ZPG, the company that owns and operates UK #2 property portal Zoopla has confirmed to Property Industry Eye that it is considering shutting down two of its offices where currently some of the group’s software companies operate. The two offices in question are outside of London and it may be that senior management at ZPG wishes to have everyone under one roof in the capital eventually. The statement refers to “The unprecedented difficulties faced by the property market” and goes on to mention that some staff may be made redundant after a period of consultation though no decision has yet been made.
ZPG has bought up several property software firms over the years in order to diversify its offering in the face of Rightmove’s seemingly unassailable position as property advertising market leader. Today’s statement admits that these companies “have never been properly integrated over the years.” It seems that now the company is looking to undertake part of that integration and unify support for their various software products into two “support centres of excellence”. There is speculation that staff from ZPG owned property management software company Jupix might be among those affected by any potential redundancies.
Unlike rivals Rightmove and OnTheMarket, ZPG’s position as a privately held company means that efficiency drives and redundancies are always more likely as decisions are not beholden to as many shareholders or any possible effect on the share price. That said, the reference to “unprecedented difficulties” at a time when portals are generating record traffic and leads might smell to some like a smokescreen for an efficiency drive to appease ZPG majority owners Silver Lake Partners and may go down poorly with those made redundant.