Zoopla closes gap with Rightmove, claim

Monday 22nd October 2012
Written by Rosalind Renshaw

Zoopla is closing the gap with Rightmove, it has been claimed.

Zoopla is backing the claim with figures just released by independent website monitoring firm Nielsen, which is now reporting Zoopla Property Group as a single entity for the first time.

These show Rightmove’s unique users in September as being 4,054,000 and Zoopla’s unique users as 3,784,000.

Alex Chesterman, CEO of Zoopla, said: “Our recent platform integration and continued investment in our brands is paying off.

“We are now delivering almost one enquiry per second to our members across the UK.

“Given that we also power the property search on a number of third party websites, many of which are not included in these figures, the audience size and reach of Zoopla Property Group is also understated by the figures.”

Rightmove, which is in the top ten of all UK portals, generally uses page impressions, not unique visitors, as its preferred measure.

By using different yardsticks, it’s all a bit reminiscent of the second law of property statistics, as practised by the ONS and Land Registry, which is designed to make it difficult to compare like with like.

However, EAT readers can doubtless be relied upon to work it out for themselves.

(31) Comments

Added by Tom on 2012-10-27 08:37:37

These stats are meaningless to businesses and wise customers but probably go some way to boost the ego of the organisations involved.
For me the only true measures are:
1. How many property specific leads has it generated. Zoopla is great for tenants who want to carpet-bomb agents e-mail boxes
2. How many new landlords leads does it bring me

I did a 6 month trial last summer where I uploaded the exact same properties at the same time to right move and findaproperty. In the trial period findaproperty produced 60.5% more telephone and email leads. I was paying a lot more for right move and when I queried that they had not brought me a single new landlord they said 'that is because you need to upgrade to the premium package' I dropped the greedy bar stewards overnight. I suspect there will be regional differences in the stats I found. For the time being my money is on zoopla. Tom
Added by PeeBee on 2012-10-24 14:40:11

"With the way things are at the moment we will have to make a decision to drop one of them as they both offer exactly the same thing."

So, 'Foxy' - which is it to be - and why?
Added by Foxy on 2012-10-24 09:48:05

We are now paying nearly the same price for Zoopla & Rightmove, so now we are paying twice as much for the same thing. Lets be honest anyone seriously looking to buy or rent will look on both sites. The same properties are on both sites. With the way things are at the moment we will have to make a decision to drop one of them as they both offer exactly the same thing.
Added by marketeer on 2012-10-23 17:43:49

Martyn - thanks for your reply. Interesting. Be worth looking back in Zoopla Pro and seeing what your response was like from previous months prior to the merger.

Now that all enquiries come badged as Zoopla enquiries it would be interesting to see if you have had an uplift in enquiries since FindaProperty was added back into the mix.

Good luck with life without Rightmove it can be done! As you will know life is about service and convincing potential vendors that you can sell their property rather than just stick it on the internet.

After all if selling a property was all about sticking it on the internet then the £299 & £499 internet only guys would be bigger than they are and selling more properties than they are in your local area.
Added by Martyn on 2012-10-23 17:08:58

@marketeer. originally we were with both, however we suffered some problems with Findaproperty in that running up to the merger we actually didnt have an account manager so came off the site.

@Happy Chappy. Thanks, i think i need it. Also i would have to agree & slightly disagree. the winning of instructions i would put down to 1:our location. 2:our valuer and 3:the professionalism and friendliness of our staff, being on these sites obviously helps however for the cost of Rightmove per month to the actual sales it generates it just doesn't add up.

i would ask, if not being too cheeky, if there are any other sites anyone would reccommend that generate such business at competative pricing?
Added by Happy Chappy on 2012-10-23 16:29:20

Martyn so it sounds like Rigtmove wins you instructions and Zoopla finds you potential buyers.

As most vendors are also buyers. I It is likely they are basing there assumptions on where they go first to look for property.

Anyway, good luck wih the convincing
Added by marketeer on 2012-10-23 15:30:08

Martyn - out of interest. Before the Zoopla and FindaProperty merger did you list with both sites or just one or the other?
Added by Martyn on 2012-10-23 14:50:47

i have to agree with previous comments regarding the increase in Zoopla leads and the downfall in Rightmove leads. Zoopla has given us a total of 195 calls and 146 e-mails in the past month alone whereas Rightmove has given 89 and 63 repectively. The only problem being is that vendors seem to think Rightmove is the be all and end all of property advertising. in our opinion the advert is the first point of contact whereas its our job to speak to the applicants and qualify the best property for them be it the property they have contacted us about or any other similar property we may have.

we came off Rightmove last year for a six month period and only lost 2 instructions because of this. seriously considering coming off again but got to convince certain vendors of this.
Added by Blue on 2012-10-23 13:23:34

To @Blue

Agreed, too many (not all) agents think "I've bunged it into my software which will have bunged it onto the portals for me, box ticked, job done. Now, sit back and wait for a punter to come along and buy it"

If no such punter comes along its not my fault, I ticked my box, its those pesky portals, what a rip off. Or, the market. Or, the greedy vendor, but never me, I ticked my box.

If such a buyer does happen to come along then I worked my fingers to the bone on that one. I marketed it to death and really nailed the sale. Couldn't have been done without me.
Added by @Blue on 2012-10-23 08:53:26

No it suggests that too many Agents are allowing the portals to do the job they( the Agents) are paid to do.

I would use the word lazy but although that is the whole truth of the matter, such an opinion does not win many friends. The latest generation of negotiators simply sit there waiting to araange viewins for places found on the internet.
Added by Chris on 2012-10-22 23:56:35

How about reporting the number of properties that change from for-sale to sold? At least that way we will know where the sales are coming from, but I guess agents that use both portals will skew the results when they change both to sold! Dam.

I just want to use one portal, not both, but which one?
Added by blue on 2012-10-22 23:23:10

@ still not happy

The job of a portal is not to sell your properties for you. You still have a role to play. You know... earn your fee.

The job of a portal is to provide you with a shop window and a bunch of traffic. What you put in that window, how you price it, how you represent it, is your bit. The difference between a good agent and a duffer.

These stats are suggesting that the portals are doing their jobs.

Added by Blue on 2012-10-22 23:14:14

@Patrick ,,, it really took 2 months to realise that the other 2 agents had returned to RM ?

On your own patch ? robbing your clients ? and you are not ashamed to admit it on an industry blog.

Bet you're not really called Patrick are you ? ... clever.
Added by All Fair in Love and War on 2012-10-22 18:05:19

Zoopla has far better Point of sale than Rightmove Pens Pads Stickers Window cards etc they really do make an effort. Their product is getting better by the day. Best of luck to them

Rightmove you really do need to raise the game! No longer can you be arrogant your customers are now important not just a number.............
Added by still not happy on 2012-10-22 17:09:38

to address the point about applicants over 3 million quid, given how many properties there are for sale I would hope for the sake of all those vendors and all those agents lots
Added by still not happy on 2012-10-22 17:07:19

The only metric that works is a commission base just like the majority of agents do. Let the portals prove they are the genuine introducer of an applicant and pay them accordingly.

The quality of applicants referred would go up and this lead/ second nonsense would soon be forgotten as a rather amatuerish bit of self publicity.
Added by FWIW on 2012-10-22 16:10:06

@Not Happy

Just out of interest, how many people are searching for a property in 'London' with a budget of £6,000,000 (or £3m+ for that matter). I can think of numerous better ways of boosting page impressions, that certainly isn't one.

To your point about page impressions "why quote it?", it's a broad indicator of interest, like newspaper circulation or television viewing figures, but I agree it is fairly meaningless to an individual agent - but this is also true of most of the other metrics mentioned in the article.

Should agents wish to actually find out what that means in their area then I believe the number of searches is also displayed on the Rightmove site (it's at the bottom of the property listing page, under the page numbers).
Added by someone is making things up Hawkeye on 2012-10-22 13:21:26

This time last year the number of unique users was quoted at 14,000,000 each or there abouts.

In 3 months or so the whole population according to them was looking to move house.

This is just another in a long line of BIG numbers that are effectively made up.
Added by Hawkeye on 2012-10-22 13:04:34

60 x 60 x 24 x 365 = 3,1536,000 which is one per second per year.

So how can they be delivering 'almost' one per second with a number quoted as in fact MORE than the number of seconds in a year. If you add in the leap year day this only adds 86400 more.

It seems they are unable to add multiply or divide! How can we have faith in this firm?
Added by @marketeer on 2012-10-22 12:59:52

Perhaps that is where the Radar movement down in the South West and in the Midlands has the advantage over those portals that have tried to dent Rightmove before. Member agents are more likely not to renege on each other than Agencies with a loose agreement between them.

Looking at their Tweets this morning it seems as if the Agents are asking Radar this very question.
Added by @Patrick on 2012-10-22 12:32:25

It could the "Agents' Autumn" up an down the country Agents are simply fed up with how much they are shelling out.

It is all well and good having loads of leads, loads of page hits, loads of time on site, but if applicants can't borrow money then it is all for nothing. No lending =no sales= no chains=no commission. All this makes one question portals aren't commission based like agents' fees
Added by marketeer on 2012-10-22 12:00:09

Patrick Haughey - any portals achilles heel is its stock. No matter how good a site is if there is no stock in say Burnley when the user searches then the user will move on to somewhere else that can satisfy their search.

So, Agents in any town could kill their spend with any portal just like that. The hard part, as you suggest, is getting the Agents in any town to stick to the agreement.
Added by PbroAgent on 2012-10-22 11:45:48

Looking at our stats, in the last month Zoopla have delivered approx 50% more email leads to us than Rightmove and only two fewer telephone leads.

It's hard to show the quality of the lead, but we also seem to be getting far more valuation leads via Zoopla as well.
Added by Patrick Haughey on 2012-10-22 11:13:22

I'm with you on that Agent1

But you have to be careful because in our area a group of agents made an unofficial agreement to drop Rightmove for a year.

Well 2 agents cracked went back to Rightmove without telling the others and for 2 months mopped up a lot of the leads.

Needless to say that it's proving difficult in the extreme to get another agreement going.
Added by agent 1 on 2012-10-22 10:49:58

I agree- we take almost a 3rd more quality leads from zoopla than Rightmove. Rightmove is far too pricey for the return and I can see agents leaving slowly- 3 agents in my area have left already. We ought to Join in!!
Added by Keep it simple people. on 2012-10-22 10:24:30

I've got to agree with George my Rightmove leads have gone south whikst Zoopla seems to be stalking me! We need something like this to bring Rightmove back to earth!!!
Added by michael on 2012-10-22 10:13:10

Agree with George, when I got the letter/emails/phone calls trying to sell me up to even greater & more wonderful add-ons that I just don't want (to pay for) I declined the 6 month 'free' trial that would have cost me an extra £75 & stayed where I am (at an extra £80 but at least getting some mobile phone app development.
The sales girl did say that she would feed back up the line that I'd had enough of these regular 'up-sell' attempts, and that no, I hadn't assumed that rightmove would be increasing fees once again, I'd assumed that in view of competition they'd be dropping them.
Its a very popular & good product, but getting too pricey. Do we really want red stickers on 'star buy' houses, and clicky out thingies to our websites?
Added by Not Happy on 2012-10-22 08:40:19

By my reckoning 3.7 million unique visitors is still a ‘so what’ figure.

The 3.7 and 4 million unique visitors are what? All potential buyers? Nosey neighbours, agents and surveyors looking for comparables.

Alex's figures state nearly 1 lead per second, that reduces the number of leads to a maximum 2,628,000 per month (do the maths) That alone has to cast doubt over the credibility of the Nielsen figures or at the very least temper them with some reality.

Then there is the Rightmove preferred method of page impressions again another figure that is completely un linkable to completions, it is impossible to say which if any page impression bought about any particular sale so why quote it. One might as well quote the colour of a negotiator's socks; it is big number that means nothing.

Same with time on site, if success is measured by time on site then make it difficult to access the information. Try this, look for a property on Rightmove for £6,000,000.

It would take their developers 20 minutes with testing to allow an un-restricted price range search but the £3,000,000 upper limit prevents any London applicant finding a suitable home easily. the only logical reason is to force applicants to scroll through 100+ pages each which counts as page impressions (not sure if that counts as 1 per page or 1 page per property on the page) but nevertheless simply wading from £3,000,000 up to £6,000,000 or reversing the search from the top down to £6,000,000 is one of those things designed to keep page impressions and time on site maximised. You decide if such methodology really is in the best interest of applicant or Agency.

On the subject of powering 3rd party sites is it good for Agency that Zoopla power the FSBO offering from the Evening Standard?

Is it good for Agency long term that Zoopla power Homes 24 from Archant, Digital Property Group's (Northcliffe) main rival supplying Agents with Print Advertising, you tell me why the Execs at Archant are putting up with such an obvious post merger conflict of interest, perhaps they didn't have the good sense to include a get out clause in their contract.

I read the Radar story on Friday and thought good on them; I hope it goes well but couldn't work out quite why I felt that way, this story made it very clear.
Added by infact on 2012-10-22 08:30:49

Hitwise shows Rightmove as still being miles ahead in terms of visitor numbers...around double...lets wait and see what they respond with...
Added by marketeer on 2012-10-22 07:55:46

Come on Ros, lazy effort in your last couple of paragraphs. We all know why Rightmove use page impressions as their measure. Primary reason...

It gives them a nice big figure of 83% to report to Agents and shareholders, but...

...how many page impressions do 14,000 odd Agents make each month?????

The OFT report into the FindaProperty/Zoopla merger stated that RM actually had a 46% share of unique visitors each month. This figure is far closer to the Nielsen figure in the report above especially when you add in those visitors who go to smaller sites not quoted.

Interesting to see the Zoopla people now quoting figures as a group, rather than individual sites, when they spent so long disputing the Digital Property Group figures!
Added by George on 2012-10-22 07:26:56

Great to see this we use both and the leads generated by RM have been dropping and there has been a steady increase by Zoopla.
Perhaps RM will now have to look at their charges, my view is challenge them when you get the letter! For me it worked stand up to them.

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