A letter sent by Zoopla to a house seller appears to be going viral among the estate agency industry.
One agent who told Eye about it queried its authenticity. Other agents have forwarded it to Eye after being sent it themselves.
The heavily creased letter appears to have been scanned, almost certainly after being shown by the vendor (whose property address we have removed but which is in Merseyside) to their agent.
The letter is addressed “Dear Homeowner” and headed: “You are missing out on exposure to millions of active property hunters.”
It says: “We are very sorry to see that your property is no long being marketed on any of our websites, mobile apps or partner sites. Marketing your property as widely as possible is vital to ensure that you get maximum exposure and the best price in any transaction.
“With over 95% of property searches taking place online and over 60% of active property hunters using our websites and mobile apps every month, we generate over 45 million visits and over 2.5 million enquiries every month for homeowners across the UK.
“Unfortunately your property is not not being marketed to or seen by a large proportion of the audience actively searching on any of the following websites and more.”
The letter then includes Zoopla, PrimeLocation and other logos.
It continues: “The vast majority of agents across the UK do advertise with us, to ensure that they give your property the exposure it deserves and that you get the best possible price.
“We recommend that you discuss this matter with your agent as soon as possible or consider using an agent who will market your property as widely as possible, including on the websites above. You can find a list of such agents in your area at www.zoopla.co.uk/find-agents.
“We wish you every success in the marketing of your property.
“Yours faithfully, The Zoopla team.”
One leading industry figure who was among those sent a copy said that if he had been the vendor’s agent, he would have been furious at the letter’s contents, because of the suggestion that the agent was not acting in the best interests of his client.
Zoopla has already confirmed that it is contacting sellers and landlords directly, and we carried the story here last week:
A spokesman for Zoopla confirmed to us that the letter doing the rounds is genuine.
He added: “We have a very broad consumer marketing campaign which communicates the benefits of Zoopla, and the other brands that we own and power, to consumers across the UK in various ways.
“Part of this campaign includes direct mailings from time to time to vendors and landlords whose properties are not on our platform to make them aware of the audience they are potentially missing out on, given the fact that two thirds of house hunters in the UK search via our platform and around half of those use our sites exclusively.
“The data used in this and other campaigns is sourced externally.”
There is no evidence of Rightmove having embarked on a similar campaign.
However, an agent has shown us an email from Rightmove sent direct to one of his applicants, selling him the benefits of Rightmove Students.
Rightmove has also, in recent days, contacted registered applicants directly with surveys.
Rightmove’s survey asks, among other things, about buying and selling ambitions and ends by asking users to rate and review Rightmove.
A Zoopla survey has also been sent out, but this time to agents, asking them to rate its service and value for money.