It is no secret that Zoopla have been actively pursuing the position of the “One Stop Property Shop” and the news this week firmly places them right at the front of this race. Now all they need to do is integrate it all.
If you have had enough of reading about how the rush to beat stamp duty changes has caused a surge in the housing market, then this news will come as a welcomed break.
Just 28 months ago PSG was bought by LDC for just £17.8 million. I am no financial guru but it is simple to work out that there is a good return of £57.2 million for LDC here, either PSG were doing something very right, or Zoopla really needed them to complete their one Stop Property Shop.
What does this mean for the Residential Real Estate industry? From someone who has spent the last 10 years dealing with Estate Agency CRM systems I would say initially absolutely nothing and probably nothing for at least the next year. Firstly, the deal still needs to be approved and secondly, there are over 8,000 agents using PSG Software so they are going to need to look at how everything is going to tie up. The only potential early winners will be the 5,000 agents who are not using Zoopla that may be offered a deal to start using the portal. The other obvious winner would then be Zoopla itself.
I had to do some research last year and RightMove dominated most of the country whilst Zoopla appeared to be more London centric. Surely it is going to be in Zoopla’s best interest to get a deal out for these agents as soon as possible. There are potentially 5,000 additional agents just waiting to be on boarded. And with the growing number of member agents becoming disillusioned with OTM, perhaps this is why they were so keen to pay 4 times the price?
Where does that leave the other players? Well I am not going to mention the name but it is becoming increasingly obvious that a certain new contender really need to define their position. They are incredibly well known within the industry but whenever you speak to someone outside of it, all they know is RightMove and Zoopla. If you think that’s just my opinion, then a simple Google Trends search should give you another point of view.
Zoopla have been on a sending spree to become the place for consumers and agents to connect and transact as the purchase of USwitch and PSG pretty much point out. RightMove have embedded themselves firmly into agencies, they have brilliant reporting, statistics and the largest shop front with their website. This leaves the question, where are OTM and their 6,000 agents positioning themselves in this heating up market?
As for the agents themselves, could Zoopla be planning a freemium agency software system? Sign up with Zoopla and you get your CRM as Part of the package? Considering Zoopla now own USwitch and PSG, a one stop system that handles property management and every aspect of Residential Estate Agency could become a very lucrative product for them to be right in the middle of, but that is another post for another day.
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