Zoopla launches Property Running Costs tool

 

Zoopla has launched a new Running Costs tool. The consumer tool, which the property portal says is the first of its kind, is designed to give house hunters an idea of what they should expect to spend on monthly bills in a new property.

The tool features indicative costs for each property and includes likely mortgage or rental payments, energy costs, water bills and council tax charges. Its launch is being accompanied by a new TV advertising campaign.

Gareth Helm, Chief Marketing Officer for Zoopla Property Group says: “Zoopla came back to TV earlier this year with a big bang and as a result our brand awareness has reached record levels, which is a significant benefit for our members. This new ad campaign will further increase brand exposure and leads for our agent members and our new running costs tool will also help to better qualify house hunters.”

The move is the latest in a string of innovative services introduced by the property firm, which acquired uSwitch in 2015, in what Zoopla dubbed a “transformational” year.

 

Zoopla dismisses OnTheMarket in “transformational” year

4th December 2015

Property portal Zoopla has dismissed competition from OnTheMarket in what it calls a “transformational” year for the company.

Zoopla has struggled in 2015, thanks to the launch of the rival portal, which is owned by agents and has the explicit ambition of replacing Zoopla as the number two UK real estate portal behind Rightmove. OnTheMarket’s strategy revolves around a restriction that means clients can only advertise on one other site – a rule that requires them to remove properties from either Rightmove or Zoopla. The majority have chosen the latter.

“In less than ten months after we launched, we announced that OnTheMarket had the total support of well over 6,000 estate and letting agent offices, of which over 90% are contracted offices,” the site’s boss, Ian Springett, tells Property Industry Eye .

“The balance is offices which are covered by a non-binding Letter of Intent to join when total support reaches 7,500 offices.

“This number will be a significant milestone because, if at that point new members make the same ‘other portal’ choices as our existing members, we estimate that we will have more available UK residential property listings than Zoopla – the Tipping Point.”

Zoopla, though, has dismissed the claims, reporting record figures in its annual results, with pre-tax profits climbing 17.1 per cent to £33.6 million.

The group, meanwhile, has instead chosen to expand its presence into a range of sectors: the company acquired price comparison portal uSwitch in April 2015,

The deal took the company’s net debt up to £93.2 million, higher than 2014’s £31 million, but its revenue rose 34 per cent to £107.6 million, as it positions itself as a go-to hub for consumers searching for a new home.

CEO Alex Chesterman says the company is now starting to win back customers, saying that the threat from OnTheMarket is “diminishing”.

“We have made great progress towards our vision of becoming the consumer champion at the heart of the home with the acquisition of uSwitch, the leading home services comparison platform in the UK,” he tells The Telegraph .

The portal has also seen traffic to its site rise 4 per cent 44.7 million average visits per month, generating more than 2 million leads per month for its partners.

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