British property portals Zoopla and OnTheMarket have ruled out enacting price breaks for agents struggling with the cost of living crisis and a cooling housing market.
In an interview with local agency-facing publication Estate Agent Today, Zoopla CEO Charlie Bryant said that the portal company was facing "similar pressures" to those experienced by agents.
“I understand agents are facing pressures and we recognise that offering them great value for money and something that they see helps their business and gives them a great return on investment is really important.”
Bryant added that the current situation where agents are being squeezed by inflation and market conditions is not the same as the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 "when the industry shut altogether, there was no activity in the agent space".
Zoopla is currently in a consultation period with as many as 68 jobs at the portal on the chopping block. Despite this, Bryant assured agents that the service it provides will not be affected and that the layoffs were purely related to efficiency.
“It is about running our business in the most efficient way so customers can run their business in the most efficient way and in a way which allows us to keep prices at a level that provides a good return on investment for customers.”
Zoopla's majority-agent-owned rival also gave a comment to Estate Agent Today. CEO Jason Tebb echoed Zoopla in playing down the similarities between the beginning of the pandemic when UK portals eventually gave their customers payment breaks and the current market situation.
"The Covid pandemic was an extreme event where we swiftly took steps to support our agents as the property market effectively shut down for a period of time."