PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Are property portals like Zoopla actually holding back the housing market? | PriceHubble achieves ISO/IEC 27001:2022 certification across ten countries

Andrew Stanton’s daily PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ in association with Estate Agent Networking and News Now.
Andrew Stanton

Is Zoopla holding back the housing market?

Maybe it is me! and definitely me and my dog Zara do not think like most people, but – each month in the UK just 100,000 properties complete (exchange) and in the past decade this has been the norm (apart from distortions caused by Rishi Sunak the SDLT giveaway as Chancellor).

Curiously though the population has been growing too, by over 2,400,000 in the ten-years since 2014, and with over 2,200,00 new homes have been built and sold, swelling the inventory available, the big question is why are there not more houses being bought and sold?

The mystery deepens if you look back in time, as in 1988, when the population of the UK was just 57M, 10M less than today, there were over 166,000 properties a month exchanging and completing. A whopping 60% higher rate of movement in the housing market than in 2024, and with a significantly smaller population.

If 1988, saw 2,140,000 homes exchanging, and 2024 is likely to see only 1,100,000 homes exchanging then there is definitely something wrong with this equation and these figures. Add in that since 1988 when the UK like the rest of the world was running its property industry on paper and analogue systems, decades before cloud computing or the recent Tsunami of AI based technologies – it would seem strange that the volume of buying and selling property in the residential sector seems is stagnant or going backwards in real terms.

Which brings us to property portals, the digital advertising for property in the UK (and across the world). When we saw the biggest amount of exchanges in this country in 1988, Rightmove was still 12-years from being born so it definitely was not speeding that plough. And if you scratch the surface and get under the hype of what portals ‘do’ for agents, well it may surprise you.

Metrics are a funny thing, the big three property portals have over 70M visits a month, and regularly remind their licence paying agents of this, but why with all of these eyes being drawn to the property portals is this not translating into a huge payday for agents, as stubbornly the housing marketplace shows no uptick in sales.

Putting it another way, if agents using biros and paper, without mobile and CRMs, and conveyancers running their businesses on golf ball typewriters and filing cabinets, could get over two million people moved in the year 1988, what number of ‘extra’ sales would have happened if property portals existed and there was all the technological advantage of modern commerce available today.

Would three million people have moved home? My thoughts no; so if portals generate great viewing figures but do not actually create more business, why do they charge agents such a high fee. The inspiration for this thought piece was reading a Linkedin message from Charlie Bryant CEO of Houseful, the brand that has amongst other companies inside it Zoopla. I like Charlie and have the upmost respect for him, but it got me thinking.

Charlie posted, ‘I’m very proud of the fact that 94% of consumers know Zoopla (part of Houseful)… but this week, I was told a fact that really hits home. Someone downloads the Zoopla app every 15 seconds. That’s 8 downloads in the time it takes to microwave your porridge every morning.

But that’s not all. Over the past six months, the app has delivered:

🪧 3 for-sale leads every minute
🏡 4-and-a-half rental leads every minute
✍️ And, it’s the most-reviewed property app in the UK

We’re only just getting started, with more launching in the coming weeks, including our brand new marketing campaign….”

Whilst I love porridge and I think my dog Zara would too given half a chance, I am not too convinced that property portals in their present state are ‘powering’ the agency businesses of agents, and whilst I am aware that portals have thousands of other clients who are not agents, it is the revenue from phalanx of agents that provides the ever increasing cash that fills the huge coffers of these large proptech beasts.

Maybe it is time for a re-think on what they should really be doing for agents, rather than hyping the vanity metrics which do not seem to translate into extra sales or extra bottom line profits for agents.

PriceHubble achieves ISO/IEC 27001:2022 certification across ten countries

Press Release [Zurich, May 2, 2024] PriceHubble, Europe’s leader in property data solutions for finance and real estate, is pleased to announce its achievement of the ISO/IEC 27001:2022 certification across ten countries. The audit was conducted by BSI (the British Standards Institution), accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service).

ISO/IEC 27001:2022 is a globally recognised standard that establishes a systematic approach to managing and safeguarding sensitive information within an organisation. PriceHubble underwent a rigorous evaluation and audit process to ensure its information security practices, policies, and procedures align with the stringent requirements set forth by ISO across ten countries. Obtaining this certification validates PriceHubble’s strong commitment to data security, confidentiality, and compliance with global standards.

Achieving the certification reflects PriceHubble’s proactive approach to managing information security risks. By adhering to rigorous standards and implementing robust security measures, the company ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of its data.

Mario Ubeda Garcia, Chief Technology Officer at PriceHubble, commented, “Achieving the ISO/IEC 27001:2022 certification is a testament to our dedication to maintaining the highest standards of data protection. It reflects our continuous efforts to enhance security practices and safeguard our clients’ information assets.”

With data breaches posing significant risks to organisations and their stakeholders, being ISO/IEC certified provides assurance to PriceHubble’s customers that their data is handled securely and in accordance with industry best practices. This certification further strengthens PriceHubble’s position as a trusted partner in the finance and real estate sectors, as it demonstrates a clear, audited, and internationally recognised benchmark for security.

“It reaffirms our strong dedication to providing enterprise customers with the highest level of data security and support, solidifying our position as a reliable partner in their business operations”, commented Alexis Radjabi, Chief Sales Officer at PriceHubble.

Andrew Stanton’s PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ in association with Estate Agent Networking & News Now publications. #proptech #property #realestate #digitaltransformation #startups

Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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