It’s easy to sympathise with the fears of estate agents concerned with a property market increasingly cornered by the duopoly of Rightmove and Zoopla. But OnTheMarket seems to have missed the point of why these sites have become popular – ie. by serving the needs of buyers and sellers.
OnTheMarket’s troublesome rule that bans its agents from listing properties on more than one other portal would merely fragment the property market for sellers. It means agents having to pick and choose between Zoopla and Rightmove, forcing sellers to list properties with multiple agents in order to appear on the three different portals.
In the words of Lee James Pendleton, founder director of London agents James Pendleton: “We will not be dictated to or bullied by Agents’ Mutual as to where we can or cannot list our properties.”
OnTheMarket has also taken pot shots at Zoopla’s heavy use of buyer-friendly data to provide past sales records of houses and (admittedly, not always accurate) current value estimates for properties. OnTheMarket “does not undermine [agents and clients] position by including data on their advertising page which is unhelpful to them such as any price reduction history and spurious, statistically-driven estimates of their property’s value.”
There’s another word to describe what Zoopla’s data is trying to bring to the property market – and that is transparency.