payable to us.
“Our nine months of free portal usage is live until January and available to those keen to make Zoopla their primary portal. We are still welcoming new customers on board, and are able to extend free use of Zoopla until January to existing customers if they’d like to make us their primary portal partner.”