Yes – at least in the North West area that we buy in
It is a bit frustrating having to use three portals instead of the regular two that have been dominating the online sales portals over the last 5 years, but we’re all for disruptive entrepreneurship. We have noticed a clear lack of new listings on Zoopla in the area that we purchase property, which clearly shows that the new portal, Onthemarket, is clearly having an affect. The clear winner here though is Rightmove which, as far as we can tell, has not been affected.
In the last decade, online search platforms have completely transformed the way that we search for new homes. The convenience and ease of switching on a computer and seeing what’s available is certainly far more attractive than trudging through a grey high street with rain lashing down on a Saturday afternoon and it is estimated that over 75% of people start off their search online.
What will happen to the two main online platforms?
As things stand, Zoopla and Rightmove dominate the market share with the companies generating £39m and £104m in the last tax year. Only time will tell if Onthemarket is here to stay, but from our experience we’ll certainly be visiting Zoopla a lot less than we have in the past.
A new breed of estate and lettings agents
What we are also noticing is the number of online lettings and sales companies which have no high street presence.We have made use of these services in the recent past with the major difference being that:
- The fees are heavily slashed when using online agents
- The appointments require our attendance when it comes to viewings.
We will be providing a comparison of the ones that we have used in a separate post.
The question here is how can these companies remain profitable when there is such a plethora of them available and how are the traditional sales and lettings agents responding? One would imagine by slashing their fees too, but they have a lot more costs to consider e.g. business rates, staffing and so on.