With Rightmove’s price per lead being the most expensive, Housesimple.co.uk states the TDPG & Zoopla merger will inevitably lead to a portal price war.

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In April 2012, The Digital Property Group and Zoopla merger was cleared by the Office of Fair Trading. These online marketing giants are set to give the long established RightMove a run for its money. Director of online estate agents ‘House Simple’, Sophie Cronin comments on how the merger is a positive step for estate agents and the property industry as a whole.

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If RightMove start to lose agents they would have no choice but to compete on price. This would be fantastic for both online and traditional agents who use the services, as we can all benefit from a decrease in our overheads during these turbulent times

In the age of mobile technology it isn’t uncommon for people to take a working lunch and organise their personal admin in the hour break granted from the office. Multi-tasking is essential in the busy lives that commuters, working parents and professionals have to juggle. On a sunny day this could mean sitting in the park soaking up some rays with a smart phone or tablet, paying household bills online, transferring money or searching for a property. The emphasis is on getting things done, and fast. If brands want consumers to choose their services over competitors then they need to tap in to the multi-tasking market and be at the front of consumers’ minds.

The merger of The Digital Property Group and Zoopla seeks to do exactly that. With the merger comes a much bigger marketing budget to play with, a bigger and better tech team to develop faster and smoother user interfaces to mobile apps and websites, and all the tools needed to take on the current market leader RightMove.

“There is likely to be a lot of marketing going on now the merger has been cleared. This is great for estate agents online because more web traffic will be generated as a result which will help to get more exposure for the properties advertised through these online portals” says Cronin.

“As agents we may also benefit from a price war as each of the major portals that we use to sell property online try to win business over each other. If RightMove start to lose agents they would have no choice but to compete on price. This would be fantastic for both online and traditional agents who use the services, as we can all benefit from a decrease in our overheads during these turbulent times”

RightMove, Zoopla and Find a Property have all recently released prime time television advertising campaigns prior to the announcement of the merger. Consumer awareness of these online property search tools is growing and with over a million properties advertised on RightMove there’s certainly no shortage of stock for the portals to fight over.

A knock on effect of a price war between advertising portals could be that estate agents are able to reduce their own fees to vendors creating a further price war that will this time benefit consumers directly, and may well keep the UK housing market ticking over while the government desperately tries to fix it.

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Alexander Gosling
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