Zoopla has fired another shot in the ongoing war of words with OnTheMarket. At its core, the underlying message has not changed - OnTheMarket is failing to deliver on its promises and the traffic to its site is falling rather than increasing. In fact, Zoopla claims that in agents using OnTheMarket are paying in "excess of £50 [for a lead] compared to an average of less than £3 for ZPG members".
Here is the press release:
With three full months since the launch of Onthemarket (OTM), and despite some bold predictions and noisy PR, the latest data shows that the new portal is struggling to establish any meaningful audience levels with traffic falling by 13.5% in April, according to independent web monitoring firm Hitwise.
Even using OTM’s recently released internal data of 3.5m visits in April and 10m visits since launch leads to the same conclusion of falling or static traffic as it implies around 6.5m visits over the first 2 months with little or no growth in April. During the period since the launch of OTM, ZPG has enjoyed a monthly average of over 46m visits versus just over 3m for OTM.
Based on publicly available traffic data, membership rates, inventory levels and average lead conversion rates the average cost per lead for OTM members is currently estimated to be in excess of £50 compared to an average of less than £3 for ZPG members, likely making OTM the most costly and least effective marketing channel in UK property portal history.
Lawrence Hall of Zoopla Property Group said "OTM has delivered the same audience in three months that ZPG averages in under a week but is charging similar advertising rates. Its members are paying more than 15 times the fair market value for their digital marketing currently which is simply not sustainable for most. Property portal fees must align with exposure and enquiries and no business can afford to be paying way over the odds for under performance for an extended period of time.”
“OTM needs to grow its audience very substantially and quickly to get anywhere near their prediction of catching ZPG by the end of the year and the latest data from both Hitwise and OTM itself shows that this is simply not realistic. In the meantime, charging its members a more realistic rate of around £20 per month, as ZPG did when its traffic was at similar levels, would seem fairer whilst they try to build their audience. We have already welcomed back dozens of members who have already become disillusioned by the unrealistic promises made and fees they are being charged and we will continue to welcome back any other agents who are interested in ensuring they are getting the best value for their marketing spend."