Trinity Mirror snaps up Zoomf among portal pandemonium
Trinity Mirror has shelled out an undisclosed sum for property portal Zoomf.
Zoomf aggregates property listings from around the web for free.
Speaking exclusively to The Negotiator, David Bexon (pictured) managing director of Digital Property, says the acquisition complements the group's existing portfolio of online property businesses - including smartnewhomes.com, email4property.co.uk and Fish4Homes - with a free-to-list property proposition.
He says: "Zoomf is a great addition to our stable of specialist online property sites and further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to developing our digital portfolio.
"This is great value for money to estate agents at a time when their marketing spend is coming under pressure, and over the coming months we will be looking to further extend the portal's services."
Meanwhile, Globrix is locked in negotiations with Vebra about the software provider's alleged attempt to charge agents to list properties on the portal.
Some 120,000 properties are understood to have been pulled from Globrix, with agents expected to be charged to upload them back onto the portal via Vebra software.
An agency source says: "I think it is completely unfair for penalising agents to be on Globrix.
"But I think the issue will resolve itself - a number of us are considering leaving Vebra.
"The firm is trying to turn Globrix into a debt collector for its services."
Daniel Lee, chief executive of Globrix, says: "We are in negotiations to make sure that Vebra members can feature on Globrix for no extra charge.
"Vebra says it is willing to discuss possible solutions, which we are discussing today."
Whatever the outcome of the discussions, agents can continue to use Globrix through other software providers and by uploading their stock onto the portal themselves.
A source close to Vebra says: "Commercial discussions are underway and they are looking good; it is in the interest of all customers that the issue is resolved."
Finally, Mark Milner, chief executive of The Digital Property Group, parent company of Primelocation and FindaProperty, insists that talks about subscription fee increases for both sites are irrelevant, due to the introduction of a new rate card.
Speaking exclusively to The Negotiator, Milner says: "Our [pricing] strategy is new and is being rolled out as we speak, which means that prices are tailored to individual agents, so there are no blanket increases."
He adds that it is impossible to indicate how fees will change because discussions with agents have yet to be held.
Nevertheless, he admits that members' fees could increase as well as decrease, depending on how agents meet the criteria underpinning the new rate card.
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