Interview Synopsis

UK property portals – Rightmove vs Zoopla – Q4 2020 update

  • Multi Asset
  • Consumer
  • Europe

It has been a “very strange year” for the UK property market, a managing director at Chestertons told Third Bridge Forum. The Interview examined how the pandemic is impacting supply-demand dynamics and identified existing trends shaping the sector, focusing on Zoopla, Rightmove and OnTheMarket. 

UK property sales through the roof as COVID-19 inspires change

First on the agenda was the overall health of the market. Sales are booming but lettings are flagging, owing to fewer people moving for study or work. The market’s structure was also discussed. Two “almost counter-intuitive” shifts are happening, we heard: the “fall from grace of some of the biggest players” and consolidation. However, “this isn’t a COVID-19 matter”. Several factors are at play here, according to the Interview, including the erosion of fees and tighter tenancy regulations.

Although a host of players have entered the space in recent years, “we haven’t seen the equivalent of the Google, the Amazon, the Facebook in estate agency”. The expert anticipated that technology would have a significant role in the emergence of a new business model that could transform the sector and disrupt existing portals. “If there is a reason, a push or a pull, to either get off the established players or to join a new one then that can happen very, very quickly,” the specialist said.

Notable changes in marketing budget allocation were also explored, with the death of print advertising at the top of the list, along with the continued reliance on portals and rise of social media advertising. Brand-led marketing is also gaining traction, with Premier League sponsorship highlighted as an example. 

“You’ll see less print advertising, more social media advertising, and I think people will… have to use the portals to reach the audience they need to, but you will continue to see other start-up portals happening,” the specialist said. 

To access all the human insights in Third Bridge Forum’s UK property portals – Rightmove vs Zoopla – Q4 2020 update Interview, click here to view the full transcript.  

The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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