British property portal Zoopla has announced that it has signed The UK's largest agency group, Connells to a landmark 5-year deal which will make Connells Zoopla's first 'innovation partner'. Not only will the deal see Connells' 600-odd branches list on the portal, but it will also see the estate agency company given early access to and input on Zoopla's pipeline of new products as well.
Commenting on the deal, Zoopla Chief Commercial Officer Andy Marshall said:
“Zoopla is uniquely positioned to support Connells Group’s ambitious plans for future growth. Our unrivalled combination of industry leading software, unparalleled data and insight from Hometrack, and the possibility of revenue diversification via our sister company, Uswitch, make Zoopla a well-rounded partner capable of supporting Connells on its next growth chapter.
“2021 will mark a new era for Zoopla as we raise the bar and set a new standard in industry innovation. Our significant investment in product and software coupled with our long-term strategic vision, which we are unveiling to our customer base now, has given Connells Group the confidence that Zoopla will be its perfect partner for the months and years to come.”
The move, which comes as part of Zoopla's 2021 vision announced to agents last week, will also see Connells work with other Zoopla Group brands including data-provider Hometrack and also be given leeway to explore "opportunities for revenue diversification via sister-company Uswitch" according to a press release.
A strong relationship with The UK's largest agency group is seen in the industry as vital for the long-term success of a property portal, especially as Connells recently became the majority shareholder in struggling fellow giant Countrywide in a deal worth £130 million. Connells has a longstanding relationship with Zoopla and was a founding member of Rightmove before selling its shares in the company in 2008. The agency group had a long and protracted legal dispute with OnTheMarket which was finally settled in March 2020.