Zoopla, the U.K.-based real estate vertical, as part of its launch of its ‘My Home’ hub last week Zoopla, will create a record for each of the U.K.’s 27 million homes.
The individual home hub, which Zoopla describes as a CV for each residential property, will include relevant details for each property to create a database for all U.K. homes, allowing potential buyers to track a property they might want to buy, even if it’s not on the market and homeowners to update details when they make home improvements.
In an interview with U.K. newspaper, The Mail On Sunday, Zoopla CEO Charlie Bryant said the initiative aims to encourage more homeowners to enter the race for their ideal new home. This comes when the U.K. property market is experiencing record demand for certain types of property, away from city centers, after Covid-19 lockdowns encouraged a race to the countryside.
This desire, combined with low levels of supply, a Stamp Duty tax holiday until July and ongoing government support for first-time buyers has created conditions that means prices are rising, properties are selling in record time and 28% of properties have sold for more than their asking price so far in 2021, according to research by estate agents Hamptons.
The ‘My Home’ hub allows homeowners to view and even edit a page dedicated to a specific property and to track homes. Each page will list property details, photographs, and valuations and show a timeline of the milestones linked to the property, including sales information, historic floor plans and home improvements.
Homeowners will be able to log on to their own property page and add details, including extensions and renovations and documents relating to ownership, required for selling a property. This means when they want to sell they can contact an agent for a valuation and speed up what remains a very slow selling process in the U.K.
“Just over one million people move home every year, but that pales into insignificance compared to the ten million people who are active on property portals every month,” Bryant told The Mail on Sunday.
“This site will provide encyclopedic knowledge of everything a homeowner, or prospective homeowner, needs to know about the house they own, or would like to buy. We will also let people track properties they are interested in, so they can come back to them time and again, and see what is happening in the neighborhood.’
My Hub will add to the data Zoopla already holds on its main site and encourage property owners to update their listing even if they don’t plan to move anytime soon. Zoopla, which re-branded last week, has invested in the technology and software side of its business since being acquired by Silver Lake in 2018 and sees data expertise as a key part of its strategy to add more agents and extract a higher monthly fee from them.
In a recent update Zoopla said it added 1,500 agent branches since December to take its total to around 19,400, just a little higher than Rightmove’s last reported customer numbers for the end of 2020.
Zoopla has also increased headcount significantly over the last 12 months, adding 258 new staff, around a third of its overall current workforce.