Lawrence Hall, Head of Communications for Zoopla Property Group (ZPG), responds to the latest claims made in a recent statement released by Ian Springett, CEO of OnTheMarket (OTM). Here is the response ...
Whilst we have no desire to see an escalating war of words with OTM, we feel compelled to respond to some of the recent claims made by Ian Springett, which are simply not based on fact. As we have said before, we are a data-driven business and will let the numbers do the talking rather than making unsubstantiated claims and promises.
OTM seems intent on ‘going after’ ZPG as is clear from Mr Springett’s statement. It is a curious strategy, given that ZPG has clearly built one of the largest audiences of property consumers in the UK, with over 20% of all online property eyeballs, and is widely recognised by most agents as their most cost-effective marketing channel. This strategy appears to be borne out of frustration at the lack of impact that OTM is having with consumers and lack of results it is getting for its members.
Our mission is, and has always been, to be the most effective marketing partner for our members. We deliver exceptional value to our member agents and continue to support the industry in many ways. Our business depends on the provision of value to our members instead of forcing them to contract for extended periods and doing so exclusively. We will continue to do what we do best which is to provide innovative and market-leading tools for both consumers and agents. Our members are enjoying record levels of exposure, enquiries, instructions and value from us.
At the end of the day, we are a marketing channel and one of the most effective ones out there. We provide agents with exposure to and enquiries from consumers. That is essentially what they pay us, or any other portal, for. Until OTM can match our audience then they are doing their members a disservice by not allowing them to advertise freely with others.
The overwhelming majority of agents value our services, continue to list with us and recognise that we are working for them not against them. Some have left to trial OTM and we expect that many will return in due course as they recognise the value they have given up and that the OTM strategy is flawed. This is happening already. Our door remains open to members who are concerned and disappointed by OTM’s strategy and choose to return to something that clearly delivers.
Dealing specifically with some of the recent claims, we feel it is important for agents to make decisions based on facts and not information that is either blatantly false or designed to mislead:
And finally, the latest Hitwise data shows that far from catching Zoopla and Rightmove, OTM has not yet managed on any day since its launch to reach even a fraction of the traffic of PrimeLocation. As Mr Springett noted in his statement, the OTM TV ad will have aired over 3,000 times in February alone, so this must be very disappointing given the large TV and print marketing spend. It is clearly still early days but it is important for the facts to be known so that agents can make informed decisions that are in their best interests not the interests of others.
Source: Press Release