The property portal war - ludlowthompson retains focus on customer satisfaction and attaining highest market price for sellers
- 16th August 2017
- Selling Property News
ludlowthompson avoids the lure of aligning with any one portal to maintain transparency and customer satisfaction
A note from Stephen Ludlow, Chairman of ludlowthompson.
Back in 2015, ludlowthompson decided not to join the Agency-owned mutual structure Agents Mutual and nor did the company or David Thompson or myself, as individuals, subscribe to the perfectly legitimate share offering available to us at the time of the respective Rightmove (10 March 2006) and Zoopla (18 June 2014) flotations. Here is why we made those decisions then - and we stick by them now.
Subscribing to OnTheMarket back in 2015 or participating in the Rightmove and Zoopla share offerings could have affected the ability to provide the best possible service to our clients.
Normally, agents are allowed to put their customers' properties that are up for sale or let on multiple online portals to make sure that they get the highest price possible. However, for those agents that in 2015 decided to join Agents Mutual and thereby subscribe to OnTheMarket have since been restricted to using just one other portal - essentially forcing them to choose between Rightmove or Zoopla for marketing their clients property.
This prerequisite for membership has recently been tested in law and was subsequently upheld by a High Court ruling.
Earlier this month, the group stated it would cease to impose the rule on members after the IPO, and in my opinion quite rightly so, as those agents subscribing to OnTheMarket during this period may have run the risk of affecting their sellers' ability to utilise the best website to attain a maximum price for their property.
Indeed, the Financial Times notes* that Rightmove and Zoopla spend a combined £30 million each year on marketing, and it further questions whether or not OnTheMarket's initial raise of £50 million will really be sufficient to out-muscle its two major rivals. We believe every seller has a right to have as many potential purchasers view their property and to get the maximum price for their property - we do not want to do anything to impact those figures for our customers. Zoopla alone had 53 million visits in a month earlier this year, with a record 72% of it mobile traffic. This compares to just over 11.2 million over the same period for OnTheMarket.**
Ultimately, if our preferred online property portal fell behind in the market – and by virtue of the fact we held shares in those ventures and thus felt vested in them – it could negatively impact our ethos – of delivering maximum performance, maximum communication with maximum trust.
Read here about why customers continue to rate ludlowthompson as number one for customer satisfaction.
Stephen Ludlow - 16/08/2017
*The Financial Times, Judith Evans 'Start-up property portal OnTheMarket seeks London IPO' (4th August 2017)
**Estate Agent Today, Graham Norwood (2nd February 2017)
If our preferred online property portal fell behind in the market – and by virtue of the fact we held shares in those ventures and thus felt vested in them – it could negatively impact our ethos – of delivering maximum performance, maximum communication with maximum trust.
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