Zoopla’s CEO Alex Chesterman Pans OnTheMove’s Regressive Model

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Alex Chesterman

Zoopla CEO Alex Chesterman is not worried about competitor OnTheMove, and says the customers will decide which is the better online real estate service (presumably Zoopla). In an exclusive interview with Estate Agent Today, Chesterman cited analysts who are still more bullish on first movers Zoopla and Rightmove than newcomer OnTheMove, which has a smaller inventory of properties and is supplied by only 4, 000 to 5, 000 agents. Barclays thinks Rightmove “looks fairly valued” and Zoopla is “extremely inexpensive.”

Chesterman is not allowing himself to feel sanguine because of analyst approval, but said, “The success will depend on whether consumers will embrace it.” A significant amount of research and spending has gone into giving Zoopla the brand recognition it has today, and Chesterman doubts that OnTheMove can acquire an edge without significant time and investment. He is critical of OnTheMove’s policy of having an “only-one-other-portal” policy; “This has heightened concern over what is displayed where and by whom, which makes the idea of not listing properties on portals which consumers obviously use and like all the more surprising.” He added that, “This new portal, is a regressive business model trying to stifle innovation at the expense of home sellers up and down the country. It creates the single biggest conflict of interest we have ever seen between an agent and their client.”

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