Zoopla losing customers to online newcomer OntheMarket
Zoopla is losing paying advertisers to online newcomer OntheMarket as the number of estate agents advertising on its website has fallen by 11% over the last year.
At the end of January 2015, 16,967 estate agents advertised on Zoopla, down from 18,999 at the same time in 2014.
Rival OntheMarket launched at the end of last month and only permits its members to advertise on just one other site as well as its own.
As such 80% of those using OntheMarket have chose to leave either Rightmove or Zoopla to do so.
Analysts at broker Jefferies International predict that Zoopla’s advertising membership figures will drop by 18.4 per cent or 13,400 by the end of the year.
Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman said: ‘We believe that [OntheMarket] remains a short-term event and that its success will be determined by whether consumers engage with it.
‘We continue to enhance the services we provide to our users and the value we offer to our members and our record traffic highlights the success of this approach’.
Zoopla said that although OntheMarket had hit its success ‘in the short term’ and they predicted ‘some limited further churn in agency numbers’, they believe that ‘this is likely to be partly offset by the return of some members who have found the [OntheMarket] restrictive ‘one-other-portal-rule’ damaging to their business.
Heading off the new rival site, Zoopla said visitor traffic to its website last month rose by 14 per cent to a record 50million.
While OntheMarket received about 14,000 visits a day in the first few weeks of starting up, Zoopla was still averaging nearly 1.4million a day.
Chesterman said: ‘We have invested well over £100million to build up our national household brand so they have a long way to go to catch up’.
Zoopla’s founder also confirmed that he had no intention of changing Zoopla’s pricing strategies or offering new discounts to members to in a bid to keep OntheMarket at bay.
Chesterman said: ‘We have always priced on our performance and performance continues to be very strong so we have not seen any need to’.